19 Oct 2009

NZ Foreign Minister backs fishing for Niue,but not necessarily processing

7:14 am on 19 October 2009

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, says his government is backing a fishing industry for Niue, but not necessarily processing.

Fishing has been identified as one of the keys to bringing some economic independence to the island, but a fish plant, which opened in 2004, has been out of operation for the past two years.

Mr McCully is travelling to the island today for the Constitution Day celebrations and will discuss a wide ranging new report on tourism development with interested parties there.

He says fishing also remains vital for Niue's future but re-opening the plant may not be the best option, given the closure of one of the canneries in nearby American Samoa.

"And we now need to think our way forward as the industry changes its shape. So I don't want to hold out hope that simply the re-opening of that operation is going to be the best way of maximising the resource that Niue owns. I think that there are other issues that need to be explored properly."