13 Sep 2006

Niue puts money into villages to entice expatriates to return

2:05 pm on 13 September 2006

The Niue Government has allowed for a record level of spending in the coming year but the finance minister, Fisa Pihigia, is confident they will balance the budget.

He says a key focus will be addressing the island's decline in population.

Mr Pihigia says developing local communities is seen as one way to discourage people from leaving and to entice expatriates back.

"You know, maintain the infrastructure in the village, to improve those infrastructure and a beautification programme. It is an ongoing programme that we want to develop the villages and try and retain the people and encourage those in New Zealand to return."

This move comes after Indians have been brought in as temporary labourers and while the Niue Development Bank is holding meetings in New Zealand to discuss the possibility of cheap loans for those Niueans who might return.