The island is getting ready for a whirlwind visit by the New Zealand Prime Minister Hon Bill English and the new Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Gerry Brownlee. This will be the Prime Minister’s first visit to Niue since taking over from John Key, likewise it will be Gerry Brownlee’s first since taking over from Murray McCully.
While here, Mr English and Mr Brownlee will be consulting with the Premier and his cabinet. The Prime Minister will also be opening the new extensions to the Matavai Resort which includes a conference centre and a new two-storey accommodation block.
Extensions to the Matavai, the only hotel on the island, are being funded by New Zealand in an attempt to strengthen the tourist industry. The new extensions is said to be costing close to $10m.
Accompanying the Prime Minister is a party of some 60 people consisting of politicians, business people, non-government organisations and the media. While officials are tucked away in consultations with the Niue government, the rest of the party are being looked after by the Niue Chamber of Commerce who is organising tours and a business expo.
The first function to be hosted at the new Matavai Conference facility will be the Chamber of Commerce’s business awards for 2017 to be held next Saturday.