17 May 2006

NZaid advances money to help bail out Niue

8:23 pm on 17 May 2006

The director of the Pacific Division of New Zealand's aid agency says they have given Niue an advance of nearly 190,000 US dollars to balance their budget.

NZaid's Craig Hawke has confirmed that they were approached by the Niue Premier, Young Vivian, for help.

Mr Vivian says the island could be in arrears by arround three quarters of a million dollars.

Mr Hawke says the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, has answered the call for assistance.

"The minister has agreed that we would provide an advance of Niue's budget support to help them get over this difficult period and we have also provided a chief accountant to go up and help Niue and look at how it can manage its books better."

Craig Hawke says more money could be advanced in the near future if need be.