Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui and his wife TaniRose are central in developing internet infrastructure on Niue.
Report – By Daniel Drageset
A Niuean businesswoman emphasises the importance of a visible internet presence as key to running a company on the island of Niue.
“Having the internet on Niue, just having IT, really bridges the gap between Niue – an isolated nation – and the world globally,” TaniRose Fakaotimanava-Lui told Pacific Media Watch.
In October 2011, TaniRose started up her own skincare range called Hei Niue using honey native to Niue in her products.
Although she stressed her company was still young, she said she had received quite a bit of interest in her company so far – an interest the young Niuean woman said was largely attributable to the company website.
“That’s the only way from Niue [that] we can market our products and create global awareness of what we have and what we can offer,” she said.
“We started out with $26…With the $26 came containers and then some of the ingredients we had. We used natural ingredients from Niue.
“We just went out and tried it at one of the national constitution show days, and we made $80 from there, and we just took little steps from there,” TaniRose said about starting up her business.
TaniRose’s husband, Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui, is one of the internet pioneers of Niue. Through his company Internet Niue, he has helped set up free, albeit not very fast, wireless internet connection to 13 of the 14 villages of the country.
Niue’s population has decreased from about 5000 to only about 1400 people currently.
Emani told Pacific Media Watch he hoped more companies would set up websites so that the current trend of a declining population might be reversed.
He also said that in today’s globalised world, internet was no longer a luxury, but a “necessity”.
He vied to continue helping his home nation of Niue in developing its internet infrastructure.
He said the next step for Niue now was “to improve the bandwidth and increase the capacity to be able to cater for more services that are coming out, and also the devices that are being used on the island and more people coming online”.
Daniel Drageset is the Pacific Scoop internship editor.