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Niuē  (Niuean)
Anthem: "Ko e Iki he Lagi" (Niuean)
(English: "The Lord in Heaven")
Niue on the globe (Polynesia centered).svg
Location of Niue in the Western Pacific Ocean
Associated with Realm of New Zealand
British annexation19 October 1900
Assigned to New Zealand 11 June 1901
Current constitution 19 October 1974
UN recognition of foreign relations independence1994 [1] [2]
and largest village
19°03′14″S169°55′12″W / 19.05389°S 169.92000°W / -19.05389; -169.92000
Official languages
Ethnic groups
67% Niuean
13% Part-Niuean
20% other
Demonym(s) Niuean
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Elizabeth II
Dame Patricia Reddy
Toke Talagi
Legislature Niue Assembly
261.46 [3]  km2 (100.95 sq mi)(not ranked)
 Water (%)
Highest elevation
68 m (223 ft)
 2018 estimate
1,620 [4] [5] (231st)
5.35/km2 (13.9/sq mi)(n/a)
GDP  (PPP)2003 estimate
$10.0 million [6] (228th)
 Per capita
$5,800 [7] (164th)
Time zone UTC−11:00
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving side left
Calling code +683
ISO 3166 code NU
Internet TLD .nu

Niue ( /ˈnjuː/ ; Niuean : Niuē) is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand, east of Tonga, south of Samoa, and west of the Cook Islands. Niue's land area is about 261 square kilometres (101 sq mi) [3] and its population, predominantly Polynesian, was about 1,600 in 2016. [4] [5] The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia". [8] Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. The terrain of the island has two noticeable levels. The higher level is made up of a limestone cliff running along the coast, with a plateau in the centre of the island reaching approximately 60 metres (200 feet) high above sea level. The lower level is a coastal terrace approximately 0.5 km (0.3 miles) wide and about 25–27 metres (80–90 feet) high, which slopes down and meets the sea in small cliffs. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capital, Alofi. A notable feature are the many limestone caves near the coast.

Niuean is a Polynesian language, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian languages. It is most closely related to Tongan and slightly more distantly to other Polynesian languages such as Māori, Sāmoan, and Hawaiian. Together, Tongan and Niuean form the Tongic subgroup of the Polynesian languages. Niuean also has a number of influences from Samoan and Eastern Polynesian languages.

Island country state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands

An island country is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 1996, 25.2% of all independent countries were island countries.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country has two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, and its most populous city is Auckland.


Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand; and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations on its behalf. Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. Between 90% and 95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, [9] along with about 70% of the speakers of the Niuean language. [10] Niue is a bilingual country, with 30% of the population speaking both Niuean and English, though the percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers.

An associated state is the minor partner in a formal, free relationship between a political territory with a degree of statehood and a nation, for which no other specific term, such as protectorate, is adopted.

A head of state is the public persona who officially embodies a state in its unity and legitimacy. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government and more.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Niue is not a member of the United Nations (UN), but UN organisations have accepted its status as a freely-associated state as equivalent to independence for the purposes of international law. [11] As such, Niue is a member of some UN specialised agencies (such as UNESCO, [12] and the WHO), [13] and is invited, alongside the other non-UN member state, the Cook Islands, to attend United Nations conferences open to "all states". [14] Niue has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1980.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a center for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris, France. Its declared purpose is to contribute to promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

Cook Islands Island country in the South Pacific Ocean

The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometres (93 sq mi). The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq mi) of ocean.

Niue is subdivided into 14 villages (municipalities). Each village has a village council that elects its chairperson. The villages are at the same time electoral districts; each village sends an assemblyperson to the Parliament of Niue. [15] A small and democratic nation, Niueans hold legislative elections every 3 years.

Democracy system of government in which citizens vote directly in or elect representatives to form a governing body, sometimes called "rule of the majority"

Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Who people are and how authority is shared among them are core issues for democratic development and constitution. Some cornerstones of these issues are freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights.

The Niue Integrated Strategic Plan (NISP), adopted in 2003, is the national development plan, setting national priorities for development in areas such as financial sustainability. Since the late 20th century Niue has become a leader in green growth; the European Union is helping the nation convert to renewable energy. In January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which caused extensive damage to the island, including wiping out most of South Alofi. The disaster set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the NISP since national efforts concentrated on recovery.

