Tuata Mei Helen Hill of Helensville (pictured far right with distant tribal cousins) was born beside the Kaipara Moana into the tribes of Ngati Whatua o Kaipara and Ngapuhi.
After marrying a good looking Waikato farmer’s son, she grew up to live in Tonga with the Tongan people where she spoke the Tongan language every day.
It was tough for her initially in harsh conditions. She got over herself smartly and grew to love it. Three of her Maori Kiwi babies were born in Tonga Tapu where she was a missionary’s wife.
Mom travels to Tonga today at least once every two years from New Zealand to be with her Tongan friends.
Today I asked her, “so mom what do you think Tonga needs at this time with King George Tupou V‘s passing.
“I think they need leadership to take them to the next level. This is what this means now for Tonga to move on,” she said.
There you have it – some words for Crown Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata‘s dad – Tupouta’a Lavaka (ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho) the new Crown King of Tonga at the dawning of a new day.
King Siaosi (George Tupou V), Tonga’s King has died in a Hong Kong hospital after being admitted ten days prior.
The King had undergone a liver transplant last year and was battling cancer. He also journeyed to the USA to have a significant tumour removed, prior.
He was Tonga’s Oxford-educated king. His grandmother Queen Saloti was a friend of Queen Elizabeth II and was greatly respected in Tonga for her prayerfully considered wisdom. Her grandson, George Tupou V was a bit more flamboyant.
The Guardian wrote, “Tongan radio read a government statement announcing his death. The prime minister, Lord Siale’ataonga Tu’ivakano, declared that the royal family and entire nation was in mourning, ending his address with a Tongan expression meaning “The sun has set.”
[Photograph - Whangarei City's Michael Hill and George Tupou V - MH International Concert Viloin Competition series website].
On ascending the throne after the death of his father, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, the Oxford-educated king said he would relinquish most of his power in the last Polynesian monarchy and be guided by his prime minister’s recommendations on most matters.”
NZ’s PM said “democracy was his enduring legacy.”Tonga’s first direct elections too place in November 2010 following on from 165 years of feudal rule.
TVNZ reports: “The chairman of the Tongan Advisory Council Melino Maka said even though the King was often criticised for his lavish lifestyle, he did a lot to accelerate democratic change in Tonga. Tonga moved from a monarchy with absolute power. Just three days before his coronation he announced he would voluntarily relinquish his power and he had to rely on the Prime Minister’s advice.
“The people will start to appreciate what he did now that he is passing on.”
The Sydney Morning Herald who referenced Matangi Online in their news coverage described King George Tupou V as ‘a colourful King.’
Aussie’s PM said he was “a great friend.”
He was the recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic from Hungarian president Pal Schmitt and the Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I from Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro. Although he was not Catholic, one of his last public appearances was an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican last month.
King Tupou took reign after the death of his father, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, in 2006.
His funeral is likely to take place next week after The King’s body is flown to Auckland from Hong Kong before going to Tonga.
The King’s brother, Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, is the Tongan royal family’s successor.
China Daily news coverage of The King’s passing quoted Fiji Village reporting in Suva, Fiji and Matangi Tonga Online.
Tonga’s political legacy today is one of democracy in dialogue with the wisest elders of Tonga. In the dance of democracy, some retro music from The Jets perhaps best sums up where the people of Tonga are at today on a global stage. They have to dance.
Tonga’s legacy of a praying people whose prayers are a protective spiritual force field around the South Pacific is also what this nation is known for in the world. Night and day they are a people who just “keep on praying in the spirit.” During their time of grief may joy be found as well. Kia kaha.
[Reporting: Amelia Wade, Paul Harper of NZH,MSNBC, The Guardian. Photos: Bhutan Majestic Travel & Google snapshot King George V of Tonga].
Tonga, is made up of 170 islands with a population of 106,000 located south of Samoa, approximately 1,320 miles northeast of New Zealand. Bhutan Majestic Travel notes “Tonga is a Kingdom, roughly the size of Japan, in the Pacific Ocean. It lies third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii.”
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 19.3.12~