12 Oct 2010

Group tries to stop sale of Tongan king's Auckland estate

9:34 pm on 12 October 2010

A group has lodged a caveat on the Tongan king's Auckland residence in a bid to prevent its sale.

The sale of King George Tupou V's 1.6ha Epsom estate is expected to raise about $9 million.

The group says the property belongs to the Tongan government but the government said last month that it did not own it as it was purchased by the Royal Family.

An Auckland-based lawyer, Joel Fotu, says they placed the caveat in an attempt to delay the sale until Tonga's first democratic elections next month, so the new government can consider the sale.

He says there is enough evidence to show that the estate belongs to the Tongan government.