11 Oct 2007

Niue brings forward Constitution Day to allow Helen Clark to attend

2:45 pm on 11 October 2007

Niue has brought forward next week's Constitution Day by 24 hours to allow the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to take part.

Constitution Day is the centrepiece of a week of celebrations marking Niue's 33rd year of independence in free association with New Zealand.

Activities will include concerts, canoe racing, dancing and a national show day, with the country's 450 public servants given the week off to enable them to take part.

The Niue Premier, Young Vivian, says the island wants to show its thanks to Miss Clark.

"Particularly in the Taonga Niue in terms of language and in terms of other things that we have done. I think a lot of this was in her time. You will recall that we signed the Halavaka ke he Monuina - that was 20 million dollars assistance for five years on major projects."

The New Zealand Prime Minister will be travelling on to Niue after the Forum summit in Tonga.