9 Feb 2015

Commoner becomes governor of Tonga's Ha'apai

3:12 pm on 9 February 2015

The King of Tonga has appointed a commoner to the position of Governor of Ha'apai for the first time.

Mo'ale Finau missed out in a seat in parliament by just 4 votes in last year's elections but says he is honoured to have now been given the new post.

Mr Finau says his appointment is another example of commoners finally being entrusted with responsibility and political power.

"It symbolises a willingness of the King of Tonga to finally give an opportunity for the commoner to come in and join in, if they are worthy, to be governor. I feel this is some type of freedom for the commoners to be trusted by the King. This is a victory for the King, not for me, because the King must of had a vision of the future of Tonga."

Mr Finau's appointment comes after a commoner was elected prime minister for the first time and just one noble was included in cabinet.