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Hon Speaker_

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									Speech by the Hon Premier Toke Tufukia Talagi on the Occasion of the
                             34th Constitution Celebrations
                                          20th October 2008.


Hon Speaker and your family,
Hon Ministers of Cabinet and your families,
Hon Members of the Legislative assembly and your families
President Ekalesia Niue and your family
All the Churches on the island
Former Premier Hon Young Viavian and Hon Frank Fakaotimanava Lui and your
families,
His Excellency Ambassador Zhang Limin Mrs Limin and your delegation,
His Excellency Bryan Smythe and Mrs Smythe
Secretary to Government Mr Richard Hipa and Mrs Hipa,
Chairperson of The Niue Public Service Commission and your fellow Commissioner
All Heads of Departments and your families,
Heads of Statutory boards
Village councillors
Children
Ladies and gentlemen


Fakaue fakamua ke he Atua ha kua takitaki mai e ia e tau momoui oti ha tautolu kua
maeke ai ke feleveia he aho nei.


Ko e aho nei ko e aho ke fakamanatu aki e tuaga pule fakamotu ha Niue. 34 e tau tau kua
mole he tu tokotaha ai a Niue mo e loa he hala ne omai ai a tautolu.


Logona e au he Aho Tapu he fakamatala mai he Matua ko Moka Jack Willie Lipitoa,
molea e valu e (800) e teau ne vili ai ke pule fakamotu a Niue. Molea fakatote e 100 ne
vili ai talia ti 24 ne nakai totou e tau vili.
Ti ko e haia e fakakieteaga he tau tagata he mahina a Sepetema he tau 1974.        Ko e
viliaga nei ati fakahoko ai e aho Pule fakamotu ha Niue he aho nei 34 e tau au kua mole
ki tua.


Kitia ai e tautolu e nakai fakaua ua e tau tagata Niue moe manako ke pule fakamotu a
tautolu.




It is an honour for me to welcome the Peoples Republic of China’s first ambassador to
Niue, His Excelleny Zhang Limin and Mrs Limin and his delegation on this special
occasion. The friendship that Niue and China has developed over the years has been
based on mutual friendship and common purpose. This will endure over the coming years
and is strongly based on our one China policy. I also take this opportunity to thank the
Chinese Government for its funding of the Airport developments, housing and asbestos
re-roofing as well as the Forum meeting.


Your Excellency please convey to His Excellency President of Hu Jintao our most
grateful appreciation for his and his Government’s assistance and support. We value it
greatly.


We believe that Niue must build its international profile with those countries like China
who wish to formalise diplomatic ties. We will be making announcements of further
diplomatic ties with other friendly countries in the coming months.    History will note
though that China is the first country to recognise Niue diplomatically formally and I
thank the Chinese Government for that honour. I acknowledge the former Premier Hon
Young Vivian and his Government who initiated and finalised these arrangements in
December last year.


On occasions of this importance we reflect on what has transpired with respect to the
developments of our country.
Therefore I would like to start by highlighting some of the developments that have taken
place over the past 3 months or so and to look ahead towards what we would like to do as
a government. As you all know much of my time has also been taken up by my Forum
Chair responsibilities and this will continue to be the case over the coming year.


Much of what I want to say with respect to Niue’s relationship with NZ has been said and
I look forward to an improvement in the outcomes from funds earmarked. If process
continues to hamper these funds use for the development of Niue, we will continue to
have critical differences which will not be conducive to good relations. I challenge the
NZ officials and our own officials to step up and stop the procrastination and delays.


We have an enduring and lasting friendship based on constitutional and close political
and social ties. We have a very special relationship and over the past 3 months I have re-
established excellent rapport with the NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark. She has been a
true friend of Niue and I want to place on record my appreciation and gratitude for all she
has done for Niue.


She will be in the middle of an election campaign which will decide the future leadership
of New Zealand. I wish her and Mr. John Keys the very best in their campaigns.


We have hosted a very successful Forum much to the delight of many of our supporters
and friends. I again thank our people for their hard work and our supporters and friends
who contributed both in kind and funding.


The budget has highlighted again the very fragile nature of our small economy. As you
will all be aware one of my main focus over the past 3 months has been to stabilise our
financial position, and establish a sounder financial base for our economy. Our economic
performance has been hampered by our current budget difficulties and we must address
this together with solutions which will be permanent and lasting with good reserves as
backup. I am sick of our cash flow problems and hope to fix this once and for all over the
coming 3 years.
These difficulties have not been helped by an oversupply of aviation fuel ordered by the
scoping committee for the Forum.
Fuel prices and the current world economic and financial turmoil will impact on Niue
with increased prices. This is a global phenomenon which has impacted every country in
the world and we are not immune.


Our budget problems require careful management and we will do these using
micromanagement methods to assist the worst performing departmental trading activities
as well as improving the better performing ones. We must also reduce waste and time
wasting. Improving our productive capacity is not hard and I hope that with the tax cuts
we are offering you will use this as an opportunity to improve your own personal
performance in the workplace.


We will also improve our revenue base with the introduction of a Niue Consumption tax .
Our tax system will also be simplified and adjustments made so that workers will get
more money in their pockets from reduction in tax rates.


We have already announced our alternative energy policies and plans are well in place to
introduce these next year and help reduce our electricity costs to everyone. This is part of
our contribution to climate change and its impact on the region.


