Tonga’s first funicular railway


The only access to Hunga Island is via this long and steep roadway which is only for the fit and young. To attract more elderly investors, the promoters of Cocomo Village and Seabreeze Community want to build a funicular railway – Tonga’s first – to the top of the island.


They are basing their design on the Penang Hill Railway and are even hopeful to acquire at a discounted price the old carriages from that particular railway.


Who’re you calling a bullshit artist? Look who started it:

What Life is Like In Cocomo Village

“Once you are settled in your new home in Cocomo, and still pinching yourself every time you gaze out of your bigger than big-screen, Imax view of the islands and sea below, you will wonder how long it will take you to believe it is really true. Guilt feelings may twinge you but “home-free” feelings will console you. There are 6-billion people on earth and just about all of them are not as lucky as you—fathom that platitude. Why me, you have to ask yourself? What latent and internal survival mechanism triggered you to find this haven? Whatever it was, welcome to the club, for you are one of very few on the planet to have this insight and foresight. Oddly, this was the answer even before we had need for the question. Yawning and stretching would be the first thing you might do to start your day in Cocomo, and even before the next thing, you will be curiously drawn to the veranda to assimilate that most incredible view, just to reconfirm you actually made it out from behind the office cubical and not still dreaming. How about breakfast on the awesome veranda? Always the choice since it is where we can consume nature’s most fulfilling gifts, her natural foods and the sight of her beautiful emerald islands set in vivid blue waters under azure skies. That combination can cure cancer, literally. This routine sets the stage for every new day. Breakfast is on; fresh eggs from down the lane or just fruit, maybe from your own trees, delicious. It all tastes better than the store bought and is so much healthier and cheaper too. Lemon grass tea for me please, or some fresh squeezed juice, all for free—whoopee, the billionaire has nothing on me …” Go on; I know you want more.

So, who’re you calling a bullshit artist now?



The dream of a life of ease on a tropical island lives on unabated


The inscription on this memorial reads: “This Mill Stone was landed at Port Breton, New Ireland, by settlers brought out by the Marquis de Rays Expedition in the year 1880. Salvaged and brought to Rabaul in 1936. Survived the Japanese occupation and Allied operations in 1942-1945.”

This millstone, on display in Rabaul in East New Britain in Papua New Guinea, is all that remains of ‘New France’, a utopian society founded in 1880 by the con-man Marquis de Rays on the island now known as New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago of present-day Papua New Guinea.

He launched this scheme in 1877 and soon hundreds of investors poured in money, and altogether 570 would-be utopian settlers joined up. The marquis deliberately misled the colonists, distributing literature claiming a bustling settlement existed at Port Breton, near present-day Kavieng, with numerous public buildings, wide roads, and rich, arable land.


Instead of finding this Utopia, the colonists, mostly French, German and Italian, found a swampy, malarial-infested wasteland, surrounded by cannibalistic neighbours. Some were killed while others died of disease and starvation before the survivors made their ways to Australia, New Zealand, other Pacific islands, or back to Europe.


‘New France’, or ‘La Nouvelle-France’, is arguably the biggest fraudulent utopian scheme ever perpetrated but, as they say, history repeats itself and the dream of a life of ease on a tropical island lives on unabated.

For the full story of Marquis de Rays’ audacious con, click here.


P.S. Some survivors found Paradise when they reached Australia and settled in what is to this day called “New Italy” in northern New South Wales.

So what’s happening at Cocomo?

Since 2009, one person each from Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Slovania, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam, two each from New Zealand and South Africa, four from Germany, five from Canada, eight from the United Kingdom, twelve from Australia, and 34 from the USA have “bought” into the Cocomo Village dream but none of them live there yet.  So what’s happening at Cocomo?  If you’re one of those named above, please write in and let the others know.

Cocomo/Seabreeze leases offered for “re-sale”

The following leases offered for “re-sale” have been collected from various internet sources.  If anyone wants to add other leases for “re-sale”, including their own, please do so:

Lots 44 + 45 Seabreeze

Lots 89, 67, 68, 69 Cocomo

Lot 5 Cocomo

If interested in these listings, click on the above links and make contact with the sellers direct.  However, we advise you to do your homework, e.g. read  the Tongan Government Royal Commission’s report into LAND DEALINGS IN VAVA’U AND ELSEWHERE IN TONGA THROUGH THE INTERNET which states in Section 10 that  “the buyer is led to believe by the Real Estate Agent and some Tongan lawyers that the Lease Agreement is valid and binding on the Tongan landowner and his successors so the term of up to 99 years remain valid. Such agreements are unlawful under the Land Act.”  (capitalisation added by us for emphasis)

However, there’s probably no need to read all this as all you’re buying are shares in a company called “Hunga Island Estate Limited” which is wholly controlled by the promoters of this scheme, and who give “investors” nothing more bankable or binding than a loosely-worded “Investor Agreement” full of archaic ‘witnesseth’ and ‘whereas’ and ‘therefore’, together with a few ‘of the one part’ and ‘of the other part’ as well as some ‘herein called’ and ‘hereby agreed’ to make the ‘above named’ believe they’re actually getting something of real value.