16 Dec 2011

No breakthrough in Niue arson case

7:14 pm on 16 December 2011

Niue's chief of police says the investigation into a deliberately-lit fire that destroyed a house in the village of Hikutavake earlier this month is making slow progress.

The new house, which belonged to Ian and Emi Hipa, had just been completed and the Hipa family were about to move into it

Mark Chenery says the police are working through all of the witnesses who were out fishing in the early hours of December the 6th and over the next three days hope to interview everyone in the Hikutavake area.

"We're not a big population here and you've got a population of probably 50 to 70 people in Hikutavake and I think the key to the inquiry is for people if they want to break this cycle of this violence for want of a better word or lawlessness or people that think they're above the law, now is the time to do it. But it's tough when you're dealing with tight-knit communities."

Mark Chenery says it's possible that the recent fire and one that occurred after the May general election are linked.