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Untimely Death of Prince Tu'ipelehake

Condolences for Untimely Death of Prince Tu'ipelehake

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Phil Goff expresses his condolences and those of the Government for the tragic loss of Prince Tu'ipelehake and Princess Kaimana.

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Pacific Island Affairs Minister Phil Goff, joined with Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today in expressing his condolences and those of the Government for the tragic loss of Prince Tu'ipelehake and Princess Kaimana.

"I pass on to the Tongan community in New Zealand and in Tonga our deepest sympathy for the loss of Prince Tu'ipelehake and his wife Kaimana.

"This is a personal tragedy for the Prince and Princess's family but also an enormous loss for the Tongan community.

"Prince Tu'ipelehake was a key figure in the reform process in Tonga. He was Chairman of the National Committee on Political Reform and was at the time of his death involved in political consultations with the Tongan community in the United States.

" As patron of the Human Rights and Democracy Movement in Tonga, he was regarded as the people's champion.

"As a noble and nephew of the king, he was a critical bridge between the reformists and the royal family.

"The Prince's vision was for a modern and democratic Tonga, built through a process of dialogue and widespread agreement.

"The greatest tribute which can now be paid to Prince Tu'ipelehake will be for others pick up and complete the work which he was committed to," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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