2 Feb 2007

Tongan PM welcomes NZ help to rebuild Nuku'alofa

4:08 pm on 2 February 2007

The Tongan Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, says the two million New Zealand dollars to set up a business recovery facility in the capital will hopefully get the private sector back on its feet more quickly.

Nearly 90 percent of Nuku'alofa's business district was destroyed in the riots last November.

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, revealed during talks with Dr Sevele in Auckland her plans to set aside two million dollars from Tonga's annual 10 million dollar aid for the business recovery facility.

Dr Sevele says Tonga is very grateful for the assistance because it means the recovery will be quicker.

"We have got to the business community back on track, 70 percent of the businesses in the central district were destroyed, and without some of the assistance that has been worked out between the government of Tonga, government of New Zealand, a number of them wouldn't be able to recover they would fizzle out."