29 May 2007

China to be asked to help solve Niue's ongoing power crisis

5:14 am on 29 May 2007

Niue is to ask China to help rebuild its failing power system.

The island is again suffering debilitating power outages because of a break in the ageing cable supplying the island while there are ongoing problems with the island's diesel generators.

New Zealand is Niue's main aid provider and David Payton, who heads the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Special Relationship Unit, says improved power generation, with four high quality generators, will soon be put in place for the island, but replacing the cable will be difficult and expensive.

Niue's Works Minister, Fisa Pihigia, says the aid money provided by New Zealand is already committed on other projects, and his government is considering alternative sources for the several million dollars needed.

"We have a team led by the Premier going to China next week. That is part of the proposal that are taking with them to see if the Chinese Government is prepared to fund it. We have also looked at another source, through the Global Funding Agency, which is providing funding for climate change and other projects."