11 Jun 2009

Forum Fisheries Agency ready to support re-opening of Niue processing plant

6:15 pm on 11 June 2009

The Forum Fisheries Agency says it's prepared to support a re-opening of Niue's mothballed fish processing plant.

The plant's owner, Reef Group, says it's hoping New Zealand's Prime Minister will decide to support restarting the operation after he visits the country early next month.

The Auckland-based company's managing director, John Gresson, says now conditions have improved, the processing plant's future is viable again and he's awaiting the results of a feasibility study into value-added product.

But the Forum Fisheries Agency's director of fisheries development, Len Rodwell, says it's only conducted a pre-feasibility study and is awaiting the go-ahead to do the more detailed work necessary to justify recommissioning the plant.

"We've indicated to the government of Niue that we're prepared to do some more detailed work as a follow-up to that initial pre-feasibility and also to provide some technical assistance over probably a 12-month period to assist the plant in its operations should it be decided that they will reactivate the plant."

Len Rodwell of the Forum Fisheries Agency.