5 Mar 2012

Demolition of Niue houses set to resume

7:33 pm on 5 March 2012

Niue officials say the demolition of derelict houses on the island is likely to resume later this year, after some absentee owners in New Zealand withdrew their opposition.

The government has gone to court to demolish 60 abandoned houses because they are an eyesore and health risk.

Acting director of health Manila Nosa says they had all abandoned for decades and had been damaged by cyclones. The clean-up was stalled by protests from families overseas.

But High Commissioner to New Zealand Tauveve Jacobsen says that after meetings in Auckland with the owners, about half agreed to the demolition without going back to court.

She says that being shown photos of their derelict houses seems to have tipped the balance.

Mrs Jacobsen says the court will be asked on 17 March for approval to bulldoze the houses of those who have not responded, or who oppose the demolition.