21 Jan 2004

NZ gives Niue more help, hopes other donors follow suit

11:36 am on 21 January 2004

The New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, says he hopes a 3.5 million US dollar initial aid package from New Zealand for cyclone battered Niue will spur other donors to provide additional funding.

Mr Goff says they do not have hard figures on what is required but Niue's needs because of Cyclone Heta are substantial.

He says a smaller hospital, appropriate to Niue's needs, is likely to be rebuilt at a new site.

He says there is a need to rebuild tourist accommodation, government buildings, including housing, a possible new retail centre for Alofi, along with the possible relocation of houses on the seaward side of the village.

Mr Goff says those private businesses which could not obtain insurance cover will also need help.

He says the Niue Government is undertaking a needs assessment but it will need to look at options.

"You could have a gold-plated solution, that won't be possible but equally you could do better than what was there before in terms of pretty much 1950's-style ministry of works New Zealand-provided buildings."