29 Sep 2011

Niue premier says tougher immigration rules are what the community wanted

7:08 pm on 29 September 2011

Niue's premier says tougher restrictions on people wanting residency status on the island are about ensuring people assimilate.

Toke Talagi says the new legislation reflects the views of the people.

There's been criticism that the new immigration laws won't solve the country's problem of too few people, but Mr Talagi says that's not what it's aimed at.

He says, in most cases, permanent residence status can only be considered after ten years on the island instead of the three previously allowed for, to ensure that people are committed to living in Niue.

"That they're giving the opportunity for working with the people here and making sure that they have assimilated. That's essentially the reasons for that. The other thing of course is that we consulted the community, and the community's view was that 3 years was too short and they wanted to extend it to ten years."