Mahe ‘Uli’uli Sandhurst Tupouniua

The Public Service Commission’s silence over the shift of the Secretary of the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs to the Palace office before he was allegedly sacked has stirred speculation.

Mahe ‘Uli’uli Sandhurst Tupouniua was appointed to the post in June 2018 for a period of four years.

Just one year after his appointment, the late Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva told Television Tonga in June  that Tupouniua was no longer with the Ministry.

TBC said last week they followed up Tupouniua’s case with the PSC but to no avail.

Kaniva news contacted PSC secretary in June for comment, but received no response.

There was an unconfirmed report that Tupouniua was at the centre of a clash after the king wanted to open the kingdom’s  new embassy in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Kaniva news is trying to confirm this.

As we reported at the time,  King Tupou VI  opened Tonga’s first embassy in the Middle East on September 30.

There had been repeated calls by Tongans in New Zealand for the government to establish an embassy in Wellington or Auckland but the government said it could not afford it.

Tupouniua’s father, Mahe’uli’uli Tupouniua Snr, was the first commoner to be appointed by late  king Tupou IV as his regent while Tupouniua Snr was Minister of Finance.

But the king dismissed Tupouniua Snr after he rejected His Majesty’s demand for money which had not been allocated in the government’s budget.

Tupouniua Jnr was first appointed as a civil servant in 1990 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he held various positions, including Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 2011-2013.

He has served as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Tonga to the People’s Republic of China, the United States of America and Cuba.

Prior to taking up his second appointment as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Tupouniua was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Tonga to the United Nations, New York.

The main points

  • The Public Service Commission’s silence over the shift of the Secretary of the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs to the Palace office before he was allegedly sacked has stirred speculation.
  • Mahe ‘Uli’uli Sandhurst Tupouniua was appointed to the post in June 2018 for a period of four years.

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