The Ta’angafonua Charitable Trust was established in New Zealand in 2015 after it was previously registered with the New Zealand’s Charities Services in 2011 as Fonua Mo e Lea charitable trust.
It has a mission to preserve and promote Tongan culture in New Zealand for the benefit of the Tongan community, to other communities and to mainstream palagi society.
In traditional Tongan society, ta’anga means to cut down trees for a house or for carving. Fonua can mean people, as well as the land, and so we see our task at Ta’angafonua Charitable Trust as preserving our culture for the people and preparing something culturally meaningful.
According to the 2018 census there were 82,389 Tongans living in New Zealand, a more than 25% population increase since the beginning of the 21st century. Tongans make up 1.5% percent of the total New Zealand population. A total of 64% of Tongan adults have a formal secondary school or post-school qualification. A total of 80% of Tongans live in Auckland. That population will keep growing. As more Tongans move into tertiary education and the professions, they will take on new attitudes, ideas and identities.
Our aim, through the Ta’angafonua Charitable Trust, is to acknowledge and reflect those changes in our culture while preserving, describing and developing the best aspects of traditional Tongan culture.
It is our purpose to preserve and sustain Tongan and English language as bilinqual language for Tongans, create digital teaching and learning resources and materials that assist with educating, informing and entertaining Tongans in New Zealand and around the globe.
We do this through cultural creation and performance, explanation of Tongan customs and practices, reaching out to second generation, English speaking Tongan New Zealanders and maintaining a professional, respected record of what is happening in our community.
Website and Musical band
Kaniva News is currently the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, with a large readership in New Zealand readers and across the globe, including within the Kingdom of Tonga.
We have built the Ta’angafonua Charitable Trust to a point where we have an enviable reputation and significant audience reach.
Recently, Ta’angafonua Trust has expanded its services to include a musical group which promotes the composition and performance of new and traditional Tongan material through live performance and distribution through a range of digital platforms.
The group is known as Kaniva Tonga band.