1 Apr 2016

Tonga PM dismisses claims he's blanking media

6:18 pm on 1 April 2016

The prime minister of Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva, has rejected criticism that he and his government are not making themselves available to the media.

Local news organisations have been grumbling for weeks about a lack of accessibility and a long time associate of Mr Pohiva, journalist and publisher Kalafi Moala, said the Democratic Party government was the most closed in the country's history.

But Mr Pohiva said that was not the case.

He said his had been more open than previous governments and his office regularly put out information.

And Mr Pohiva said his door was always open to the media.

"I am open. I am free. Any time they want me to respond and to answer questions I am always prepared to do it, but it is unfortunate if the senior people in my media office fail to inform me of that."

Kalafi Moala said there was a deliberate attempt by the government to control information.