The Niue Integrated Strategic Plan was formulated in 2003 following wider consultations with all stakeholders in the Pacific island nation of Niue. The current national plan is called Niue National Strategic Plan 2009—2013.

Green growth is a term to describe a path of economic growth that uses natural resources in a sustainable manner. It is used globally to provide an alternative concept to typical industrial economic growth. This path would lead to what is known as a green economy.

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.


Polynesians from Samoa settled Niue around 900 AD. Further settlers arrived from Tonga in the 16th century. [16]

Polynesia Subregion of Oceania

Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, and share many similar traits including language family, culture, and beliefs. Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand.

Samoa country in Oceania

Samoa, officially the Independent State ofSamoa and, until 4 July 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a country consisting of two main islands, Savai'i and Upolu, and four smaller islands. The capital city is Apia. The Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan Islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a unique Samoan language and Samoan cultural identity.

Tonga country in Oceania

Tonga, officially named the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi) scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of the southern Pacific Ocean. The state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu.

Until the beginning of the 18th century, Niue appears to have had no national government or national leader; chiefs and heads of families exercised authority over segments of the population. Around 1700 the concept and practice of kingship appears to have originated through contact with the Tongans who settled around the 1600s.[ citation needed ] A succession of patu-iki (kings) ruled, beginning with Puni-mata. Tui-toga, who reigned from 1875 to 1887, was the first Christian king. [17]

A 1932 stamp of Niue inscribed "Cook Islands Niue". Stamp niue 0,5 d.jpg
A 1932 stamp of Niue inscribed "Cook Islands Niue".

The first Europeans to sight Niue sailed under Captain James Cook in 1774. Cook made three attempts to land, but the inhabitants refused to grant permission to do so. He named the island "Savage Island" because, as legend has it, the natives who "greeted" him were painted in what appeared to be blood. The substance on their teeth was hulahula, a native red fe'i banana. [18] For the next couple of centuries, Niue was known as Savage Island until its original name, Niuē, which translates as "behold the coconut", [19] regained use.

The next notable European visitors represented the London Missionary Society; they arrived on the Messenger of Peace. After many years of trying to land a European missionary, a Niuean named Nukai Peniamina went with his friend, Niumaga, to Samoa and trained as a pastor at the Malua Theological College.[ citation needed ] Peniamina returned in 1846 on the John Williams as a missionary with the help of Toimata Fakafitifonua. He was finally allowed to land in Uluvehi Mutalau after a number of attempts in other villages had failed. The chiefs of Mutalau village allowed him to land and assigned over 60 warriors to protect him day and night at the fort in Fupiu.

Prime Minister of New Zealand Richard Seddon and the King of Niue, circa 1900 Richard Seddon and the King of Niue.jpg
Prime Minister of New Zealand Richard Seddon and the King of Niue, circa 1900

In July 1849 Captain John Erskine visited the island in HMS Havannah. [20]

Christianity was first taught to the Mutalau people before it spread to all the villages. Originally other major villages opposed the introduction of Christianity and had sought to kill Peniamina. The people from the village of Hakupu, although the last village to receive Christianity, came and asked for a "word of God"; hence, their village was renamed "Ha Kupu Atua" meaning "any word of God", or "Hakupu" for short.

In 1889 the chiefs and rulers of Niue, in a letter to Queen Victoria, asked her "to stretch out towards us your mighty hand, that Niue may hide herself in it and be safe". [21] After expressing anxiety lest some other nation should take possession of the island, the letter continued: "We leave it with you to do as seems best to you. If you send the flag of Britain that is well; or if you send a Commissioner to reside among us, that will be well". [21] The British did not initially take up the offer. In 1900 a petition by the Cook Islanders asking for annexation included Niue "if possible". [21] In a document dated 19 October 1900, the "King" and Chiefs of Niue consented to "Queen Victoria taking possession of this island". A despatch to the Secretary of State for the Colonies from the Governor of New Zealand referred to the views expressed by the Chiefs in favour of "annexation" and to this document as "the deed of cession". A British Protectorate was declared, but it remained short-lived. Niue was brought within the boundaries of New Zealand on 11 June 1901 by the same Order and Proclamation as the Cook Islands. The Order limited the islands to which it related by reference to an area in the Pacific described by co-ordinates, and Niue, at 19.02 S., 169.55 W, lies within that area. [21]

The New Zealand Parliament restored self-government in Niue with the 1974 constitution, following a referendum in 1974 in which Niueans had three options: independence, self-government or continuation as a New Zealand territory. The majority selected self-government, and Niue's written constitution [22] was promulgated as supreme law. Robert Rex, ethnically part European, part native, was elected by the Niue Assembly as the first premier, a position he held until his death 18 years later. Rex became the first Niuean to receive a knighthood in 1984.

