25 Jan 2014

Niue opposition believes Australia asylum seeker plan still on cards

5:02 am on 25 January 2014

The leader of opposition MPs in Niue believes the government still has ideas about housing Australia's asylum seekers, despite the proposal being rejected by parliament.

The Premier Toke Talagi raised the prospect last month but in a pre-emptive strike by opposition MPs, a motion that his proposal not be considered was passed with a 10-3 vote.

A number of MPs and cabinet ministers in the 20-member parliament abstained.

The opposition MP, Togia Sioneholo, says he will not be surprised if the premier raises it again.

"It's very much still on the table as far as I'm concerned, I think the government, because we have a general election due this year, is trying to avoid the issue of a refugee processing centre here, I believe very much that it's still on as a government policy."

Togia Sioneholo.

The premier Toke Talagi had said his offer for Niue to take in vulnerable children and women asylum seekers was made from a sense of responsibility as a Pacific neighbour.