14 Dec 2015

Distrust surrounding media and Tongan govt relations

6:42 am on 14 December 2015

The Chair of Tonga's Media Council says there is distrust surrounding the government's dealings with the media.

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva arrives in PNG with Niue's Premier Toke Talagi for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in September 2015.

The Tongan Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, has been accused of sending mixed messages to the media Photo: Koro Vaka'uta / RNZ

The Prime Minister's Office and Chief Secretary have come under fire for supposedly lacking transparency and good governance.

A number of media outlets have officially expressed concern about the lack of cooperation they receive from the office.

Pesi Fonua, who also runs the Matangi Tonga website, says although media relations have improved slightly compared to previous governments there are still issues.

"...but still the problem now is that they answer it but you can't rely on their answers. Whereas before there was just nothing coming out. Now there is something coming out from the office but you can't trust it."

Pesi Fonua says there have been a number of conflicting statements released by the Office and the Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva himself over the past year.

Mr Fonua says Mr Pohiva has promised to address the situation.