American cult embarrasses Niue government

Niue is being urged by New Zealand to remove an American cult from the tiny Pacific island.

NZPA, New Zealand/September 25, 2007

The country's Immigration and Finance Minister Fisa Pihigia says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and New Zealand Aid has ticked-off the island's administration for allowing a "messy situation" to run on and on, but he has been unable to move the cult.

Two small families, said to belong to the Maha Devi Ascension Group, arrived on the island more than a year ago, saying they wanted to buy the Matavai Resort.

They later changed their plans and said they wanted to build several top quality health spas, but the resort continued to allow the families to stay in its best rooms, even though there was no sign of them paying any money.

The cult was previously in Samoa.

It is reported adherents seek to be sustained by "light energy" alone, rather than food and drink.

Mr Pihigia told Auckland's Niu FM radio station that in addition to the management of the Matavai Resort, some of his fellow politicians and key leaders had also supported the group.

He said the $NZ2.4 million Matavai

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