1. Inaugural Event:
New Tongan Think Tank Soft Launch Reception
1 April 2016
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 attache 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.
2. Workshop on Negotiations and Public Affairs
1 April 2016
The Royal Oceania Institute hosted it’s inaugural event on 31 March and 1 April, 2016 at Davina House, Nuku’alofa. A free workshop was held on Negotiations and Public Affairs for interested parties from the government, parliament, civil society organisations, media and private sector. The workshops featured Mr Robert Valdmanis, a former Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Rio Tinto Alcan and current Professor at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Mr Valdmanis explained that, “A key object of the exercise is to help parties craft sustainable and optimal outcomes from complex negotiations”.
Back L-R: Seini Taumoepeau (TTA), Mana Kite (TTA), Natalia Latu (MOF), Lilieta Takau (PLP), Lusia Latu (TYEE), Tatafu Moeaki (MOF), Elizabeth Kite (ROI), Viliami Takau (TCOC), Peter Poulsen (MOF). Front L-R: Minolu Nishi (NISHI TRADING), Fane Fakafanua (ROI), Lord Fakafanua (ROI), Robert Valdmanis (ROI), Liz Sullivan (DAVINA HOUSE). Absent from photo: Sulia Makasini (LA), Silivia Atiola (LA), Nailasikau Halatuituia (UTILITY BOARD), Sela Ma’afu (CARITAS), Siamelie Latu (MFAT), Saia Havili (RFB), Tevita Motulalo (ROI).
Back L-R: Mele’ana Fifita (BSP), (TNYC), Siutaisa Fakahua (MEIDECC), Valu Tu’itavake (TNYCC), Taiana Latu (BSP), Andrew Teame (CSOF), Jeannet Vea (PSC), Epeli Taione (TRIESTEN TECH), Sisi’uno Helu (‘ATENISI). Front L-R: Tevita Motulalo (ROI), Luseane Luani (89.5FM), Lord Fakafanua (ROI), Robert Valdmanis (ROI), Fane Fakafanua (ROI). Absent from photo: Viola Ulakai (TBC), Lopeti Senituli (EX-MIA), Monalisa Palu (PR) , Colin Latu (TRIESTEN TECH), Elizabeth Kite (ROI).
3. First ever ROITalk event featuring Hon. Dr. ‘Aisake Eke former Minister of Finance and National Planning
1 July 2016
The Royal Oceania Institute hosted it’s first ever ROITalk event on Friday 1 July 2016 at Davina House with the Minister of Finance and National Planning presenting for the first time at a private event the Government Budget for 2016/2017. This event was attended by members of the public, civil society and private sector. Most notably the Australian High Commission Mr Andrew Ford and representatives from the People’s Republic of China Embassy were present at the talk. Here is a link to the Minister’s presentation: Budget Presentation_01 July 2016
4. Second ROITalk event featuring Mr Mitch Feierstein, special guest speaker from London and New York
17 March 2017
The Royal Oceania Institute was pleased to welcome Mr Mitch Feierstein to speak at the second ROITalk event about an overview of the global economic situation. Mitch is a successful hedge-fund manager, book author of Planet Ponzi and consultant to several governments. He appears regularly as a financial commentator on SKY, BBC and RT’s Keiser Report. He draws from his extensive experience as a banker and investor on Wall Street since the 1980s. Today Mitch shares his time between London and New York as the CEO of Glacier Environment Fund Ltd.
In attendance were members of Tonga’s civil society organisations, private sector, media and senior civil servants from government departments and ministries.