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Kiwi officials don’t understand country’s needs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 11, 2008) – An Opposition member of parliament in Niue says New Zealand and Niue have to try and sort out the fundamental problems affecting the island.

During yesterday’s Budget debate the Premier, Toke Talagi, launched a withering attack on New Zealand Foreign Affairs officials for dictating how Niue had to spend aid and how it should pursue development.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, says, through a spokesperson, that she values the relationship with Premier Talagi and will be working to resolve the issues.

Opposition Member of Parliament Terry Coe shares Mr Talagi’s concerns.

He says aid officials are not on the island often enough, or for long enough periods, to fully understand the problems residents’ face.

"To fix this problem we’ve got to sit down and talk, we’ve got to come together properly and put all the cards on the table and show what Niue’s got to show quite clearly, where this accountability is taking place."

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