In January 2004 Cyclone Heta hit Niue, killing two people and causing extensive damage to the entire island, including wiping out most of the south of the capital, Alofi.

Government and politics

Premier Sir Toke Talagi in Hawaii in 2011 Toke Talagi.jpg
Premier Sir Toke Talagi in Hawaii in 2011

The Niue Constitution Act of 1974 vests executive authority in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Zealand and in the governor-general of New Zealand. The Constitution specifies that everyday practice involves the exercise of sovereignty by Cabinet, composed of the premier (Sir Toke Talagi since 2008) and of three other ministers. The Premier and ministers are members of the Niue Legislative Assembly, the nation's parliament.

The Assembly consists of 20 members, 14 of them elected by the electors of each village constituency, and six by all registered voters in all constituencies. [23] Electors must be New Zealand citizens, resident for at least three months, and candidates must be electors and resident for 12 months. Everyone born in Niue must register on the electoral roll.[ citation needed ]

Niue has no political parties; all Assembly members are independents. The last and only Niuean political party to have ever existed, the Niue People's Party (1987–2003), won once (in 2002) before disbanding the following year. [24]

The Legislative Assembly elects the speaker as its first official in the first sitting of the Assembly following an election. The speaker calls for nominations for premier; the candidate with the most votes from the 20 members is elected. The premier selects three other members to form a Cabinet, the executive arm of government.[ citation needed ] General elections take place every three years, most recently on 6 May 2017.

The judiciary, independent of the executive and the legislature, includes a High Court and a Court of Appeal, with appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. [25]

Defence and foreign affairs

Niue has been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 3 September 1974, when the people endorsed the Constitution in a plebiscite. [26] Niue is fully responsible for its internal affairs. Niue's position concerning its external relations is less clear cut. Section 6 of the Niue Constitution Act provides that: "Nothing in this Act or in the Constitution shall affect the responsibilities of Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand for the external affairs and defence of Niue." Section 8 elaborates but still leaves the position unclear:

Effect shall be given to the provisions of sections 6 and 7 [concerning external affairs and defence and economic and administrative assistance respectively] of this Act, and to any other aspect of the relationship between New Zealand and Niue which may from time to time call for positive co-operation between New Zealand and Niue after consultation between the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Premier of Niue, and in accordance with the policies of their respective Governments; and, if it appears desirable that any provision be made in the law of Niue to carry out these policies, that provision may be made in the manner prescribed in the Constitution, but not otherwise."

Niue has a representative mission in Wellington, New Zealand. It is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum and a number of regional and international agencies. It is not a member of the United Nations, but is a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Ottawa Treaty and the Treaty of Rarotonga. The country is a member state of UNESCO since 26 October 1993. [27]

Traditionally, Niue's foreign relations and defence have been regarded as the responsibility of New Zealand. However, in recent years Niue has begun to follow its own foreign relations, independent of New Zealand, in some spheres. It established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China on 12 December 2007. [28] The joint communique signed by Niue and China is different in its treatment of the Taiwan question from that agreed by New Zealand and China. New Zealand "acknowledged" China's position on Taiwan but has never expressly agreed with it, but Niue "recognises that there is only one China in the world, the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of China." [28] Niue established diplomatic relations with India on 30 August 2012. [29] On 10 June 2014 the Government of Niue announced that Niue had established diplomatic relations with Turkey. The Honourable Minister of Infrastructure Dalton Tagelagi formalised the agreement at the Pacific Small Island States Foreign Ministers meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. The Memorandum of Understanding with Turkey is part of increasing Niue's foreign relationship with countries including the People's Republic of China, India, Australia, Thailand, Samoa, Cook Islands and Singapore.

