9 Oct 2014

Council says new Tongan travel advisory timely

8:13 pm on 9 October 2014

The head of the Tongan Advisory Council says he's cautiously optimistic about the easing of travel advice to Tonga.

Auckland based Melino Maka says he has supported the New Zealand government's stance to date on the long running saga involving an MA60 plane given to Tonga by China.

He says the safety concerns were centred around domestic air travel in Tonga and he would like more details and information about the reasons behind the latest move.

He says the previous advisory had a huge negative impact.

"I'm really feeling for the Tourism sector in Tonga because the news just couldn't come at a most important time. Because we're getting into the summer months and the tourism is sort of dying off. But the hope now is that the local people will actually be travelling back to Tonga and they want to connect with their families in the outer islands. So it is good news in that respect."

The head of the Tongan Advisory Council, Melino Maka.