A Tribute – Former Niue premier,

Frank Lui, passes away (extracted from RNZ)

Former Niue Premier Frank Fakaotimanava Lui died yesterday.

He was 85 years old.

Mr Lui was a member of the Niue parliament at its inception in 1974, when the island was granted self government by New Zealand.

He held a number of cabinet posts before being elected the island’s second premier in 1993, following the death of Sir Robert Rex, who had been leader for 19 years.

Mr Lui spent much of his early life in New Zealand, attending schools in Wellington.

After school he joined the merchant navy, but was almost immediately caught up in the bitter waterfront strike of 1951.

Later in the 1950s he returned to Niue but clashed with the paternalistic New Zealand colonial administration, which stopped Niueans from buying liquor and ensured they were paid less than expatriates.

Mr Lui organised the first strike on the island and started getting involved in politics in the colonial legislature.

His first term as premier was marked by a series of tied confiidence votes as he clashed with a future premier Sani Lakatani.

The second term was more stable.

Mr Lui became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999.

The current premier Dalton Tagelagi paid this tribute. “Hon.Fakaotimanava-Lui gave a lifetime of service to the people of Niue. He was selfless in his passion and dedication to the people of Niue and his family and all Niueans should be very proud of his achievements. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Iris Fakaotimanava-Lui and family.”

Niue Broadcasting reports his funeral is today at the Ekalesia Church in Alofi.

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