14 Mar 2008

Niue opposition MP against giving funds to Reef Fishing company

2:38 pm on 14 March 2008

A Niue opposition MP, Terry Coe, says the New Zealand company Reef Group should not be asking the New Zealand government for a multi-million dollar assistance package for its operations on Niue.

The main part of that business, the Reef Fishing processing plant, has been shut for the past three months and the company principal, John Gresson, says it is not guaranteed to re-open.

He says the company is providing a boost to the Niue economy through several businesses and wants Niue, or New Zealand as its main aid donor, to consider helping with the capital costs.

But Mr Coe says the company was warned about setting up too big an operation.

"It is better to start off small and then add on as you progress with your business. But they didn't do that. They jumped in and built a massive building and that and I think that's there downfall. That they didn't really have the management and the skills to make a good, small fishing industry here on Niue."

Terry Coe says most on the island are resigned to the fish processing plant not re-opening its doors, which will leave the island dependent on its small tourist industry.