(Late Hon. PM - Dr. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa (middle), Lord Speaker Fakafanua (left) & Hon. Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku.
A one minute of silence was observed in Parliament today in respect to the sudden passing of the former Prime Minister and Tongatapu 10 constituency MP, late Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa who passed away on March 18 in the United States.
Late former MP, Dr. Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa with wife Hena Tu'i'onetoa following his election as late Tonga's Prime Minister in September 2019
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua also conveyed a condolence message to wife Hena Tu’i’onetoa, children and loved ones and wishing for God’s peace and comfort be upon them during this very difficult time.
The Chartered Accountant and politician first entered politics following the 2014 general election.
He became Tonga’s 17th Prime Minister in September 2019 following the death of former PM, late Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva.
Prior to becoming a politician in 2014, he was the Auditor General in the Office of the Auditor General for 31 years.
Late Hon. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa served as the Private Secretary to his Majesty in 1987-1988 while also performing the duty of a Clerk to the Privy Council.
In 1981, he was the Official Liquidator of the Department of Justice, Commercial Division, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Late Hon. Tu’I’onetoa was also a Member of the International Congresses of International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). Also, he was an elected member of the Governing Board of INTOSAI (International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions) for 12 years until 2004.
The Chartered Accountant also represented Tonga in conferences of Commonwealth Auditor’s General, South Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (SPASAI), the regional branch of INTOSAI. He also served as Secretary General of SPASAI for 10 years (1995-1994). He was also a member of the Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Business Standing Committee and other committees including the Legislative Assembly’s Retirement Board. Late Dr. Tu'i'onetoa obtained his Master of Business (Accounting) from the Monash University, Melbourne Australia in 1994. He also graduated with his Doctor of Christian Ministry from the Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, Tacoma, Washington, USA in 2000.
In 1997 he graduated with a Certified Management Accountant (CMA0 from Australia’s Institute of Certified Management Accountants. The late MP also held a Certificate in Civil Law from the University of the South Pacific.
The deceased died at the age of 70. He is survived by wife Hena Tu’I’onetoa and children. His body will be repatriated to Tonga, but it is yet known at this stage.