GEM Tonga Results to be Delivered Next Week – July 26th

Associate Professor Dr Robert Davis is pleased to announce that the Tonga GEM 2009 results will be delivered and returned to the Kingdom of Tonga next week. We hope that these results will continue to contribute to the discussion in Tonga on innovation and entrepreneurship as well as help provide momentum in this area as the Kingdom moves towards change.

`Oku `oatu `ae fakamālō lahi ki he Hau `o Tonga, hou’eiki kae `uma’a `a e fefine’i Tonga mo e tangata`i Tonga kotoa ki ho`o mou ngaahi tokoni kotoa ki he poloseki ko `eni´. `Ofa ke tāpuēkina ki moutolu `e he `ofa mo e laumālie `o e `otua´.

We gratefully acknowledge the people of Tonga, from those in the towns, villages, plantations and outer islands, from `Eua in the South to Niua in the North, to the families in Ha`apai and Vava`u, and the thousands that we have spoken to in Tongatapu.  We thank them for their generosity of spirit and kindness in talking with us about their hopes and aspirations – Mālō `Aupito.

We thank the Honourable Prime Minister Feleti Sevele for allowing us to undertake this research and for his permission for us to work with a number of his key officials including the Government Statistician. We further acknowledge and thank the many national experts that we have had the privilege of talking with, sharing their extensive knowledge and insights about Tonga – its past, its current situation, and the opportunities they see for a better future.

Mālō ‘aupito to all of our research team, the enumerators and supervisors and their families, who sacrificed their time, allowing them to travel afar in their endeavour to gather the stories of the people of Tonga.  We thank Tevita Wolfgramm for his words, his faithful interpretations and translations of sometimes complex concepts and contemporary terms – a new language for many of us.  Thanks to Georgina for her unfailing patience with us and our team and for her organisation of the national expert survey, and to Helen for her support and assistance with the project development – not to mention the life-jackets for the Ha’apai team; and of course thanks to Wikuki for organising equipment and security.

There are many more that we wish to acknowledge and thank in Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, London and around the world who have collectively made this project a success.

Finally, an acknowledgement of the Unitec Team. All played their role. Rick Ede, Paul Condor, Leon Fourie, Robert Davis, Asoka Gunaratne, Malia Talakai, Malama Solomona, Stephen Cox, Judith King, Howard Frederick, Tania Wolfgramm, Stephen Haslett, and Margaret Fitzsimons. Step by step. A team effort.

Mālō `Aupito, kuo tō ē la`a pea kuo ola lelei `a e ngāue, Twilight falls beautifully Our day’s work is successfully completed!

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