Yesterday I wrote a piece about a report that advocated that NZ taxpayers should be forking out millions of dollars to look after distant Pacific Islands and their residents. Stuff have picked up on the report too, and have written an article highlighting the author’s (National MP John Hayes) call for Niue to be made into a retirement village. For those who don’t know, Niue is about 2500 kilometres north east of Auckland. It is known as the “Rock of the Pacific” for its unusual geology: at 259 square kilometres the single island is the world’s “largest emerged atoll”. The coastline rises 20 to 30 metres straight out of the deep Pacific.
Can you imagine what old age would be like stuck 2500 km away from civilisation, your friends and relatives, on a damn rock in the middle of the Pacific??? Can you imagine how often the grand children would visit? What kind of a damn loony idea is this? That it has been suggested by someone apparently believed to possess some degree of common sense, in that he was appointed to write the report, suggests there must be one hell of a shortage of that commodity in the National government.
The other interesting aspect to the Stuff article is the detail on what looking after Niue and its citizens has cost the NZ taxpayer. The island is presently home to only about 1200 people. It receives $NZ21.5 million in aid. That’s right. $NZ21.5 million. For 1200 people. That works out at about $18000 per annum for every man woman child and baby. Furthermore, they have been getting this money or amounts like it for 40 years.
The report says there are “serious concerns” about Niue’s economic and constitutional viability as its population continues to decline. The committee, headed by National MP John Hayes, says they believe Niue has reached a point where it can never be a sustainable economic entity.
SERIOUS CONCERNS??? Give me a break. The place has been receiving this amount of aid for 40 damn years and we’re only just coming to this conclusion?? What arrogant and cavalier disregard for whose money you are spending. But wait, there’s more.
“Further, we consider that having 20 members of Parliament for a country of just 600 voters is an abuse of trust and responsibility.” The economy was very fragile and most of the New Zealand aid was being spent on salaries for public servants.
Outrageous. Why has this continued for 40 years??? (Maybe because its the same damn thing that is happening in NZ, and neither National or Labour give a damn about that either.) Don’t forget this is only one island. This scenario you can bet your house, will be repeated in around a dozen other instances. What utterly gross incompetence and disregard for the NZ taxpayer. There just does not seem to be any end to this waste and incompetence. Oh well, lets jut borrow a bit more. What’s another $10 or 20 million a week to NZ’s fast shrinking productive sector of about 500,000 citizens? Man I’ve had a guts full of the appalling mis-governance of this country.
Niue was given to NZ by the British for our support in the Boer war. (Conned again) Why not just give it back?