24 Nov 2011

Niue puts off destroying derelict houses that pose health risk

3:10 pm on 24 November 2011

The Secretary to Justice in Niue says the government has deferred a decision on the proposed destruction of about 80 derelict houses.

Justin Kamupala says the government has filed an application to adjourn matters regarding the houses until the next sitting of the High Court in March.

Mr Kamupala says most of the houses were abandoned by families who moved to New Zealand.

"The Justice Department involvement is trying to plot the houses where they are at the moment and determine whether they are on titled land or not. And also for facilitating the process of the application to the High Court. Most of the - if not all - the owners have been identitfied. Unfortunately some of them may have passed away so the issue is now is to try to determine who will now represent the families concerned."

Mr Kamupala says many of the houses are overgrown with vegetation and pose a health risk as they have asbestos impregnated concrete roofing and are a breeding ground for vermin.