12 Dec 2013

Concern in Niue that Australia's asylum seekers stay forever

4:15 pm on 12 December 2013

People on Niue are concerned Australia's asylum seekers who might be sent to the island could end up there forever.

Australia and Niue have discussed hosting asylum seekers and feasibility studies are being undertaken to determine whether the country can cope.

There has been opposition, with MP, Stan Kalauni, saying the people do not back the idea and that Niue lacks the capacity to deal with the asylum seekers.

Another MP, Terry Coe, says Australia's stated refusal to allow any people declared refugees to ever enter that country is also a major concern for the people of Niue.

"They know that there is a lot of money involved in it, for the country, but they do not want the social and culture problems that they are having in Nauru and in PNG and they are very scared that the people will not be able to leave Niue and will stay here for the rest of their lives if another country will not take them."

Niue MP Terry Coe