11 Dec 2008

Niue premier says excess fuel hurts finances

12:27 pm on 11 December 2008

The Premier of Niue, Toke Talagi, says the purchase of too much jet fuel for the Pacific Islands Forum summit in August has left his Government out of pocket for the past six months.

Mr Talagi says when he was elected in June he was forced to seek short-term bridging finance from New Zealand to cover the cost of the fuel, much of which was not needed.

He says adding to the island's financial dilemma has been the fall in the value of the fuel.

Mr Talagi says his Government has been trying to figure out how it happened because who ever ordered clearly did not know what they were doing.

"I think the balance is about one million dollars of jet fuel that is still left on the island that we are not going to be able to sell quickly to Air New Zealand, until possibly June of next year. That's the prediction. What we have been indenting to do is see if we can sell this fuel or use it by mixing it with diesel to see if we can use it that way."

Toke Talagi