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Million pa'anga fund assists small businesses

Hey Eagger, Nice of your to drop by and still as clever as ever. Yes, I am still banging on Mr. McCully's head for being an idiot. He represents what's wrong with the Kiwi culture. The sense of superiority and the attitude of "my way or the highway." He is not a very smart dude and his mouth was too big for his own good. He was a rhino in a china shop, get it? A rhino in a china shop...LOL. He didn't poke holes on the MA-60 but he did worst than that, a $90.0 Billion dollars hole in the economy of NZ. And the irony is, New Zealand actually paid for the MA-60 Chinese's gift to Tonga, yep, the whole lock, stock and barrel. Are you still hung up on the numbers that could not be substantiated in reality. There is no millions of dollars in tourism because the number of real tourist visiting Tonga is less than 5,000 annually. The hooplahs concerning the MA-60 happened only in the last couple of months. The hotels occupancy was less than 10% prior to that so, where are the millions of dollars that were supposedly earned/loss as the result of the MA-60 issues? Stay cool, makahunu  (Sep 25, 2013 | post #5)

Million pa'anga fund assists small businesses

Toni, What kind of idiots who would push Tonga into a $10.5 three years aid package deal and to reject a $24 Mil real gift from China? For your information, the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Chinese Aviation authority certified the air worthiness of the MA-60. By the way, the US, EU, Australia and NZ are members of this UN mandate. What the heck do you mean that our people paying for the consequences for the [email protected] up? Dude, the Tongans are enjoying a brand new aircraft, a gift from the good people of China. The MA-60 has been flying for a couple of months at $400 paanga RT vs $620 RT when Chatman Airline servicing the same routes. We are paying for the [email protected] up alright, we pay 50% less for a RT ticket. Please don't underestimate the resilience of the Tongan people. We are not helpless and doesn't need idiots like you to tell us what to do. Corruption? Are you telling me that your own government is free of corruption? Give me a break. First remove the log in your eyes to see who you're blowing before reaching over to take the tiny little splinter in our eyes. Let's face it, Tongans made up 90% of the domestic sea and air traveling public. Should the Tongan government concentrate its policies on the 10% traveling tourist or the 90% traveling locals. Come on man, do the math tourism is an expensive efforts to keep a dying industry alive. The hype doesn't not match up with the hooplah tourist dollars. Two of the largest hotels in Vavau are in trouble, in fact, they were operating at 10% occupancies for the last 15 years. While the attention was focus on tourism the government neglect the agriculture and the fishery sectors. As a result, Tonga imports 95% of her meat products from NZ. The idiots you are talking about is the one who pushes a dead industry at the expense of everything else. The economy of the country will grow if the government re-focus on its population needs at home and revive the domestic industries that could reduce the reliance NZ imports. There will be a time when Tonga can tell NZ to go and stuff it up where the moon don't shine. Mr. McCully and the like of him are arrogant bigot pigs and you, my brown nose friend is giving him the blow job of his life. If that doesn't make you sick than you should bat your back for a blow job well done, LOL. Man, I am so so funny. Yeah, you are that too...blind by your arrogant yet absolutely ignorant of the issue. The tourist operators failed to attract quality tourist dollars and blame the government for their own failure in business. If it was up to me, I will take all the tax incentives from the tourist industry directed all the efforts to promote, support and fund any industries that would help reduce reliance on NZ imports. Fiji did it with the sipi so Tonga should try it too. It was Mr. McCully ignorant of international position earned him the "250" award. What's that? It is a Chinese slang for "a very stupid person" Much love, makahunu  (Sep 24, 2013 | post #2)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

