11 Nov 2009

Niue MP wants to revisit re-integration issue

1:56 pm on 11 November 2009

An MP on Niue says the island needs to look again at re-integrating with New Zealand.

Terry Coe's suggestion follows criticism from New Zealand Government MP, John Hayes, that this country is failing in its responsibilities to Niue, the Cook Islands and Tokelau.

Last month, Mr Hayes said the self-government model in Niue and the Cooks, and which has been contemplated by Tokelau, is inefficient, wasteful and uneconomic.

Re-integration with New Zealand was rejected by Niue in 2004, but Mr Coe says the people weren't told then whether they would be covered by such things as the Accident Compensation or the unemployment benefit.

"You know the normal benefits [enjoyed by] the people in New Zealand, plus also the wage increase to bring it up to the New Zealand level, because that is in the Constitution, saying that we should be on a par with New Zealand with wages and that. I think those things people would be extremely happy with, but, as I say, it needs to be in writing."