9 Dec 2017

Tongan MP wants ban on foreigners growing kava

10:43 am on 9 December 2017
A Kava plant.

A Kava plant. Photo: Supplied/ Len Garae

A Tongan MP says she wants foreigners to be banned from growing kava in the Kingdom.

The re-elected member for Vavau 16, Akosita Lavulavu, said there had been an increase in Chinese nationals purchasing land from Tongans in rural areas for the purposes of growing kava.

She said in some cases landowners on Vavau are being offered $US50,000 up-front for ten year leases of their land.

"Kava is one of the main sources of income for our people, especially the very grassroots people this is where we make our money."

"And my people and myself we have put a petition together to put into parliament, ready to put into parliament next year in January for this, to go against this. We dont support this," she said.

Tongan MP 'Akosita Lavulavu.

Tongan MP 'Akosita Lavulavu. Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins