Akld Mayor Hosts Service for Tongan Community
PRESS RELEASE: Auckland Mayor Hosts Memorial Service for Grieving Tongan Community
On Thursday evening at 7.30pm, the Mayor of Auckland, Dick Hubbard, will host a memorial service at the Town Hall to honour the lives of Tongan Prince Tuipelehake and his wife Princess Kaimana. The royal couple were tragically killed in a car accident while in the United States, where they were seeking the views of the Tongan diaspora about peaceful political reform in Tonga.
Prince Tu’ipelehake was one of the few individuals able to bridge the divide between the dynastic monarchy and the protesting voices of political dissent in Tonga. He was a respected advocate of peace in the Kingdom and a leader of progressive reform. His untimely death has been a deep shock to the Tongan people and has dealt a severe blow to the peace process.
The memorial service will provide an opportunity for the Tongan community in Auckland to come together in mourning. Organisers say that, “Prince Tu’ipelehake was believed by many to be the ‘Prince of the People’. Therefore, it makes sense that ‘the people’ come together and grieve in unity.”
The programme includes New Zealand Government Ministers, including Hon Phil Goff, as well as Tongan community leaders and performance artists; providing an opportunity for all to reflect, mourn and celebrate the lives of Prince Tu’ipelehake and his wife.
An open invitation is extended to members of the Tongan community to attend the memorial service which will be held at the Level Two Reception Lounge of the Town Hall (capacity 180 people), Thursday the 13th of July at 7.30pm.