The Development of Planning Processes in Tonga and the Impact of the 2006 Riots
The Kingdom of Tonga is in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and is comprised of four main Island groups: Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u and the Niuas. Tongatapu contains 74% of Tonga’s total population and is home to the Kingdom’s capital, Nuku’alofa (Foster and Latukefu, 2019). While the total population of Tonga has declined since the 2011 census, the total population of Tongatapu has increased, with internal migration from the outer Islands also on the rise (Tonga Statistics Department, 2017). In terms of governance, Tonga has been a constitutional monarchy for more than a century. However, pro-democratic movements began in the 1970s and escalated in 2005 with the civil servants’ strike. This ultimately led to the riots of November 2006 in which much of the Nuku’alofa Central Business District was destroyed. Academic research has predominantly assessed the 2006 riots in light of the resulting constitutional reform which took place. However, whilst the riots undeniably brought about political change, it also left highly visible effects on Tongatapu’s built environment with 80% of the CBD destroyed. Departing from the typical political approach to the events of 2006, this research uses interviews with key government officials and similar international experiences to bring to light the resulting changes that town planning in Tonga experienced when faced with the mass rebuild that ensued. By exploring the ‘planning reform’ angle, this research will give an overview of how planning has developed in Tonga over time. It will also provide an evaluation of the planning tools which were implemented in response to the riots and their effectiveness as perceived by the government officials in key enforcement agencies and what this means for Tonga going forward.
Advisor: Thompson-Fawcett, Michelle
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: School of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Planning processes in Tonga; 2006 Riots in Tonga; Impact of the 2006 Riots on Urban Planning in Tonga; Urban Planning in Tonga; Urban Planning in the Pacific; Holistic Planning; Politics and Planning
Research Type: Thesis