Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Government should support a democratic Tonga

25 August 2005

Alliance calls on Government to support a democratic Tonga

The Alliance is calling for the replacement of the Tongan monarchy by a democratically elected parliament.

Alliance co-leader and Manukau East candidate Jill Ovens says the Alliance stands with the Tongan people in their struggle against their monarchy.

"This is more than an industrial dispute requiring mediation. It is history in the making. This is a pro-democracy struggle and the New Zealand Government should be supporting it," Ms Ovens says.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff has responded to the Tongan crisis by sending a mediator, retired Employment Court judge Tom Goddard, to the island kingdom.

"The situation has progressed far beyond a simple wages dispute and in any case Tonga has no relevant industrial law for the judge to invoke," Ms Ovens says.

"The King must relinquish all powers and a parliament of the people must be established - one that is democratically elected under universal suffrage."

Striking civil servants, including teachers, doctors and nurses, have surrounded the King's residence in Tonga, while supporters in New Zealand besiege his Auckland residence where he is staying.

Alliance Mangere candidate Len Richards says the Tongan people are standing up to the monarchy for the first time.

"There will be no just solution to this crisis while King Tupou IV continues to rule. His regime is based on nepotism and is an anachronism in the 21st century."

He says Tongan people everywhere are fund-raising in support of the more than 1000 public servants who have been on strike for over five weeks.

"There was a huge outpouring of support last Saturday in the Otara markets."

Mr Richards says the New Zealand Government should demand the resignation of the King from power and the creation of a genuine democracy.

"The attempt at mediation in the current circumstances can only serve to shore up the corrupt and increasingly shaky Tongan monarchy," he says.

"The King shows no inclination to give in to the striking workers demands for a big jump in pay, let alone allow the Tongan people any democratic input into their own destiny."

The late pro-democracy advocate Finau Kolo was the Alliance Mangere candidate in the 1999 General Election.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency...

The falling out with Mugabe two weeks ago came only after Mugabe attempted to build a dynastic succession around his wife, Grace. Mnangagwa fled to South Africa, from where he orchestrated an Army coup led by his long–time ally, General Constantino Chiwenga, head of the country’s armed forces. To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election