12 Sep 2006

Niue hopes to solve labour force problems with Indians

6:44 pm on 12 September 2006

Niue hopes to solve its labour shortage by bringing in workers from India.

One group of Indians, from the Punjab, has been brought in by a local trying to develop a vanilla farm and dozens more may follow.

The premier, Young Vivian, says the government had tried to encourage expatriate Niueans to return home and had also spoken to the Samoan, Tongan and Tuvaluan governments about the opportunities for workers on Niue.

But he says there was no interest, so bringing in the Sikhs is an experiment to see if the manpower problems can be solved in other ways.

"Particularly in fisheries, agriculture and tourism. We are going to need to import people and this is part of an experiment to bring in people to help [overcome] the shortage of labour and manpower."