TONGA BRISTLES AT KIWI CRITICISM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Nov. 27) - The Tongan government says it has summoned the New Zealand High Commissioner over recent comments made about Tonga in New Zealand.

The acting prime minster, Clive Edwards, met Warwick Hawker and expressed his government’s anger at remarks made by two New Zealand MPs.

Mr Edwards accused opposition MP Ken Shirley of lacking knowledge and understanding of New Zealand’s aid programmes in Tonga, saying his statements are made for the sake of cheap publicity.

Mr Shirley of the ACT Party said Tonga represents a medieval monarchy grafted onto Polynesian nepotism and chieftainship.

The Tongan statement comes after the announcement on Tuesday that a New Zealand parliamentary committee will examine relations between the two countries.

The Tongan statement also calls on the committee chairman Peter Dunne to stop trying to bully or interfere with neighbouring Pacific countries.

November 28, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

 

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