1 Feb 2007

Niue opposition MP calls for country to rethink relationship with NZ

10:32 am on 1 February 2007

An opposition MP in Niue is calling for the country to rethink its relationship with New Zealand as it battles continuing population decline and struggles to find money for essential services.

O'Love Jacobsen says several projects aimed at building up the economy, such as noni and vanilla farming, appear to have failed.

She says she wants to encourage Niue and New Zealand to operate in a new way.

"There might not be much left when people decide to go because it is just difficult to live here. It is difficult to live with a power system that claps out every fortnight it shuts down, you know when in fact I see the power as an essential service, a necessary economic assistance that New Zealand should be party to, and hold off with some things. Hold off with the tourist houses."

Several years ago Niue chose not to re-integrate with New Zealand but Ms Jacobsen says a partial integration of services might work.