You must've rode on the wings...it wasn't like that inside. But then you need to buy a ticket to ride with the rest of us INSIDE the plane, no?  (Sep 4, 2013 | post #389)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Malo Lifuka, There is a saying that the wheel squeaks the loudest got the grease. Pea ko e maumau pe 'a e saliote ia ko e ta'e fakangako...ka ngaue 'aki pe 'a ngako ia ki he me'a na'e 'omi he palangi ke fai'aki, he 'ikai maumau ho saliote 'au. Tuku a mu'a Lifuka e lele kulokula kae vahe mai ha me'atokoni ki he 'atamai. Tu'a ofa atu, maka  (Sep 4, 2013 | post #388)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Manus MP Ron Knight warns that frustration will only increase if the Australian Government doesn't improve the opportunities for local involvement, "it might come to a situation where Australia find it easier to take it somewhere else... we don't want that...but we do not want to be cheated as well." The Australian immigration department says it continues to work with the PNG government on strategies for offering opportunities to work on construction projects to local contractors. [PIR editor's note: The National also reports that Australia, despite advising contractors and service providers on Manus to use local resources whenever possible, contracted a Saudi Arabian company for about $35 million to build a camp for 430 tenants, along with accommodations and amenities.] Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra Copyright © 2013 Radio Australia. All Rights Reserved  (Sep 4, 2013 | post #385)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Hey y'all, The article below should give us, the Pacific Islands, a sense of being used by our so-called partners, Australia and New Zealand. They would come and sing a beautiful song to convince our people that their intention is good and for our mutual benefits. But our history with these two countries is one of suppression and exploitation. Please read the article. makahunu Manus Landowners Upset By ‘Lack Of Benefits’ From Centre Local MP claims no local companies involved at processing facility By Liam Fox MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 3, 2013) – Manus Island landowners are frustrated at what they feel is the lack of benefits flowing from the Australian government's asylum seeker processing centre. When it re-opened in November last year, the Australian government's processing centre for asylum seekers had the support of most Manus islanders. People were eager for the jobs and business opportunities they believed the centre would generate. Manus member of parliament Ron Knight says support is not as strong as it once was. "There is no Manus company involved in any business out there at the moment... It seems like there never will be," Mr. Knight said. "All our people are going to be offered menial jobs as cooks and cleaners and security guards at less wages than people that are flying in from Port Moresby." Mr. Knight says land owners in the Los Negros area near the processing centre feel that they're not getting any benefits. They've blocked access to the centre's dump and they're threatening to cut off the water supply and block the entrance to the centre if they're not compensated. Locals had offered to manage the dump but an overseas contractor was bought in to do the job instead. Mr. Knight says the land owners want the Australian and PNG governments to pay them AU$130,000 for the use of the land and for the anchorage of an Australian navy ship just off the coast. "They've given them 3 days to respond. Otherwise, they will turn off the water and I believe they will make a move to close the main gate," Mr. Knight said. Another group of local landowners have blocked access to a source of gravel on their land. The Australian company Toll Remote Logistics had been using the gravel in building work to expand accommodation at the centre. The Australian government has promised a special development package for Manus island in return for hosting the processing centre. The package includes improving roads, building classrooms and fixing the roofs of the island's main market. Work has started but many locals don't think it's happening fast enough. It's not just Manus Islanders who are annoyed - businesses from mainland PNG are frustrated that most contracts for building and supplying the processing centre have gone to Australian companies. Chey Scovell the CEO of the Manufacturers' council of PNG says PNG isn't seeing the benefits of Australia's asylum seekers being placed in their country. Last week Australia's immigration department held information session for PNG businesses in Port Moresby, Lae and Manus Island. Mr. Scovell says people were hoping to hear a commitment from the department to engage more local businesses but that there wasn't one, "it seemed to be a whole lot of smoke and mirrors. "At the end of the day our government is telling us they entered into this deal on an understanding there would be participation form Papua New Guinea, in the presentation they confirmed that this was really only about 50 percent of the labour requirement." continue next page  (Sep 4, 2013 | post #384)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Gengis, You can't force anyone buy your products but it is within your right to give them away, no? If Korea, Japan and Taiwan want to buy the MA-60 they will BUT they did not condemn Tonga for taking the gift from China. The issue is New Zealand acting like a bully on the kiddies playground. Tongan government surely told Mr. McCully where to put his foot, LOL. Who do you think I should believe, you who has nothing to contribute to our debate or the Chinese government who said PUBLICLY that there was such agreement in existence. Dude, the MA-60 has been flying and serving the good people of Tonga. Well, some of you in this forum often said that Tonga is a poor country...poor Tonga has certified the MA-60 and is flying it thus your statement is completely false. makahunu  (Aug 28, 2013 | post #382)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Hello Eagger, I commend you for sticking to your opinion but as on the same token it is also imprudent to insisted on an issue that was flawed from the beginning. My opinion was Mr. McCully was arrogant and ignorant on two fronts, first, as the top diplomat of NZ he was surely ignorant of the international politics and secondly, he was a lousy diplomat. He was blinded by arrogant to realize that by calling the Tongan government stupid he also was calling the Chinese government stupid too. This is the area where I believe you have failed to observe. It has nothing to do with safety certification as I told you before. Mr. McCully knew about the UN certification of the MA-60 but he insisted that NZ's certification was superior consequently declared the Chinese safety certification is flawed. When NZ government puts a gun on a sovereign nation's head and say, do this or else proves that NZ has a lot of growing up to do, diplomatically that is. Tonga buys millions of dollars worth of goods and services from NZ. Tonga's trade deficit with NZ is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, Tonga contributes more to the NZ economy than NZ contributions to our economy. It is a myth that Tonga needs NZ in fact NZ needs Tonga more than we need NZ. Again, Mr. McCully can take his little certification and stuff it where the sun don't shine. The MA60 has been certified by the UN, the Chinese Aviation Authority, Tonga and many other countries. Who the hack makes Mr. McMully lord over aircraft's safety issues? As I had expressed here before, Mr. McCully attitudes toward the Tongan government was that of an overlord. He was furious that Tonga did not take heed to his advises. Mr. McCully reneged on his promise to assist Tonga's tourist industry of which amazingly, this type of reaction happens only if the recipient grossly violated human rights, declare war against NZ, etc. But I think Mr. McCully took it personally like a jealous partner who has been threatened by Tonga close ties with China. You are absolutely right, it comes down to poor diplomacy and Mr. McCully was the idiot that made a mountain out of a mole. Tonga will recover but the New Zealand government will be known as once the big fish in a small bond that the dragon swallowed whole. I told you this before, it is important to process your thoughts before running your mouth because you never know who you'll be pissed off as a result. That's diplomacy 101 for you and I think Mr. McCully failed the class. Mr. McCully should know that China invented the "Art of War" and he will lose in the scheme of things. Please read the article below. makahunu Posted at 16:56 on 22 August, 2013 UTC The Chinese embassy in New Zealand says it is improper for the New Zealand government to make negative comments about the new MA-60 aircraft China gifted to Tonga. New Zealand has suspended eight million US dollars in tourism aid to Tonga amid safety concerns with the MA-60, and has issued a travel advisory against New Zealanders using it. A Chinese embassy spokesperson, Xing Yuchun, says Chinese and New Zealand civil aviation authorities have an agreement to recognise the safety certification of each other’s aircraft - so any comments made about the aircraft should have been communicated with China first. Ms Xing says the comments have had a negative impact on China’s aviation reputation. She says the MA-60 was gifted to Tonga as a friendly gesture, and because it needed a new aircraft. Ms Xing says it is strictly designed, produced and verified by Chinese Civil Aviation standards and International Civil Aviation Authority safety standards. She says any accidents involving MA-60s have been caused by improper operation. News Content © Radio New Zealand International PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand  (Aug 27, 2013 | post #366)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

