11 Dec 2013

Push in Niue to dump NZ-based tourism director

2:37 pm on 11 December 2013

A majority of MPs in Niue wants a New Zealand-based director of the Niue Tourism Authority removed.

Charles Cooper was appointed a director several months ago by the government.

MP Stan Kalauni, who raised the issue, says Mr Cooper is not an industry stake holder, and because he does not live on the island is unaware of what is going on.

Mr Cooper's involvement with Niue tourism stretches back a number of years in various guises, but Mr Kalauni says through this time he has cost the industry a lot of money for no return.

He says capable local people had been overlooked for the director's position.

"These are local people operating tourism-related jobs and businesses here in Niue and all of them are not even considered and Charles was considered ahead of everyone else. So it doesn't really matter - we have Kiwis, expats living here, running businesses that are tourism related - they should also be appointed in here but not someone who actually lived outside Niue."

Niue MP Stan Kalauni.

The vote in the Fono was eight to three in favour of Mr Cooper being dumped but the ultimate decision rests with the cabinet of premier Toke Talagi.