20 Sep 2011

Tonga government advised against change in Neiafu

2:42 pm on 20 September 2011

The Tongan government has told residents in the main town in Vava'u that it'll rethink the plans to set up the Royal Town of Neiafu.

The previous government had revealed plans to set up local adminstrations in major towns just before last year's elections.

The designated districts were to be have a large degree of autonomy and would have included significant changes to the country's traditional land laws.

But a government delegation to Neiafu has been given a clear indication by the residents that the planned structure is unworkable.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says at a public meeting the people of Neiafu called for the law to be redefined and the politicians got the message.

"It appeared from our reports from our agents in Vava'u that the representatives are listening. For example the deputy prime minister said to the chairman of that meeting if the people have rejected it then that's the end of it. He said that the deputy prime minister told me himself, so they are listening to what the people have to say."