15 Sep 2006

New Zealand officials to assess Niue's long-term power needs next week

6:13 pm on 15 September 2006

The New Zealand government aid agency, NZAID, is to make an assessment of the long term power needs of Niue next week.

The island has been struggling with frequent power outages in recent months and the general manager of Niue Power, Speedo Hetutu, called for the entire system to be rebuilt.

The public works minister, Fisa Pihigia, says that is not necessary but the round island cable needs to be replaced because it is over 30 years old.

He says this will be expensive and they have asked for New Zealand to help.

Sarah Carley, the deputy director for NZAID's Pacific group, says some experts are being sent up next week to determine what is needed and make recommendations.

"I expect they will look at all those issues and included in that they will look at how to link the current generation, which is diesel, in with renewable energy opportunities, such as wind."