P?hiva Tu‘i‘onetoa sworn in as new Tongan Prime Minister

P?hiva Tu‘i‘onetoa  is officially the prime minister of Tonga.

King Tupou VI signed the warrant appointing Tu‘i‘onetoa as prime minister in a swearing in ceremony at the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa Tuesday.

Tu’i’onetoa has outlined policy areas in which he revealed his People’s Party new slogan – “Counting two as one.”

In Tongan, “Lau e ua ko e taha”, means to regard two people with different views as one and treat them the same way.

He said this was a time for “reconciliation” and uniting the country which has been long-divided by political rivalries and dispute.

Tu’i’onetoa said his government would focus on sealing all public roads and filling roads to plantations and tax allotments with rocks. It’s second priority is the e-government project.

He said last night a revocation process was underway to terminate some members of the ‘Akilisi P?hiva’s cabinet ministers before the king would appoint the new cabinet ministers.

Tu’i’onetoa has confirmed his new cabinet lineup is as follows:

  1. Dr P?hiva Tu’i’onetoa – Prime Minister of Tonga, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Public Enterprises
  1. Sione Vuna F?’otusia – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Prison
  1. T?vita Lavemaau – Minister of Finance, Minister of Customs and Revenue
  1. Siaosi Sovaleni – Minister of Education
  1. Dr. ‘Amelia Afuha’amango Tu’ipulotu – Minister of Health
  1. ‘Akosita Lavulavu – Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Tourism
  1. Poasi Tei – Minister of MEIDECC
  1. Lord Nuku – Minister of Police
  1. S?miu Vaipulu – Minister of Trade and Economic Development
  1. V?tau Hui – Minister of Internal Affairs
  1. Lord Tu’ilakepa – Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
  1. Lord Ma’afu – Minister of His Majesty’s Armed Forces, Minister of Land and Survey and Natural Resources

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said: “Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa studied Accounting at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand (CA) in 1982. He received a Graduate Diploma in Financial Management from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 1993, and went on graduating with a Master of Business Accounting (MBA) from the same University in 1994. He received his Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) from the Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountant of New Zealand in 1999. He is a certified Management Accountant (CMA) from the Institute of Certified Management Accountants in Australia in 1997, and a receiver of a certificate of Civil Law from the University of the South Pacific. 

“The Hon. Tu’i’onetoa is a Doctor of Christian Ministry, from the Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, Tacoma, Washington, USA since 2000.

“He first joined the Tonga Civil Service in January, 1979. He was the Official Liquidator at the Department of Justice, commercial Division in Hamilton, New Zealand. He served as Tonga’s Auditor General (AG) from 1983-2014, before he was first elected to parliament in the 2014 General Election as People’s Representative for Tongatapu Constituency No.10. He was a Private Secretary to His Majesty from 1987-1988, and also clerk to the Privy Council during the same period.

“In the Pohiva’s Government, Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa served as Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries; Minister of Police, Prisons and Fire Services. He became Minister of Revenue and Customs up to September 2017, where he was later appointed as Minister of Finance and National Planning in January 2018. 

“He was a member and representative at the International Congresses of International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI); elected member of the Governing Board of INTOSAI for six years in 1992, and was reelected in 1998 for another six years until 2004. He attended the Conference of Commonwealth Auditors General, and the regional branch of INTOSAI the SPASAI. He was also Secretary General of SPASAI for 10 years from 1985-1994. He is currently one of the Governors of the World Bank – IMF.”