Sport: PNG delegation in Tonga to assess Pacific Games prep

12:47 pm on 2 February 2016

A Papua New Guinea delegation heads home today after spending time in in Nuku'alofa assessing Tonga's Pacific Games preparations.

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.

PNG agreed to help Tonga after a party led by Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva visited Port Moresby last month.

Tonga's Sports Minister Fe'ao Vakata said Papua New Guinea would help refurbish the main Teufaiva National Stadium for the 2019 event and assist with their high performance set-up.

"It's all Papua New Guinea donations and assistance. We just seeked the assistance of the government of Papua New Guinea and they're willing to help us build our Nation Stadium."

Mr Vakata said the last estimate he was aware of said the facilities would cost $US115 million to complete, with PNG's support a welcome addition to that already received from China and New Zealand.

"I think China's assistance is about $US30 million... Phase two of their donation is to build the sports complex for Tonga High School and that will be used for the Games in 2019.

"New Zealand have donated $NZ2 million in which the organising committee have used about one third of that for consultation and the master plan but I believe that New Zealand is going to use some New Zealand workers are going to be assisting with New Zealand, that's what I understand now."

Mr Vakata said the government and organising committee still needed to find ways of funding the shortfall.