30 Apr 2003

Niue to get more assistance from New Zealand

5:06 pm on 30 April 2003

Niue has been promised increased assistance from New Zealand, with the Government indicating it is committed to helping the island in a number of ways.

Niue's population has dropped to below 15 hundred people and the island is fighting to maintain its economic viability.

It is preparing investment proposals it hopes the New Zealand Government will back.

Meanwhile Vince McBride, a New Zealand Foreign Affairs official who chaired recent discussions with the island's Government, says it is clear Niue has very little capacity to help itself.

He says as a result New Zealand has suggested it provide a wider range of support to Niue on a whole-of-government basis.

"So that New Zealand government departments individually and collectively on occasions or one or two combining together might be able to provide resources to Niue for specific tasks or activities or to develop new ventures or whatever."

Vince McBride says they are particularly interested in involving the Ministry of Economic Development.

He says Niue is assured of additional assistance although this may not be an increase in financial aid.