26 Jul 2002

Niue to study proposal for a South Korean compound in multi-million dollar deal

10:53 am on 26 July 2002

Niue's Investment Promotion Committee is studying a proposal for a 100 million US dollar walled holy city on the island.

The island's Deputy Premier, Sani Lakatani, says the Government was approached by a group of South Koreans asking for land to set up a religious compound housing up to 800 people.

The group has also offered to buy the Government's two hotels and provide a jet air service for the island.

The scheme has already attracted criticism from church and village organisatons, but Mr Lakatani says the Koreans told him they want something similar to Vatican City or the United Nations headquarters in New York.

He says the group has asked for 120 hectares of land.

"actually they asked for indefinite time for lease and I said no we'll have to use the Glasgow system of sixty six years with a right of renewal another thirty three years to make it ninety ninety years but you know this is only talk we are having a look now and checking their backgrounds and if they are reputable people we have to go through all that rigmarole before any decision to be made ."

Sani Lakatani.