1. Inaugural Event: New Tongan Think Tank Soft Launch Reception

Guests and friends of the newly formed Royal Oceania Institute (ROI) gathered at Davina House on 1 April to mark the soft launch of the think tank in an evening reception. His Eminence Cardinal Mafi initiated the program by graciously blessing Royal Oceania Institute followed by short remarks from ROI chair, Lord Fakafanua.

He explained, “We can never have enough forums for mutual agreement and benefit. ROI will complement existing efforts by government, donors, NGOs, CSOs and the private sector for a more secure and sustainable future” and he further raised, “What are the main issues relevant today? Who dictates what’s relevant or if an issue is an issue? We hope to be an important platform for these questions…”.

Most notably present was His Excellency Mr Huang Huaguang, China’s Ambassador to Tonga, Japanese Embassy in Tonga attached Mr Kenji Niwa, Member of Parliament Lord Tui’iha’ateiho, Treasury CEO Mr Tatafu Moeaki, Ministry of Internal Affairs CEO Ms Ana Bing,  Acting Secretary to Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Siamelie Latu, Digicel Tonga Ltd CEO Mr Ronan McGrane and other prominent representatives from government, media and private sector.