14 Mar 2007

Planned rebuild of Tonga's capital may include wharf for cruise ships

2:40 pm on 14 March 2007

Plans for the rebuilding of Tonga's capital include opening it up to the water's edge to create what has been called a doorway to the city.

The stakeholders have until next week to consider various options for a new layout produced last month by town planners from New Zealand's Manukau city after rioting destroyed Nuku'Alofa's CBD in November last year.

The transport minister, Paul Karalus, says the suggestions include developing a wharf where cruise ships can berth bringing them effectively to the front door of the city.

"We would then, appropriately thereafter, provide for handicraft stalls, for open air cafes, for places where people can perform local dances and generally too give that ambience of being on the seaside."

Other plans advocate more public space through the creation of wider streets; a reduction in traffic levels through a one way system, and planting more trees to beautify the town.