Regional & Local Government

In terms of powers Tonga has no devolved form of regional or local government; although at the local level officials are elected by the population. Tonga has five main divisions of islands and groups of islands: Eua, Ha’apai, Niuas, Tongatapu and Vava’u. Tongatapu, home to the capital of the country Nuku’alofa is the largest single island. Ha’apaiand Vava’u each have their own governors nominated by central government and appointed by the monarch. The five divisions can then be divided into 23 separate administrative subdivisions. Subdivisions (which are generally called districts) are towns, cities or groups of villages. Town officials are responsible for cities, towns and sometimes villages. District officials are responsible for groups of villages. Both types of officials are popularly elected at the local level but report to central government.