5 Mar 2018

Tonga PM needs to step up and end turmoil - academic

2:33 pm on 5 March 2018

An academic has said the disorder in the Tonga government is due to a lack of leadership.

Massey University's Dr Malakai Koloamatangi

Massey University's Dr Malakai Koloamatangi Photo: Massey University

In the past week, the Tonga Cabinet has lost one Minister to resignation, another who threatened to resign claiming his Cabinet colleagues were not supporting him, and a third is facing serious criminal charges.

This comes as Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva recovers from ill-health, while his deputy Semisi Sika is out of the country, accompanying the King on a trip to China.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at New Zealand's Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, said what is happening is symptomatic of a lack of leadership.

"So there is no clear sign of authority, if you like, in the government in Tonga," he said.

"And you have the politicking going on behind the scenes and it is not a good look, certainly from outside Tonga it looks very bad. Leadership is needed at this time obviously."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs