11 Sep 2008

Niue Premier lashes out at New Zealand aid officials

6:22 pm on 11 September 2008

The Premier of Niue, Toke Talagi, has made a stinging attack on NZ Foreign

Affairs officials claiming they dictate to Niue how aid money should be spent and how the island should pursue development.

During his Budget speech Mr Talagi said he would be writing to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to express his concern at the undemocratic attitude of New Zealand aid officials.

Mr Talagi says a large slice of the assistance given to Niue gets back to New Zealand in payment for imports and for high priced consultants.

A spokesperson for Helen Clark says she values the relationship with Premier Talagi and will be working to resolve the issues.

She also notes that while Niue has its challenges it has just hosted a very successful Forum summit.