9 Nov 2004

Niue public service review will not necessarily mean less people on the Government payroll

7:36 pm on 9 November 2004

The man who is to conduct a review of the Niue public service says it is not necessarily the case that the government is employing too many workers.

The Niue Government is by far the biggest employer on the island but former New Zealand state services commissioner Don Hunn says there are historical reasons for that.

The review is part of a Memorandum of Agreement signed by Niue and New Zealand last month - a key focus of which is to develop the island's economic base through encouraging its private sector.

Mr Hunn says until he has done the work it is impossible to say whether there are too many public workers.

He says the fundamental question is whether the labour force is able to sustain a growing private sector while continuing to provide public services.

"In any community there is a sort of basic minimum of service which you need to ensure the viability of that community. So you can't actually say that because there is X percentage (of workers) in one country, it should be the same in another"