A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says.

“New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Peters said.

“We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s human and economic development.”

Peters, who also attended Niue’s 25th anniversary of self-government in 1999, said it is a pleasure to return to Niue for the 50th anniversary with a broad political delegation from New Zealand.

“We are determined to build the capacity of Niue’s public sector, including by funding critical roles within key government departments and strengthening its public financial management systems,” Peters said

“This broad public sector support for the Government of Niue will be worth $13 million (US$7.98 million) over the next five years and aims to assist in realising Niue’s social and economic potential over the next 50 years.”

During the visit, the New Zealand delegation is holding high-level talks with Niue’s political leadership; travelling onboard a New Zealand-funded search and rescue vessel; spending time at Niue High School discussing how students envision its future in the next half century; and holding a ground-breaking ceremony for the New Zealand-funded renewable energy project announced by Prime Minister Luxon on his trip to Niue last month.

Peters was accompanied in Solomon Islands by Minister of Customs and for Seniors Casey Costello; Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee (FADTC) Tim van de Molen; FADTC members Damien O’Connor and Teanau Tuiono; and Chair of the Labour Pacific Caucus, Jenny Salesa.

Niue is the third and final destination of the delegation’s Pacific tour last week.