15 Apr 2011

Hotel development aided by New Zealand underway on Niue

4:47 pm on 15 April 2011

A hotel extension on Niue, paid for with nearly five million US dollars from the New Zealand aid programme, is about to get underway.

It is part of a project to create a viable economy based around tourism and to make the island less dependent on foreign aid.

The minority owners of the Matavai Resort, Niue's only hotel, have been bought out and a trust and company set up to oversee the project.

One of the trustees is New Zealand high commissioner, Mark Blumsky, who's also a tourism advisor to the island.

He says once the work is done, the hotel will be returned to the people of Niue.

Mr Blumsky says as much as possible Arrow Construction will use local workers and materials on the job.

"At the end of the day the mandate for both the trust and the company is to utilise local labour, to train up local labour so that when we leave you've got fully trained people. You are leaving like a legacy behind. Arrow were out today shopping on ther island for timber, for paint, a whole lot of equipment that they want to purchase locally so there'll be a huge upside for local business and, if you like, for the tax payers of Niue through this work."

New Zealand high commissioner Mark Blumsky.