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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 28) – Niue is being warned that it will cost several million dollars to replace its main power cable.

The island experienced more electricity shutdowns at the weekend with many without power for a day and a half after an apparent break in the ageing co-axial cable which circles the island.

The head of New Zealand foreign affairs special unit overseeing the relationship with Niue, David Payton, says the island will shortly have a much improved power generation facility after a debilitating fire last year.

But he says how the cable is to be replaced is yet to be debated.

He says it will be costly.

"And the key issue is what is the capacity need for that type of cable because of course power needs have changed significantly in the last 30 years and the key question will be what is the base load needed for such a cable and would it be better to address the reticulation issues in a slightly different way."

Mr Payton says this could include using renewable energy and generating power from other points on the grid.

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