21 Mar 2005

Niue Opposition MP warns of more cost over-runs in building new hospital

6:27 am on 21 March 2005

An Opposition MP in Niue is warning there'll be more cost over-runs as a new hospital is built.

Construction work is yet to begin after New Zealand's Prime Minister last year told Niueans that Wellington would fully fund a six million NZ dollar medical facility to replace the Lord Liverpool Hospital, which was severely damaged by Cyclone Heta.

Niue's health minister, Fisa Pihigia, is reported to have told local media that an extra 500-thousand NZ dollars is needed for extra floor strengthening.

But his political opponent, Terry Coe, says the New Zealand tax-payer will have to foot the bill.

Mr Coe describes the blowout as a national embarrassment.

"They haven't done their homework... and now, to ask half a million dollars more, and we haven't started the project, what the rest of the project going to overrun into... if there's further mismanagement of this project?"

Niue's government hasn't been available for comment.