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Niue And NZ Discuss Future Relations

New Zealand’s close relationship with Niue was the focal point of talks between Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Niue Premier Sani Lakatani in Wellington.

Mr Goff said he was pleased to be meeting Mr Lakatani, who was elected Premier in March last year, so soon after taking up his portfolio.

“The Premier and I talked about the constitutional relationship between New Zealand and Niue. Niue and New Zealand have had close ties since 1901 - next year that will mean 100 years of close association,” Mr Goff said.

“We both recognise the importance of close communication and a constructive approach to issues of mutual interest. We are continuing to explore options and will, I believe, come to some joint arrangement before the Premier’s visit concludes on Thursday morning.”

Mr Goff also said it was important that Niue and New Zealand had the closest of relationships, reflecting a common citizenship and history.

“I was pleased with our discussions today; we will be building a foundation upon which to base our relations for the next hundred years.”

There are approximately 18,000 Niueans living in New Zealand and approximately 1700 in Niue. Niue has been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974.

During his visit, Mr Lakatani will also meet the Prime Minister, Ministers of Finance, Pacific Island Affairs, Social Services and Employment, and the Attorney General.

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