18 May 2006

NZAid official says New Zealand helping Niue out of difficult situation

10:32 am on 18 May 2006

The director of the Pacific Division of New Zealand's aid agency says it is not a total surprise that Niue needs an advance of nearly 190,000 US dollars to balance its 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 by approving an advance.

He says Niue is in a difficult situation at the moment.

"Niue has limited numbers of revenue sources and sometimes some of those revenue sources come through at lower projected levels and we understand that their costs for fuel on the island have increased so there are many reasons why it doesn't look like what was estimated in the budget has come through."

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