4 Jun 2014

Tonga PM keen for All Blacks visit

7:01 pm on 4 June 2014

The New Zealand Government will spend $2 million on an upgrade of Tonga's national stadium before the 2019 Pacific Games.

Prime Minister John Key announced in Tonga on Wednesday that the money would go towards a feasibility study, design, and technical support for the Tongan government.

Mr Key said Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku'alofa was already an important site for domestic rugby, athletics and community events and would be a great venue for the games.

Tongan Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano has jumped on the All Black bandwagon, saying his country would also be keen to host.

"Maybe with the new ground finished, maybe they can invite the All Blacks to play," he said.

Mr Key also announced New Zealand and the Asian Development Bank would invest $7.5 million in Tonga's Ha'apai Islands, which were heavily damaged by a storm in January.

School children from Tonga's Ha'apai Islands.

School children from Tonga's Ha'apai Islands. Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson