NIUE RENEWS REQUEST TO SUPPORT FISH PLANT

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Wants New Zealand government to share costs

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, December 31, 2008) – The Niue Government will be seeking New Zealand’s help to re-open its fish processing plant when the New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, visits the island for talks next week.

Mr McCully wants to discuss the Fiji situation with Niue’s Premier, Toke Talagi, who is the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, ahead of next month’s emergency summit in Port Moresby.

But Mr Talagi says they also want to ensure New Zealand aid money is better applied on the island so that the economy can be developed.

A key part of this will be assisting the fish processor, Reef Fishing, to take its plant out of mothballs.

[PIR editor’s note: Reef Fishing Group closed its operations on Niue in 2007. But the company, citing jobs it provides on Niue, has since lobbied for financial support from the government of New Zealand.]

"That is one of the key investments that was made some time ago, in association with Reef, and we would certainly be interested to ensure that we can open the facility again and start fishing again. We believe it is one of the major resources that we have and we should take advantage of that and we would like the New Zealand Government and ourselves to work very closely to ensure that we can achieve that."

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