27 Mar 2007

Group on Niue accrues huge hotel debt.

3:27 pm on 27 March 2007

Niue's minister of immigration, Fisa Pihigia, says a group subscribing to the philosophy of Vastu Shastra are not desirable visitors to the island because of the huge debts they have accrued.

About six members of Vastu Shastra, which is a form of building construction aimed at achieving harmony with nature, have been staying at the only hotel on the island, the Matavai, for nearly a year, and according to the hotel management, no payments have been made in the past six months.

Mr Pihigia says although the group's visas expired nearly two weeks ago, he does not want them to leave until the debts are cleared.

"One thing I am very concerned about - I don't want to deport them from here, or cancel their permits or whatever, because if I do that they will probably be happy because they are going to avoid paying whatever debts they owe to Matavai at the moment, which I believe is over three hundred thousand [New Zealand] dollars, and [to] some other local businesses."

Fisa Pihigia