Matangi Tonga

The Matangi Tonga is Tonga's only magazine style publication that has held staying power. The Matangi fluxuates from monthly, to bi-monthly, to quarterly prints depending seemingly more on the availability of the editor than to actual newsworthiness of stories. The full-colour magazine is visually of good quality with interesting articles.

From reading experience, the Matangi Tonga tows the party line with government and officialdom while at the same time gaining greater access to government views on matters. For example, in a published article on the government telephone service the magazine will readily publish the telephone commissions assertion that their service is good, totally at odds with any of the common telephone users views (government, or private.)


Quarterly. Friendly Islands Bookshop, Kinikinilau Supermarket, Dateline Bookshop, Rowena Bookshop, Family Christian Bookshop, Morris Hedstrom, JM Stores, FIMCO, Fua 'o e Fonua, Mosimanu Helu

Teta Tours and Travel
634 King St.
Newtown, NSW
Ph: 61-2-9519-9700
Fx: 61-2-9519-9419

New Zealand
Sione Tu'itahi
16 Glastron Place
Glenfield, Auckland
Tel/Fax: (64 9) 444-6462






Vava'u Press

Editorial Staff

Publisher-Editor: Pesi Fonua
Co-Editor: Mary Fonua
Production: Falemaka Fetuani

Mailing Address

Vava'u Press Ltd.
PO Box 427
Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Ph: +676 25-779
Ah: +676 23-101
Fx: +676 24-749

an excerpt from the magazine's July-September 1996 issue
10 years of MATANGI Tonga
1986 - 1996

Ten years ago the first issue of the Matangi Tonga news magazine went on sale with the September-October 1986 issue.

At the time the Matangi Tonga was the only privately owned news publication on the market, and it was published to meet a need for a comprehensive presentation of issues relating to the political, economical and social development the country was undergoing.

Tonga had reached a crossroads during the 1980s, Cyclone Isaac had just made a devastating blow to the lengthy of the country in 1982, and a new Minister of Finance, Hon. James Cecil Cocker was introducing what was labeled as a new economic order. Two of the most talked about economic measures that Cecil Cocker introduced on 1 July 1986 were a 10 percent wage rise for all public servants who earned less than $2,500 per annum, and a 5 per cent sales and services tax.

The Sales and Services Tax caused such an uproar that Members of Parliament had to go out to the villages to explain why there was a need for such a Tax

In the early days of the Matangi Tonga, a big part of the production was carried out in the old style of printing, that followed on from the hot metal methods. The writing of articles was done on manual typewriters, the typesetting was done on an electric typewriter by the Govbernment Printing Office, the paste-up was done in the Vava'u Press office, while printing was carried out at the Taulua Press in Nuku'alofa. After producing two issues in this manner we realised that if we wanted to keep going we had to take advantage of the new technologyand invest in desktop publishing computers.

In those days the first version of desktop page making software had just been released and we started with a humble Macintosh Plus, griding along on 1MB RAM and an 800K floppy disk.

As the years have gone by the demands of the software and the publications have increased and our computer capacity along with it. This year we have been able to install the latest desktop publishing computers, running a Power Macintosh 9500 with its memory capacity measured in millions of bytes. It can produce the kind of work you see in this issue for the new advertisements for the Insurance Corporation of Tonga and the Bank of Tonga. These have been produced in Tonga without the need for paper artwork.

Digital processing has also given us access to superior reproduction processes in other countries, and the magazine you are reading paper edition is the result of colour work done in three countries coming together in Lautoka, Fiji, for the final colour printing before being air freighted back to Tonga for circulation.

Also in this issue, are the beautiful clear photographs of the silver medallist boxer, Paea Wolfgramm taken at the Olympic Games, which were made available to us through the World Wide Web of computers within hours of the medal awarding ceremony in Atlanta. This is the beginning of things to come and it will be interesting to see what the Matangi Tonga will look like ten years from now.

Our aim was and still is to produce the best magazine for Tonga and in the Pacific. For our readers in Tonga and throughout the world we hope that the material published in the magazine continues to capture your interest. To our advertisers, particularly those who have been with us right from the beginning, we are happy to have played a part in your growth and success over the years, and we would like to thank you very much for your support over the years.

Our readers are people who live and work in Tonga or are interested in Tonga as well as Tongans living abroad. The magazine goes out by post to 34 countries. We thank the hundreds of subscribers who have been with us since 1986.

Matangi Tonga is published by Vava'u Press Ltd., which was established in Vava'u in 1981. The company later moved to Tongatapu, which enjoyed and international telephone service that Vava'u did not have at the time. Vava'u Press Ltd., which is owned by Pesi and Mary Fonua also publishes the 'Eva, Your Guide to Tonga, the Discover Tonga booklet, and has published several books on Tonga.


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