NIUE FOREST PROJECT A BUST

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ALOFI, Niue (Pacnews, April 23) — Niue’s big re-forestation
project has collapsed.

The New Zealand funded aid program was designed to plant
thousands of hectares of pacific hardwood, which could be harvested in 40 years.

But five years on, the trees are not growing well and landowners
who leased land for the project have bowed out.

They were being paid to keep tree lines clear. However with
increased migration, there is no one to look after the trees.

A consultant from New Zealand has been working with landowners
and the government to tidy up the project but sources from Wellington say NZAid
will not allocate any more funds for the failed reforestation project.

In other news, Premier Young Vivian has confirmed that six out
of 350 people who own derelict homes on the island have agreed to have their
homes demolished.

The six are from the premier’s home village of Hakupu.

The old hurricane homes built in the early 1960s have become an
eyesore and government wants them demolished before the Pacific Leaders Summit
to be held on the island next year.

There have been criticisms from Niuean homeowners living
overseas to the demolition because they fear they could lose their village land.

April 23, 2003 

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