28 Apr 2011

Former Niue premier Young questions tourism plan

3:34 pm on 28 April 2011

A former premier of Niue, Young Vivian, says he has reservations about the major tourism development being driven by the New Zealand government.

Tens of millions of dollars is to be spent to improve accommodation and infrastructure as the New Zealand government believes creating a viable tourism industry will give Niue independence.

But Mr Vivian, who is running for parliament again in next week's general election, is not so sure.

He says to give a sense of confidence to the people that the country has a future he wants to help people repair their houses, encourage them to grow gardens and fruit trees, and not be reliant on outside help.

"When you give a sense of independence, you give them confidence that they could stay here and survive here and have quite a peaceful way of life, but if you're going to see the other people coming and taking the top jobs, managing the tourist industry and building buildings by people from overseas, we are going to be left behind, picking up the crumbs."