- On Monday night I sent an email to the NZ High Commission in Tonga expressing my concerns about the costs to our outer island businesses – the cancellations in Vava’u alone are now well over 1 million dollars. I also requested proof of any specific fault on the aircraft – if MFAT know something about this aircraft which is unsafe, we all need to know so that we can tell all of our clients not to fly on it. I have received no answer to my email. I understand that my email is with MFAT in Wellington. - I flew to Tonga and met with the NZ Deputy High Commissioner on Wednesday afternoon – again to express my concerns. I have stated that I/we will be taking legal action. - It is my firm opinion that NZ MFAT are wrong in issuing this advisory and that there is no evidence to support their claim. - There is no evidence of support from any other country on the NZ advisory.. - My businesses are refuting the MFAT advisory openly to our clients. This has saved several cancellations. TONGA IS BEING CRUSIFIED BY THE MFAT CLAIMS AND MEDIA STORIES WHICH HAVE RUN IN NEW ZEALAND. Even my own sisters have said that they won’t be coming to Vava’u again as they would not fly on the MA60. It is encouraging to know that the Tonga Government are making moves on this, just what the outcome will be – no one knows. I do believe that the damage done to the economy of Tonga will extend into the future for years to come, the unfortunate thing about the internet is that anyone can place any opinion there and this can be viewed by millions – even if there are no facts to support it. I do believe that there is a case to answer for the losses that we as operators suffer, it is my intention to take legal action. If you are willing, please do not delete any emails / correspondence from clients cancelling or expressing concern about the MA60 advisory. Have a great weekend in Paradise – cold and raining here in Auckland. Kind Regards Shane Walker Managing Director - The Moorings Tonga and New Zealand - Sunsail Tonga - Tongan Beach Resort END  (Aug 25, 2013 | post #327)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

- Air NZ operate a fleet of NZCA certified Beech 1900 aircraft on minor domestic routes in NZ. Worldwide, 249 people have died in 33 fatal air crashes involving the Beech 1900 aircraft. http://aviation-sa fety.net/database/ type/type-stat.php ?type=090 - The MA60 if operated by 21 countries around the globe – this includes Tonga. - NZ has not issued any travel advisory (about the MA60) against the other 20 countries who fly the MA60. - Tonga has used the ICAO umbrella to certify the MA60 – everything that I can find suggests that Tonga is quite within its rights to do this. - ICAO has 191 member states around the world – NZ is a standard member. - FAA (USA) CCA Europe and CAAC (China) are all council member states of ICAO. - The Asia Pacific regional office for ICAO is located in Beijing, China. - To be a member state of ICAO – a country / region has to adhere to strict aviation policy / processes as set by ICAO. - Tonga has had 1 commercial air craft accident (incident) in its history – 2 years ago - Chathams Pacific Queen Air aircraft (NZCA certified)– nose wheel did not deploy for landing – no injury to passengers or crew. Tonga Civil Aviation immediately grounded the Chathams fleet for inspection. NZ Civil Aviation conducted inspections and provided clearances to fly again within 48 hours. TCA did not provide Chathams Pacific clearances to fly again for a week until they had completed thorough audits. - China has sent senior pilots to continue with the training of Real Tonga Pilots – they will be staying on in Tonga until they are satisfied with the Real Tonga pilots training. - China has sent engineers to conduct rigorous inspections of the aircraft every day and to train Real Tonga engineers. They said that they were here for a number of months. - I have met with Tevita Palu and he is confident that Real Tonga has done everything correctly. His business is being destroyed by the MFAT advisory. - He is a very experienced aviation engineer – he carries out the inspections on the Air NZ and Virgin Australia jets which fly into Tonga - Real Tonga pilots and First Officers were sent to China for 3 months of intensive training including flight simulator – some were sent home and did not complete their training. - MA60 Pilots are required to have at least 5000 hrs of flying time and 100 hrs on Type. - Real Tonga pilots all have over 10,000 hrs logged on various aircraft – Boeing 737, 747, ATR. - Radio NZ has stated that the runway in Vava’u is too short for the MA60. - Runway length required