Niue receives tourism funding boost from NZ

By Talisa Kupenga

The New Zealand Government has announced $5million of funding for renewable energy in Niue in addition to another $5milion already provided to help the island reach its 80-percent renewable energy target by 2025.

Niue will also receive a $750,000 infrastructure boost to improve roads and water networks ahead of this year’s tourism season which locals say is seeing growth.

New Zealand today provided a small boost for Niue’s growing tourism industry, a step closer to self-sufficiency.

Premier of Niue Toke Talagi says, “Our relationship with New Zealand is coming more and more in line with the investment of funds to ensure that we can develop our economy.”

Both leaders say the Niue-New Zealand relationship is shifting from one of donor and recipient to a partnership where Niue is more independent.

“In the past eight years, New Zealand has given us about $15mil.  If you look at the number of tourists coming through you’ll find that that investment, in fact, has given us a very good return," says Talagi.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says, “Making sure that we’re supporting the investment in tourism- even the impact of Air NZ making a decision to make those twice-weekly flights- has made a huge difference and that means that private enterprise has a market that they can meet."

Air NZ is the only airline that flies to Niue. But the tourism industry is currently in talks with Australia and regional carriers to further build visitor numbers.

Chief Executive of Niue Tourism, Felicity Bollen says, “I’ve been coming and going from Niue for the past 20 years and certainly there is a dynamism around the economy and it’s very busy here and there’s lots of opportunity for business here.”

She says, "We are talking at the moment to a regional airline about getting a regional link back into Fiji- that’s looking promising but we’ve got a long way to go yet.”

The delegation leaves for Tonga tonight.