The people of Niue have fought as part of the New Zealand military. In World War I, Niue sent about 200 soldiers as part of the Māori Battalion in the New Zealand forces. [30]

Niue is not a republic but its full name was listed as "the Republic of Niue" for a number of years on the ISO list of country names (ISO-3166-1). In its newsletter of 14 July 2011, the ISO acknowledged that this was a mistake and the words "the Republic of" were deleted from the ISO list of country names. [31]


Map of Niue Niue-cia-world-factbook-map.png
Map of Niue
Satellite image of Niue in the Pacific Ocean Niue ISS004.jpg
Satellite image of Niue in the Pacific Ocean

Niue is a 269 km2 (104 sq mi) raised coral atoll in the southern Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga. [32] There are three outlying coral reefs within the Exclusive Economic Zone, with no land area:

  1. Beveridge Reef, 240 km (150 mi) southeast, submerged atoll drying during low tide, 9.5 km (5.9 mi) north-south, 7.5 km (4.7 mi) East-West, total area 56 km2 (22 sq mi), no land area, lagoon 11 metres (36 ft) deep.
  2. Antiope Reef, 180 km (110 mi) northeast, a circular plateau approximately 400 metres (1,300 ft) in diameter, with a least depth of 9.5 metres (31 ft).
  3. Haran Reef (also known as Harans Reef), reported[ by whom? ] to break furiously, 294 km (183 mi) southeast.

Besides these, Albert Meyer Reef, (almost 5 km (3.1 mi) long and wide, least depth 3 m (9.8 ft), 326 km (203 mi) southwest) is not officially claimed by Niue, and the existence of Haymet Rocks (1,273 km (791 mi) east-southeast) is in doubt.

Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. The terrain consists of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 metres (200 ft) above sea level. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capital, Alofi. A notable feature is the number of limestone caves near the coast.

The island is roughly oval in shape (with a diameter of about 18 kilometres (11 mi)), with two large bays indenting the western coast, Alofi Bay in the centre and Avatele Bay in the south. Between these is the promontory of Halagigie Point. A small peninsula, TePā Point (Blowhole Point), is close to the settlement of Avatele in the southwest. Most of the population resides close to the west coast, around the capital, and in the northwest.

Some of the soils are geochemically very unusual. They are extremely weathered tropical soils, with high levels of iron and aluminium oxides (oxisol) and mercury, and they contain high levels of natural radioactivity. There is almost no uranium, but the radionucleides Th-230 and Pa-231 head the decay chains. This is the same distribution of elements as found naturally on very deep seabeds, but the geochemical evidence suggests that the origin of these elements is extreme weathering of coral and brief sea submergence 120,000 years ago. Endothermal upwelling, by which mild volcanic heat draws deep seawater up through the porous coral, almost certainly contributes. [33]

No adverse health effects from the radioactivity or the other trace elements have been demonstrated, and calculations show that the level of radioactivity is probably much too low to be detected in the population. These unusual soils are very rich in phosphate, but it is not accessible to plants, being in the very insoluble form of iron phosphate, or crandallite. It is thought that similar radioactive soils may exist on Lifou and Mare near New Caledonia, and Rennell in the Solomon Islands, but no other locations are known.

According to the World Health Organization, residents are evidently very susceptible to skin cancer. In 2002 Niue reported skin cancer deaths at a rate of 2,482 per 100,000 people – far higher than any other country. [34]

Niue is separated from New Zealand by the International Date Line. The time difference is 23 hours during the Southern Hemisphere winter and 24 hours when New Zealand uses Daylight Saving Time.


The island has a tropical climate, with most rainfall occurring between November and April.

Climate data for Alofi
Record high °C (°F)38
Average high °C (°F)28
Daily mean °C (°F)26
Average low °C (°F)23
Record low °C (°F)20
Average precipitation mm (inches)261.6
Source: Weatherbase [35]


A leader in green growth, Niue is also focusing on solar power provision, with help from the European Union. [36] [37] However, Niue currently deals with one of the highest rates of greenhouse gas production per capita in the world. [38] Niue aims to become 80% renewable by 2025. [39] [40] [41] The Niue Island Organic Farmers Association is currently paving way to a Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) committed to making Niue the world's first fully organic nation by 2020. [42] [43] [44]

In July 2009 a solar panel system was installed, injecting about 50 kW into the Niue national power grid. This is nominally 6% of the average 833 kW electricity production. The solar panels are at Niue High School (20 kW), Niue Power Corporation office (1.7 kW) [45] and the Niue Foou Hospital (30 kW). The EU-funded grid-connected photovoltaic systems are supplied under the REP-5 programme and were installed recently by the Niue Power Corporation on the roofs of the high school and the power station office and on ground-mounted support structures in front of the hospital. They will be monitored and maintained by the NPC. [46] In 2014 two additional solar power installations were added to the Niue national power grid, one funded under PALM5 of Japan is located outside of the Tuila power station – so far only this has battery storage, the other under European Union funding is located opposite the Niue International Airport Terminal.


