17 Sep 2004

NZ prime minister to visit Niue for first time

6:12 am on 17 September 2004

The Niue Premier Young Vivian has confirmed that New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark will visit the island at the end of next month.

Niue News reports Miss Clark's visit from October 28 to 30 will help cement the relationship between New Zealand and the island.

She is likely to be accompanied on an Air Force 757 by up to 70 New Zealand-based Niueans, to witness how their homeland is coping in the aftermath of January's devastating Cyclone Heta.

It will be Miss Clark's first visit as prime minister to Niue, but it won't coincide with the October 19 Constitution celebrations which will mark the nation's 30 years of self government in free association with New Zealand.

Miss Clark is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Niue leaders about the island's future.

She's also expected to deliver a keynote address to a gathering of resident Niueans and their New Zealand kinfolk.