22 Aug 2006

Niue's leader says plans to have Malaysians log the island are still on the table

7:35 pm on 22 August 2006

The Niue Premier, Young Vivian, says his government remains keen to bring in a Malaysian logging company to harvest some of the island's forest, despite the concerns of some residents.

But Mr Vivian says Niue is not in a hurry and they're still negotiating with landowners.

He says it's a slow process and if and when it does get off the ground, they want to do it right.

Mr Vivian says he's aware of people's concerns about how much timber will be harvested, and the reports of destructive logging practices attributed to Malaysian loggers in other Pacific countries.

He says they are not that ambitious in terms of logging.

"We are interested in timber for our own buildings and timber for furniture. That's the area we are looking at. We have always been doing timber work - logging - and we are still doing it now. What I think people are talking about is the big scale logging which you have tonnes and tonnes exporting overseas. No, that is not going to happen in Niue."

Young Vivian.