NZ top lawyer assists Tonga as PGC takes action following Games host cancellation

    Tonga’s cabinet has passed a resolution to engage New Zealand barrister Dr Rodney Harrison in its ongoing dispute with the Pacific Games council (PGC) which is now heading to court, the Prime Minister said in Nuku’alofa.

    It has been revealed the cabinet had sought legal advice from the barrister before its decision to withdraw from hosting the Games.

    The PGC has formally terminated its host agreement with Tonga for the 2019 Pacific Games, after the deadline passed for the government to recommit its support, according to Radio New Zealand.

    “The Pacific Games Council has begun legal proceedings against the Tonga government, following its decision to pull the plug on hosting the 2019 Games.”

    It is understood the cabinet’s decision was made last month after the PGC leaders met with the Prime Minister in Nuku’alofa in their last attempt to keep the Games in the kingdom.

    Hon. Pohiva said he decided to cancel hosting the Games because his government has other priorities for the nation.

    Dr Harrison, who has extensive trial and appellate experience in leading cases in Tonga, was a long-time friend and supporter of Hon. Pohiva since 1990s.

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