His Majesty, King Tupou VI marked the beginning of the Project for Upgrading of the Wharf for Domestic Transportation with the groundbreaking ceremony held on Thursday 21 April 2016. Present at the ceremony were Her Majesty, Queen Nanasipau’u, The Hon Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, Member of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of Parliament and Distinguished Guests.
The project is part of the Japanese Grant Aid to Tonga and worth around three billion, three hundred and twenty million Japanese Yen (JPY 3,320,000,000) which is the equivalent to over TOP$66,000,000 million pa’anga.
In his speech during the ceremony, His Excellency Mr Yukio Numata, Ambassador of Japan to Tonga said that the new wharf symbolizes Japan’s recognition of people in Tonga’s daily struggle due to the wide spread dispersal of its small islands. He said that the ceremony marks the beginning of the work to transform Faua Wharf not only into a safe and reliable terminal for large inter-island ferries, but into a new domestic wharf distinctly designed to include a Passenger Terminal Building.
In response to the His Excellency’s speech, the Hon Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva expressed the Government and People of Tonga’s deepest gratitude to the Government and People of Japan for the great assistance that enabled the Project. He said that the effect of the completion of the upgraded Domestic Wharf is that the capital Nuku’alofa will be fully equipped with a whole set of specialized wharves along its waterfront and the achievement of a well developed sea trade capital.
The Hon Prime Minister also said that it is the role of Government to facilitate to have in place a proper, complete and safe port infrastructures for Tonga, in partnership with the private sector to boost its sea trade business and also enable the outer islands of Tonga to produce more goods and services in order to raise the livelihood and subsistence of families.
The work is conducted by TOA Corporation of Japan and will take approximately 24 months.