3 Jun 2013

Niue premier says new wharf no priority

5:31 am on 3 June 2013

The premier of Niue, Toke Talagi, doubts the country needs a longer wharf.

A scoping study is underway to determine whether it is feasible to extend the island's modest wharf at Alofi and construct a boat harbour.

Given the geophysical constraints - the lack of a natural harbour, the deep seas and narrow reef - any such development is likely to come with a huge price tag.

Mr Talagi agrees but says a bigger wharf is not a priority for the island.

"In the analysis that we would be completing to determine in fact if it is worth spending that amount of money for the use of the port, which is once every 3 months for the ship [Matson's freighter], quite regularly by small boat owners and so on, but in relation to the airport, and my belief at the present moment is that we should focus our attention on the airport. Just make sure the port is fine, will do what it is supposed to do at the present time, but the airport is our present focus."

The Premier of Niue Toke Talagi.

A 20 metre extension built by United States Navy SeaBees in 1998 was wrecked later by Cyclone Cora.