7 May 2012

Second Niue flight on hold

8:04 am on 7 May 2012

A mid-week Air New Zealand flight to Niue in the peak tourist season has been put on hold for a year because extra accommodation hasn't been built in time.

Niue has been working for the past few years to grow its economy through tourism.

It has a single Air New Zealand flight each week which the government, through funding from New Zealand, agrees to underwrite.

But in recent years there has been a push for two flights a week, not least to cater for shorter stay visitors.

The island's sole hotel, the Matavai, is being extended by 20 rooms but Niue's premier, Toke Talagi, says more are needed to justify adding a second 170-seat flight.

"Encouraging people to build and actually getting our own buildings up and going has not been as quick as we would have liked. And therefore we have not been able to meet the targets we had hoped with respect to accommodation and therefore we couldn't put a second service on."