22 Jun 2011

Tonga's embassy in Wellington to go in cost cutting measure

6:07 am on 22 June 2011

As it looks to save money the Tonga government is reviewing its diplomatic presence overseas and the Wellington high commission is earmarked for closure.

Tonga's budget is currently under debate in the Legislative Assembly with the government trying to trim spending as it faces a deficit of nearly 30 million pa'anga or 17 million US dollars.

There have been unsuccessful attempts to trim spending allowances for the King and the palace office, which were lifted substantially by the previous government in last year's budget.

The military budget is also unlikely to be touched but our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says foreign affairs will be cut.

"The Prime Minister confirmed in Parliament that they are thinking of shutting down the Tonga Embassy in Australia and they will shut down definitely the Tongan Embassy in Wellington, so in terms of cutting in the foreign affairs budget that's where they'll sacrifice."

Mateni Tapueluelu.