Tuvalu News


Niue Looking for Tuvaluans to Increase Population

13/10/2003 18:00:43 | ABC Radio Australia News

The small island nation of Niue is turning to Tuvalu in an attempt to solve its under-population problem.

Premier Young Vivian has visited Tuvalu, asking the government if families living on the isolated atolls would like to settle on Niue.

There are major concerns in Niue with the dwindling population, as hundreds of Niueans continue to migrate to New Zealand.

The population has dropped from about 1,800 in 2000 to about 1,600 in 2003.

There are as many as 17,000 Niueans living and working in New Zealand's largest Polynesian city, Auckland.

The secretary to the Tuvalu government, Panapasi Nelesoni, says the invitation is being considered by the government.

Mr Nelesoni says in the past, Tuvaluan families who have moved to Niue have assimilated well into the Niuean community.

Understanding Sought with Niue over Migration
Tuesday: October 14, 2003

The Government of Tuvalu says it has asked Niue to produce a memorandum of understanding detailing what rights Tuvaluans would enjoy if they settled on Niue.

Niue Remier Young Vivianasked Tuvaluís Prime Minister Saufatu Sopoangalast week during the countryís independence celebrations whether Tuvaluans would like to move to Niue.

Sopoanga says he will put the suggestion to the people, but it is up to them to decide, but first he would like Niue to draw up an Memorandum of Understanding. "They should indicate what obligations would the Niue government be prepared to accept these people from Tuvalu on coming to Niue.

Whether these Tuvaluans would have access to land, housing, to education, to health facilities on the island of Niue,' said Sopoanga.

Tuvalu has in recent years called on both New Zealand and Australia to accept more immigration amid fears of the impact of sea level rise, while Niue has lost so much of its population to New Zealand its viability is in doubt.

Mr Vivian says his advice to Mr Sopoanga is that an Memorandum of Understanding is not necessary yet. - RNZI/ PINA Nius

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