New sailing boat for Niua badly damaged by cyclone Gita

    Hoko e maumau ki he 'Utuma'atu 'a ia ko e vaka 'eni 'a e kāinga Niua ne hifoaki 'e He'ene 'Afio 'i ha ngaahi māhina kuo toki maliu atu. Ko e maumau 'eni 'i he lolotonga e saikolone ko Kita ne motu ai e hama 'e taha fakatatau ki he ngaahi 'ata ne 'omi ki he Kaniva. Ko e vaka ni foki ne fe'unga mo e tola 'e NZ$600,000 pea ko e tānaki pa'anga pe ia 'a e kāinga Niua 'i muli. Ko 'ene 'uluaki folau ki Niua ne fakahoko ia 'i Tisema ta'u kuo 'osi.

    The new wind-powered trimaran for the Niua islands the king commissioned about three months ago had been badly damaged in tropical cyclone Gita.

    The category four storm lashed the country two weeks ago leaving many families homeless and caused widespread damage to crops.

    Photos obtained by Kaniva News showed one of the outriggers of the  ‘Utuma’atu was broken apart.

    It has been pulled out of water for maintenance.

    As Kaniva News reported last week, about 40% of fishing boats were damaged and fish fences were damaged by the heavy swells and winds.

    The ‘Utuma’atu made its maiden voyage in December. It was funded by the people of Niuas living overseas to the tune of NZ$600,000.

    The ‘Utuma’atu was designed to take about 48 hours to sail the 600 kilometres to the Niuas and would be able to carry 12 people and two tonnes of cargo.

    “The craft, which was owned and operated by the Nuia community, was a result of several years work initiated by Tongan academic and former politician, Sitiveni Halapua.”

    ‘Utuma’atu was the name given to the craft by His Majesty King Tupou VI.

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