9 Mar 2007

Niue close to getting fully restored power supply

5:09 pm on 9 March 2007

A New Zealand government official says Niue is close to getting a fully restored reliable power supply.

The island has been experiencing lengthy outages this week after the failure of one of its two diesel generators.

The general manager of Niue Power, Speedo Hetutu, says their normal complement of generators is four, but they have been short two machines since a devastating fire at the island's power station last June.

David Patton, who head the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs special relationship unit for Niue, says New Zealand, the main aid provider, has almost completed a refit of the station aimed at ensuring such a fire is not replicated.

"So a huge amount of work needs to be put into that and we are just at the stage where Niue will get not only a completely refitted power station, but they will get all the switching gear, they'll get all the transformers and distribution systems to make sure all of the people on that island have power as and when it is needed."

Next week the joint consultative group, comprised of New Zealand and Niuean officials, is to meet over several days in Wellington.