Pacific Games Council Hopes To Convince Tonga To Change Its Mind About 2019 Games

Kiwi gold medalist with Tongan roots also calls on country to reconsider

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 31, 2017) – The Pacific Games Council has secured a meeting with the Tongan government in an attempt to change the mind of the Prime Minister after he declared the hosting of the 2019 event was off.

'Akilisi Pohiva has said the games will have a detrimental effect on the economy, despite both the previous and current finance ministers stating the opposite.

The head of the local Games Organising Committee, Lord Sevele, said the Pacific Games Council is willing to work with the government to allay its fears.

"The President and the Executive Director are coming over on Monday and having a meeting with government in an attempt to see whether and how best all sides can review the hosting of the games by Tonga in an attempt to make it happen."

Lord Sevele was earlier sacked by Mr Pohiva as head of the local committee but then reinstated by order of the Chief Justice.

[PIR editor's note: On June 1, 2017 RNZI reported that 'Dame Valerie Adams has called for the 2019 Pacific Games to remain in Tonga. ... In a letter sent to the Pacific Games Council earlier this month, the Olympic gold medallist said when the games were allocated to the Kingdom it was a "major step forward in the development of sport and Tonga's communities and its people". ... Dame Valerie urged the country to "problem solve the issues to get things on track" and said she hoped Tonga can reconsider things and commit to hosting the Pacific Games as a nation in 2019.']

Radio New Zealand International
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