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In-Depth Coverage of King of Tonga's Funeral

13 September, 2006


TVNZ Provides in-Depth Coverage of King of Tonga's Funeral

The combined efforts of TVNZ's News & Current Affairs and specialist programming teams will be providing viewers in New Zealand, and around the Pacific, significant coverage around the forthcoming funeral for the King of Tonga.

Over the next week, Wendy Petrie and Bernadine Oliver-Kerby will share duties on the ground in Tonga. ONE News Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver will supplement this coverage with in-depth reporting from the heart of the Pacific (ONE News - 6.00pm, Wednesday 13 September onwards).

CloseUp is sending Mark Sainsbury to host the programme live from Tonga on Tuesday 19 September 2006 following the funeral. In addition to reporting on the funeral, he will be discussing the cultural and political impact the change of monarch will have on this Pacific nation (CloseUp - 7.00pm, Tuesday 19 September 2006).

TVNZ's Head of News & Current Affairs, Bill Ralston says, "The formal farewell to the King of Tonga and the appointment of a new monarch marks a pivotal moment in the history of Tonga. It is of significant importance to New Zealanders and the Tongan community, be they in New Zealand, Tonga or elsewhere in the Pacific. We are proud to be able to ensure that viewers have a strong team from TVNZ providing in-depth coverage for this historical event".

As well as items in ONE News and CloseUp between now and the day of the funeral, TAGATA PASIFIKA will, over its next two programmes, provide coverage of this event (TAGATA PASIFIKA - follows TONIGHT on14 and 28 September 2006 with re-screens on Sunday mornings at 8.00am).

Viewers in the Pacific Islands are benefiting from TVNZ's presence in Tonga with activities leading up to and including the funeral. Coverage is being generated to report on events in Auckland and Tonga, details of which will be advised once confirmed, subject to the date and time of the funeral, burial and other activities. Maori Television will also access TVNZ's Pacific Service feed.

tvnz.co.nz will also stream live coverage of the funeral on Tuesday along with streaming of coverage within programmes as part of its normal online extension of TVNZ programmes. Visit tvnz.co.nz for further details.

ENDS

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