Le’au Asenati Lole-Taylor
Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs
21 March 2012
Tribute to King George Tupou V
With so many tributes pouring in over the last few days from all over the world, New Zealand First MP and Spokesperson
for Pacific Island Affairs Le’au Asenati Lole-Taylor has expressed the party’s heartfelt condolences to the family of
King Siaosi Tāufaāhau Manumataongo Tukuaho Tupou V - (King George Tupou V) and the people of Tonga.
“Our sincere sympathies go out to the King’s family at this time and there is no doubt about the instrumental role the
King played to usher in the dawn of democracy in Tonga” said Mrs Lole-Taylor.
Mrs Lole-Taylor paid tribute to the short but influential reign of King George Tupou V.
“We remember the friendship which has always existed between New Zealand and Tonga. This was greatly strengthened during
the illustrious reign of her late Majesty Queen Salote, who was held in such high esteem and affection in this country.
“The very great impression of warmth and friendship on Queen Salote's death was an occasion of great sadness to very
many people in all walks of life here. Queen Salote was succeeded by her son, His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV. King
Taufa'ahau Tupou has visted this country a number of times. We remember how Tonga entered into a period of further
development and change throughout his reign.
“Like many of the other Island States in the Pacific—Tonga in recent years has faced a number of domestic problems, as
well as natural disasters which so often befall these Islands. I am very glad to say that Tonga has been able to work
through these difficult periods, due in large part to the vision and intelligent assessment of the way forward by His
Majesty King George Tupou V.
“During his short 4 year reign he guided Tonga towards a more representative government by unselfishly relinquishing
many of his royal powers. His charming eccentricities and his adherence to formal custom will be long remembered by
those who had the pleasure of his company.”
New Zealand First leader Afioga Vaovasamanaia Rt Hon Winston Peters expressed his sympathy and support to the people of
Tonga in Parliament yesterday.
“King Siaosi Tāufaāhau Manumataongo Tukuaho Tupou V will be forever remembered by his people and so many others for
facilitating democratic change in Tonga,” said Mrs Lole-Taylor.