Tonga Declares Public Holiday for Prime Minister’s Funeral

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PM 'Akilisi Põhiva. PC

17 September 2019 Tonga has announced a public holiday and national day of mourning for the state funeral of the late Prime Minister Akilisi Põhiva this Thursday, 19th September 2019.

The leader of the Democratic Party and longest serving MP in Tonga passed away in Auckland last Thursday after being hospitalised with pneumonia.

An official memorial service took place at the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in Mangere on Sunday night, attended by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy PM Winston Peters and the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio.

Mr Pohiva will be repatriated to Tonga on Tuesday via a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft and will lie-in-state at the St George Building in Nuku’alofa as various church and community groups pay their respects.

The state funeral will take place on Thursday at the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Centenary Church before Mr Pohiva’s burial at the Telekava Cemetery in Kolomotu’a.