18 Oct 2012

Tonga group opposes Pacific Games bid

3:52 pm on 18 October 2012

The head of the New Zealand-based Tonga Advisory Council says it is irresponsible for Tonga to be pushing to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

The host will be decided tomorrow at a meeting in Wallis and Futuna involving the general assembly of the Pacific Games Council.

Tonga and Tahiti are vying to be named hosts but Melino Maka of the Advisory Council says Tonga cannot afford the projected expenditure of 70 million US dollars.

He says that is equivalent to the annual national budget of Tonga and the country doesn't have the money.

"For those who actually push for this they really need to get their heads examined. You can't fund a project like this, a huge project like this, out of donors because they should be looking at the area of economic development, rather than trying to spend on an event that Tonga doesn't need at this stage."

The Tonga Advisory Council's Melino Maka.