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The Water Saga Continues


The Water Saga continues

The second sitting of the Niue Assembly on Thursday 1 March afforded an opportunity for the government to explain further the latest developments regarding the island’s water supply and its intention to bottle and sell the water. In reply to a question from the Member for Mutalau Mrs Maureen Melekitama the Premier Sir Toke Talagi told the House of his dissatisfaction over how the whole issue of contaminants had been handled and said that if the water was that bad, how many people on the island have had to be hospitalised as a result of drinking less than pure water.

The answer to that is probably none he said. He questioned the composition of the members of a Water Committee, set up particularly to deal with the water issue. None of the members on this Committee according to the Premier possess the necessary knowledge and qualification to be able to interpret the data from various tests. His intention is to have another look at the membership of this Committee.

Glass Of Water – pic ClaudeNine

Premier Talagi advised the Assembly that the local water supply will not be jeopardised by the bottling plant. He quoted a study that showed that only 3% of the total available supply from the water table is drawn for normal island-wide use. When the bottling plant is finally operational, the total to be drawn would be between 7% to 8% leaving more than sufficient reserve.

The water bottling venture is expected to earn up to $1m in the first year of operation and anything from $2m to $3 thereafter. According to the Premier the question of households and businesses paying for the water is still on the table but if the marketing of Niue’s water proves to be successful, some of the revenue derived will be used to offset the cost of pumping and local delivery.

So, is the island’s water safe to drink? According to Liku resident Mark Cross, he has had no problems drinking the Liku water but added that his intestinal resilience may be a little more robust than the average.

With regard to the bottling plant, at this stage, there’s is no sign of any bottled water nor is there any information on which contaminant-free bore site will be used. The estimated $1m dollar from the sale of water would have been possible according to government sources had the plant been able to operate from October last year.


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  1. Thats so funny. No problems before with unqualified people taking up posts in committees why now? Why then have unqualified people in public service as commissioners or heads of depts, why now? Because if you don’t follow the govts way, you are of no use to them. Either you follow the plan or get out. Ask Togia Sioneholo, or Olove Jacobsen or Richard Hipa or Justin Kamupala. They keep quiet out of respect for the govt office but the govt office dont respect back. Look at the ministers who follow like sheep, and the associate ministers and the assistants to the associate ministers who are just making up the numbers to secure the premier’s job. Keeping the majority of parliament members on your side by bribery is not only corrupt but also immoral and not the teachings of Jesus Christ. Anyone who is religious should not be following such practices.

    That’s called bullying and is unlawful in NZ and most western countries. Niue should be the last country to practice this criminal practice. It is unacceptable for any committee member. A matter for the courts to review, it just needs a document to be filed. I would speak Togia Sioneholo former solicitor general and attorney general, or Ms Sina Hekau, the private lawyer on the island or her sister who has a master’s in law from University of New South Wales.

    Also what water report? Who drafted the report and is it peer reviewed (put to the test by experts)?? What about land based pollution affecting the water lens etc. If I was the premier I would not be listening to anyone who does not provide proof of proper EIA performed by experts. Get him to table the reports in parliament. He seems to be repeating words like a parrot, that’s not a good sign. His health must surely be affecting his judgement.

    There is no $1 million this year or next year or the year after. That sounds like a scam. Not a good one but it seems to be working. Whoever is selling the idea must be a used car salesman with slippery tongue and brown nose. How are the figures being calculated, are they using an abacus or matchsticks? Someone look at the those forecast figures and match them to reality and not crystal ball.

    This water thing is a distraction. The real question is what is happening to the nonu of Niue. Why promote water when there are thousands of water sellers out there, more than nonu sellers. Where are the millions promised from the nonu? I thought Uncle Sione said this was the cashcow for Niue, what happened?

    By the time everyone wakes up, the culprits will be long gone. The next election is long time away. There will be more money taken out of the country by these tricksters. A special inquiry committee should be set up to investigate and to document and record the findings. So for future reference it will be easier to track down those responsible parties.

    Where are the responsible members of the fale fono? Is there no one who can hold the government to account for what is happening to the water? Come on do the right thing for your voters. For all the public service workers with pay rises and 4 day week, is it worth it? To be subjected to dictator authority and treated like a dum dum, just following and not having a say. Seems like there is only one lady from the north who is doing all the hard yards by the sound of things.

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