The Premier is continuing to receive medical treatment in New Zealand with regular visits to the hospital three times a week, according to the Acting Premier Dalton Tagelagi. He is in touch with his cabinet here on the island although it is not certain when Sir Toke will be able to return. ‘He is eager to return but he is under doctors orders’ said the Acting Premier. It is close to a month now since Premier Talagi left the island. With time on his hands the Premier has been busy posting his memoir on social media and keeping his devoted followers enthralled.
Acting Premier Tagelagi confirmed that a delegation from the Chinese government were here some days ago to continue the discussion of the road sealing project. ‘The road sealing project will start by the middle of next year, but we have also asked them to see if they can do something between now and then’ he added. Meantime at least one school bus owner is facing a hefty bill in replacing parts for the wheels and steering assembly of his bus. Accelerated wear and tear he reckons from climbing in and out of potholes.
Geckos, Katuali and Hega
Ridge to Reef in conjunction with other government agencies are conducting a survey on native geckos, banded sea kraits and the blue-crowned lorikeet. There is much interest in a bush gecko that occurs only here and in American Samoa. None have been caught so far in the traps but what has been caught is a species of ants hitherto unknown. As for the lorikeet, local name Hega, indications are that they too have ceased to exist, unless they have secreted themselves in the deep forest. One of the last reliable confirmed sightings was in 1988/89 when a pair were seen at the Residency at Tapeu – now the NZ High Commission.
After a somewhat shaky start, the controversial departure tax of $80 per person is now in place and earning heaps of money – hopefully. Those who bought tickets after the start date will not feel any pain as the tax is included; those who bought their tickets before the start date will now be required to contribute to the island’s coffers.
In the past nine years there has been no less than five people appointed to chair the Niue Tourism Authority Board. There has been no appointment to the post of CEO since the departure of Felicity Bolens. Former chair of the Board Mrs Saluma Hunt was acting CEO for a time but she has now stepped down. Seems that Felicity and the Minister will be running things from off-shore for a while. Some in the industry say that it is only a matter of time before the Board disappears. No substance to the rumour that Wayne will step in to fill the vacuum.