13 May 2005

Niue's ex-premier says incumbent needs good economic thinking to save island

1:56 pm on 13 May 2005

A former premier of Niue says Young Vivian must come up fresh ways to boost the economy, now he begins a second, three-year term as the island's leader.

Sani Lakatani says Mr Vivian has presided over a fall in population from 1,700 to 1,200 after Cyclone Heta struck last year.

Mr Lakatani says he was a more energetic leader than Mr Vivian has proved to be since 2002.

"The premier at the moment, he just likes to go along with what the people say, and the people don't really understand what they are getting at. And it's up to the leaders, and you know the people in his Cabinet, his Cabinet, to create good thinking, economic thinking, to save Niue."

Mr Lakatani suggests the former diplomat, Hima Takelesi, has the ability to reinvigorate the government system, if selected to be in Cabinet.