A Tongan rugby player who had sex with the year-old relative of a family he was living with has been jailed for 15 months. Wesley Lataimuli Palavi, of Geraldine, who was 21 at the time of the offending, was convicted in the Timaru District Court of unlawful sexual connection with a young person. According to the police summary of facts, the complainant was staying at her grandmother's house in Geraldine for the school holidays. Over a number of days the complainant visited family members and met Palavi at the address. Palavi became close friends with the complainant and they communicated on numerous occasions using Facebook Messenger.
Forecast Maps. Show Ad Close Ad. Tongan seasonal workers in NZ alleged to have paid underage girls for sex. Barbara Dreaver. Google Plus. More From.
Tonga's government has banned girls from participating in rugby and boxing, drawing criticism from two-time Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams and New Zealand's proudly feminist Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The government edict came to light last week when a team of girls from Tonga High School were pulled from a touch rugby tournament because of their gender. A letter from the Pacific nation's education department said the ban was to "preserve the dignity of Tongan women and hold on to Tongan cultural values", according to a translation published by the Matangi Tonga news website. Adams, who was born in New Zealand but is fiercely proud of her Tongan heritage, described the move as "misguided and stubborn misinterpretation of the Pacific island nation's culture. Adams has won two gold and one silver in Olympics shot put and is favourite to claim a fourth Commonwealth Games gold on the Gold Coast next month.
A teenager who was paid to party with Tongans in New Zealand on a special seasonal work scheme says the men plied her and her underage sister and friends with drugs and alcohol before having sex with them. The men, part of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, were sent back to Tonga in disgrace earlier this year. But the teen says the men would summons the girls - three of whom were only 15 - several times a week over a six month period.