16 Nov 2011

Reef Shipping unaware of Tonga move to cut Vava'u service

12:58 pm on 16 November 2011

The director of Reef Shipping in New Zealand says the company has been kept in the dark about Tonga's decision to cancel its licence for a direct shipping service to and from Vava'u in Tonga.

Hundreds of people on Vava'u handed a petition to the Governor to oppose the government move

With Reef gone, a smaller shipping company, Jaws South Pacific Shipping, is to get a monopoly on the line.

Phillip McNicholl says Reef is keen to keep the service to Vava'u, adding that competition is good for business.

"We know very little. We've had no communication from the Tongan government, formally advising us of any changes. So we're a bit bemused by what we are reading in the media. But from what we understand, this company, Jaws, which I don't think is a locally registered company. I think it has been set up by Mr Ramanlal and has been lobbying to get the exclusive rights for international shipping into Vava'u from New Zealand, which is a trade that we've been servicing for the last ten years or so."

The director of New Zealand's Reef Shipping, Phillip McNicoll.