25 Feb 2012

Meetings on Niue's derelict houses to be held in New Zealand

5:24 am on 25 February 2012

Niue's minister of health is holding meetings in New Zealand in a bid to get the absentee owners of rundown properties on the island to let the government demolish them.

Vegetation and vermin have overtaken dozens of houses abandoned when their owners moved to New Zealand, creating what officials describe as an eyesore and a health risk.

Joan Viliamu says the first of the four Auckland meetings takes place on Sunday but it won't be a matter of ordering the homeowners to agree.

"We're not going to demand. We're not going to demand families in New Zealand, like, come on, you better sign this form otherwise... We're going to negotiate in a way that most of the families will negotiate with us."

Joan Viliamu says she's going to show the families photographs of their derelict houses.