4 Apr 2020

Niue launches over $US4m stimulus package

11:31 am on 4 April 2020

Niue's government has announced a $US4.1-million Covid-19 stimulus package to keep the island running over the next three months.

This would be divided across various sectors of the economy.

Health, public utilities and vulnerable citizens will receive extra funding, but also businesses, through wage subsidies and interest free loans for food security.

Niue government buildings

Niue government buildings Photo: RNZ/ Sally Round

Government agencies will get more assistance where extra staff are required.

Additionally, the Niue Development Bank was offering businesses loan repayment holidays, and the government some tax relief on imports.

Meanwhile, 60 Niuean nationals currently in quarantine would be joining the community today.

Flights heavily restricted

Earlier the government restricted travel to the island, with the twice-weekly Air New Zealand flight cut back to one weekly flight arriving Mondays, from Auckland.

A small number of passengers was being allowed to travel every second week, with the number based on Niue's ability to manage strict quarantine provisions.

Passengers can only travel on every second fortnightly flight when 26 passenger seats are available, and all arrivals will be ferried immediately to the strict 14-day quarantine at the Matavai apartments.

The government said the weekly service would maintain national security in medical supplies, food and construction materials and all other critical essentials.

It said it would also ensure that work could be completed on the wharf and other key infrastructure damaged by January's Cyclone Tino.