On Tuesday, 17 January 2024, the Tonga Statistics Department (TSD) had the honor of hosting Hon. Tiofilusi Tiueti, the Minister responsible for Statistics, for an insightful briefing session. This occasion holds immense significance as it marks the first opportunity for the Government Statistician and Head of Programs to brief the minister since the recent transition.

This event followed the department’s successful staff retreat held on 11-12 January 2024, where programs reviewed their workplans in light of the financial year midpoint and the beginning of a new calendar year.

At the briefing session, all five programs and the PACSTAT-T project (a World Bank-funded initiative aimed at building statistical innovation and capacity in Tonga) had the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and ongoing efforts in line with the Corporate Plan and Annual Management Plan. The minister and staff exchanged ideas on how the National Statistics Office can contribute to economic growth through data collection, survey, and analysis.

TSD was thrilled to host Dr Ofa Afuha’amango Ketu’u from StatsNZ, highlighting the strengthened partnership between the Tonga Statistics Department and StatsNZ. We are sincerely grateful to StatsNZ for their unwavering support. We would also like to thank Dr Semisi Taumoepeau, the Tonga Satellite Account (TSA) Consultant under the PACSTAT-T Project, for his valuable presence during the session.

We extend our sincere appreciation to Hon. Tiofilusi Tiueti for generously availing his time to engage with the department. His support and insights serve as true inspiration for the department’s work. As we step into the new year, TSD wishes the minister all the best and eagerly anticipates continued collaboration.