12 Mar 2010

Tongans in NZ dismayed about slow rebuilding of Niuatoputapu

2:57 pm on 12 March 2010

The Tongan Advisory Council in New Zealand is questioning why reconstruction on the tsunami-affected Tongan island of Niuatoputapu is still a while away.

The government in Tonga has announced that reconstruction is not scheduled to start until the end of this year.

Last September's tsunami displaced more than a hundred families and damaged the hospital, school-buildings, and the island's water supply.

The families affected by the tsunami are still in temporary shelters.

The head of the Tongan Advisory Council in New Zealand, Melino Maka, says Tongans in New Zealand can't understand why these families are still not in permanent shelters.

"We also wanted to know why it takes so long because the information that we received from Niuatoputapu is that some of these people are living under tarpaulins and especially under the heat it's hot during the day and cold at night."

Melino Maka says having no ferry service to the island is also distressing, especially for those with families on the island.