15 Apr 2003

Niue opposition MP says population is reaching stage where it is no longer viable

10:26 am on 15 April 2003

Niue Opposition MP, O'Love Jacobsen says the island has lost so many people in the past year, that businesses are struggling to survive.

She says her estimate is the resident population has fallen to around 1300 people, and may have lost 20 percent of its population in the past 12 months.

She says business activity is practically dead.

Ms Jacobsen says she wants the Government to explain what it's doing to reverse the decline.

"I've just basically asked the government what is going to happen when the population reaches the stage where it is no longer viable - is no longer sustainable. We can't sustain ourselves in this manner."

The Niue Government has asked New Zealand to help build the economy, by helping with investments in fishing and agriculture.

But Ms Jacobsen say the country will need more immediate assistance if it is to remain viable.