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Aid Minister to visit Niue

12 March 2004 Media Statement

Aid Minister to visit Niue

Aid Minister Marian Hobbs will visit Niue this weekend to discuss the island government's plans for recovering from the devastation caused by Cyclone Heta and to reaffirm New Zealand's commitment to maintaining a living community there.

The minister will hold talks with the Premier Young Vivian, the cabinet, private sector representatives and village councils' chairs as well as addressing a public meeting.

New Zealand has pledged $5 million for reconstruction work, its exact use dependent on a needs assessment carried out by the Niue Government. This is in addition to the $800,000 in emergency assistance NZAID allocated immediately after the cyclone.

"The Niue Government has produced a good recovery plan," Marian Hobbs said. "Now it's a question of how it is managed. One of the issues I will be exploring with the Premier is his suggestion for New Zealand to provide a co-ordinator to help implement the recovery plan."

The minister will return to New Zealand on Tuesday night.


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