8 Jun 2015

Tonga departure tax hike irks NZ Tongans

7:53 am on 8 June 2015

A Tongan community leader in New Zealand says the Tonga government's decision to raise departure tax by almost 50 US dollars is an unreasonable burden on overseas-based Tongans.

The government's first budget includes charges on foreign exchange and the departure tax increase to raise funds for the 2019 Pacific Games.

The Chair of the Tonga Advisory Council Melino Maka says while Tongans don't mind helping the government, the moves go too far.

Mr Maka says the move will put off deperately needed tourists.

He says the Tonga government should be looking at other ways to grow the economy before making expensive commitments like the 2019 games.

Boeing Dreamliner approaching Auckand International Airport.

Photo: AFP