This government will be increasing the old folks pension as part of its plans for
introducing NCT. We have agreed to maintain the child benefit as they are but will be
adjusting the budget so that these costs can be factored in to the equation. Some things
will be sacrificed as a result.


I am very pleased to announce that this Government has negotiated and finalised a $2.5m
agreement with NZ Mint over the next 5 years. We will be looking at using part of these
funds to buy a new High Commissions Resident in Wellington and possibly a new Office
building. I see these property investments as part of the critical investments that we must
build up to provide Niue with some degree of comfort and backup in support of any short
term budget problems.


I am particularly pleased to report that Niue has been shown to be one of the best
performing destinations for Air New Zealand.       My advisors tell me that despite the
current financial and economic turmoil worldwide, we are very well placed to continue to
grow and increase tourism numbers. Our market base in NZ is currently targeted at 13%
of the population who have 26% of the wealth.


And on this subject of tourism I will be making formal representations to Hi Excellency
Ambassador Zhang Limin to grant Niue most favoured nation status for Chinese tourists.


We need to build more accommodation of a quality which will help us grow even more in
the future. But we will also need to develop our tourism industry in all its facets so we
can fully take advantage of the benefits from this growth. Our objective is to build up to
200 rooms and increase tourism numbers to 10,000 per annum.


This will mean jobs for the builders, plumbers, tourism workers which will trickle
through to the small and large businesses on the island. It will also help our market
stallholders improve their sales. In other words the private sector will be given every
opportunity to grow and develop the economy.


We are currently in discussions with Reef to determine the way forward for the fishing
industry. I hope to make an announcement on this in the coming months.


The fishing industry is important because we must take advantage of our vast ocean.
In conjunction with this is the fact that the fish products we process and export will also
make shipping viable.
With respect to shipping we hope to finalise a new shipping agreement before years end.
This agreement will provide more certainty of monthly services as well as freight rates
and fuel and exchange rates changes or CABAF as some of you may be aware.


I am also pleased to see that the Nonu farm has been able to produce and sell its
production to a Japanese buyer. I understand that Reef will be looking at buying nonu
from the public again soon and await their announcements on these developments.


The vanilla project requires some work to improve its management and marketing.
Unfortunately this industry has not been going as well as it should and we are reviewing
this industry with a view to improving its performance.


Our social and community obligations towards health, education and old folks and
pensioners needs to be reviewed and brought up to date. These sectors need support so
that they can improve the delivery and efficiency of services to the community and our
children.


Our children are our future and will be given all the support necessary so that they can
contribute to Niue’s future wellbeing and development.


This government believes that we must look at new ways to help our old folk who
deserve to be supported in a meaningful manner. Housing them is one thing, providing
other activities and support for them, are equally important. Let me add that this should
not be treated by our politicians as a political football. We will help our children and old
folk as we will help everyone who wished to live and stay on Niue. These are
fundamental principles which are set very firmly in this government’s future
developments.


Finally let me talk about our population, Taoga Niue and the future of Niue.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about the future of Niue. This future is as bright
and clear as the days sun is warm and shining. Make no mistake about our vision for the
future of Niue and its potential for investment especially in tourism and tourism related
activities.


The fact that so many foreign investors are interested in Niue especially in the areas of
tourism related businesses is not surprising to me. There are a number of factors which
have accounted for this interest. The first is Air New Zealand. The second is the new
discovery of Niue as a tourism destination. The third is the fact that Niue is a very
attractive place to live and do business and make a very attractive life with an excellent
lifestyle.


The major constraint to this development is land and our attitudes to using land for
business purposes other than subsistence taro growing. We as a people must look at land
as an investment. Sometimes when land is used for purposes other than taro growing-
which is an investment in itself, people cannot extend this vision to a longer term
investment system. We must adjust this thinking and start to take advantage of the free
land we have for making money and creating wealth for ourselves.


We know that on this earth this is Niue’s piece. It stretches from the Beveridge in the east
to halfway to Tonga in the west, Samoa in the north and 200 kilometres south. Many of
us are used to the idea of Niue as we see and know it. but take any Pacific map and look
at its size and you will realise the scale of what Niue and Niueans own on this earth. This
is ours and ours on this earth. This is the physical environmental Taoga that we all own
as Niueans. This includes all the fish in the sea and what I have often referred to as our
fish farm


I have said and Prime Minister Helen Clark and I hold the same view. That Niue must be
maintained as the stronghold and bastion of all things Niue.     This large, and vast land
and sea area, which we refer to as our exclusive economic zone, live the only true keepers
of the Taoga Niue.
I have also made clear to all of you before, population in terms of numbers is relatively
easy to achieve. We have for example a total annual population of 5000 at present. That
is what the infrastructure is coping with at present. A large portion of these numbers are
tourists but that still does not alter the fact that 5000 people lived in Niue over the past
year and used up facilities and bought goods etc. This is also why NCT is so critically
important.


Ladies and gentlemen if you can all see what I see, what the foreign investors are seeing
and picture Niue in the same manner, we will all enjoy a much better lifestyle in the
future.   This government will help you realise those dreams and vision so we can all
benefit from the potential that our country Niue has. We will need to work together and
harder and smarter to achieve these things for ourselves.


We challenge our cousins and people living overseas to return and invest and live in this
Niue Taoga. You don’t need an invitation from us. You do not need an invite to come
home.


God Bless Niue and the 34th year of Self Government

								
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