22 Sep 2010

Niue welcomes changed New Zealand approach

3:16 pm on 22 September 2010

The Niue Government is welcoming what it says is a new approach to the relationship with Wellington, saying that the micromanagement and suffocating process of the past has gone.

The Premier, Toke Talagi, has previously been critical of what he's called the bureaucratic approach taken by New Zealand.

Don Wiseman has more:

"In the past Mr Talagi criticised allocated spending which hadn't been handed over. In his Budget speech last year he said New Zealand couldn't be depended on with any degree of certainty to provide project funding to help build the economy. But now he's expressed his satisfaction with spending plans over the next three years, and attributes the progress to Wellington's special envoy, and soon to be High Commissioner, Mark Blumsky. He says the focus is now on ensuring Niue has greater responsibility and trust to manage the projects and funds allocated. Mr Talagi says Niue's objectives have always been outcome-based and targeted on tourism, with an emphasis on private sector involvement. He says Mr Blumsky's pragmatic approach has been refreshing, and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs Special Relationship Unit is taking his lead in ensuring a system that is less process-based and more outcome-driven."