14 Jan 2004

New Zealand foreign minister restates commitment to rebuild Niue

4:51 pm on 14 January 2004

The New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, has re-stated his commitment to rebuild Niue which suffered huge damage in last week's cyclone.

Mr Goff, who visited Niue yesterday, says efforts have to be made to retain the population.

"The people have to believe that there is a future, that they will go on making the effort, so spirits are quite high, but things could go either way. If people talk down Niue, as one or two newspaper reports did in New Zealand, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And we believe, and the people of Niue, and the government of Niue believe that it really is critical to keep a living community on Niue for the sake of its unique language and its culture."