Alofi, the capital of Niue. Alofi.jpg
Alofi, the capital of Niue.

Niue's economy is small. Its gross domestic product (GDP) was NZ$17 million in 2003, [47] or US$10 million at purchasing power parity. [48] Niue’s GDP has increased to US$24.9 million in 2016. [49] Niue uses the New Zealand dollar.

The Niue Integrated Strategic Plan (NISP) is the national development plan, setting national priorities for development. Cyclone Heta set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the NISP, since national efforts concentrated on recovery efforts. In 2008, Niue had yet to fully recover. After Heta, the government made a major commitment to rehabilitate and develop the private sector.[ citation needed ] The government allocated $1 million[ when? ] for the private sector, and spent it on helping businesses devastated by the cyclone, and on construction of the Fonuakula Industrial Park. This industrial park is now completed and some businesses are already operating from there. The Fonuakula Industrial Park is managed by the Niue Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit organisation providing advisory services to businesses.

Joint ventures

The government and the Reef Group from New Zealand started two joint ventures in 2003 and 2004 to develop fisheries and a 120-hectare noni juice operation. [50] Noni fruit comes from Morinda citrifolia, a small tree with edible fruit. Niue Fish Processors Ltd (NFP) is a joint venture company processing fresh fish, mainly tuna (yellowfin, big eye and albacore), for export to overseas markets. NFP operates out of a state-of-the-art fish plant in Amanau Alofi South, completed and opened in October 2004.[ citation needed ]


Niue is negotiating free trade agreements with other Pacific countries, PICTA Trade in Services (PICTA TIS), Economic Partnership Agreements with the European Union, and PACERPlus with Australia and New Zealand. The Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) has been set up to assist Niue and other Pacific countries in the negotiation of the PACERPlus.


In August 2005, an Australian mining company, Yamarna Goldfields, suggested that Niue might have the world's largest deposit of uranium. By early September these hopes were seen as overoptimistic, [51] and in late October the company cancelled its plans, announcing that exploratory drilling had identified nothing of commercial value. [52] The Australian Securities and Investments Commission filed charges in January 2007 against two directors of the company, now called Mining Projects Group Ltd, alleging that their conduct had been deceptive and that they engaged in insider trading. [53] This case was settled out of court in July 2008, both sides withdrawing their claims. [54]


Remittances from expatriates were a major source of foreign exchange in the 1970s and early 1980s. Continuous migration to New Zealand has shifted most members of nuclear and extended families there, removing the need to send remittances back home. In the late 1990s, PFTAC conducted studies on the balance of payments, [55] which confirmed that Niueans are receiving few remittances but are sending more money overseas.

Foreign aid

Foreign aid has been Niue's principal source of income. [56] Although most aid comes from New Zealand, this is currently being phased out with reductions of NZ$250,000 each year. The country will need to rely more upon its own economy. The government generates some revenue, mainly from income tax, import tax and the lease of phone lines. [ citation needed ]

Offshore banking

The government briefly considered offshore banking. Under pressure from the US Treasury, Niue agreed to end its support for schemes designed to minimise tax in countries like New Zealand. Niue provides automated Companies Registration, administered by the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development. The Niue Legislative Assembly passed the Niue Consumption Tax Act in the first week of February 2009, and the 12.5% tax on goods and services was expected to take effect on 1 April 2009. Income tax has been lowered, and import tax may be reset to zero except for "sin" items like tobacco, alcohol and soft drinks. Tax on secondary income has been lowered from 35% to 10%, with the stated goal of fostering increased labour productivity. [57]


