3 Jun 2013

Niue deliberates on disposal of asbestos

5:32 am on 3 June 2013

Niue, which began collecting asbestos waste for removal more than five years ago, is still to dispose of the noxious material.

Asbestos, used as a roofing material on the island's houses built in the 1950s and 60s, became a major environmental threat after Cyclone Heta, nearly ten years ago, wrecked many of the unoccupied houses on the island.

It has since been stored in containers, although MP Terry Coe says there is still some asbestos lying around that needs to be collected.

But he says the critical decision the government needs to made is whether to bury it on the island, dump it at sea or send it to New Zealand.

"The last meeting [Niue's Fono]we had there were varying comments about you know all those 3 choices really and no one agreed to any one choice. So we need to make a decision or government will have to make the decision about what they are going to do and start taking action."

Niue MP Terry Coe.