New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

New Zealand continues its strong support for Tonga’s tourism development

‘Eua Island’s Kaufana airport runway and terminal was opened today by the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu and His Excellency Dr Jonathan Austin. The New Zealand Government provided $3.2 million (TOP$4.2 million) of assistance for the upgrade of the ‘Eua airport, which was completed in a record 57 days.

At the opening ceremony, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga, Dr Jonathan Austin said, “This support is a continuation of the longstanding engagement the New Zealand Government has had with the island of ‘Eua, and is a demonstration of New Zealand’s commitment to assisting Tonga to develop its tourism sector.”

The ‘Eua runway project is a part of New Zealand’s broader Tonga Tourism Support Programme for Tonga, which includes support for destinational marketing, heritage site development, a quality accommodation standards system and research. Under this programme of support New Zealand has also provided funding for the review of Tonga’s Tourism Act which will be completed by late January 2012.

In his closing remarks at the ceremony the New Zealand High Commissioner said, “Tourism has been identified as a potential growth sector for Tonga’s economic development. Accordingly it is New Zealand’s intention to continue to work in partnership with the Government and people of Tonga to promote growth in this sector in a way that is consistent with our shared commitment to overcoming Tonga’s economic development challenges.”

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