Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua passed away suddenly in Nuku’alofa, Tonga on 11 November, 2020.
Netatua was a beloved and well respected leader in the community and Country, and held high level roles throughout her career and was a political candidate for Tongatapu in the last General Election.
She is well known for her work regionally and internationally. It could also be said that Netatua most valued her local contribution to Tonga, this is evident not only in her projects and consulting work with the World Bank, but also her engagement with the Government of Tonga . In 1999 she was selected to be one of an elite group of 15 international experts who make up the World Meteorological Organization Scientific Advisory Panel (WMOSAP).
I first met Netatua when she was Director of Climate Change Division at the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa. She was a vibrant, inspiring and strong Pacific Voice, working her magic at international discussions regarding action against Climate Change to create opportunities for dialogue and action. She was a strong and inspirational leader, who truly understood the power of community connections and shared her passions and knowledge in such a way that everyone felt all the richer for being in her presence.
Our deepest condolences go to her husband, Dr Pita Taufatofua, her children Siosi’ana and Filimone, her family, friends and communities in Tonga and across the world. Your legacy lives on in all those you inspired along the way. Gone too soon. Vale Netatua Prescott Taufatofua.