25 Sep 2008

Niue Premier asks why New Zealand officials are stopping the release of allocated aid funds

1:51 pm on 25 September 2008

Niue's Premier says he's concerned that New Zealand aid money allocated for crucial development projects remains unused.

Toke Talagi launched a scathing attack on New Zealand aid officials during his Budget speech earlier this month claiming they dictate to Niue how aid money should be spent and how the island should pursue development.

Mr Talagi, who says the actions of the New Zealand officials are often undemocratic, wants to know why 2 million dollars allocated for tourism over the past three years is yet to be spent.

"I am very concerned about the fact that money has been allocated on that amount and the fact that it hasn't been used. For my purposes I don't see that there has been therefore any outputs in relation to the money that has been allocated for that purpose. We need to develop tourism here and it's not being helped at the present moment by the fact those funds are not being spent."

Toke Talagi.

A staff member in the office of New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark, who is acting Foreign Minister, says they are working to resolve the Niue's concerns.