12 Aug 2009

NZ looking at replacement ferry options for Tonga

6:16 am on 12 August 2009

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade is looking at options for replacing a Tongan ferry which sank last Wednesday night.

Two bodies have been recovered from the Princess Ashika, but 93 people are still missing and the wreck is yet to be found.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has asked the ministry to see what alternatives are available.

A spokesperson for Mr Key says this was done after after talking to Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Sevele,

The Princess Ashika was more than 30 years old when it sank, but was only supposed to be a temporary boat, until a permanent inter-island vessel arrived.

Officals say it's too early to know when a decision will be made.