9 Mar 2007

Niue drops judge's six monthly visit because of lack of money

2:56 pm on 9 March 2007

Niue's ongoing financial problems have meant the planned visit next month by the island's chief justice, New Zealand judge Heta Hingston, has been delayed.

The secretary of justice, Tongia Sioneholo, says they hope there will be enough funding in the new financial year to allow judge Hingston to visit in September or October.

The chief justice hears civil, criminal and land court matters, including appeals, within the Niue jurisdiction.

Mr Sioneholo says they had budgetted for the costs of Mr Hingston visiting but this amount was cut back by parliament.

The island has been under severe financial pressure for several months and last month government spending was reduced across the board, including a ten percent cut in salaries for all workers.