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National acknowledges death of Tongan royals

John Hayes MP
National Party Associate Foreign Affairs Spokesman

7 July 2006


National acknowledges death of Tongan royals

The National Party has expressed regret at news of the death of two members of Tonga’s royal family.

Prince Tu'ipelehake and his wife, Princess Kaimana, died in a car accident in San Francisco overnight. Prince Tu'ipelehake was a nephew of the King of Tonga.

“Their deaths will come as a shock to the people of Tonga, as they have to me,” says National’s Associate Foreign Affairs spokesman, John Hayes.

“The prince was chair of Tonga’s committee looking at democracy and political reform.

“I met him two-and-a-half weeks ago when he was in New Zealand to consult with the local Tongan community on this issue. His committee was to report to Parliament in August.

”Prince Tu'ipelehake was a sensible and popular member of Tongan nobility. He made a unique contribution to democratic reform in Tonga, and will be remembered for that.

”His passing is a serious blow for Tonga and the wider region.”

ENDS

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