Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva arrives in Auckland tomorrow for his first official visit as Prime Minister.

He will be given a formal welcome at Government House in Auckland on Thursday before talks with Prime Minister John Key.

First elected to Parliament in 1987, Pohiva has been a leader of Tonga's democracy movement which until 2010 was ruled by the monarch.

Key said that as one of New Zealand's closest neighbours, working together to advance Tonga's development objectives with support from the aid programme were a key priority.


The first democratic elections were held in 2010 and Pohiva was elected Prime Minister in 2014.

Total New Zealand aid for Tonga in 2015 -- 16 was $22.1 million, mostly spent on energy systems, law and justice, education and tourism.

Pohiva will take part in a wreath laying ceremony at Auckland War Memorial Museum and visit Tongan workers in Nelson who are in New Zealand as part of the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme.