Blessing for Namoui site
Representatives from the Niue Government, customary land owners and Telecom Niue personnel gathered at Namoui, Makefu today for a short ceremony to mark the official beginning of the work to bring the under-sea communications cable Manatua ashore. Also at the ceremony were the contractors DTB Construction.
The access road to the upper terrace at Seikene has been widened in preparation for the cable. The old road was considered too narrow and too steep.
The government was represented by the Acting Premier Billy Talagi who thanked the customary land owners, the Tohovaka family, for readily agreeing to the use of the land.
“At a time when government is being challenged by land owners over the use of the land for the benefit of the island, we’re grateful to the Tohovaka family for the use of their land”, Hon Talagi said.
Several landings were considered at Avatele and Alofi but the survey team settled on Namoui as the most suitable, according to the Acting Premier.
Village Assemblyman Tofua Puletama told the gathering that in some ways, it was only fitting that a site in his village was chosen because he was involved in the early stages when plans were first mooted for a marine cable. He reminded the government representatives present that the access road still has to be sealed.
Charlie Tohovaka of the land owners said that his family understood the importance of the project and for the work to continue even though a final agreement has to be settled.
Spokesperson for Telecom Niue Dimitry Viliamu said the he was pleased with the progress of the project to date and acknowledged that there were a few challenges ahead.
Telecom Niue manager Brett Collier said that Niue needed to take the lead in the Manatua cable project because it’s expected that the first landfall for the cable after Samoa will be at Namoui.
The short ceremony ended with a blessing from the village clergy Rev Christopher Lagiono.