10 Aug 2007

Niue's government pleas with pastors in New Zealand to encourage people to return to Niue

4:02 pm on 10 August 2007

The government of Niue has made another call for Niueans living in New Zealand to return to the island and bolster its dwindling population.

Around 20 thousand Niueans live in New Zealand while as few as 1200 live on Niue.

Premier Young Vivian has sought the help of church pastors with congregations in New Zealand to help the process.

Mr Vivian says he wants them to encourage unemployed Niueans to go back to the island.

"I want those people who are not working to come back here and those people who think they can develop business and work here to come back and give themselves a chance and give Niue a chance."

Nessa Alana, speaking on behalf of her husband the pastor at the Ekalesia Niue Church in South Auckland, says the falling population on the island is a concern for everyone, and it is a good call for the Premier to make.

But she says people will need to decide for themselves if it is worthwhile returning to Niue.