Tonga Research Association holds conference in Auckland

An annual conference with a theme Walking backwards to the future will start tomorrow Sunday 7 at Tuingapapai Church Mangere with a pōlotu or night prayer service and it conitnues on at Auckland University of Technology at Manukau on July 8 – 10.

The phrase, “Walking backward to the future” was coined by Professor ‘Epeli Hau’ofa in his epilogue “Pasts to remember”.

Since the Tonga Research Association (TRA) selected the phrase as its theme for the upcoming conference, it has caused much debate about whether there exist to be something as walking backwards to future or not.

However TRA says skills and knowledge left behind in the traditions and cultures by Tongan ancestors are valuable wealth for Tongans to take advantage of and to make a better future.

The conference aimed to expose the participants to the rich history and culture of Tonga, it said.  

“One of the main things we hope to achieve here is for participants to leave the conference   with the satisfaction of knowing that Tongans have a proud history, have learnt from the lessons of the past and are moving into the future with eyes wide open”,  TRA secretary Manasa Lua told Kaniva News.

It was set to provide an opportunity for  the Tongans from all walks of life to share their experiences as speakers of the conference.

Lua said, “this is not just an academic gathering we have many non-academic speakers” and it was intentionally organised to allow an open forum for discussion that could involve as many community members as possible.

“Some very important issues will also be discussed as you will see including the future of our Children – education and prosperity and general health”, he said.

TRA,  previously known as Tonga History Association was established in 1989 by its first president as Dr Sione Latu Kefu and assisted  by Professor Futa Helu. It was to “preserve, study and discuss Tongan History at a micro-level, from the past right up to the present”.

Click here for the programme in Tongan

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news