7 Apr 2005

Creditor prepares to seize money, and leave Niue

8:16 pm on 7 April 2005

A Niue creditor for ailing Niue Investment Limited says unpaid bills worth eighteen thousand dollars have made life hard and contributed to its decision to sell up and leave Niue.

The creditor, Culling's Food Products, plans to send in the police today to seize funds from Niue Investment's bank account in Niue, following approval from a judge yesterday for this to happen.

Niue Investment, formed by the Niue Finance Minister to lease the now cyclone-destroyed government-owned Niue Hotel, has stopped trading and been struck off the Companies Register.

Allan Culling of Culling's Food Products, has been in Niue for 19 years and like many other Niueans has one thousand dollars in shares in Niue Investments.

But Mr Culling says the unpaid debt, for food for the hotel, has made life difficult.

"It's been hard because of the sales. As population was declining here, it was harder to keep afloat, and with someone owing you money, it made it harder, yeh."

Mr Culling says he and his wife survived the ordeal -- not yet over -- by borrowing up to 25 thousand dollars from friends.

He says it played a small part in their decision to sell the business and leave Niue soon.