In 1997, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), under contract with the US Department of Commerce, assigned the Internet Users Society-Niue (IUS-N), a private nonprofit, as manager of the .nu top-level domain on the Internet. IUS-N's charitable purpose was – and continues to be – to use revenue from the registration of .nu domain names to fund low-cost or free Internet services for the people of Niue. In a letter to ICANN in 2007, IUS-N's independent auditors reported IUS-N had invested US$3 million for Internet services in Niue between 1999 and 2005 from .nu domain name registration revenue during that period. In 1999, IUS-N and the Government of Niue signed an agreement whereby the Government recognised that IUS-N managed the .nu ccTLD under IANA's authority and IUS-N committed to provide free Internet services to government departments as well as to Niue's private citizens. A newly elected government later disputed that agreement and attempted to assert a claim on the domain name, including a requirement for IUS-N to make direct payments of compensation to the Government. [58] In 2005, a Government-appointed Commission of Inquiry into the dispute released its report, which found no merit in the government's claims; the government subsequently dismissed the claims in 2007. [59] Starting in 2003, IUS-N began installing WiFi connections throughout the capital village of Alofi and in several nearby villages and schools, and has been expanding WiFi coverage into the outer villages since then, making Niue the first WiFi Nation. [60] To assure security for Government departments, IUS-N provides the government with a secure DSL connection to IUS-N's satellite Internet link, at no cost.


Agriculture is very important to the lifestyle of Niueans and the economy, and around 204 square kilometres of the land area are available for agriculture. [61] Subsistence agriculture is very much part of Niue's culture, where nearly all the households have plantations of taro. [62] Taro is a staple food, and the pink taro now dominant in the taro markets in New Zealand and Australia is an intellectual property of Niue. This is one of the naturally occurring taro varieties on Niue, and has a strong resistance to pests. The Niue taro is known in Samoa as "talo Niue" and in international markets as pink taro. Niue exports taro to New Zealand. Tapioca or cassava, yams and kumara also grow very well, [63] as do different varieties of bananas. Coconut meat, passionfruit and limes dominated exports in the 1970s, but in 2008 vanilla, noni and taro were the main export crops.

Most families grow their own food crops for subsistence and sell their surplus at the Niue Makete in Alofi, or export to their families in New Zealand.[ citation needed ] Coconut crab, or uga, is also part of the food chain; it lives in the forest and coastal areas. [64]

In 2003, the government made a commitment to develop and expand vanilla production with the support of NZAID. Vanilla has grown wild on Niue for a long time. Despite the setback caused by the devastating Cyclone Heta in early 2004, work on vanilla production continues. The expansion plan started with the employment of the unemployed or underemployed labour force to help clear land, plant supporting trees and plant vanilla vines. The approach to accessing land includes planning to have each household plant a small plot of around half to 1-acre (0.40 ha) to be cleared and planted with vanilla vines. There are a lot of planting materials for supporting trees to meet demand for the expansion of vanilla plantations, but a severe shortage of vanilla vines for planting stock. There are the existing vanilla vines, but cutting them for planting stock will reduce or stop the vanilla from producing beans. At the moment, the focus is in the areas of harvesting and marketing.[ citation needed ]

The last agricultural census was in 1989. [65]


Avatele Beach Avatele Beach.JPG
Avatele Beach

Tourism is one of the three priority economic sectors (the other two are fisheries and agriculture) for economic development. In 2006, estimated visitor expenditure reached US$1.6 million (equivalent to about $2M in 2018) making tourism a major industry for Niue. Niue will continue to receive direct support from the government and overseas donor agencies. The only airport is Niue International Airport. Air New Zealand is the sole airline, flying twice a week from Auckland. [66] In the early 1990s Niue International Airport was served by a local airline, Niue Airlines, but it closed in 1992.

There is a tourism development strategy to increase the number of rooms available to tourists at a sustainable level. Niue is trying to attract foreign investors to invest in the tourism industry by offering import and company tax concessions as incentives. New Zealand businessman Earl Hagaman, founder of Scenic Hotel Group, was awarded a contract in 2014 to manage the Matavai Resort in Niue after he made a $101,000 political donation to the National Party, which at that time led a minority government in New Zealand. The resort is subsidized by New Zealand, which wants to bolster tourism there. In 2015 NZ announced $7.5m in additional funding for expansion of the resort. The selection of the Matavai contractor was made by the Niue Tourism Property Trust, whose trustees are appointed by NZ Foreign Affairs minister Murray McCully. Prime Minister John Key said he did not handle campaign donations, and that Niue premier Toke Talagi has long pursued tourism as a growth strategy. McCully denied any link between the donation, the foreign aid and the contractor selection. [67]


The sailing season begins in May. Alofi Bay has many mooring buoys and yacht crews can lodge at Niue Backpackers. [68] The anchorage in Niue is one of the least protected in the South Pacific, so much that cruise ship tenders are often unable to risk landing passengers due to weather or sea conditions, as well as the associated risk of having them stranded ashore.[ citation needed ] Other challenges of the anchorage are a primarily coral bottom and many deep spots. [69] Mooring buoys are attached to seine floats that support the mooring lines away from seabed obstructions. [70]


