10 Dec 2008

Niue left with costly fuel stocks after Forum summit

4:47 pm on 10 December 2008

Niue has been saddled with more than half a million US dollars of jet fuel it doesn't need.

MP Terry Coe says the fuel was bought by the island's Government in preparation for August's Pacific Island's Forum summit.

The island hired 18 portable tanks to hold the tens of thousands of litres but some of the aircraft coming in did not need to refuel.

Mr Coe says the Government should have sought commitments from the other countries before the summit.

"You know really we did not do our homework in securing a written agreement that they were going to buy fuel from us here. Instead they bought a cheaper lot of fuel, I think from Tonga or from Fiji, and they didn't buy ours, so we are left with this fuel after the Forum meeting."

Niue MP Terry Coe.

The Premier of Niue, Toke Talagi, who came to power just weeks before the summit, blames the previous Government for the fiasco.

He says it has placed the island under significant additional financial pressure.