8 Jun 2012

Tonga's King Tupou VI opens Parliament

7:53 am on 8 June 2012

Tonga's King Tupou VI has officially opened a new Parliament.

Addressing Parliament for the first time as King, King Tupou VI acknowledged the gathered politicians and thanked foreign countries and donors for supporting Tonga and expressed gratitude to the whole nation for the state funeral in March of his older brother, King George V.

King Tupou says Tonga is facing the impact of the global financial crisis but the government is working with local businesses to boost the economy.

He looked forward to the completion of an underwater fibre optic cable which will bring faster Internet access to Tonga, but warned that this could bring challenges of a different sort.

The rise of Non communicable diseases in the Kingdom was also included in his list of topics, and he told people to work together to combat the problem.