for the MA60 is 1100 meters for take off and 1060 meters for landing. This is based on a fully laden aircraft – these required distances reduce if the aircraft is not fully laden. - Vava’u airport is 1700 meters long however the displacement threshold on the predominant landing runway has 1200m available – this is measured from the white lines which are marked on the runway near the turn off point onto the apron (where the aircraft taxi into the terminal). The hills and coconut palms on the Western end of the runway mean that approach angles measured cause the official landing “area” of runway length to shorten so does not include the first 500 meters of runway at the Western end. Although, it can all be used for take off. If an aircraft lands from the East, then most of the full runway length of 1700 meters is available. - The Tongan Minister of Justice, the Minister of Tourism and the CEO of Tourism Tonga all travelled to Wellington, NZ this week to meet with MFAT about NZ’s stance on the MA60. They met with closed doors and came away with nothing. continue  (Aug 25, 2013 | post #326)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Hey y'all, Want to share with you the reality of the situation in Tonga with the MA60. It is obviously a New Zealand government vendetta against the Tongan people. Makahunu Hello Everyone I hope you are all OK with receiving these emails. If not, please let me know. Much of my week has been consumed by the MA 60 issue. I have been busy corresponding with NZ High Commission in regard to the NZ MFAT claims about the MA60 on the NZ Travel Advisory. I have indicated that I am a voice for various tourism product operators in the outer islands of Tonga – I have been non specific about who – again if anyone wants me to exclude them from this – please let me know. I know what it is like to sit in Vava’u and wonder what is happening – so I think it best to summarise what I have been able to find out to date, I have done this myself and, to the best of my knowledge the following is factually correct. This is from me as a private sector business operator – I have not discussed this issue with the Tongan Government (at length) and do not represent them or any Government department, board or otherwise. I simply seek the truth so that I know if I am risking the lives of my guests coming to Vava’u. I am a family man – 3 little boys and a wife who look to me to ensure their safety, I understand the torment that the NZ Travel Advisory is causing not just us as business operators but also those clients who have paid good money for their annual holiday and are now having to make very difficult decisions which could directly affect the safety of their families; - Upon the commencement of flight operations of the MA60, NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel advisory last Saturday afternoon which suggests serious safety concerns over the MA60 aircraft. - Australia has not followed suit however have now included a sentence on the Aust. Travel Advisory site stating that NZ has issued an advisory. - -The US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs has stated on their Tonga site: AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Tonga’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Tonga’s air carrier operations. - Through the NZ High Commission in Tonga, I have officially requested clarification as to what, exactly is the safety issue that NZ MFAT have. I have received no response. - FAA have not issued their “Type Certifcation” for an MA60 as they are only responsible for aircraft operating in US territorial airspace. No one has ever tried to take an MA60 and use it in US airspace. - The MA60 aircraft was delivered from China to Tonga by 2 American Pilots. - There has been 77 MA60s built to date, with another 64 on order. - The company which builds the MA60 has been in the aircraft industry for circa 60 years. - They have recently unveiled a new 190 passenger jet which they have in development. - I have been told that the MA60 aircraft has over 200,000 flying hours. - There has been 8 accidents involving the MA60 aircraft – one air related and the other ground related. - The 8 accidents involved only 4 airlines – fringe, third world countries who, between them have racked up 64 air accidents on a variety of aircraft. - These airlines have been banned from flying in European airspace. - The air accident reports show that all accidents were pilot / technical/ personnel failings which caused the accidents. - No accident report has found fault with the aircraft – in part or full, which contributed to the accidents. - Statistically – this could make the MA60 one of the safest aircraft of its type/size? - NZ has had over 90 fatal air accidents since 1998.  (Aug 25, 2013 | post #325)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Dude, we are talking about real aircraft not sandbox toys...are you kidding me? While NZ is talking about the bush cargo haul Tonga is flying a MA-60 capable of 52 passenger and cargo. Get out of the island mental limitation and expand your horizon. We are talking about NZ imposing her little none in area beyond her understanding. NZ knows that under the current safety regulations China must be forced to reveal vital engineering secrets to her competitors. That's the safety certification is all about.  (Aug 13, 2013 | post #306)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Hi Eagger, NZ doesn't have aircraft manufacturer, and I know what you are trying to say. But my problem is this, would Ford allow just a mechanic, certified or not to appraise the safety of their cars. Further, in order for a mechanic to be certified to work on Ford cars Ford must do the certification or institutions sanction by Ford Motor. With that being said, how could a safety expert from NZ assess and inspect an aircraft that he has never seen or touch before? You see, from the Chinese point of view they are the only proper authority to reward air worthiness for the MA-60 after all, they built these aircrafts from conception to delivery. Who knows this aircraft better than the Chinese? I am standing on my statement that New Zealand has a superiority perception of itself. It was not just me; even the Chinese Media said it too. NZ imposing itself in the internal affairs of the Kingdom and waving aid funding on our faces as if Tonga plays for tricks. If the US threatens NZ for buying Airbus aircrafts instead of Boeing, NZ would have told the US to go F herself. Tonga was annoyed when Mr. McCully stuck his nose where it doesn't belong. . It is not out of disrespect to our friend but merely point out the fact that NZ should mind their own damn business. You are absolutely wrong...tourism did not inject $60.8 mil into the economy in 2011. I don't know where you get your numbers from, but you need to confirm those numbers before you publish it here. Let me run your numbers for a reality check. There are no more than 500 hotel rooms in the entire country. According to your numbers that's an average of $120,000.00 per room annually (or $330.00 per day) suggesting that ALL the rooms were occupied 100% for the entire 2011. Dude, whatever you are drinking...STOP! Two of the major hotels, International Dateline and Paradise Hotel run on a 25% occupancy . The biggest occupier of the hotel rooms were NOT tourists but by the travelers who must be in Tonga for governmental conferences and/or business. The current tourist traffic doesn't contribute as much as the hypes make it out to be. The Dateline Hotel is in receivership, and the Paradise Hotel exists purely because of the owner's kind heart. He spends tens of thousands dollars per month to just have a presence and to keep his staff working. Most of the time the hotel is empty . I am so disappointed when people think that it is all rosy and good in the industry but IT IS NOT. We are living in the reality here in Tonga while you are living on cyber-fantasyland. Eagger, do you play chess? It is not just "your move then my move" in globe politics. It is all about your ability to setup your opponent to make the first wrong move. China is now using the Fonterra issues to make the NZ government pay dearly for insulting the Chinese government...in the tune of more than $100 Mil dollars in fines. The irony is this...NZ was paying for the gift to Tonga. When NZ called the Chinese Aviation Authority safety certification rubbish and withdrew a promised aid package to Tonga, it illustrated NZ's displeasure and arrogance... I know China will take action. And Fonterra screw up was the move China was waiting for to check mate NZ. No one said that it was the farmers fault, the farmers are as much as victims as the consumers when the NZ government fails to do their job. The government regulates and enforces the safety of food productions. The buck stops at the PM office. Thank you for the article. It is certainly something that Tonga should consider, unfortunately, the article did not elaborate further or confirm as whether the brakes were the cause of the accident because it was just too early to tell. When all is said and done, the Tongan public needs a reliable and cheaper domestic air services. By the way, the MA-60 came on service last Saturday. I wish Real Tonga ALL the best. Malo, makahunu  (Aug 12, 2013 | post #304)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Hi Mele, Let me put it this way, you need to connect the dots. The MA-60 