28 Feb 2012

Niue asbestos storage exceeds NZ requirements

3:21 pm on 28 February 2012

The director of the Niue Environment Department, Sauni Togatule, says the precautions planned for the burying of asbestos on the island exceed requirements in New Zealand.

Niue has been struggling for years to clear asbestos waste and has decided, in principle, to bury it.

There are concerns this could threaten the water lens under the island but Mr Togatule says an Environmental Impact Assessment is looking at that issue this week.

He says they are planning substantial efforts to contain the asbestos to ensure it doesn't affect the water supply.

"We are actually look at lining the bunker with approved polyethylene plastic and putting a cap on top once that is finished. We are also looking at the other option of a concrete bunker, and that will have a final decision at the end of the week, pending the consultation with the general public on Wednesday."