Niue

Niue
Flag of Niue
Flag of Niue
Image:LocationNiue.png
Official languages Niuean, English
Capital Alofi
Head of State Elizabeth II
New Zealand
High Commissioner
Anton Ojala
Premier Young Vivian
Area
 – Total
 – % water

 260 km²
 0
Population
 – Total (July 2006)

 2,166
Establishment
 – Date
Niue Constitution Act
 19 October 1974
Currency New Zealand dollar
GDP $ 7.6 Million
Time zone UTC -11
National anthem Ko e Iki he Lagi
Calling Code 683
Internet TLD .nu
Map of Niue

Niue (pronounced: "new-eh") is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as the "Rock of Polynesia." Natives of the island call it simply the Rock. Although it is self-governing, it is in free association with New Zealand, meaning that the sovereign in right of New Zealand is also Niue's head of state. Most diplomatic relations are conducted by New Zealand on Niue's behalf. Niue is located 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands.

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History

European involvement in Niue began in 1774 with Captain James Cook's sighting (landing was refused) of what he named "Savage Island." Legend has it that Cook so named the island because the natives that "greeted" him were painted in what appeared to Cook and his crew to be blood.

The next major arrival was the London Missionary Society in 1846, after many years of trying to land a European missionary on Niue, a Niuean name Nukai Peniamina was taken away and train as a pastor at the Malua Theological College in Samoa. Peniamina was taken back with the help of Toimata Fakafitifonua, Peniamina with the word of god Christ was allowed to land in Uluvehi Mutalau. The gospel was first taught to the Mutalau people before it was spread to all the villages in Niue.

Niue was briefly a protectorate, the UK's involvement transpiring in 1901 when New Zealand annexed the island. Independence in the form of self-government was granted by the New Zealand parliament in the 1974 constitution.

In January 2004, Niue was hit by fierce tropical storm Cyclone Heta, which killed two people, caused extensive damage to the entire island, and wiped out most of South Alofi.

Niue has licensed the .nu top-level domain on the Internet to a private company .NU Domain, but the company and the Government of Niue now dispute the amount and type of compensation that Niue receives from the licensor.

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Politics

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 Niue Constitution is written, specifies that in everyday practice, it is exercised by a Cabinet of the Premier of Niue and three other ministers. The premier and ministers are members of the Niue Legislative Assembly, the nation's parliament.

The assembly consists of 20 democratically elected members, 14 will voted by the electors of each village constituencies. The remaining six are elected by all registered voters in all constituencies. Electors must be New Zealand citizens, resident for at least three months, and candidates must have been electors, resident for 12 months. The speaker is elected by the 20 members, first to be elected in the first sitting of the Legislative Assembly following a election. The new speaker will take its position in the same meeting, and will call for nomination for the premier, candidate having majority votes from 20 members will be deemed elected. Premier will select 3 other members to form the Cabinet of Ministers, the executive arm of government, the other two organs of this Westminister model is the legislative which is the Legislative Assembly and the judiciary which is the courts. The term is three years before fresh election.

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Geography

Niue is a 269 km² island located in the southern Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga. The geographic cordinates of Niue are 19°03′48″S, 169°52′11″W.

There are three geographically outlying coral reefs within the Exclusive Economic Zone that do not have any land area:

  1. Beveridge Reef, at 20°00'S, 167°48'W, 240 km southeast, submerged atoll drying during low tide, 9.5 km North-South, 7.5 km East-West, total area 56 km², no land area, lagoon 11 meters deep
  2. Antiope Reef, at 18°15'S, 168°24'W, 180 km southeast, is a circular plateau approximately 400 meters in diameter, with a least depth of 9.5 meters
  3. Haran Reef (Harans Reef), at 21°33'S, 168°55'W, reported to break furiously, 294 km southeast
  4. Albert Meyer Reef, at 20°53'S, 172°19'W, almost 5 km long and wide, least depth 3 meters, 326 km southwest, not officially claimed by Niue
  5. Haymet Rocks, at 26°S, 160°W, 1273 km ESE, existence doubtful

Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. The terrain of Niue consists of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 metres 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 of the island is the number of limestone caves found close to the coast.

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

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

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Defence and foreign affairs

Niue has been self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974. Niue is fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for foreign affairs and defence. However, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the government of Niue. Niue has no regular indigenous military forces. Niue have also increase involvement in dealing directly with its external affairs, having a diplomatic mission is Wellington New Zealand. The Niue High Commissioner in Wellington is HE Sisilia Talagi, she replaced HE Hima Takelesi in 2005. Niue is also a member of the South Pacific Forum and a number of regional and international agencies.

