13 Jul 2012

Pacific Arts festival stage safety warnings ignored

7:46 am on 13 July 2012

The head of the committee behind the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Solomon Islands maintains the stage for today's closing ceremony in the capital has been strengthened and is safe to use.

The stage, purpose built at Lawson Tama Stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies of the two-week event, was deemed too dangerous just hours before the opening ceremony two weeks ago.

Overseas engineers have declared the stage unfit for the weight it is required to hold and Radio New Zealand International has been told the chances of it failing tonight are between 40 and 50 percent.

But Doreen Kuper says the finale will take place on the stage.

Doreen Kuper says if organisers had taken on board all the negative messages about the festival they would not have gone ahead with the event and she is very pleased with how well it has gone.