Niue

New Zealand Aid Programme allocated funding

New Zealand Aid Programme transparency

Snapshot

  • Niue is a small, isolated country 550 kilometres southeast of Samoa. There are about 1,500 people in 14 villages on the island and village life remains the focus for Niue's cultural and political organisation.
  • Niue has been self-governed in free association with New Zealand since 1974 and all Niueans are New Zealand citizens.
  • While Niue's economy is dependent on substantial development assistance from New Zealand, the Niue Government is committed to increasing the country's economic self-reliance.
  • Tourism offers the most significant prospect for economic development, but its advancement depends on improved air services.

Development challenges

  • Niue suffers from a declining population. Over 20,000 Niueans reside in New Zealand drawn by educational and employment opportunities and family ties.
  • The economy is fragile due to shortages of skilled professionals, relative isolation and a small private sector.
  • While absolute poverty is non-existent, the country remains vulnerable to poverty and there is also poverty of opportunity.

New Zealand Aid Programme activities

New Zealand’s development support for Niue for 2010/11 is NZ$19 million. The New Zealand Aid Programme activities in Niue are based on the overall aid programme mandate and the specific development challenges in Niue. Activities and programmes currently underway include:

  • Good governance and supporting and building the capacity of the public sector
  • Strengthening economic development, particularly in tourism
  • Improving and maintaining much of the island’s core infrastructure.

Joint Commitment for Development - Niue

The Joint Commitment (PDF 442KB), signed in September 2011, sets out the priorities for New Zealand's aid and development effort in Niue.

The Governments of New Zealand and Niue enjoy an enduring and special partnership established under the Niue Constitution. All Niueans are New Zealand citizens. This citizenship creates both obligations for the Government of New Zealand and responsibilities for the people of Niue.

New Zealand is Niue’s primary development partner and contributes significant financial and technical support to Niue’s development. Niue also contributes to New Zealand’s cultural richness through the significant number of Niueans resident in New Zealand.

The agreement signals New Zealand's support for key areas such as tourism; private sector growth; social development  and skills training; and provides for whole of government reform in Niue.

Discussions between New Zealand and Niue on progress towards the mutually agreed goals set out in the Joint Commitment for Development will be held  bi- annually.

Please see attachment below.

Governance and the public sector

The Halavaka ke he Monuina Arrangement (Halavaka Arrangement) signed in October 2004 is a five-year arrangement between Niue and New Zealand. The Halavaka Arrangement is designed to:

  • strengthen Niue’s language and culture retention
  • improve economic development opportunities
  • improve the population growth through closer co-operation between the New Zealand and Niuean Governments.

New Zealand’s main form of assistance to Niue is direct budget support to the Niue Government. It is intended to allow the Government to meet its key objectives and accounts for more than half of Niue’s total annual operating budget.

A programme of inter-agency cooperation ($2 million per year for five years) is helping Niue develop closer and more valuable partnerships with New Zealand government departments, as well as providing capacity within Niue's public service.

Through this programme, New Zealand Aid Programme is providing a Chief of Police, support for the New Zealand Inland Revenue to assist Niue in modernising its tax system, and support for the Counties Manukau District Health Board to provide health services.

Infrastructure

In addition to budget support and inter-agency cooperation, the Halavaka Arrangement also provided $20 million over five years to assist Niue achieve its priorities for infrastructure development.

Over the past three years this has involved assisting Niue to:

  • re-build its power station
  • construct a new government administration building
  • build a new hospital
  • upgrade the quarry and purchase essential equipment.

The New Zealand Aid Programme is also working with the Niue Government to improve its asset maintenance functions.

Economic development in Niue

Economic development is a priority for the Government of Niue and the New Zealand Aid Programme is actively working to support this. Funding within the Halavaka Arrangement has been earmarked for tourism development.

New Zealand has also partnered with the Niue Government and Air New Zealand to ensure a regular and reliable air service to Niue. A crucial element of this is the support provided by the New Zealand Aid Programme. This agreement provides the tourism industry in Niue with the level of security and consistency crucial for the private sector to continue investing in this growing industry.

Niue International Trust Fund

In 2006 the Governments of New Zealand, Australia and Niue established the Niue International Trust Fund. New Zealand is the main contributor to the fund, which is now valued at $36 million. The purpose of the fund is to lessen Niue's dependence on external assistance to meet the demands of its core budget. Revenue from the fund is not expected to be drawn down before 2014. Until then, contributions will be made from time to time by New Zealand, Australia and other parties to continue building the fund's resources.