10 Aug 2009

Investigation into Tongan ferry disaster being formulated

11:01 am on 10 August 2009

Terms of reference are being drafted for a top-level investigation in Tonga into last Wednesday's ferry sinking, that's left 93-people missing.

The Princess Ashika, with 149-people on board, sank north west of Nuku'alofa.

Only two bodies have been recovered.

Relatives of the missing are calling for the Tongan government to be more accountable and for the Transport Minister to resign.

The Minister, Paul Karalus, says a consultant from New Zealand now in Tonga will advise how to set up the inquiry.

He says the government wants to ensure the investigation is independent and transparent.

Mr Karalus says the inquiry will be carried out with assistance from New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

The marine consultant from New Zealand, is Michael Eno from Auckland.