The Tongan Parliament has been suspended due to the passing of Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva in Auckland yesterday.

Melino Maka, Chairman of the Tongan Advisory Council, believes that Akilisi will most certainly be remembered as the harbinger of change in the Kingdom of Tonga.

“Changing Tonga from a Monarch rule to a democratic Government I think that will be his legacy,” he says.

His love and passion for his country was respected by many, including Kahungunu Barron-Afeaki S.C (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tonga).

“Akilisi Pohiva first and foremost in my mind was a Tongan actively involved in Tonga and was a great patriot, he was passionate and he truly really loved Tonga,” says Barron-Afeaki.

Former Speaker of the House Hon Semisi Sika was appointed Acting Prime Minister when PM Hon Pōhiva was rushed to Auckland Hospital on 11 September.

Due to PM Hon Pōhiva’s passing, Hon Semisi Sika is now acting Prime Minister with Hon Lord Tu’ilakepa, taking his place as Acting Speaker. He has suspended Parliament until further notice.

No announcements regarding customary memorial services for the late PM Pōhiva have been announced in Tonga or New Zealand.

Te Ao is continually seeking updates from Tonga at this time.