Royalty Celebrates Tongan Language Week at MIT

MIT Students and members of the Tongan Community gathered for the 2018 Tongan Language Week celebration at the MIT Pasifika Community Centre in Otara on September 4. Make sure you end your Tongan Language Week celebrations with a bang at the Auckland Museum on September 8 for a FREE event for the community. 



The Guest of Honour was Her Royal Highness (HRH) Hon Salote Maumautaimi Haim Hadessah Ber Yardena ‘Alanuanua Tuku’aho, who is a member of the Tongan Royal family.


HRH also happens to be an MIT student studying engineering and enjoying life at the campus.


“I was made to feel so welcome as a student and I love the diversity of Pacific students and others studying here,” she says.


One of her motivating drivers to study was her desire to gain the knowledge and appropriate engineering qualifications to enable her to contribute to improving the Kingdom of Tonga’s infrastructure.


“I need to be able to understand what’s involved in order to help improve it. It affects a lot of small Pacific nations, of which we are part of.”


The Tongan government launched a National Infrastructure Investment Plan (NIIP) in 2013-2013 outlining its priorities and plans for major initiatives in economic infrastructure (energy, telecommunications, water, solid waste management, and transport) over the next five to 10 years.


Its partners include New Zealand’s Ministry Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), The World Bank, European Union and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).


MIT’s ‘Amatakiloa Award Winning MIT Tongan Students Association (MITTSA) led the preparations for the event in the Tanoa Room with a Traditional Taumafa Kava ceremony for the Guest of Honour and Dignitaries.


The Tongan Students Association followed with performances, food and fun at MIT’s North Quad.




If you would like to finish Tongan Language Week with a bang, head over to the South Atrium at Auckland Museum tomorrow morning for a FREE event celebrating Tongan Language Week.


Enjoy a great line-up of performances with the Nukunuku Community, Vaine Mo’onia Youth Group who bring with them Kulupu Siaola their youngest performers, and a special guest appearance by local songwriter and artist Sione Tu'itupulotu Eke aka Jay Black.


Jay Black is the Composer and singer of a number of popular Tongan songs especially the MATE MA'A TONGA SONG anthem-"Tevita Latai Maumi" otherwise known as "SEU KE" a crowd favourite at the RLWC 2017 & 2018 Pasifika Cup in Australia.



10.30am: Mihiwhakatau : Matua Bobby | Opening Prayer : Rev.Siutaisa Tukutau | National Anthem : Easter Naufahu


11.10am: Speaker 1: Pacific Advisory Group Chair - Sandra Kailahi


11.30am: Speaker 2: Tongan Poem: Lute’Anaumelie-he-Fatongia e lotu Va’eno


11.45am: Performance 1: Siaola Kids


12.00pm: Music Entertainer: Jay Black


12.15pm: Performance 2: Vaine Mo’onia Youth


12.45pm: Performance 3: Nukunuku Community – Dr. ‘Ana Hau’alofa’ia Koloto


12.55pm: Closing Prayer


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