Tonga’s history – treasured or trashed?

Popua pic

Popua Heritage Site

Within an hour of our arrival in Tonga we had learnt a little about Tongan government failure to protect an area of heritage and environmental sensitivity from housing development.

The Tonga Heritage Society is a diverse group of Tongans and others – residents, expatriates, academics, business people -which was established to protect this area at Popua.  It is also taking up broader issues of protecting and encouraging Tongan culture and heritage.

How sad that a government led by ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, formerly such a strong advocate of democracy in Tonga, has such a limited view – instead of cherishing the treasures of the past so that all the people can share in the knowledge of their history and traditions, they seem to be happy to destroy the past for present profit.  Hopefully the Tongan Heritage society can continue their efforts to help government find alternative settlement sites for housing, and to develop proper archaeological and environmental monitoring before making decisions about land development.

Here are some links for those of you who would like to learn more:

If you are planning to visit Tonga, the Tonga Heritage Society Facebook page has lots of very interesting information:


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