Demolition of 93-year- old Treasury building criticised

    The demolition of the 93-year-old historical treasury in Nuku’alofa  has been heavily criticised.

    Demolition of old Treasury building in Nuku’alofa. Photo/Owen Pau’u (Facebook)

    The demolition appeared to be part of a government new plan designed for the Pangai Si’i land where the old Treasury was situated, before the new Saint George Palace was constructed next to it and was launched in 2017.

    The  Palace was a four-storey office block, housing the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and the office of Trade and Foreign Affairs.

    The old government treasury was built in 1928 and it originally housed the Customs Department and the General Post Office.

    Photos of the demolition have been shared to Facebook this week by Owen Pau’u.

    Critics and heritage campaigners shared their reactions under these photos.

    “Should have been preserved as a historical building,” a commenter wrote on Facebook.

    “Sad indeed,” one wrote.

    “No appreciation of history and heritage. Whoever planned this could have preserved this icon and build around it,” another wrote.

    “We drove past it early this week and thought it was being refurbished! But sadly not.

    “S. A. D Yes to our surprise too early this week here in homeland silence and anger deep down as we noticed drove by this historical building was part of our history…no public consultation!!??? What next…

    “Sad!!! $2million to demolish n re build or just demolish. Why not preserve it,” a critic wrote.

    In response another wrote: “I am not sure if this cost is true. But how embarrassing to pay someone that much money to demolish this building. I also don’t know how they can justify spending that much money on this demolition”.

    2 COMMENTS

    1. This is nothing to do with the so called “cost”, rather it is the manifestation of the pure form of ignorance.

    2. This is a widely recognised and the most iconic building in central Nuku’alofa, and Tongan history, sad to witness that it is gone for good. That suggests that underestimating valuable Heritage features in Tonga is a representation of high action of ‘stupidity’! No wonder, where there are no proper building regulations, meaning, no Heritage Act, no public consultation, no resource consent, no proper legal advice, which always leads to confusion, and due to lack of understanding indicated there might be more stupid action to come. Essentially, as a result of bad decision-making processes, dominated by ‘few ignorances,’ is dangerous for democracy, meaning, dangerous for our Heritage and is crazy indeed! We will certainly hope, that the Ha’amonga ‘a Maui will remain untouched! Vote wisely!

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