Charity boss says he will be back in Tonga regardless of claims against him

Pehē ‘e ha taki ‘o ha kautaha ngāue tokoni ‘ofa kuo tukuaki’i ki he’ene fakamamahi’i mo fakamālohi’i ha kau ngāue ‘ofa pea toe nonofo pe mo e kau kavaka fefine’ ‘e kei ‘alu pe ia ki Tonga he ta’u’ ni. Ko e tangata ‘eni ko Graig Koning pea ko e pule ia lolotonga ‘o ha fo’i folau tahi mo hano taumu’a mei he kautaha ‘ofa Floating Foundation ‘i he 2016. Na’e fakamatala’i ‘e he kau kauvaka ‘e ni’ihi ‘ene tō’onga’ ko e anga kovi kuo’ ne fai ki ha kakai’. Na’a nau pehē na’a’ ne taa’i e kau ngāue’ofa’, fa’a fakapo’uli pea ngaahi kinautolu a’u ki he tu’unga ko e fakafepaki ‘a e kau kauvaka’ ki he’ene tu’utu’uni’. Ko e folau’ ni ne tū’uta ‘i Tonga pea ‘oku ‘i ai e manako ‘a e tangata’ ni ‘i ha ngaahi ngāue ‘ofa ke fai ai. Neongo hono ‘ohake ko ‘eni hono tukuaki’i kovi’ ka kuo’ ne toe uki pe ‘e ia ‘eni ‘ene kau folau fo’ou ki ha toe folau ia ki Fisi mo Tonga ‘i ‘Aokosi.

A charity leader who has been accused of  bullying volunteers says he is still going to Tonga this year.

Craig Koning was in charge of an expedition by charity Floating Foundation in 2016. His behaviour was described by some crew members as “malevolent.”

They said he shamed charity workers, repeatedly lost his temper and drove them to the point of mutiny.

He injured one worker when he threw her overboard.

The crew on the 2016 expedition lodged complaints with the charity’s board, but nothing was done for nearly a year. In the end the charity’s board  simply suggested he stay off the boat for this year’s expedition.

All of the volunteers on the 2016 expedition have severed their ties with the Foundation.

But despite the public exposure of his behaviour and the complaints against him, Koning has insisted to local media that he will be back on board in August this year.

He is recruiting crew and volunteers for the Floating Foundation’s 2018 expedition to Fiji and Tonga on a new ship, the Southern Progress.

Volunteers pay $840 a week to work on the boat.

According to local media reports, the Floating Foundation delivers medical aid to remote island villages and operates a scientific research programme.

The Foundation describes itself to potential recruits as being “. . . on the frontlines of a battle for the planet. The Floating Foundation provides a platform for doctors, nurses, and marine scientists to help the environment and the peoples of this incredible ocean.”

Last night the Floating Foundation’s websites were off-line.

For more information

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