27 Feb 2012

Owners of Niue's decrepit houses to be shown photos

6:36 am on 27 February 2012

Niue's minister of health is in New Zealand to show photos of the island's derelict houses to the families who abandoned them and left the country.

Vegetation and vermin have overtaken dozens of homes, creating what officials describe as an eyesore and a health risk.

Joan Viliamu is holding meetings in Auckland this week in a bid to get the 40-odd families involved to let the government demolish the buildings.

"We're also taking some pictures of their homes so they can see it, the state of their home here. And then it might change their mind in terms of whether they want to keep their home or to do something about it."

Joan Viliamu says it's not a matter of ordering the homeowners to agree to demolition, as some may wish to return to Niue and renovate the houses.

But she says if the majority of families do consent, the court will be able to make a ruling on the matter in March.