24 Mar 2004

French Polynesian group returns from Niue

11:52 am on 24 March 2004

A group of 24 French Polynesians has returned to Tahiti after spending more than two months helping with the reconstruction effort in Niue after the island was devastated by Cyclone Heta.

The workers from the Polynesian Intervention Group, which is under the leadership of the territorial president, Gaston Flosse, built 20 houses and helped with repairs and the clean-up.

The Group's head, Leonard Puputauki, says it's not clear when the remaining 20 Tahitians will be able to return home.

He has also announced that another 60 French Polynesians will be sent to Niue within a month to continue the reconstruction work.

The returning workers were accompanied by the Niuean economy minister, Bill Motufoou, and the New Zealand high commissioner to Niue, Sandra Lee-Vercoe.