Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
MP for Maungakiekie
29 March 2012 Media Statement
MP attends funeral of Tongan King
Maungakiekie MP, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga was honoured to be a part of a high-level delegation representing New Zealand at
the state funeral for King George Tupou V.
“The delegation was led by Governor General, Lt General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae and was joined by
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Hekia
Parata, Minister of Māori Affairs Pita Sharples, and Opposition Leader David Shearer,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
The delegation also included Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr, Auckland Mayor Len Brown,
representatives of other parliamentary parties, heads of diplomatic missions, members of the Tongan community, and close
friends of the late King.
“My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Tongan Royal family, the people of Tonga and the Tongan community in
New Zealand at this very difficult time,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
The late King was laid to rest at the Royal Tombs, the burial place for Tongan monarchs for more than a century. Tonga
has declared an official period of morning until June 19.
“On behalf of the people of Maungakiekie I offer the new King, His Majesty King George Tupou VI my deep condolences and
wish him well in the service of his people,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.
Flags on government buildings in New Zealand were flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral.