Sport: PNG to help Tonga's Pacific Games prep

12:19 pm on 21 January 2016

Papua New Guinea has offered to help Tonga in their preparations for hosting the 2019 Pacific Games.

The construction of venues in Nuku'alofa remains behind schedule while the government is also struggling to find the funds required to pay for the the upgrades.

A Tongan delegation led by Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva visited Port Moresby this week for talks with his PNG counterpart Peter O'Neill and other officials.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko will travel to Tonga. Photo: Facebook / Hon Justin W Tkatchenko MP

The PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko was a part of those discussions and says Tonga were keen to get their assistance in technical know-how and financial matters.

"We are all geared up to assist them and help them. I will be personally leading a delegation to Tonga in the next two weeks, with engineers, architects and the PNG Sports Foundation CEO, to assess the [Teufaiva National] stadium and the facilities that are there that they currently have and get a proper [idea of the] works and costs of what's involved in fixing some of those facilities".

Justin Tkatchenko says PNG has also invited Tonga's elite athletes to utilise their high performance centre in Port Moresby over the next couple of years, as part of their preparations for the Pacific Games.

Team Tonga at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

Tonga, seen here at the 2015 Pacific Games, will host the 2019 edition in Nuku'alofa. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie