15 Sep 2008

Niue to close New Zealand trade office

3:45 pm on 15 September 2008

Niue is set to close its trade office in Auckland by Christmas.

The decision was made following last week's budget, and should save the island's government around 80-thousand US dollars a year.

Opposition MP, Terry Coe, says there's been some opposition to it, but it's money Niue can ill afford.

He says the office has failed to collect money for the past three taro shipments.

"The actual running costs for it, for last year was 118, 000 dollars [New Zealand dollars] and with the loss of the taro, we're probably looking at 250, 000 dollars [New Zealand]. But it's money we can't afford. and we need to cut back, we're cutting back on Niue, so we are cutting back overseas as well."

Terry Coe says trade opportunities can be pursued through the High Commission in Wellington.