On 27 October 2016, Niue officially declared that all its national debt was paid off. [71] The Government plans to spend money saved from servicing loans on increasing pensions and offering incentives to lure expatriates back home. However, Niue isn't entirely independent. New Zealand pays $14 million in aid each year and Niue still depends on New Zealand. Premier Toke Talagi said Niue managed to pay off US$4 million of debt and had "no interest" in borrowing again, particularly from huge powers such as China. [72]

Information technology

Students using their OLPC laptops in the school yard. Children in playground.jpg
Students using their OLPC laptops in the school yard.

The first computers were Apple machines brought in by the University of the South Pacific Extension Centre around the early 1980s. The Treasury Department computerised its general ledger in 1986 using NEC personal computers that were IBM PC XT compatible. [ citation needed ] The Census of Households and Population in 1986 was the first to be processed using a personal computer with the assistance of David Marshall, FAO Adviser on Agricultural Statistics, advising UNFPA Demographer Dr Lawrence Lewis and Niue Government Statistician Bill Vakaafi Motufoou to switch from using manual tabulation cards. In 1987 Statistics Niue got its new personal computer NEC PC AT use for processing the 1986 census data; personnel were sent on training in Japan and New Zealand to use the new computer. The first Computer Policy was developed and adopted in 1988. [ citation needed ]

In 2003, Niue became the first country in the world to provide state-funded wireless internet to all inhabitants. [73] [74]

In August 2008 it has been reported that all school students have what is known as the OLPC XO-1, a specialised laptop by the One Laptop per Child project designed for children in the developing world. [75] Niue was also a location of tests for the OpenBTS project, which aims to deliver low-cost GSM base stations built with open source software. [76] In July 2011, Telecom Niue launched pre-paid mobile services (Voice/EDGE – 2.5G) as Rokcell Mobile based on the commercial GSM product of vendor Lemko. Three BTS sites will cover the nation. International roaming is not currently available. The fibre optic cable ring is now completed around the island (FTTC), Internet/ADSL services were rolled out towards the end of 2011.[ citation needed ]

In January 2015 Telecom Niue completed the laying of the fibre optic cable around Niue connecting all the 14 villages, making land line phones and ADSL internet connection available to households.


The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook. [77]



Population growth rate


Ethnic groups




Niuean dancers at the Pasifika Festival Niuean dancing.jpg
Niuean dancers at the Pasifika Festival

Niue is the birthplace of New Zealand artist and writer John Pule. Author of The Shark That Ate the Sun, he also paints tapa cloth inspired designs on canvas. [78] In 2005, he co-wrote Hiapo: Past and Present in Niuean Barkcloth, a study of a traditional Niuean artform, with Australian writer and anthropologist Nicholas Thomas. [79]

Taoga Niue is a new Government Department responsible for the preservation of culture, tradition and heritage. Recognising its importance, the Government has added Taoga Niue as the sixth pillar of the Niue Integrated Strategic Plan (NISP).


Niue has two broadcast outlets, Television Niue and Radio Sunshine, managed and operated by the Broadcasting Corporation of Niue, and one newspaper, the Niue Star . [80]


The Niue sevens team performing a takalo Niuean haka.jpg
The Niue sevens team performing a takalo

Despite being a small country, a number of sports are popular. Rugby union is the most popular sport, played by both men and women; Niue were the 2008 FORU Oceania Cup champions. [81] Netball is played only by women. There is a nine-hole golf course at Fonuakula. There is a lawn bowling green under construction.[ citation needed ] Association Football is a popular sport, as evidenced by the Niue Soccer Tournament, though the Niue national football team has played only two matches. Rugby league is also a popular sport. Niue Rugby League have only started making strides within the international arena since their first ever test match against Vanuatu, going down 22–20 in 2013. On 4 October 2014, the Niue rugby league team record their first ever international test match win defeating the Philippines 36–22. In May 2015, Niue Rugby League recorded their second international test match win against the South African Rugby League side, 48–4. Niue now sit 31st in the Rugby League World Rankings.

See also

Related Research Articles

Niue was first settled by Polynesian sailors from Samoa in around 900 AD. Further settlers arrived from Tonga in the 16th century.

