Witnesses cite argument over bulldozer, but Rev says dispute with Lord Fohe was ‘minor’

Fepukepukei 'a Looti Fohe mo 'ene faifekau Uēsiliana' pea fakatatau ki he kau sio tonu' ko e tupu 'eni mei ha tu'utu'uni 'o iku 'alu atu ai ha pulutousa 'o haveki e 'ā 'o e 'api faifekau Uēsiliana'. Na'e tupu 'eni tokua fakatatau ki he līpōti' mei ha ta'efemahino'aki 'i he kelekele 'oku tu'u ai 'a e 'api fakafaifekau'.

The noble of Puke, Lord Fohe and his Free Wesleyan church minister had to be restrained during a dispute over damage to a fence, it has been claimed.

Local reports said the church minister was unhappy after a bulldozer destroyed the fence of the church’s residence for its ministers.

Lord Fohe is the estate holder of Puke.

According to the Kakalu ‘O Tonga newspaper, witnesses claimed there had been a dispute between Lord Fohe and the minister over the land.

However, the church minister said it was just a minor incident that had been resolved.

Residents in Tonga who live on nobles’ estate can be classified into three categories.

One category covers people who have registered and own their land with the approval of the nobles.

Another category is for residents who can lease land and this is mostly used by churches and businesses.

The other category is for people who the nobles allow to build houses in a town allotment and grow crops in a tax allotment. These residents have no control over the land. Once the noble wants them to leave they have to obey.

In 2017, 12 Puke residents took Lord Fohe to court after a dispute with another Puke resident, Monte Payne.

Payne was a registered holder of a tax allotment at Puke, according to a court judgement.

The defendants were living on his land. Payne sought an eviction order removing the defendants from the land.

The defendants pleaded that they were told they could live and build on the land by the then estate holder, the late Lord Fohe and that the plaintiff’s claim was time barred.

The former Lord Fohe died in 2009 and the title and estates remained vacant until November 18, 2016, when his successor, the current Lord Fohe, was appointed.

The defendants attempted in court to include the present Lord Fohe in their fight to stop them from being evicted.

However the court dismissed the application and ruled in favour of the plaintiff  saying the issues raised could be answered without joining the present Lord Fohe as a party. 

The main points

  • The noble of Puke, Lord Fohe and his Free Wesleyan church minister had to be restrained during a dispute over damage to a fence, it has been claimed.
  • Local reports said the church minister was unhappy after a bulldozer destroyed the fence of the church’s residence for its ministers.
  • However, the church minister said it was just a minor incident that had been resolved.

For more information

King appoints Lord Fohe

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