9 Jun 2009

Niue premier doubts New Zealand will ever release tourism allocation

5:04 pm on 9 June 2009

Niue's Premier has expressed doubts that New Zealand will ever allocate money earmarked for tourism development on the island.

Toke Talagi says the funds have been available for five years but in that time no agreement has been reached on how it should be used.

Mr Talagi says New Zealand's Foreign Minister is sending a special envoy to Niue to try to overcome a break down in discussions.

The Premier says the restrictions placed on how the money is used amounts to interference in policy and is sceptical the special investigation will make any difference:

"As far as I can see it is just another step out of the many steps that have been taken trying to resolve this two million dollars. To tell you the truth, I don't believe we'll ever see it and therefore we are not banking our thinking and planning on that two million dollars at this point in time."

Mr Talagi says Niue will begin to look to countries such as China and Japan for assistance in developing the tourism sector