Australia has lost a good friend with the passing of the Prime Minister of Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva.
The Pacific has lost a passionate leader in Akilisi Pohiva.
It was only a month ago that we met at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu.
He was warm and engaging. A shining light for Tonga and the Pacific who gave so much of himself to public life.
At 78, he chose to serve rather than put his feet up. He served in the Parliament for over thirty years.
His country’s democratic evolutions towards constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy will be one of his legacies.
Prime Minister Pohiva has been his country’s Prime Minister for the past five years.
There is a wonderful Tongan community in our country and I know there will be sadness at his passing.
I extend Australia’s sympathies to Akilisi Pohiva’s family and to the people of Tonga on their sad loss.