WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Nov. 18) - The Premier of Niue, Young Vivian, has rejected claims that the public has not been informed about the island’s new fish processing plant.

Opposition Member of Parliament O’Love Jacobsen says Niueans have been told little about the joint venture, a US$700,000 factory currently under construction.

She says residents don’t know if social, economic and environmental impact assessments have been made, or whether the fish will be taken from within Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

But Vivian says there has been wide consultation with stakeholders and he dismisses Mrs Jacobsen’s claims.

"We have looked at that, we consulted people about it and it's not a cannery, it's a fish processing plant. We've been to the Cook Islands, we've been to Hawke's Bay and we saw those facilities. It's for processing and packing, and we have worked with the biodiversity people and the organic group whoa re going to use the waste product."

Vivian says a key part of the joint venture is to exploit Niue’s fish resource, so the boats supplying the factory will fish within the country’s EEZ.

November 19, 2003

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