28 Jan 2013

Tonga Port Authority assures public on safety of Vuna wharf

4:45 pm on 28 January 2013

The general manager of Tonga's Port Authority is assuring the public that a new wharf is safe, despite some vocal concerns about parts of it collapsing.

The Vuna wharf in Nukualofa opened at the end of 2012 for cruise ships to dock at, and was built at a cost of more than 17 million US dollars, funded by a loan from China.

But Mosese Lavemai says any photos of the wharf looking incomplete relate to a separate stage of the development for a yacht marina.

He says funding is still being sourced for the marina, but insists the cruise ship part of the wharf is safe.

"There is no problem with Vuna wharf, the main structural wharf, is completely safe. That incomplete project is yet to open for public, and for yachts. So I think it is a misunderstanding there, trying to differentiate the two projects. As I said (with) the question of safety, yes for the main structure of the wharf where the cruise ship berth, it is 100 percent safe."

Mosese Lavemai says since the wharf opened, two cruise ships have docked there so far, with another one, the MS Europa , due tomorrow.