Oh for a typewriter…my kingdom for a horse…and so on. If only things were that simple – but if it was, you wouldn’t be reading this. In this technologically driven age that we live in, when high tech equipment break down, we ask, how did we cope without phones or computers or cars or the Internet? Enough.
Our apologies for the silence but we’re back – thanks to a kind nephew in Auckland, who came to our aid with a laptop.
Here’s a brief summary of some of the happenings on the island while we were off-line.
Hike In Liquor Licence
Owners of liquor outlets are unhappy with the increase in the annual licence fee from $150 to $500 and have made representations to the re-activated Liquor Board headed by MAM Talaititama Talaiti. Co-owner of Falala Fa Restaurant Lofa Rex said on national television that there was no consultation with the Board before the hike.
The derrick at Sir Robert’s wharf has undergone a major refit, costing in the vicinity of around $100,000. Two engineers from New Zealand assisted by staff from Fisheries and the Mechanical Workshop have spent a week and half working on the upgrade, replacing the electric motor, cable and pulleys.
According to the engineer in charge Mr Paul Hudson, the old installation had worn out and it was posing a hazard. In the harsh environment of the wharf, Mr Hudson said that regular maintenance is almost compulsory.
The old installation was the brainchild of Ken Cairns a former mechanic at the old Public Works Department who was also responsible for the construction of a trailer to lift and move containers.
Postscript: After running for just a day or so, the derrick has unfortunately, come to a standstill. Local staff are consulting with the NZ engineers.
‘Population Increase’ is the type of headline that can send Niue’s development planner into a spin! It’s what the island wants, we need more people etc. Yes our population has increased – well, sort of. A census conducted in March has shown that the island’s population stands at 1,716, but of that number, 130 were visitors. We have therefore a resident population of approximately 1,590 – let’s be generous and say 1,600.
Of those who live here, 760 are males and 826 females. As expected Alofi South has the most number of people at 393. Hakupu has increased from 129 to 188. Namukulu is the smallest village on the island with 10. Alofi North has taken a tumble from 215 down to 158.
There are in total 485 dwellings.
Visitors from the Sea
A low pressure area to north-west of the island is bringing unsettled weather with strong winds and heavy swells making conditions somewhat challenging for visiting yachts. The island is expecting a fleet to arrive over the next day. This is part of an annual event. While here, the yachties will be hosted by the Niue Yacht Club.