A charter flight taking Tonga’s athletes to the Pacific Mini Games will go ahead today after the government finally followed through with some funds.
It had agreed to cover the full cost of the flights to Port Vila two weeks ago but a payment deadline from Air Vanuatu passed without any contact from the government, RNZI reports.
TASANOC Secretary General Takitoa Taumoepeau said a meeting was held on Tuesday to resolve the impasse, with the government ultimately offering to contribute a much smaller amount.
“What we had requested to government we only got one third of that amount, which was about 165-166 thousands – so there was no point of asking back,” he said.
“We called a special meeting for the participating national federations to resolve a way forward and we all agreed let’s look at this, government has asked us to commit for the other two thirds so the national federations agreed for that.
“So now we are working on that and luckily we finally managed through some residual funds in our accounts, TASANOC, to secure the first wave of the flight, which they required about $US46,000 (from a total cost of more than $US160,000) so the charter is on and the national federations asked that we maintain the three waves (of flights to Vanuatu) that we originally proposed.”
Takitoa Taumoepeau said the government did not give a reason why they did not fulfil their pledge to pay the full cost of the charter flight.