The Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, Papua New Guinea’s Minister for National Events, Sports and Tourism and the Papua New Guinea delegation that visited Tonga to assist in the preparation for the South Pacific Games 2019, departed Tonga yesterday Tuesday 2 February 2016 after a successful visit.
The Hon Prime Minister of Tonga, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva in his final remarks to the Papua New Guinea delegation, expressed the Government’s profound gratitude to the thoughtfulness and timely response that the Government and People of Papua New Guinea have accorded to the call for assistance in Tonga’s great stride, commitments and challenges in the preparation for the Pacific Games 2019.
The Hon Prime Minister said, ‘The visit, has indeed been of great assistance and an ideal source of empowerment and encouragement, not only to Government, Non-Government and Sports organisations but also to key and other relevant stakeholders and ultimately the people of Tonga’.
Upon their arrival on Saturday 30 January, Hon Tkatchenko had said they were in Tonga to help the Government of Tonga stage a successful Pacific Games in 2019 and to take the sports infrastructure here in Tonga to the next level. He encouraged the Government by saying that Tonga still has plenty of time to prepare for the Pacific Games 2019. He said that Papua New Guinea decided to come immediately after the Hon Prime Minister Pohiva’s visit to Papua New Guinea confirming Tonga’s commitment to host the Pacific Games 2019, to start the job of preparing for the games.
After visiting all the existing sporting facilities and infrastructure marked for the 2019 Games on Monday 1 February, Hon Tkatchenko stated that Tonga’s existing sporting infrastructure is still very good because the structures of the facilities are still very good, but because it has been left idle for sometimes there is still a lot of work to do, to meet the required standard. He said that with the architects and engineers that they brought, his team will do a proper review of the work required for the main stadium and the high performance centre and the other facilities and submit a full report to the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister and Government basically outlining the assistance that they feel that Tonga needs. They will then advice the Government of Tonga on what Papua New Guinea will contribute to the Pacific Games 2019.
The Hon Minister described how the sports facilities that Papua New Guinea built for the Pacific Games 2015 are lasting legacies for Papua New Guinea. Because of those facilities, Papua New Guinea are now able to host international sporting events such as the upcoming Under-20 FIFA World Cup for Women and the Rugby League World Cup. Papua New Guinea would like to assist Tonga achieve that international standard so that Tonga can host international sporting events.
He concluded, ‘We have taken on board the comments that we have received while in Tonga and we are hoping to see some end results sooner rather than later and we look forward to working closely with Tonga over the next three years to ensure that the Pacific Games 2019 is a success for Tonga’.
While in Tonga, the Papua New Guinea delegation attended the Free Wesleyan Church Sunday Service at the Centennial Church in Nuku’alofa on Sunday 31 January followed by a luncheon hosted by the Hon. Prime Minister at Liku’alofa Beach Resort, which included the local Papua New Guinea community. The delegation also met with local engineers and architects and members of the various National Sports Federations.
The farewell ceremony for the Papua New Guinea delegation was held at the ‘Oholei Beach Resort on Tuesday 2 February by Cabinet Ministers and members of the Legislative Assembly.
The Hon. Justin Tkatchenko of Papua New Guinea and Hon. Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva of Tonga.
Hon. Tkatchenko and delegation visiting Teufaiva Stadium.