28 Feb 2007

Niue leader to press New Zealand to begin major projects

4:19 pm on 28 February 2007

The premier of Niue, Young Vivian, says he wants New Zealand to give the go ahead for several key projects on the island.

Mr Vivian says when the joint consultative group meets shortly Niue will not ask for additional funding because his government now expects to balance its budget after agreeing to a range of cuts, including a ten percent salary cut for public servants.

But he says they will be pushing for progress on projects already agreed to but yet to start.

Mr Vivian says these include major road rebuilding, a new public administration building, and most importantly, the construction of the Taonga Niue building, which is aimed at boosting Niuean culture.

"We are losing our culture, we are losing our language and that is part of the problem - that Niueans must be proud of themselves, must see Niue as their spiritual home. And this is an important part of nation building."

Young Vivian