By Shane Saroya – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
Sport and Tourism Minister, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, has reassured the Government and people of Tonga, of Papua New Guinea’s commitment to help with the preparations for the 2019 Pacific Games.
Tkatchenko was accompanied by Deputy Secretary to Prime Minister’s Office, Trevor Meauri, PNG Sport Foundation CEO, Peter Tsiamalili, and Deputy Works Department and Chief Engineer to Nuku’alofa in Tonga.
Minster Tkatchenko made this assurance at a press conference upon his arrival over the weekend in Nuku’alofa.
Tkatchenko said the purpose of the trip was to ascertain where Tonga is with the preparation and assist with particular areas where the PNG government can help. Three years is enough time to prepare compared to the amount of time PNG had to prepare for the 2015 Games, and the PNG Government would want to be able to help start preparations immediately.
Tkatchenko added that besides assisting with infrastructure and planning, PNG would also commit to assist Tonga athletes prepare under the High Performance Unit in Port Moresby.
Tonga Internal Affairs Minister, Hon. Sosefo Feáomoeata Vakata, said Tonga acknowledged that it will not be an easy three years ahead but his Government is at ease knowing that PNG is right beside them.
Vakata added that, PNG delivered a remarkable and amazing 2015 Games with world class facilities in two years and its commitment to ongoing dialogue has granted Tonga great confidence in the road to deliver the Games.
The team for the initial meeting with regard to planning and infrastructure commenced today with representatives of Hospitality and Corporate Affairs.