Monday, December 10, 2018


TV1 News tonight featured Part #1 of an expose on the explosion of methamphetamine usage in the island kingdom and how its tentacles pervade the whole strata of Tongan society ... including the really sad snippet of how the school that featured in Jacinda Ardern's recent visit there now locks its gates at lunchtime to prevent drug dealers bribing children to deliver drugs in Nuku'alofa town.

Of the pacific islands I have contact with Tonga stands out head and shoulders as a complete basket case.   Corruption starts with the monarchy and the 'nobles' (a hotchpotch of assorted Barons) and permeates down from there.    Democratic government exists in name only and the country long ago sold its birthright to the Chinese ... anyone want to bet against China ever establishing a naval base at Port a Refuge in the Vava'u group?

For me the whole sorry sage of the Princess Ashika ferry disaster and the loss of 74 lives just about sums up the problems facing the country.    Change will not come easily such is the entrenched power of the elite, embodied in the monarchy, with the established Church (Free Wesleyan), once the a bulwark of Tongan society, effectively sidelined.   But unless there is real change the country's future is bleak indeed.

Footnote ... the population of Tonga is about the same as Dunedin's.


Anonymous said...

Common technique - first infiltrate then introduce drugs. China will have it's new kingdom earlier than hoped for as the Tongan infrastructure and tribal integrity disintegrates. At least Samoa has it's Christian heritage and strong family loyalties to give some protection for a few more years.


Noel said...

Bet there was a retired customs officer watching the program muttering "we told you

Andrei said...

"Common technique - first infiltrate then introduce drugs"

A technique pioneered by the British in China of course

Johno said...

China had opium long before the Brits showed up there (7th century).

Gerald said...

Bit late Dreaver.
Others been there before.