20 Jul 2011

Niue public servants being sponsored into private enterprise

3:31 pm on 20 July 2011

Niue's Premier says an increasing number of public servants are joining a scheme that helps them set up their own business.

The government is the biggest employer on the island which is home to an estimated one-thousand-four-hundred people.

A report by New Zealand's Foreign Affairs select committee last year, criticised the size of the public sector, saying it had grown disproportionately at the expense of the private sector.

Toke Talagi says public sector staff who opt to move into private enterprise get a year's salary to help them establish their ventures, which are mainly in tourism.

He says the government's also looking at providing some extra assistance with the costs associated with that.

"Some of them are doing shops, some of them are doing up houses for rent and so on. What is interesting is the fact that last year we only had one take that up, this year we've got eight taking it up. So the numbers are starting to build up and grow. But that's partly to do with the fact that the touirism industry is starting to show signs of growth."

Niue's Premier, Toke Talagi.