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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, March 2) – Tongan Nobleman Hon. Fakafanua, Dr. Kinikinilau Tutoatasi, was laid to rest on Thursday, March 2, at the Vakataumai burial ground at Ma'ufanga.

His 'apo – or night of mourning – was held on March 1 at his residence, Siumafua'uta and Queen of Tonga Halaevalu Mata'aho was present as ongoing prayer services were conducted by various church denominations until the early morning.

At 10 a.m. his catafalque was carried by about 50 men to Vakataumai, led by the Tonga Police Brass band and followed firstly by his widow Princess Sinaitakala 'Ofeina 'e he Langi Fakafanua and their three children.

Fakafanua, born Kinikinilau Tutoatasi on January 20, 1962, was the second of eight children born to Fakafanua (Kinikinilau Lelea 'a Fafine), and his wife Kalolaine Taukapa Lataifalefehi Fakafanua of Ma'ufanga, Tongatapu, Faleloa and Nga'akau at Tefisi, Vava'u. He was a nephew of Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho, who is the older sister of his mother.

He succeeded his father Fakafanua Kinikinilau Lelea 'a Fafine, the seventh holder of the noble title on June 3, 2004.

In 1984 he married Princess Sinaitakala 'Ofeina ' e he Langi Tuku'aho, the youngest daughter of Prince Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake and Princess Melenaite Tupoumoheofo Tuku'aho.

The Hon. Fakafanua died in Nuku'alofa on February 24 at age 44. He is survived by his widow and three children Hon. Fatafehi Kinikinilau Lolomana'ia, Hon. Sinaitakala Tu'imatamoana 'i Fanakavakilangi and Hon. Fakaola mei Langi 'Itafua'atonga Tutoatasi Fakafanua.

The Hon. Fakafanua served the Tonga Government for 10 years and 8 months and began his career as a Crown Counsel at the Government's Crown Law Department. He was appointed by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV as the Minister of Labor, Commerce and Small Industries in 1991; the Minister of Finance in 1995; and the Minister of Education in 2001.

On October 1, 2001, he resigned from the Tonga Public Service and migrated with his small family to Auckland, New Zealand, where he worked for the Manukau City Council as a Property Manager.

Present at the burial ceremony was Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho, the Prince Regent His Royal Highness Prince Tupouto'a, Princess Pilolevu Tuita, Prince Tu'ipelehake, Princess Mele Siu'ilikutapu and members of the Tongan Royal Family, and Tongan Government Ministers.

March 6, 2006

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