17 Mar 2006

Niue's new hospital officially opened

4:49 pm on 17 March 2006

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, has officially opened the new hospital on Niue.

The hospital is called Niue Foou and has been funded by the New Zealand government which paid about 4 million US dollars.

The 8-bed facility has an infectious disease and Intensive Care Unit and it is hoped it will reduce the need to refer patients to New Zealand.

It replaces the old hospital which was destroyed by Cyclone Heta in 2004.

Mr Peters, who leaves Niue tomorrow morning, says the opening of Niue Foou symbolises the successful partnership between Niue and his government.

"As you travel around this island, you will see how much has been done in such a short time, including this hospital. There is much more to be done. We have had some serious budgetary talks, talks with respect to working through the issues into the future. But I think it was a very, very successful trip and I think the Niue people will be very, very pleased with the outcome and the New Zealand people can be proud of what we are doing here."