28 Sep 2010

King of Tonga's Auckland residence for sale

6:04 am on 28 September 2010

The King of Tonga's Auckland residence is up for sale, but few people in the Tongan community knew it was even on the market.

The 1.6-hectare property, in the upmarket suburb of Epsom, has a ratable value of almost $9 million. It has been owned by the Tongan royal family for 58 years.

The head of the Tongan Advisory Council in New Zealand, Malino Maka, says he was surprised to learn that the residence, known as Atalanga, was being sold.

Mr Maka says Tongan people in New Zealand will be sad to see it go because of the historical connection they have with it.

The property is being sold by Bayleys, with tenders closing at the end of next month. The agency is referring queries to a lawyer handling the sale, who is refusing to comment.

Both the Tonga Government and the King's spokesperson have declined to discuss the sale.