12 Oct 2016

Tonga's PM cast doubt on 2019 Pac Games prep

11:33 am on 12 October 2016

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva has told parliament he has doubts that the country will be ready in time to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

Team Tonga at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

Team Tonga at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie

Mr Pohiva said the government had still not found land to build an 18-hole golf course for the games.

Matangi Tonga reports the Prime Minister told the House it would take four years to get a new golf course ready.

Mr Pohiva also cast doubt on the scheduled upgrade of the Teufaiva Stadium and the construction of new sporting facilities at Tonga High School, saying he believed it would not happen by May 2017 as planned.

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

He said the US$460,000 per year the Organising Committee had requested from government was also too steep and something the government could not honour.

Mr Pohiva told the House that Tonga's sports is in a sad situation.

Last month Mr Pohiva fired the sports minister for throwing a wine glass at a female director.

He has also constantly been at odds with the Organising Committee CEO Lord Sevele, who he has unsuccessfully tried to replace.