8 Feb 2018

Call for Niue to establish better maintenance of infrastructure

7:23 pm on 8 February 2018

Successive governments in Niue have failed to put in place proper maintenance programmes for key infrastructure, a former Niue diplomat and businessman says.

Toke Talagi

Sir Toke Talagi Photo: RNZ/ Indira Stewart

The comments from Hima Douglas come as the Niue government approaches New Zealand for help to repair the island's ailing roads, water and electricity systems.

In discussions this week with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Winston Peters, Niue's premier indicated he wanted to discuss future capital funding, with a focus on the infrastructure network.

Niue's infrastructure was old and needed replacement, Sir Toke Talagi said.

Historically Niue had been very good at putting up new structures but then failing to set up maintenance plans, Mr Douglas said.

"After we put up a brand new building, we leave it alone without any maintenance for the next five to ten years. It gets to the stage where somebody wakes up and says 'Listen, this has deteriorated beyond repair,'" he said.

"That's one of the problems. I think we have failed somewhat in trying to have a programme of ongoing maintenance on some of our assets."