Prince Ahoeitu Unuakiotonga Tukuaho (born 12 July 1959), is the younger brother of King George Tupou V of Tonga and officially confirmed by the latter on 27 September 2006 as the Heir Presumptive to the Tongan throne. As of August 2008, he is also Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia, and resides in Canberra.
He was born the third son and youngest child of the late King Tāufaāhau Tupou IV
. He started his career in the military, joining the naval arm of the Tonga Defence Services
in 1982 and becoming a Lieutenant-Commander in 1987. From 1990 to 1995 he commanded the Pacific-class patrol boat
and his time in charge included peacekeeping operations in Bougainville
In 1998 he ended his military career to become part of the government, first as the defence minister and the foreign minister at the same time, from October 1998 until August 2004. He took over these posts from his elder brother Siaosi Tupou V, at that time still the crown prince and as such known as Tupoutoa (see below). Soon he was appointed on 3 January 2000, as the prime minister, a function he kept until his sudden resignation on 11 February 2006, for which the reason has never become clear, but was most likely due to the unrest in the country since mid-2005, a series of pro-democracy protests calling for a lesser role for the royal family in government. His appointed successor, Feleti Sevele, is Tonga's first prime minister who is not a hereditary estate holder or a member of the aristocracy (made of 33 noble titles).
Ahoeitu is married to a daughter of the high chief Vaea, Nanasipauu and the couple has 3 children:
- Angelika Lātūfuipeka Halaevalu Mataaho Napuaokalani Tukuaho
- Siaosi Manumataongo Alaivahamamao Ahoeitu Konstantin Tukuaho (also written as Jiaoji ... Konftantin ...; it is not known whether this is an error or intended. It would make sense if it were ... Konſtantin ... (with the old long ess), but this character is unknown in Tongan, and as such not recognised (at least by any of the Tongan references))
- Viliami Unuaki-o-Tonga Mumui Lalaka-Mo-e-Eiki Tukuaho
Name and titles
It is customary in Tongan culture
that princes get a traditional chiefly title, by which they then are commonly known (and no longer by their baptised name). As such for many years, until his nomination as heir apparent, Ahoeitu was known by either one or all three of the titles which were bestowed on him over the time: Lavaka
, and Ulukālala
. These titles may be used in any order, (the one belonging to the area from which the speaker is coming usually first). Nevertheless the sequences Lavaka Ata Ulukālala
and Ulukālala Lavaka Ata
were most common.
Since his nomination as heir apparent, he got the traditional title of Tupoutoa, reserved for crown princes, which his older brother (the second) had to give up because he married a commoner, while two of his previous titles went to his sons. As such he is currently known as Tupoutoa Lavaka. His oldest son, Siaosi, is to be addressed by the prestigious title of Ulukālala, while his second son, Viliami, was bestowed with Ata.
- 2008-present - High Commissioner of Tonga to Australia
- 2006 - Resigns unexpectedly as Prime Minister and from his other cabinet posts.
- 2004 - Minister of Civil Aviation; Minister responsible for Communications; Minister of Defence; Minister of Marine and Ports; Minister of Works and Disaster Relief Activities
- 2001 - Minister of Civil Aviation & Minister of Communications
- 2000 - Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Marine and Ports
- 1998 - Minister for Foreign Affairs & Defence
- 1991-1995 - Commander of the Navy, Tonga Defence Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence
- 1998 - Master of Arts in International Relations, Bond University, Queensland, Australia
- 1997 - Masters in Defence Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia
- 1995 - Graduate Diploma of Strategic Studies, Australian Joint Services Staff College, Australia
- 1988 - Diploma in Strategic Studies, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
- 1977 - GCE 'A' Level, The Leys School, Cambridge, UK