4 Jul 2007

New Zealand to help Niue with debt problems

1:21 pm on 4 July 2007

The New Zealand government is to assist Niue eliminate long-standing debts.

Niue has achieved significant financial progress in recent months - balancing last year's budget and promising to achieve the same in the coming year.

This has been assisted by the setting aside of debts of about 1.5 million US dollars from the budget figures, including outstanding subscriptions for international organisations to which Niue belongs.

The head of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs' special relationship unit, David Payton, says if Niue can meet the current commitments to these bodies New Zealand will help resolve the historic debts.

"Now that may mean we go and talk as New Zealand to some of the organisations and see what might be done for writing off some of these historical arrears - this isn't unusual in the case of one or two organisations - or we may might look at doing it, but it is not going to be a burden that grows for Niue."

David Payton