30 Nov 2015

Tonga government's outgoing advisor reflects on challenges

11:24 am on 30 November 2015

The outgoing adviser to the Tongan government says they have achieved some results despite the many challenges since the elections a year ago.

The 2014 election result brought a government into power headed by long time pro-democracy campaigner 'Akilisi Pohiva, making him the first commoner to be elected to the position.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ

The first phase of the government's term has been beset with controversies over women's rights conventions, the education sector, legal challenges and financial difficulties.

However Kalafi Moala says the government has been able to identify the problems in the education sector, despite issues over what form the solutions should take.

Mr Moala also says there have been other successes.

"We have 15 public enterprises and they want to reduce that to five. They have effectively done that. They have been able to get an anti-corruption commission set up. On alleviation of poverty, they have been able to lift tariffs and duties on items like fruits and vegetables that have been imported."

Kalafi Moala has stepped down as adviser because he says there is too much bureaucracy surrounding the government which is slowing their reforms.