Josh Liava'a has died after being shot in Hawaii.
A former Auckland policeman and Kiwi league
representative who romanced two Pacific princesses has died in
Hawaii, after an apparent family shooting.
Josh Liava'a, whose marriage to Tongan Princess Mele
Siu'ilikutapu was annulled five weeks after they wed in
Auckland in 1969, died on Monday after being shot in Kahaluu,
according to Tongan news website New Zealand Kaniva Pacific.
Hawaii News Now reported Samuela Mataele, 18, was arrested
after a seven-hour manhunt over a shooting incident involving
Tongan-born Liava'a, 65, represented New Zealand at the 1975
league World Cup.
His marriage to Princess Mele -- a niece of the Tongan King
-- was initially kept secret from the country's royal family.
When news of the nuptials emerged, Tonga's Parliament passed
a law to annul the marriage to Liava'a -- a commoner. The
princess, a 21-year-old Auckland University student, was
ordered back to Nuku'alofa.
Liava'a angered Tongan royals again when details of his
affair with King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV's only daughter,
Princess Pilolevu Tuita, emerged in 1999. The scandal hit
headlines when contents of a 1985 love letter written by the
princess became public.
The Herald featured Liava'a in 2000 -- then the owner of a
Sydney night club with six children.
He said he was being accused of plotting to assassinate the
king and that Tongan authorities had taken a contract out on
his life because of the fallout from his relationships with
the princesses. He also revealed he demanded millions in
compensation from the Tongan Government over a business
Auckland police found Liava'a posed no threat to the king
while he was in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics, and he said he
spoke with the Tongan commissioner of police, Sinilau
Kolokihakaufisi, about his problems.
"I told him I had been wronged for 31 years," Liava'a told
He also spoke about his marriage to Princess Mele. "We were
both over age [for marriage]. They could not give a stuff.
From the day they found that I married their princess in
1969, they said they would kill me.
"I believe that it was an under-estimation on my part to
think that what happened in 1969 had passed into history.
"It has since transpired that these guys will never let up.
But after 31 years, my name and members of my family have
been subjected to many punishments through the actions of the
Tongan Government," he said at the time.
According to Kaniva Pacific, which confirmed Liava'a's death
with his cousin, the former detective sergeant is survived by
his wife Victoria and children. A family meeting is taking
place in Auckland to finalise funeral arrangements. His body
is expected to be returned to NZ.
As well as representing the Kiwi league team, Liava'a played
for the Northcote Tigers, Auckland and New Zealand Maori.