4 Apr 2014

Tonga minister says no concerns about passport processes

4:24 pm on 4 April 2014

Tonga's Justice Minister, Clive Edwards, has dismissed concerns about the sale and issuance of passports.

Last month, TVNZ reported an investigation in Tonga highlighted major weaknesses in the country's immigration office.

The report also raised questions about the role of the Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, in the issuing of some passports.

Mr Edwards says the Auditor General, Dr Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, had no right to make public what he says were incomplete documents that the Cabinet is yet to sight.

He confirms that the prime minister is regularly asked to sign off on passport requests and this is all above board and on the recommendation of officials.

"Look the government and cabinet are quite satisfied that things are being done properly and these stupid reports, and political reports, that are being bandied around by the media, it's nonsense."

Tonga's Justice Minister, Clive Edwards