Tongan delegation looks to boost NZ exports, create jobs back home

Esterlina Kautoke Alipate is the Senior Trade Officer for Tonga’s Ministry of Trade and Economic Development. Ms Alipate will lead a delegation of five businesses on the Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand’s Path to Market 2019 Auckland programme from 4-9 April.

Esterlina Kautoke Alipate, Senior Trade Officer, Tonga’s Ministry of Trade and Economic Development.

These businesses will trial their products at PTI NZ’s Path to the Pacific Trade Show 2019 at The Cloud in Auckland on April 6.

Tonga’s business delegation includes:

  • Hu’ahulu Ha’unga Fine Art – customised jewellery sourced from local Tongan resources along with screen printed fabrics and wine bottle covers.
  • Pola‘apau Art – Art work printed onto handmade Tongan Tapa cloth.
  • Pacific Kingdom Cracker Biscuits/Sitani Mafi Bakery – the all-time Tongan favourite cracker biscuit in two flavours; plain or coconut.
  • Koko Designs – skincare – soaps, lip balms, body butter and oil.
  • Le-Ata Fashion Boutique & Giftshop – women, men and children’s clothing Traditional puletaha (men’s clothing), sarongs, bags, jewellery and home décor.

These companies are being profiled in this edition of Pacific Periscope.

It’s an exciting time for the businesses selected for their export potential from PTI New Zealand’s Path to Market programme workshop.

The other businesses Koko Designs and Le-Ata’s joined the delegation as “wild card” entries rather than through the Path to Market programme.

Businesses from Tonga will not only represent their individual companies but will also represent the sectors that they relate to by sharing opportunities and experiences acquired from the mission.

The Path to Market programme supports small Tongan businesses wanting to export to New Zealand, in a “stepping stone”.  Small businesses can trial their products in the New Zealand market before formally entering and connecting with potential clients.

“It would be a major boost for Tonga’s economy if more small exporters are able to secure export deals to New Zealand and other countries. Not only would it grow Tonga’s exports but also likely to increase the creation of job and investment opportunities” Ms Alipate says.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade development Manager Ian Furlong at

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