1 Dec 2009

Tongan government urged to clarify post-tsunami assistance

4:10 pm on 1 December 2009

The Tongan community in New Zealand says the Tongan Government has to develop a more coherent plan to help the people of Niuatoputapu made homeless by the tsunami more than two months ago.

A Prime Ministerial delegation visited the remote islands a month ago but there is still no indication when any rebuilding will start.

A Government official says they are still trying to negotiate with the landowners for the site where a subdivision is planned, but Tongans in New Zealand say the islanders are receiving mixed messages about the reconstruction.

Melino Maka of the Tonga Advisory Council says the Government has to tell the people what it will do and when.

"There's no official version you know. It appears to be hearing from two or three sources down the line, but the Government need to develop a clear strategy of communication so that everybody is singing from the same hymn book. Because at the moment we are singing from three or four different hymn books."

Melino Maka of the Tonga Advisory Council