12 Sep 2019

Tonga's democracy beacon, 'Akilisi Pohiva, dies

From , 3:04 pm on 12 September 2019

It is a sad day in the Pacific with the death of Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Mr Pohiva was airlifted to hospital in Auckland on Wedneday with pneumonia and died Thursday morning.

He had spent the previous two weeks in hospital in Tonga.

Earlier this year he was medevaced to Auckland with a liver condition - the Tonga government said an operation for that was successful.

Malakai Koloamatangi, who heads the Pasifika Centre at Massey University, is himself Tongan and has kept a close eye on the nation's politics over the years.

He spoke with Don Wiseman about Mr Pohiva's legacy. 

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta