Criticism over taxpayer funding for MPs' trip to Mate Ma'a Tonga match

The son of Tonga's prime minister has hit out at parliament's decision to pay for MPs to fly to New Zealand to watch a rugby league match.

The 14 MPs and staff are reported to be going to this weekend's international between Tonga and Australia at the taxpayers' expense.

Kaniva News reported a corporate box at Auckland's Mt Smart stadium has been paid for as well as MPs' allowances and accommodation in New Zealand.

The acting Speaker of Tonga's parliament reportedly approved $US35,000 ($47,500) for the trip but Siaosi Pohiva claims the cost is more than $US87,000 ($118,000).

Mr Pohiva said the government was trying to operate from a tight budget and the move is extravagant and unloving.

The King of Tonga, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are also attending the match.

Players of Tonga bow to their supporters after the match. 2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi Final, England v Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 25 November 2017 © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung /
Mate Ma'a Tonga players after the World Cup semi-final against England last year. Source: Photosport