The New Zealand government has granted funding to pay for the first Tongan Supreme court judge and a diversion scheme for the youth.
This has been part of the NZ$8 million dollar support signed in Nuku’alofa today by the New Zealand High Commissioner Her Excellency Tiffany Babington and the Minister of Finance and National Planning Hon Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa.
The authorities signed three agreements for the grant to support Tonga’s education and justice systems, and public sector management through policy reform.
“These are key priorities identified for New Zealand’s development support to Tonga,” a statement said.
Under the NZ$3 million 2-year Tonga Education Support activity, New Zealand will partner with the Tonga Ministry of Education and Training to raise the professional capability of teachers and principals.
The NZ$3 million 3-year Tonga Justice Sector Support Programme will improve Tonga access to a fair and effective justice system and strengthen rule of law.
The Programme will support short-term funding for a Tongan Supreme Court Judge, workforce planning, capability building and information management for the Supreme and Magistrates’ Courts, and the establishment of the Youth Diversion Scheme.
HE Tiffany Babington also handed over a Grant Contribution to Minister Tu’i’onetoa, of NZ$2 million in general budget support to assist the Government of Tonga progress policy reform measures through strengthened public finance management, public service delivery, and fiscal resilience.
Measures include a new performance management system linking pay to performance, and new salary bands to improve consistency between jobs and across government.
Additionally, World Bank technical assistance is provided to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to track significant procurements and performance.
New Zealand’s total contribution since 2015 is NZ$4 million.
The High Commissioner said as a close friend to Tonga, New Zealand will continue to contribute to Tonga’s economic and social well-being and support its stability, resilience and good governance.
“New Zealand recognises that quality education remains a top priority for Tonga, and that Tonga is committed to championing good governance and access to justice including for youth.”
Hon Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa thanked New Zealand for continuing to partner with Tonga to achieve its priorities.
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