23 Jun 2005

Niue likely to offer any Tuvaluan immigrants permanent residence

8:17 pm on 23 June 2005

The Niue Premier, Young Vivian, says his government is waiting for a response from donor countries on whether they will help assist Tuvaluans to move to the island.

Niue is severely underpopulated and its government has been encouraging people to move there to live and work.

Niue and Tuvalu officials met earlier this month following talks last year between the country's leaders, and Mr Vivian says more talks are likely.

Young Vivian says Tuvalu wants to clarify what rights its people will have, while Niue wants to establish how it can fly them in and house them, but he says the island has much to offer.

"At the present moment I haven't spelt out the details but I think we could offer them permanent residence and [they'd] be able to participate in just about everything we have here."