6 Jul 2015

Tonga PM defends cost of Forbes publication

3:13 pm on 6 July 2015

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva has defended the spending on a Forbes magazine article which cost the government more than a quarter of its tourism bbudget.

Questions have been raised over spending public money on the two page article for which the government paid US$150,000 dollars.

Mr Pohiva says he was approached first by Forbes' editors who were interested in interviewing him and a deal was later approved by the then acting Secretary to Cabinet, 'Aholotu Palu.

Mr Pohiva says he hadn't heard of the magazine but later learned it was aimed at wealthy people.

"The interview is intended to attract and to advertise Tonga among the circle of the rich people. I think it will attract, in one way or another, investors to come here and invest here in Tonga."

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