New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

New Zealand Support for Tourism and Education in Tonga

New Zealand to ramp up support for tourism and education in Tonga

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced New Zealand will make substantial contributions to the development of Tonga’s tourism and education sectors, as part of a Joint Commitment for Development agreed and signed with the Tongan Government today.

“The Joint Commitment for Development ensures greater shared accountability for development efforts between our two countries and targets New Zealand’s assistance to areas that will make the most difference to the lives of the people of Tonga”, Mr McCully said.

“The agreement renews New Zealand’s support for key areas such as tourism; energy; small and medium enterprise development; capacity building within the Tongan police force, and signals our increased engagement in education.

“Our Commitment places a strong emphasis on support for sustainable economic development. Tourism in Tonga has considerable potential and New Zealand is committed to supporting the public and private sectors boost economic growth through increased employment and income opportunities for Tongan people.

“New Zealand has already committed NZ$5 million to a flagship tourism support programme aimed at positioning Tonga as a major tourist destination in the Pacific, and increasing visitor numbers and spending.

“Working alongside Australia, we will also be increasing our investment in Tonga’s education sector, providing up to NZ$15 million over the next five years to all levels of education - from early childhood to secondary. This is in addition to our NZ$4 million programme of support to technical and vocational education.

“Investing in children’s education is an investment in a prosperous and productive future for Tonga. Basic education establishes essential life skills, such as literacy, numeracy, reasoning and social abilities.

“New Zealand’s support will focus on improving outcomes in the classroom, particularly the availability of learning materials, increasing school grants, and teacher training. Annual assessments on numeracy and literacy will provide a benchmark to measure the impact of these initiatives on children's learning outcomes”, Mr McCully said.

Mr McCully is in Tonga on the first leg of a four-country Pacific Mission that will also see him travel to Samoa, Cook Islands and Niue.


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