5 Feb 2008

Niue landowners wary of hotel project - reports

2:14 pm on 5 February 2008

There are reports that landowners in Niue are unhappy with the way a 10 million US dollar hotel and golf project is being handled.

The hotel is being funded by Chinese private investors.

The Premier Young Vivan says plans for the project are quickly advancing, with the 100-room hotel expected to be ready in time for the Pacific Islands Forum in August.

An independent member of the Niue Assembly, Terry Coe, says some landowners are not pleased with the lack of transparency surrounding the project.

"I believe that the proper procedures for the land titling are not being followed and I believe that some of the landowners are concerned the government is rushing this rather than following the correct procedures. And also the compensation of what people are going to be paid has not been settled. To me that needs to be settled prior to going much further than using the land."

Terry Coe says with no private lawyers on the island, no one has been able to get legal adivce.

Premier Vivian says he's unaware of any dissatisfaction among landowners, saying it's a private sector initiative that has the government's blessing.