11 Feb 2004

Niue's Premier says he has no concerns about New Zealand's aid effort, despite Opposition criticism

4:47 pm on 11 February 2004

The Premier of Niue Young Vivian says Opposition MP Terry Coe has got it wrong in claiming New Zealand is not doing enough to help the island recover from Cyclone Heta.

Mr Coe says French Polynesian aid workers are conspicuous on Niue but people are asking what New Zealand is doing.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff says Mr Coe's comments are ungracious and ill-informed after New Zealand contributed three and a half million U.S. dollars to Niue.

Young Vivian agrees.

The Premier also says the French Polynesians do have a high profile at the moment but he cautions that rebuilding the island's facilities will take a long time.

"we have to put it in the right perspective in how things are moving and how things are being planned and where we are headed....at the present moment, certainly they have a high profile with the village people and we are moving quite well and we are very thankful, but it's a long haul, you have got to remember it's a long haul"