15 Oct 2022

Pacific Games Council and Tonga reach a settlement over hosting dispute

9:21 am on 15 October 2022
Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue.

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue at the 2019 games in Samoa Photo: Vinnie Wylie/RNZ Pacific

A long-running legal battle between the Pacific Games Council and Tongan Government has been settled.

The dispute started when the Tongan Government pulled out of hosting the 2019 Pacific games.

Tonga was awarded the hosting rights in 2012 but withdrew in 2017, claiming it could not afford to stage the event.

Samoa, which had hosted the event before, was then selected as the host country for the 2019 Pacific Games.

History repeated as the Samoa women's cricket team defeated Papua New Guinea by four wickets the win gold medal.

Pacific Games Samoa 2019 Photo: Pacific Games Service Karen Anaya

This week, a settlement was reached between the Pacific Games Council and the government of Tonga.

In a statement, the Government of Tonga said the Kingdom of Tonga, the Pacific Games Council (PGC), and the Tonga Sports Association National Olympic Committee (TASANOC), have successfully negotiated in good faith the following:

(a)A confidential settlement, including an apology, of claims brought against the Kingdom of Tonga by PGC and TASANOC; and (b) an appropriate acknowledgement of the consequences caused by the Kingdom of Tonga to the PGC and TASANOC.

The statement added that the Kingdom of Tonga's decision to enter into settlement in good faith is in the best interests and future of sports, not only in Tonga, but also in the wider Pacific

Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said he is pleased with the decision reached.

"We are very pleased with the settlement announcement that was made yesterday by the government and I think it gives us the ability to move forward completely with Tonga one of our valuable members of the Pacific Games Council into the future."

Minogue said the lessons learned is to keep host governments aware of their contractual obligations.

"So, a new incoming government, we need to make sure that any country that hosts our government in the future, that they always fully understand their obligations.

We have made sure that the Solomon Islands Games coming up - there have been changes in Government since their bid. The lesson that we keep new governments informed about their obligations under the contract," Minogue said.

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