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King officially opened the Taufa’ahau Tupou IV Domestic Wharf this morning

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa,1/06/2018

The distinguish guests attending the official opening of the Taufa’ahau Tupou IV Domestic Wharf at the Nuku’alofa Harbor were overjoyed this morning to welcome arrival of Their Majesties King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u for the auspicious event.

His Majesty unveiled the plaque to mark the event and cut the ribbon to officially open the terminal of the new wharf.

Leading the prayer service of the day was the Royal Chaplain and the President of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga – Rev. Dr. ‘Ahio.

The Hon. Prime Minister – ‘Akilisi Pohiva said the magnificent wharf is a fruit of Tonga’s cooperation with Japan.

“This project was formulated in line with Tonga’s National Infrastructure Investment Plan. The purpose was simple to strengthen domestic transport by expanding the domestic wharf. The work was crucial but today we witness what is possible with true cooperation.  With growing demand and the tide of development Tonga needed this upgrade. In 1967 His Majesty the Late King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV in His Royal Address for the opening of the Queen Salote Wharf referred to Tonga as a Maritime Nation, unlike Pacific neighbor like Fiji with its high ways as the main route His Majesty noted that for Tonga with is many islands the sea was Tonga’s main road for transportation. The sea was our inter-island highway. Five decades this still rings true but what a wonderful terminal for us as a high. It is safer for our people,” he said.

He thanked Japan for their generous assistance.

Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador to Tonga – H.E Tetsuya Ishii elaborates more on the new wharf and its facilities.

“The project will mobilize people and goods, whereby the flow of daily necessities and agricultural products, including various kinds of fruits, between the Kingdom’s Island groups will boost the domestic economy, as well as the overseas trade. As such, it will be expected to reduce the economic disparity between the main-island and the outer islands. It will also promote the sense of unity, and most significantly, will encourage maritime safety of “Domestic Connectivity” throughout the region. Moreover, distinct characteristics of this project are; its spacious hall, which can accommodate over 400 passengers. The facility also has a barrier-free slope, natural ventilation systems, and solar panels on the rooftop for its power supply, and a Japanese Garden that describes the islands of the Kingdom of Tonga, which represents our two countries’ harmonic and cooperative relations. I wish that the facility will fill our daily lives with bright and hopeful smiles for farmers, tourists, businessmen, and everyone who will be waiting to board,” he said.

The cost of the new wharf is more than 66 million pa’anga.

The Ambassador says Japan is working on three major projects in Tonga, the first project is the Taufa’ahau Tupou IV domestic wharf, the wind power project and the Early Warning system project which was recently signed in Japan few weeks ago.

He says, he hopes the new wharf will be maintained for the future.

© Radio and Television Tonga News