Thursday, March 8, 2018

ON NIUE

Not sure that many of you will have been to Niue ... it's pretty much 'out of the way'.    Been there a number of times myself ... in fact if you believe my passport, I'm still there ... but that's another story (thanx to ex Premier Sani Lakatini, a fellow Vietnam veteran).  

Interesting place with a population the size of Martinborough (1600).

It's main source of revenue is foreign aid provided by NZ (Niueans are NZL citizens by right with NZL retaining responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Defence) and remittances sent back from Niueans living in NZL followed by  tourism (especially eco-tourism).    The biggest employer by far is the government ... the police force for example might be consider overmanned with 14 sworn officers which produces a ratio of 1:120 per head of population (that equates to NZL having a police force of 40,000).     Still, that's one way of dealing with unemployment.    There is a prison adjacent to the golf course but it doesn't have any guards ... the senior prisoner locks up for the night.   The prisoner(s) maintains the golf course.   The prisoner's family is responsible for the provision of food.

One thing Niue has in spades is churches.    23 at last count and all competing with each other for souls and dosh.    One suspects there is a fair amount of church hopping.

On a more serious note I applaud the announcement by the Prime Minister of a $5m grant to further grow the development of solar energy with a view to making Niue 80% reliant on solar power.    Running the old diesel fired power station is a huge strain on the economy.    This project will benefit all Niueans.   It is money well spent.

There's not a lot to do in Niue but its a good place to do it in.       Seafood is plentiful and cheap and delicious.   For a bit of an adventure I would recommend you try a Uga hunt (and eat if successful) ... but watch out for the pincer claws.

Only airline servicing Niue is Air NZ and then only twice a week (perhaps).   Hot tip ... Niue is very much a cash society (NZL money) ... don't expect EFTPOS/creditcard facilities except at the Matavai Resort.   It's the sort of place well worth a visit but you probably won't go back for seconds.



22 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a good look, the installation of solar is funded by the Japanese Govt. WTF I thought they were our people and we won the war.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Hmmmmmmm ... to date both the EU and the Japanese governments have been involved in a very modest way. Are you saying the Niuean government should have declined their offer of assistance.

Noel said...

Don't think the Japanese would open a Pacific Quota.
https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/351958/govt-reviews-pension-rules-for-niue-and-cook-islands

The Veteran said...

One thing I forgot to add is that Niue has zip, zero, public debt ... unlike Tonga where the PM is visiting now. There, the King is corrupt as is they government. They have sold their souls to the Chinese and their passports too ... so much so that anyone travelling on a Tongan passport is likely to face enhanced scrutiny and all in the name of maintaining a rag tag bunch of 'nobles' in a style they think they deserve.

Allowing recipients of NZ Super to continue to receive pymts while living in Niue is OK with me ... but there is a downside in terms of their access to enhanced medical care.

Noel said...

I disagree on the super thing.
Niueans and Rarotongans are quick to point out they are New Zealand citizens when it suits them.
If they are going to play that line surely all New Zealand citizens should be treated equally.
If you are a Kiwi in Aussie why should you have to get back here for the 5 years?

Gerald said...

How times change. What the pollies were skating two years ago.

"The 5 years’ residence over 50 rule is about ensuring that there is some connection with New Zealand close to a person’s application for New Zealand superannuation. People born in New Zealand who move overseas prior to the age of 50 and then return to New Zealand at a later stage are also required to meet the 5 years’ residence over 50 rule before they become eligible for New Zealand superannuation. It would be inequitable to remove this requirement for people who have moved to the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau before turning 50 but still require this rule to be met by those New Zealanders who move to other countries and wish to access New Zealand superannuation when they turn 65."

Anonymous said...

Veteran ..what I'm suggesting is that solar power has been around on a commercial basis for twenty years......why didn't the NZ government fund it on a long term loan as it economically viable. The NZ maintenance over the Pacific islands it has jurisdiction over over has always been patchy and in some cases neglectful.

Lord Egbut of Bunbury

The Veteran said...

Folks. ... re Super. Niue is not a sovereign country. It is, for all intents and purposes, part of NZL. Same currency, same passports, not too much different from the Chatham Islands. I support the move. The take-up will be relatively small with those doing so knowing the flip side of their decision is that they will be moving to where there is only basic medical care available.

Egbut ... of course it could have happened earlier but it didn't. Bit like the rebuild of King Edward hospital which was was past it's prime. Note however the Niue government have long decided never to 'do' nor accept loans ... their decision. As a consequence they have nil public debt whereas Tonga!!!!!!!!

Noel said...

When Niue conducted its own foreign affairs and opened diplomatic relations with China sovereignty changed.

Gerald said...

Niueans say they are a Soverign Country.
http://pacificguardians.org/blog/2014/10/14/niue-40-years-on-the-sovereign-road-wheres-the-country-headed/

Noel said...

Like I said they wear the "I a New Zealander" clothes when it's advantageous.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Veteran wants to tear up Maori seats and abolish the Waitangi Tribunal whist advocating special treatment here.

Anonymous said...

A good friend spent a couple of years there as a youngster while her parents taught there (as I recall). She has fond memories of the place - especially the outdoor movies that got shown on occasion. The islanders would shine their torches on the screen to illuminate where the villain was hiding and shout, "There he is" to ensure the hero would be spared.

3:16

The Veteran said...

Anon 9.44 ... special treatment for NZ citizens resident in part of NZL and holding NZ passports.

The Veteran said...

Actually I'm quite intrigued at the comments of those who purport to stick up for the underdog. I repeat ... they are NZ citizens living in what technically is part of NZL. Many of them have served with honor in our armed forces. Niue, the Cooks and Tokelau do not have OAPs so reciprocal agreements ain't possible. So, if they meet the residential requirements, why should they not get the pension?

Compassionate Socialists they are not.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Vet, you, of all people, should know by now 'those who purport to stick up for the underdog' only do so if the underdog agrees to vote the way he is told.

Black Americans have woken up and are deserting 'those who purport' in droves while NZ Maori generally are too dumb to see they have been suckered for years.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... You may care to reference your assertion that Niue has estb diplomatic relations with the PRC. NZL has them and NZL remains responsible for Niuean foreign affairs.

The Bunbury Baker said...

Wikipedia is our friend.

Niue establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China on December 12, 2007.[4] Notwithstanding Niue's constitutional position, the New Zealand government is clear that it does have the capacity and right to establish diplomatic relations with any country, the New Zealand government website stating that:

For all practical purposes Niue conducts its own external relations, including establishing formal diplomatic relations with other states.

The Bunbury Baker said...

More lies, Adolf.

Must be why Clinton overwhelmingly won the vote of all ethnicities other than white.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

No, not lies. You are dealing with ancient history. I'm talking about today.

I'm surprised you don't quote figures from Truman's defeat of Dewey. (If you know who they were, that is.)

The Bunbury Baker said...

Then I guess that explains why 6& of black men and 2% of black women voted for Roy Moore in the special election for the Alabama Senate vacancy. What a huuuuuuge improvement for the Rethugs.

The Veteran said...

The Bunbury Baker ... thank you. I note the reference has it that Niue may had acted unconstitutionally in establishing those relations and that the relationship is in name only as neither Niue or China have in-country representation in each others country.

It maybe seen as part and parcel of China's clear intention to take a lead role in the pacific and that is unfortunate but they are filling a vacuum. Australia plays only lip service to the pacific while less than 40% of our foreign aid is elesewhere.
This is our backyard and I would have thought you could make a case for all our foreign aid to be directed there. Instead, successive governments and ambassadors in missions around the world delight in handing out dollops of aid everywhere including 4% to Africa and Latin America.