Island Roundup – Monday 9
So long Sir
Niue has always had its fair share of colourful characters. One such character, in more recent times, would have to be Tufohe Kaiuha, known to one and all as Sir, a nickname he earned from his habit of addressing any male he respects. On Saturday 30 September, his family and friends gathered at his home in Liku to pay their last respects and to farewell Sir. He passed away in New Zealand the week before and his family brought him home, back to the place and people he served so faithfully over many years. Fohe was of the old school who didn’t allow too much bureaucratic red-tape to get in the way of getting the job done. In that regard Sir was one of a kind. Soar with the stars buddy.
New Manager for Scenic Matava
The Island’s premier tourist accommodation the Scenic Matavai has a new manager. After two and half years Simon Jackson has ended his contract and is heading back to the big smoke. His replacement is Mr Mathew Brettell. Simon’s stint as manager saw Matavai expand even further with the addition of another double-storey accommodation block and a new conference facility. Those in the know say that Simon had lifted Matavai’s image and performance to a new level.
Tourism Codes and Policy
To mark world Tourism Day, the island’s Tourism Office released three documents; Responsible Tourism Policy for Niue which contains minimum standards and certification, Niue Tourism Business Code of Practise and the Niue Visitor Code of Conduct. The documents were prepared with assistance from a consulting company TRC – Tourism Recreation Conservation. Overall emphasis is on sustainable development.
Premier to Return for Constitution
Nothing official yet but it appears that the Premier Sir Toke Talagi will return to the island on Friday 13th in time for the 43rd Constitution Celebrations. It is not clear if he is here to stay or not. Meantime the celebrations marking the island’s 43rd year of self-government has already started with an exhibition of the Kings of Niue at Taoga, a walk for life sponsored by the Heath Department and a fishing contest organised by the Vaka Association. The boaties are holding theirs on Friday 13th.
New Search and Rescue Craft
The Niue Police has a new Search and Rescue boat provided under aid from New Zealand. The 8 metre craft arrived this week on the MV Liloa’s normal monthly calls. With the increasing demand by visitors for water-borne activities together with the ever growing number of small fishing boats, the new boat is welcomed addition to the island’s search and rescue assets. In the meantime, engineers from New Zealand are working to fix an intermittent fault with the new winch at the wharf.
With only one shipping call to go before the Christmas break, local business houses are have shifted into top gear to meet the expected demand. Most businesses say forget the December ship – there is simply not enough time to get the goods on the shelves. Meantime the arrival of the ship MV Liloa in the weekend has meant working the vessel on Sunday. Purely by coincidence, the ship arrived in the middle of a discussion on working on Sundays, triggered by the Niue Power Corp’s scheduling maintenance work on the Sabbath. While opinion is divided, the majority appear to be leaning towards maintaining the status quo; no Sunday work unless it’s unavoidable.
While the international community are celebrating Niue’s decision to turn part of its ocean heritage – Beveridge Reef – into a most welcomed marine reserve most people on the island were unaware that this was about to happen. That is not to say however that the move has not been supported – on the contrary the few people we have spoken to say that for far too long the Reef has been largely at the mercy of poachers. If we cannot harvest the reef ourselves then it’s best that it be left alone in the hope that in time it will become the source of replenishment for our stock. The question of how we police our new reserve has been partly addressed by Premier Sir Toke in his interview with overseas media – use UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.