2 Nov 2006

Tension in Niue over land disputes

5:23 pm on 2 November 2006

There's tension on Niue as a visiting New Zealand judge Heta Hingston hears dozens of land disputes.

A judge is sent from New Zealand every six months for a week to hear all manner of legal issues but land disputes predominate.

An opposition MP O'Love Jacobsen many of those seeking court rulings on land are Niueans living overseas, wanting issues such as title to be determined.

She says there appears to be more tension than in the past and this is partly explained by the uneven access to legal advice.

"The people that don't have access to that kind of help and we don't have anyone here who can do that, they are poorly off. They are the poor cousins down the road who will probably be dismissed in court because they haven't prepared their case correctly or they haven't mentioned the right things and they come away very upset."