12 Feb 2007

New Zealand partly blamed for Niue's financial woes

3:47 pm on 12 February 2007

A businessman in Niue says New Zealand is partly to blame for the latest financial crisis on Niue and New Zealand's aid agency has to change the way it hands out money.

The Niue government is set to cut spending after plunging into the red with five months of the financial year to run.

Mark Cross from the Niue Chamber of Commerce says New Zealand has helped foster the problems by giving millions in aid support to successive governments which have mismanaged it.

He says money, such as an allocation for tourist housing, should be given directly to proven private sector operators, rather than being routed through the Cabinet.

"As a Chamber of Commerce we are trying to tell them to change their policy and give it to people with track records directly - forget about going through cabinet - you know, the private sector will use that money sensibly and intelligently, but if it goes through cabinet they will give it to their friends and family."

Mark Cross