17 Sep 2007

Niue immigration review seeks opening up to all NZ citizens

3:40 pm on 17 September 2007

Niue's chair of the Bills Committee, Graham Talagi, says so few Niueans are returning to the country, it may be time to allow any New Zealand citizens to live in Niue.

The Committee is collecting public submissions on a draft bill that would amend Niue's immigration laws.

Its amendments also include a longer period for immigrants to work in the country before they can apply for residency.

Graham Talagi says there's been a mixed reaction from locals to the proposal to allow all New Zealand citizens free access to work and live in Niue.

"We've asked our local people if they can come back to the island, and they're not coming. Maybe this is the time to allow for New Zealand citizens freedom to come here. The aim of the government is to try and repopulate the place and get the economy moving."

Graham Talagi says the Bills Committee will meet in early October to put forward their recommendations to the house.