Politics of Niue

Politics of Niue takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency, whereby the Chief Minister is the head of government, and of a non-partisan system. Niue is self-governing in free association with New Zealand and is fully responsible for internal affairs. New Zealand retains some responsibility for external affairs, in consultation with Niue. The Niue Constitution Act 1974 (NZ) vests executive authority in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Zealand and the Governor-General of New Zealand. The constitution specifies that in everyday practice, it is exercised by a Cabinet of the Premier of Niue and three other ministers. The premier and ministers must be members of the Niue Assembly, the nation's legislative assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Transport in Niue

Transport in Niue takes place on a road network, and via an (international) airport and a sea port.

Robert Rex Niuean politician

Sir Robert Richmond Rex was the first Premier of the Pacific island state of Niue.

The music of Niue has a long history. Niue is a Polynesian island in the South Pacific. Though independent, it is in free association with New Zealand.

Alofi City in Tafiti, Niue

Alofi is the capital of the Pacific Ocean island nation of Niue. With a population of less than 1,000, Alofi has the distinction of being the second smallest national capital city in terms of population. It consists of the two villages: Alofi North and Alofi South where the government headquarters are located.

Niue Assembly

The Niue Assembly is the legislature of Niue. It consists of 20 members; 14 representatives of the villages and 6 elected on a common roll. Members are directly elected by universal suffrage, and serve a three-year term. Niue follows the Westminster system of government, with the Premier elected by the Assembly and the Cabinet drawn from it.

Mutalau Village in Motu, Niue

Mutalau is one of the fourteen villages of Niue. Its population at the 2001 census was 133, and 94 in 2011.

Avatele Village in Tafiti, Niue

Avatele, formerly known as Oneonepata Matavaihala, is one of the fourteen villages of Niue, located on the southwest coast, with a population of 139 residents as of 2011.

Outline of Niue Overview of and topical guide to Niue

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Niue:

Toke Talagi Premier of Niue

Sir Toke Tufukia Talagi is a Niuean politician and current Premier of Niue since 2008. He was elected premier by the Niue Assembly on 19 June 2008, defeating the standing premier, Young Vivian, by fourteen votes to five, with one abstaining. He is the current Foreign Minister of Niue.

The Niue Star is a weekly Niuean newspaper, founded in 1993. It is Niue's only newspaper. Its founder, owner, editor, journalist and photographer is Michael Jackson. The newspaper is distributed in Niue, New Zealand and Australia, and has a circulation of 800. It is a bilingual newspaper, published both in English and in Niuean.

The Broadcasting Corporation of Niue (BCN), also known as the Niue Broadcasting Corporation, is a government-owned broadcasting corporation in Niue, which operates Television Niue and Radio Sunshine, the country's only television and radio channels. It is based in Alofi. Its general manager and chief editor is Patrick Lino. Following the 2011 general election, a specific Cabinet ministry for the corporation was set up. The current minister responsible for the BCN is Joan Viliamu.

China–Niue relations Diplomatic relations between the Peoples Republic of China and Niue

Sino-Niuean relations are relations between China and Niue.

Tamakautoga Village in Tafiti, Niue

Tamakautoga is one of the fourteen villages within the Pacific Ocean island nation of Niue. Tamakautoga is located in the southwestern portion of the island and borders the villages of Avatele, Hakupu, and Niue's capital, Alofi, meeting all three at a quadripoint. The village's population at the 2001 census was 140, and 157 in 2011. This number has fallen significantly from the 19th century which was reported to be 275 in an 1899 mission census. Tamakautoga is represented by Andrew Funaki in the Niue Assembly.

Sam Pata Emani Tagelagi was a Niuean politician and elder. Tagelagi served as the first Speaker of the Niue Assembly from 1976 to 1993.

Niue is an island in the Southern Pacific, mostly inhabited by Polynesians. The plantations are mostly filled with manioc, taro and breadfruit, but banana trees can be found. The wide range of exotic plants in Niue includes taros, pawpaw, coconuts, bananas, yams, cassavas and breadfruits: All are intensively used in the local cuisine.

Terry Magaoa Chapman Niuean politicians

Terry Magaoa Chapman was a Niuean administrator known for his work in advocating the self-governance of Niue.

India–Niue relations refers to bilateral relations between India and Niue.


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Further reading

General information

Coordinates: 19°03′S169°51′W / 19.050°S 169.850°W / -19.050; -169.850