24 Feb 2009

Niue to hold inaugural cultural festival

2:17 pm on 24 February 2009

Niue is to host its first-ever culture and arts festival this year as a way for offshore Niueans to learn more about their identity and heritage.

About 150 Niueans from New Zealand, as well as a small contingent from Australia, are expected to attend the week-long festival in April.

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in New Zealand says the festival has been two years in the making, with the New Zealand Niuean community expressing a desire to foster a greater exchage with Niueans in Niue.

The Ministry's Chief Executive, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, says the festival will benefit both sides.

"For Niueans who live on Niue, obviously there's a real concern now about the de-population and this is a way of perhaps facilitating Niueans who live here to go and visit their home land. People might feel some affinity and take more frequent holidays or return to live for part of the time."

Dr Colin Tukuitonga says this is also a fun way to get young Niueans in New Zealand, who have not been to the island and don't know much about their culture, to get involved with their customs and traditions.