Certification and the Fonterra issues are connected. Mr. McCully the Minister of Foreign Affairs drew the first blood by calling the Chinese Certification of the MA-60 rubbish. Now it's the Dragon's turn to stump on the Kiwi when the Fonterra issues came to light. Mind you, it was just a food scare more or less but the reaction from China was overwhelming. Listen, we have a huge trade deficit with NZ so let's put everything in proper perspective. We don't need NZ as much as NZ needs us. Waving the aid money on our face made us depended on them more. NZ has been interfering in our internal affairs for too long. The Real Tonga is a duly Tongan company which means employment and money remain circulated in the local economy. Chatman wanted to monopolized the domestic air services but when Real Tonga obtained its license Chatman pulled out and refused to compete. Chatman did not offer any real economic benefit to the Tongan economy because all the high paid positions were occupied by Kiwis. The profit also left the country to New Zealand. I personally won't miss them...it was their choice to leave and I wish them all the best. You assessment of the economic issues in Tonga is outdated and outlandish. We are trying to stand on our own two feet but you are helping New Zealand to drag us down. Let's talk tourism, there were less than 2,500 classified tourists visit Vava'u 2012. The local Vavauans made up 80% of air travelers. The air services benefit the people of Vava'u and Haapai more than the tourists so the assumption that the local economy would somehow struggled because the NZ travelers is nothing but a scarecrow. What you've failed to understand that the people in Tongatapu doesn't have to use the air services but it was a must for the people of Haapai and Vava'u so it is really up to us to decide what is good and not good for us. Tourism must be developed because the current infrastructure cannot accommodate more than 10,000 classified tourists per annum. Tonga is got between a hard place and a rock, literally. We have nothing to offer to attract quality tourism thus the industry will continue to suffer. Perhaps Tonga should be looking at other economic opportunities instead of focusing too much resources on an industry that has proven time and time again that it just doesn't work. I believe that the current infrastructure is more than sufficient for the existing flow of visitors to Tonga. I would put a moratorium on building new accommodations (hotel, motel, guest house, etc) in Tonga. Any new money dedicated to the industry should be spend to improve the existing properties. Let me ask you this, are you aware that the MA-60 has already in service? On Saturday it flew four round trips to Vava'u. That's 200 people including whale watchers from NZ...their comments were no less than amazing. Please read the following article. WELLINGTON, August 5 (Xinhua)-- "A high quality free trade agreement" the term has been a catchphrase of New Zealand ministers in recent administrations when they talk of overseas trade. But with yet another trade imbroglio, this one Fonterra's botulism scare, surely it's time to ask the New Zealand government: "Where's the quality control?" The glibness is stalking other aspects of NZ's foreign trade, with the country's "100 Percent Pure" tourism campaign becoming a festering sore as experts claim that the country might not in fact be "100 percent pure. John Key, who also serves as tourism minister, defended the campaign in April: "It's like saying 'McDonald's, I'm loving it'- I'm not sure every moment that someone's eating McDonald's they're loving it ... it's the same thing with 100 Percent Pure. It's got to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt." No, Mr Key, it needs to be fixed before your trading partners just stop "loving it."  (Aug 10, 2013 | post #296)

Chinese government gifts MA60 aircraft at Fua'amotu hand-...

Hi Misa, Well, when all is said and done...the MA-60 flew four round trips on Saturday Aug 10 (Tonga time) to Vava'u hauling back over 200 travelers who would've missed their connection flight. A quick math...revenue earned $60,000.00. Not a bad day at work for a duly Tongan establishment who is not only providing a crucial service for the country but the profit remains and circulates in the Tonga economy. The New Zealand Convair was down because fractures were found on its wings. The Convair was a post World War 11 aircraft certified by New Zealand to fly in Tonga. Go figure! I guess the proof is all in the putting, no? The opposition will always be there to keep the government on its toes but we (people) should be able to objectively distinguish facts from rubbish. Tu'a ofa atu, makahunu  (Aug 10, 2013 | post #285)