4 Oct 2007

Nuku'alofa reconstruction incomplete for Tonga coronation

4:54 pm on 4 October 2007

Tonga's Ministry of Lands says the ongoing negotiations over a multi-million dollar loan from the Chinese government means they are running out of time to have the capital rebuilt in time for the King's coronation next year.

Much of Nuku'alofa's Central Business District was destroyed in riots last November.

A ceremony to mark the start of the building work was supposed to have been held last week.

It has been postponed indefinitely.

The Director of Urban Planning in Tonga, Tukua Tonga, says no new date has been set for the ceremony until the financial negotiations with the Chinese government are complete.

Mr Tonga says the reconstruction of the capital is becoming more urgent with the coronation of King George Tupou V to be held on the 1st August.

"Put it this way, we haven't got time on our hands - there's slippage in our schedule but hopefully we can make up for it. It will be signed soon."

The Director of Urban Planning in Tonga, Tukua Tonga.