NIUE TO GET $13 MILLION FROM NEW ZEALAND

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ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, Oct. 25) – Its been revealed today that New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will sign a new memorandum giving an extra $20 million (US$13.9 million) over five years to Niue for private sector initiatives.

The new funding comes on top of $8.25 million New Zealand contributes to Niue’s annual budget and about $7.5 million allocated for recovery efforts following Cyclone Heta in January.

As part of the island's 30th constitution celebrations, Clark will also take part in a Taoga Niue national fono to plan the preservation of Niuean culture, language, music and traditional practices.

She is to arrive on the island Thursday evening and depart Saturday afternoon.

The memorandum will aim to strengthen a cooperation program between the two countries to help Niue to economic viability through private sector investment, Clark said.

"The memorandum of arrangement will put in place new initiatives costing around $20 million over five years," she said today.

Fewere than 1,300 Niueans live on the island, by some recent estimates, while about 20,000 live in New Zealand.

Helen Clark last visited Niue when she was leader of the opposition.

Niue was hit hard in January by Cyclone Heta, which wrecked much of the island's infrastructure and caused about $55.6 million damage.

Donations: Branches of the Ekalesia Niue church have given $31,000 in offerings during a service in Alofi to celebrate Peniamina, the first Niuean overseas trained missionary who brought the gospel to the island in 1846.

October 26, 2004

Niue News: http://www.niuenews.nu/

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