Overview of Australia’s aid program to Niue
2013/14 Estimated Outcome: $3.5 million
2014/15 Budget Estimate: $4.8 million
Australia provides aid to Niue through a new delegated cooperation arrangement with New Zealand, focusing on education, to ensure an educated and productive workforce ready to contribute to economic growth, and waste management. Australian support to Niue is aligned with the development priorities identified in the Joint Commitment for Development between New Zealand and Niue. New Zealand is the major donor to Niue.
With a population of around 1,500 people living on an area of land just 260 square kilometers, Niue faces significant development constraints. These include isolation, limited natural resources and transport, poor communications and a lack of skilled labour. Niue also experiences high rates of migration to New Zealand as there are limited employment prospects in the country. In addition, Niue is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, particularly rising seas levels, droughts and storms. In 2004 the current primary school site was devastated by Cyclone Heta, a category 5 cyclone.
In 2006 the governments of Australia, Niue and New Zealand established the Niue International Trust Fund (NITF). The NITF was set up to provide a long-term, dependable revenue stream for the Niue Government, encourage self-reliance and decrease dependency on official development assistance. Australia has contributed a total of approximately $7.5 million to the Trust Fund. From 2014, Australia’s assistance will be mainly directed to improving education outcomes and waste management.
Australia will work with the governments of Niue and New Zealand to identify priority needs in waste management in response to the challenges of increasing volumes of waste generated by the growing number of tourists and visitors to the islands every year.
Australia has funded the construction of a new school in Niue which will significantly improve the quality and safety of education in Niue, and will also function as a shelter for the local community in extreme weather events. Further support to the education sector in Niue will be delivered through our new delegated cooperation agreement with New Zealand.
- Australia provided input into the management of the Niue International Trust Fund (NITF), through representation on the NITF Board. The Trust Fund aims to provide the Government of Niue with an additional source of revenue to cushion the effects of economic shocks. Australia has contributed a total of approximately $7.5 million to the NITF since 2004.
Water and infrastructure
- Australia improved the Niue Government’s delivery of water and electricity services through the placement of technical advisors under the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM).
- Australia funded the Niue component of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Program (PACC), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). PACC helped to improve household water security through the installation of rainwater tanks.
- Architectural designs for the new primary school were completed. The design incorporates future climate and disaster considerations, and the school will be built to withstand severe storms and double as an evacuation centre.
- A total of approximately $4.2 million has been committed to the design and construction of the school. The management and oversight of the construction stage has been delegated to New Zealand.
- This was the first step in Australia’s strategy to transition towards a long-term delegated cooperation arrangement with New Zealand to support the education
sector, signed in June 2014.