23 Feb 2012

Report author says Nuku'alofa review wrongly dumped

4:44 am on 23 February 2012

A university researcher in Auckland says Tonga's Prime Minister Lord Tui'vakano invited her to write a report on Nuku'alofa's redevelopment but the report was dumped because she gave the project a clean bill of health.

The Tongan government ordered a second review of the work of the Nuku'alofa Development Corporation, saying the first investigation did not fulfill its terms of reference.

The corporation was set up to manage the central business district's reconstruction after the 2006 riots.

Author of the first report, Dr Teena Brown Pulu, says she found the project was on track.

"It's my belief that the report was dismissed because it did not evidence a preset of assumptions. Some of those assumptions were speculation and accusations that the reconstruction project wasn't going well that there were missing funds and the buildings were substandard."

Dr Brown Pulu says according to good governance the public should have had access to her report which she has published in a new book entitled Shoot the Messenger.