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Niue/New Zealand Relationship

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
HON PHIL GOFF
HON SANI LAKATANI

2 February 2000

NIUE/NEW ZEALAND RELATIONSHIP

The Premier of Niue, Hon Sani Lakatani, accompanied by the Deputy Premier and officials, visited New Zealand from 31 January to 3 February at the invitation of the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Hon Phil Goff.

While in New Zealand, the Premier met with Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Ministers of Finance, Social Services and Employment, the Attorney-General and Pacific Island Affairs and held detailed consultations with Mr Goff.

The Premier and Mr Goff jointly decided that in the context of the 100th anniversary next year of the establishment of links between Niue and New Zealand, it is timely to undertake a comprehensive review of the partnership and its operating process.

Since Niue attained self government in free association with New Zealand in 1974, many changes have occurred in both countries. Of concern to both governments has been the continuing decline in Niue’s population. The maintenance of a viable cultural community in Niue has also proved difficult.

Ministers decided to establish a Joint Consultative Group to look into and make recommendations to both governments on how best to enhance the working partnership in coming years, taking account of the shared obligations and responsibilities arising from common citizenship, and mutual expectations of the constitutional relationship.

Matters for consideration will include provisions raised by Niue?s Constitutional Review Committee; New Zealand assistance to Niue; air services arrangements; and recent developments in offshore financial services and the Internet.

The aim is to have the Consultative Group hold its initial meeting in Niue before the end of March 2000.

ENDS

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