Teilweise neu: 2002-03-25

Contents of this issue:

 1. Pre-Election News

 2. From The Hustings

 3. The Big Issues

 4. Terrorism Workship

 5. Paper Folds

 6. New Medical School

 7. Stunted Growth

 8. PSA Support

 9. Performers Return

10. Annual Races


Old contents were:

1. End of Era?

2. Team Talk

March 25th, 2002

1. Pre-Election News:

The Niue Cabinet has announced the appointment of the new chairperson of
the Niue Public Service Commission. She is Mrs Tamalua Jackson of
Hakupu. The other commissioners are Mr Togiavalu Pihigia (47) of Tuapa
and Mr Uhotau Pasisi (58) of Alofi South who was re-appointed. Mr
Pihigia recently returned from Australia to reside Niue. He is a former
secretary for justice, clerk of the assembly and director of
administration and is presently private secretary to Premier Sani

In a surprise move the Cabinet dumped previous chairman Mr Maru Talagi
Niue centre director for the University of the South Pacific, Paliati.
Mrs Jackson replaces full time commissioner Mrs Maiu Tiva Tongatule,
Hakupu who has been appointed director of education replacing Mr Kupa
Magatogia of Lakepa. Political observers on the island note the decision
to replace the chairperson has exposed a major rift in the Niue Peoples
Party senior ranks and was made when the Premier Sani Lakatani was
outside the country.

2. From The Hustings:

Niue could have another husband and wife team in the Assembly. The last
such couple were former Premier the late Sir Robert Richmond Rex and
Lady Tuagatagaloa Patricia Rex. Seems Lofa Rex, wife of long time
politician Robert Rex jr, wants to carry on the family tradition and
last night publicly announced her intention to

stand. The former local tv and radio reporter and one-time director of
tourism who now heads Island Hopper Vacations (Niue) Ltd hopes to secure
one of the six common roll seats as an independent. Mrs Rex was recently
elected vice chair of the Niue Chamber of Commerce and represents the
private sector at an EU meeting in Brussels soon. From her Declaration
of Intention: " I believe that voters should have the right to vote for
representatives that are accountable, who lead by example, assertive,
caring, consultative, astute, good listeners, excellent managers and who
plan responsibly for Niue for the medium and long term." Terry Coe
former Cabinet Minister in the spotlight recently when charged with two
counts of theft and one of criminal libel has fired his opening shots in
the election run-up.He's a supporter of the Alliance of Independents and
is pushing for a direct air service Auckland-Niue and will press for TV
Niue being free to air. In his handout Mr Coe says he'll also remove the
10% duty from basic food items, reduce the price of fuel and has pledged
to try and revive the stagnant tourist industry. He also wants a peoples
lawyer, more NZ general practitioners in the health

department, increased public service superannuation contributions from
government and local inquiries set up to examine the $400,000 Coral Air
fiasco, the medical school failure and Q-Tel which took over contractual
rights for sex line leasing from Asia Pacific Telecoms.

3. The Big Issues:

Niue's future as a self governing state features high on the electors
interest list along with security of public service employment and
developing Niue as a clean, green, energy self sufficient showpiece.
Economic observers say the recent research into maintaining a Living
Community indicated there is little backing for establishing the island
as an information technology hub of the Pacific or launching a
satellite, the brain child of Premier Lakatani. "Residents have
positively indicated they want to maintain a low key life-style with New
Zealand living standards and sound subsistence organic agriculture
policies. They also want some eco-tourism and be an example to the world
for energy self sufficiency," write the economic observers. The Niue
Peoples Party which is defending its domination of the Assembly faces
pre-election leadership wrangling, say our political observers. The NPP
faces strong condemnation from the electorate for their handling of he
Coral Air bail out, the failure of the fledgling Lord Liverpool medical
school, the ten high school teachers resignations over better pay, a
cyber city proposal which uncovered an international fraudster, and a
raft of economic development flops including a luxury hotel/casino golf
course and light manufacturing units.

On the other hand the NPP over the past three years provided people with
a "share of the cake" by increasing pensions, village council grants and
sports funding. Its drawn out battle with the OECD over money laundering
is yet to be resolved but government promises to cancel offshore banking
licences seems to have opened the door for long term European Union aid.
The ruling regime has also managed to maintain New Zealand's $6.5
million annual assistance to the government coffers albeit under
stricter control from Wellington.

4. Terrorism Workship:

Two Niue government officials, Fapoi Akesi and Sione Pokau Sionetama,
are attending a 16-member Pacific Islands Forum three day workshop this
week on combating terrorism. It is being held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"We hope to see some practical outcomes on regional coordination and
international cooperation to combat terrorism," said the Secretary
General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr Noel Levi.

