13 May 2008

Niue asbestos disposal still undecided

3:44 pm on 13 May 2008

The Niue government is yet to make a decision on how to dispose of tonnes of asbestos roofing, much of it damaged during Cyclone Heta four years ago.

Some asbestos sheeting is stacked in containers near Niue's airport, while some houses, occupied and unoccupied, are still roofed with asbestos.

Niue's premier, Young Vivian says they're currently in phase one, which means they're still collecting the asbestos from around the island.

He says no deadline has been placed on when a decision on how to dispose of the asbestos should be made, and this won't be done until all the asbestos has been collected.

"We are storing them in the containers and in the meantime we will have a look at the plans for the future in terms of cost and in terms of the safest way in which we can put those asbestos away. We are also at the present moment looking for money for those asbestos to be buried or transported somewhere else."

Young Vivian says money from China is going towards replacing all the occupied homes' asbestos roofing with iron roofing.