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Peters optimistic about Niue’s future


Rt Hon Winston Peters - Minister of Foreign Affairs

17 March 2006

Peters optimistic about Niue’s future

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his visit to Niue this week has reinforced his optimism about the country’s future.

“New Zealand and Niue have a special relationship, founded on close historical ties, people to people links and unique constitutional arrangements.

“I am leaving here with considerable respect for the resilience of the Niuean people who are rebuilding after the devastation caused by Cyclone Heta two years ago.

“This visit has shown me the complex development challenges facing Niue, and the ways this small nation, home to just 1700 people, is rising to those challenges," Mr Peters said.

During his three-day visit Mr Peters formally opened the new Niue hospital, which is part of a $20 million infrastructure package funded by NZAID.

The hospital represents a highly visible example of the increased cooperation agreed to in 2004 with the signing of the Halavaka Agreement, which reinforced New Zealand budgetary support for Niue.

“It was gratifying to see the tangible benefits to all Niueans that this NZAID-funded hospital will provide.”

Mr Peters also met Niue Premier Young Vivian and other members of the Niue Cabinet, and attended the annual Ministerial Joint Consultative Group (JCG) meeting.

Mr Peters visited a number of other significant NZAID projects in Niue, private sector investments in tourism and agriculture, and a major fishing investment by New Zealand company Reef Group.

Niue has been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974.

ENDS

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