30 Jun 2009

Opposition accuses Niue premier of causing rift with New Zealand

1:32 pm on 30 June 2009

An opposition MP in Niue, Terry Coe, is accusing Niue's Finance Minister of causing a rift with New Zealand officials over much needed financial support.

In last week's budget speech, the Finance Minister, Premier Toke Talagi, strongly criticised New Zealand's support for the island.

Mr Talagi said New Zealand has failed Niue completely in its push to develop its tourism and agriculture sectors due to the bureaucratic process of accessing funds, that include two million New Zealand dollars for tourism.

But Mr Coe says the Premier is being difficult because he wants to determine himself how the money should be spent.

"Because it's going to the Development Bank and therefore the Development Bank would have the say in how it's used and that it's used properly for the tourism industry. I think he wants it into the government and so he can make the decision of where its going to be used. 19"

Terry Coe says the relationship between the two governments is now at a low.