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Sympathy at Tongan King's Death

Media release
19 March 2011


Sympathy at Tongan King's Death

The University of Auckland has expressed its condolences at the death of King George Tupou V of Tonga.

"We extend our sympathy to the people of Tonga, the Tongan community in Auckland, and particularly to our Tongan staff and students," the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon said today. "We have a long and proud association with Tonga and our thoughts are with the Tongan people at this sad time."

Though the King's reign was sadly short, its importance will long be felt, as the King was committed to advancing the democratisation of Tonga, relinquishing many of his powers voluntarily, said Professor McCutcheon. "Losing two kings in so few years, after decades of leadership, poses many challenges to Tonga. Tupou V had overseen Tonga during some very difficult times, and his passing will be mourned throughout the University, New Zealand, and the rest of the Pacific."

ENDS

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