Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga left for Tonga today to attend the coronation of King Tupou VI.
The minister will attend the coronation in Nuku’alofa tomorrow (4th July) as part of a New Zealand delegation that includes Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Labour leader Andrew Little, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.
King Tupou VI succeeded his older brother King Tupou V following the latter’s death in 2012.
“This coronation is a proud moment for Tongans here in New Zealand, in Tonga and around the world,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
“I am pleased to be representing the New Zealand government on this special day.”
New Zealand and Tonga share a close relationship and they are key regional partners.
There are more than 60,000 people of Tongan ethnicity in New Zealand and New Zealand provides close to $30 million in aid each year to the Kingdom.