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Economy

Niue's economy is rather small, with a GDP of around $7.6 million estimated in 2000. Most economic activities centers around government, as the Government was traditionally in charge of organising and managing the affairs of a new country since 1974. However Niue have reach a stage where the state must give way to the private sector to be a partner in Niue's long development, there is an ongoing effort to develop the private sector. The Niue Chamber of Commerce is the body representing some of the private businesses on Niue, following Cyclone Heta the Government made a major commitment towards rehabilitating and developing the private sector in Niue. The Government allocated $1 million for the private sector, which was spend on helping businesses devastated by the cyclone, and the construction of the Fonuakula Industrial Park. This insdutrial park is now completed and some businesses are already operating from it. The Fonuakula Industrial Park is managed by the Niue Business Centre, a quasi Government organisation providing advisory services to the businesses on Niue.

Most Niuean families grow their own food crops for subsistence and some are sold at the Niue Makete in Alofi while some are exported to their families in New Zealand. The Niuean taro is said to be the best taro in the Pacific, the same taro variety known in Samoa as Niue taro and international markets as pink taro. Niue also export taro to the New Zealand market. The Niue taro is a natural variety and are very resistant to pests.

The Niue Government and the Reef Group from New Zealand started two joint ventures in 2003 and 2004, involves with the development of the fisheries and noni in Niue. The Niue Fish Processors Ltd(NFP) is a joint venture company processing fresh fish mainly tuna (yellow fin, big eye and albacore) for exports to the overseas markets. NFP operates out of their state of the art fish plant in Amanau Alofi South which completed and opened in October 2004, where they have facilties for freezing fish, blast freezers and ice towers for producing ice. The fish plant is self sufficient, they have their own power generators and mainly use dislaninated water. At the moment there are four fishing boats catching fish with more boats expecting to join the fleet soon. Niue is more concern with the sustainability of the industry limiting the number of boats fishing in Niue waters to less than 10 at any time. The Niue Noni joint venture operate out of the Vaiea farm, use to be a Government livestock farm, which was later use as a quarantine station for alapacas airlifted from Peru to Australia, scheme have now ceased. The company planted the bisggest noni plantation in the southern hemishpere, with over 30 thousands plants planted. This may be the first time noni is plant artifically in an open field, because noni do grow wild in Niue. There is also a factory at the farm for extracting the juice of the noni which is exported to New Zealand for bottling.

In August 2005 an Australian mining company, Yamarna Goldfields, suggested that Niue might have the world's largest deposit of uranium. It has permission to drill on the island to confirm geological data that suggest the presence of a very large deposit. It will require government permission, however, to convert its prospecting licence to a mining lease. There is an Australian company that have been issued a mineral prospecting license in the early 70s and is still very active in doing research and collecting data on potential mineral deposits in Niue.

Remittances from Niuean expatriates use to be one of the major sources of foreign exchange in the 70s and the early 80s, however the continuous migration of Niueans to New Zealand have pretty much shifted all members of nuclear and extended families to New Zealand, thus removing the need to send remittances back home. In the late 90s PFTAC conducted studies on the Niue balance of payments, which confirms that Niueans are receiving little remittances but are sending more monies overseas, mainly for paying imports and education of Niuean students send from home to study in New Zealand education institutions.

Foreign aid, principally from New Zealand, has been the island's principal source of income. Tourism generates some revenue, tourism is one of the three priority sectors for economic development in Niue, it will continue to receive direct support from the Government and overseas donor agencies.

Government expenses consistently exceed revenue to a substantial degree, with aid from New Zealand subsidizing public service payrolls. The government also generates some revenue mainly from income tax, import tax and the lease of phone lines. The government briefly flirted with the creation of "offshore banking" but, under pressure from the US Treasury, agreed to end its support for schemes designed to minimize tax in countries like New Zealand. Niue now provides an automated Companies Registration (www.companies.gov.nu), which is administered by the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development.

Niue's economy suffered from the devastating tropical Cyclone Heta of 2004.

It uses the New Zealand dollar.

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See also

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External links


 
Realm of New Zealand
Flag of New Zealand
Cook Islands | New Zealand | Niue | Ross Dependency | Tokelau
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