6 Dec 2007

Concern over restrictions on Indians wanting to return home from Niue via New Zealand

4:19 pm on 6 December 2007

Concern is growing for a group of Indian nationals who reportedly want to leave Niue, but can't.

The 13 men were brought to Niue in 2006, in an attempt to solve a labour shortage.

Megan Whelan reports.

"Radio New Zealand International understands at least three of the men now want to leave, including one who is unwell, but can not because there is only one flight off the island, and it transits through Auckland. The New Zealand department of labour says it is assisting Niue to consider options for the group, but that it needs to be assured they genuinely intend to be in New Zealand only for the purpose of reaching a further destination. Maru Talagi, one of the directors of Niue Enterprise Agriculture, which brought the men to the Island, says none of the men have told him they want to go home. He says most of them are genuine, but he does suspect one of them might try to disappear in New Zealand. The Niue Government is currently conducting an investigation into the matter."