10 Apr 2010

Tonga's government agrees to ferry inquiry recommendations

8:24 am on 10 April 2010

A Tongan MP says the Government of that country must ensure there is money in its budget to implement the recommendations of the Royal Inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika.

The Report into the tragedy last August, which cost 74 lives, recommends a slew of changes to Tonga's maritime situation including new marine radios and safety systems plus more qualified staff.

Richard Pamatatau reports.

"Akilisi Pohiva says while the government has agreed with the recommendations, with six months to go before elections, follow up might not happen."

The Pasifika director at Massey University, Sitaleki Finau, says many of the present government might not stand for re-election so it is critical plans are laid in advance including a budget provision.

The New Zealand government says it is prepared to discuss how it might help Tonga implement the recommendations.