16 Feb 2007

NZ official says Niue accepts need for change

7:51 pm on 16 February 2007

A New Zealand government official says there is now an acceptance on Niue that residents need to make a better effort to pay their taxes and meet other obligations to the government.

The Niue government is facing a budget shortfall and is considering several avenues for cutting spending.

David Patton, who heads the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs special relationship unit, has been on the island this week.

He says he has been encouraging Niueans to look at both cost cutting and raising revenue.

"We are talking about making sure that all those who have obligations to pay, whether it be for services or pay import duty or whatever, understand that that is not an option, it is a mandatory requirement, and certainly in talks with the private sector there has been a willingness on their part to acknowledge that there's been some shortcomings, there's been some shortfalls."

David Patton