"We also look forward to assistance from other states and
organisations to help Forum members in their own efforts in this
area," Mr Levi said. Mr Levi said existing Pacific regional
initiatives, such as the 1992 Honiara

Declaration on Law Enforcement Cooperation, would also help develop the
capacity of Forum members to counter criminal activity as well as
terrorism. Regional efforts to strengthen the regulation of money flows
would also help to combat the financing of terrorism. Other regional
programmes to control the flow of small arms within the region would
improve regional security, while more recent efforts have looked at the
challenge of people smuggling. "Forum members are also examining model
legislation on extradition, mutual assistance in criminal matters, the
forfeiture of the proceeds of crime, the 1988 United Nations Drugs
Convention and measures to counter money

laundering," Mr Levi said. The Honolulu workshop is co-hosted by
Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the
United States.(Forum Secretariat).

5. Paper Folds:

Increased printing and distribution costs have caused the Pasifika Times
newspaper to cease publishing. The Pasifika Times was circulated in
Niue, Tonga and Auckland. The newspaper editor Peter Moala says the
Auckland-based publishing group will continue to publish the Taimi'O
Tonga the Cook Island Star and the Samoa Independent newspapers. Niue
will continue to be served by the locally printed Niue Star which is
circulated fortnightly. Its owner is Michael Jackson a former associate

minister in the Niue Peoples Party government. Over the years, the Niue
Star has received financial support from UNESCO and the NZ High
Commission. Publishers of the Niue Economic Review who joined forces
with Pasifika Times two years ago say the NER will not be revived but
will continue to support the popular daily Niue News On Line.

6. New Medical School:

About 200 people turned up to mark the opening of the Oceania University
of Medicine (Samoa),including the principal investor and chairperson,
American businesswoman Taffy Gould. Mrs Gould pledged to the Samoan
government the investors' commitment to providing an "institution of
high standard and integrity."

Mrs Gould also announced that the school would set up a foundation to
reward doctors or health personnel with innovative ideas that would
improve health care in Samoa.

The launch of the school, which targets international students, follows
the failure of a similar but unconnected medical school venture in
neighbouring Niue. The Lord Liverpool school of medicine which was
housed in the Niue Hotel was backed by US investors but was shutdown by
the Niue Government who transferred the management to university staff
members.The government stoped the investors from visiting Niue to audit
the accounts and discuss the problems with government officials.

The university was closed down in 2001 when the project became
insolvent. Samoa's Minister of Health Mulitalo Siafausa Vui called the
Samoa school a "milestone not only in medical training but in tertiary
education in the country". Oceania University of Medicine says it will
make extensive use of the Internet in delivering programmes.

The Dean is Dr Ian Williams with local practitioner Leali'ifano Dr Iopu
Tanielu as a Professor of Medicine. Seven overseas students have already
enrolled, with the basic annual student fee $A27,000, the school said.
(Various/PINA Nius Online).

7. Stunted Growth:

The Cook Islands tourist industry is losing business to Fiji because of
a lack of airline service, according to Rarotonga Beach Resort General
Manager Tata Crocombe. A heavy fall in visitor numbers last month can be
attributed directly to a reduction in flights to Rarotonga following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, he said.
Visitor numbers to the Cook Islands this year have been falling
steadily. The government announced a massive drop of 23.5 percent in
February compared to the same month last year. Mr. Crocombe said visitor
numbers to the Cook Islands are falling in direct proportion to the
increase in visitors to Fiji, where several international airlines
service Nadi International Airport. Meanwhile Niue's tourist industry
languishes with properties reporting slow bookings for the upcoming May-
September season. The country has excess beds and several smaller
accommodation units lie
idle. Royal Tongan Airlines continues to run two services from
      Nuku'alofa to Niue return weekly with a maximum of 25 passengers.
      But tourism industry officials say that only copes with residents
      and local government business.The national tourism office remains
      without a permanent director until an NZODA review of the office
      has been completed. (Various/ Radio Australia).

1. PSA Support:

The Cabinet has expressed support for the Niue Public Service
Association which represents about 450 government employees on the
island.The association was dormant for several years but was revived
after a teachers strike in 2000 when 10 Niue High School staff protested
over a pay claim which was rejected by the government.The teachers had
no association representation and were unable to pay for qualified legal
advice. Cabinet has called for closer ties with the psa membership which
is necessary for revitalisation of the association in a democracy. The
Cabinet, which is now the caretaker administration until the April 20
general election, has pledged its support for on going dialogue between
the government, the public service commission and the association.

2. Performers Return:

Niue High School cultural performers in NZ for the Auckland Pasifika
secondary schools festival are back home. The cultural team took part in
the opening and closing festival ceremonies.Staff and students said they
enjoyed participating in the festival and visited several secondary
schools and performed at two concerts in the city.

3. Annual Races:

Budding athletes at the Niue High School will demonstrate their talents
at the annual sports day next week. The main events will be track and
field with a decathlon and heptathalon.


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