Niuean journalist 'grateful' to be on the first flight to New Zealand following a health scare

March 23, 2021


BCN journalist Esther Pahivi and her daughter will board Niue's first quarantine-free flight to New Zealand. Photo: Supplied.

​By Paige Faigaa - Paige.faigaa@pmn.co.nz

Niue's biggest news service is losing its only journalist due to a health scare, which has her on the first quarantine-free flight to New Zealand.

Esther Pavihi has been Broadcasting Corporation of Niue's (BCN) only journalist since September last year, but has to give it up to travel here for medical purposes.

"I wasn't meant to be going on this flight.​

"This time last week I was in hospital and I was told I need to get to New Zealand straight away for medical purposes. That’s the only reason why I’m on this flight, otherwise I would be at the airport reporting on it." ​

However, she's "very grateful" for the opportunity to be a passenger, knowing people in similar situations are not able to. 

Pavihi says: "There are patients who were not able to get vouchers several weeks ago, so their appointments were pushed back, and they won't be on the flight tomorrow. I feel for those people, these are the impacts Covid-19 is having on people's lives."

Another concern for Pavihi is finding a replacement journalist. She says usually BCN recruits journalists from Fiji.

"My colleague who was recruited from Fiji had to return as that was the only flight that was chartered at the time.

"We just put out a recruitment notice two weeks ago and were supposed to do the interviews this week but I won’t be here. So I’m hoping that things will progress, I know our general manager will go ahead in trying to recruit another reporter to get things rolling and keep information going."

She understands the job for one person will be a huge challenge.

"We're dealing with different strange times, and dealing with people who are anxious and afraid, and we're dealing with the economy that's impacted a lot of families." ​​

​Pavihi and her daughter will join dozens of Niuean residents on the flight expected to arrive in Auckland Wednesday 24th March, 7.30pm (NZ Time).  ​ ​

She hopes that "everything will go well tomorrow, we were told that checking in will start at 1pm and by 2.30pm we should be in the departure lounge ".