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Governor-General To Travel To Tonga


Media release 1 July 2003

GOVERNOR-GENERAL TO TRAVEL TO TONGA

The Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright will travel to Tonga tomorrow to attend celebrations to mark the 85th birthday of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

The 5-day visit will see the Governor-General participate in a number of festivities to mark the King's birthday, including a military parade and tattoo. The Royal New Zealand Air Force band and Maori cultural group will participate in both events.

While in Tonga, Dame Silvia will hold private talks with the King and Tonga's Prime Minister Prince 'Ulukalala Lavaka 'Ata, and will meet Tongan women leaders.

Dame Silvia will also visit the 'Eua Forest Plantation, one of New Zealand's longest running aid projects which was run in partnership with Tonga's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The plantation, part of an $8 million contribution from New Zealand's aid programme to help Tonga set up and maintain the forest plantation of mainly exotic tropical timber, will be officially handed over to Tonga Timber Ltd, marking the conclusion of New Zealand's involvement.

Dame Silvia will also present New Zealand General Service Medals to Tongan police who were part of the International Peace Monitoring Team in the Solomon Islands.

During the absence of the Governor-General from 2 July to 6 July, the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, will act as Administrator of Government.

ENDS

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