15 Jul 2002

Niue premier takes over tourism portfolio

10:37 am on 15 July 2002

Niue's premier, Young Vivian, has taken over the island's tourism portfolio.

He says the move is to relieve the workload on finance minister, Toke Talagi, who was appointed Minister of Tourism after the last general election.

Opposition MP, Terry Coe, who campaigned for the transfer of responsiblity, claims Mr Talagi had a conflict of interest when dealing with tourism matters because he owned the island's sole airline agency and is the major shareholder in the privately run Hotel Niue and a guesthouse.

Mr Talagi delayed the presentation of the government's budget last week as he mounted renewed efforts to solve the island's serious financial problems, which are likely to see cutbacks in the public service.