16 May, 2023

Prestigious Titles recognise The Fono's leaders

Photo of 3 male The Fono leader's who have received prestigious titles

The Fono's Board is delighted to announce that three senior leaders have been honoured with some of the Pacific’s most prestigious titles.

Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi

HM King Tupou VI of Tonga has appointed the Hon. Tevita 'Unga Tangitau as Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi, a Noble of the Realm and estate holder of Vaini and Tokomololo villages.

Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi has been a crucial member of The Fono's Marketing and Communications team for the past three years, working as a videographer. His video filming and editing expertise has become essential to The Fono's promotional and engagement materials and is warmly received by our Pasifika audiences online.

Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi has an illustrious bloodline. His father, the late Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi, was Tonga’s deputy prime minister and served as a government minister in several different roles. His late mother was HRH Princess Lavinia Mata o Taone Ma'afu.

Tonga has only 33 noble titles, and Lord Ma'afu’s hereditary title was bestowed at a special ceremony in Vaini. Among the notables in attendance were Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala and Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku.

Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi is head of the Ha'a Havea clan, one of the most prominent clans in Tonga, representing about one-third of the Kingdom’s estates. He will perform vital duties supporting the Tongan royal family and overseeing the development and wellbeing of his people and estates, not just in Tonga but also those living across the globe.

Te'o Harry Fatu Toleafoa 

The Fono's Board member Harry Fatu Toleafoa was also honoured with the Matai title Te’o from his father, Semua Fatu's village – Vaigalu Lepā in Samoa. Furthermore, he was recently bestowed the Tupuivao title from his mother’s village in Vaie'e Sāfata.

Fatu Toleafoa is one of the new generation of Matais. A barrister and solicitor, Fatu Toleafoa is a Board member of The Fono and an elected member of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board.

'Being elected by my family to serve as a Matai is a huge honour,' says Fatu Toleafoa. 'It's a humbling experience, but with it comes responsibility and duty.' He adds, 'I look forward to demonstrating my commitment to service and inspiring young people.'

Fiugalu Tevita Funaki

Chief Executive Tevita Funaki was recently bestowed with the Matai title of Fiugalu from the village of Tiavea in Upolu, Samoa. The village's bond is through Tuiavii Saima'ava, the grandfather of Tevita's Samoan wife, Maninoa Pese Funaki. 

A proud Tongan, Funaki acknowledges the significance the Samoan heritage of his mother, Mrs Maleta Funaki, also brings to his family. 'Being recognised in this way by Maninoa's aiga from Tiavea is a privilege and a great honour for my aiga and I,' says Funaki. 'I intend to respect the Matai title fully. And I recognise being a Matai is all about Tautua – service to family, village, and church,’ he concludes.  

The Fono's Chairperson, Nacanieli Yalimaiwai, spoke for the Board and the entire staff when he declared, 'The Board offers its warmest congratulations to Lord Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi, Te'o Harry Fatu Toleafoa and Fuigalu Tevita Funaki. We are proud of their outstanding record of service that has been recognised with these distinguished titles.'

For further information, please contact Frank Koloi, Marketing & Communications Manager at The Fono.

About The Fono - The Fono provides affordable healthcare services, including medical, dental, social, pharmacy, health promotion, education, Whānau Ora and LagiOla spread across eight central locations in Auckland and Northland.