Niuan /nee ooh"euhn/, adj., n.
/nee ooh"ay/, n.
an island in the S Pacific between Tonga and Cook Islands: possession of New Zealand. 5128; ab. 100 sq. mi. (260 sq. km). Also called Savage Island.

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Introduction Niue -
Background: Niue's remoteness, as well as cultural and linguistic differences between its Polynesian inhabitants and those of the rest of the Cook Islands, have caused it to be separately administered. The population of the island continues to drop (from a peak of 5,200 in 1966 to about 2,100 in 2002) with substantial emigration to New Zealand, 2,400 km to the southwest. Geography Niue
Location: Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga
Geographic coordinates: 19 02 S, 169 52 W
Map references: Oceania
Area: total: 260 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 260 sq km
Area - comparative: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 64 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical; modified by southeast trade winds
Terrain: steep limestone cliffs along coast, central plateau
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: unnamed location near Mutalau settlement 68 m
Natural resources: fish, arable land
Land use: arable land: 19.23% permanent crops: 7.69% other: 73.08% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: typhoons Environment - current issues: increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash and burn agriculture Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: one of world's largest coral islands People Niue -
Population: 2,134 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: NA% 15-64 years: NA% 65 years and over: NA%
Population growth rate: 0.5% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population
Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population
Sex ratio: NA
Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: NA years male: NA years female: NA years
Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Niuean(s) adjective: Niuean
Ethnic groups: Polynesian (with some 200 Europeans, Samoans, and Tongans)
Religions: Ekalesia Niue (Niuean Church - a Protestant church closely related to the London Missionary Society) 75%, Latter-Day Saints 10%, other 15% (mostly Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventist)
Languages: Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English
Literacy: definition: NA total population: 95% male: NA% female: NA% Government Niue -
Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Niue former: Savage Island
Dependency status: self-governing in free association with New Zealand since 1974; Niue fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defense; however, these responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue
Government type: self-governing parliamentary democracy
Capital: Alofi Administrative divisions: none; note - there are no first- order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 14 villages at the second order
Independence: on 19 October 1974, Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand
National holiday: Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)
Constitution: 19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act)
Legal system: English common law note: Niue is self-governing, with the power to make its own laws
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); the UK and New Zealand are represented by New Zealand High Commissioner John BRYAN (since NA May 2000) election results: Sani LAKATANI elected premier; percent of Legislative Assembly vote - NA% elections: the monarch is hereditary; premier elected by the Legislative Assembly for a three- year term; election last held 19 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2002) head of government: Premier Sani LAKATANI (since 1 April 1999) cabinet: Cabinet consists of the premier and three ministers
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms; six elected from a common roll and 14 are village representatives) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 9, independents 11; note - all 20 seats were reelected elections: last held 21 March 2002 (next to be held in March 2005)
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of New Zealand; High Court of Niue Political parties and leaders: Niue People's Action Party or NPP [Sani LAKATANI] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization ACP, ESCAP (associate), FAO,
participation: Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UNESCO, WHO, WMO Diplomatic representation in the US: none (self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand) Diplomatic representation from the none (self-governing territory in
US: free association with New Zealand)
Flag description: yellow with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant; the flag of the UK bears five yellow five-pointed stars - a large one on a blue disk in the center and a smaller one on each arm of the bold red cross Economy Niue
Economy - overview: The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small population. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants from New Zealand that are used to pay wages to public employees. Niue has cut government expenditures by reducing the public service by almost half. The agricultural sector consists mainly of subsistence gardening, although some cash crops are grown for export. Industry consists primarily of small factories to process passion fruit, lime oil, honey, and coconut cream. The sale of postage stamps to foreign collectors is an important source of revenue. The island in recent years has suffered a serious loss of population because of migration of Niueans to New Zealand. Efforts to increase GDP include the promotion of tourism and a financial services industry, although Premier LAKATANI announced in February 2002 that Niue will shut down the offshore banking industry. Economic aid from New Zealand in 2002 will be about $2.6 million.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $7.6 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -0.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,600 (2000 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: 55% Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (1995)
Labor force: NA Labor force - by occupation: most work on family plantations; paid work exists only in government service, small industry, and the Niue Development Board
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries: tourism, handicrafts, food processing Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: 3 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 2.79 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: coconuts, passion fruit, honey, limes, taro, yams, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, poultry, beef cattle
Exports: $137,200 (1999)
Exports - commodities: canned coconut cream, copra, honey, vanilla, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, handicrafts
Exports - partners: NZ mainly, Fiji, Cook Islands, Australia
Imports: $2.38 million (1999)
Imports - commodities: food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, drugs
Imports - partners: NZ mainly, Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Australia, US
Debt - external: $NA Economic aid - recipient: $2.6 million from New Zealand (2002)
Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Currency code: NZD
Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars per US dollar - 2.3535 (January 2002), 2.3776 (2001), 2.1863 (2000), 1.8886 (1999), 1.8629 (1998), 1.5082 (1997)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March Communications Niue - Telephones - main lines in use: 376 (1991) Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (1991)
Telephone system: domestic: single-line telephone system connects all villages on island international: NA
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 1,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)
Televisions: NA
Internet country code: .nu Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: NA Transportation Niue -
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total: 234 km paved: 86 km unpaved: 148 km (106 km of which is access and plantation road) (2001)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)
Airports: 1 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001) Military Niue -
Military branches: no regular indigenous military forces; Police Force
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of New Zealand Transnational Issues Niue - Disputes - international: none

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 internally self-governing island state in free association with New Zealand. It is the westernmost of the Cook Islands but is administratively separate from them. Niue lies some 1,340 miles (2,160 km) northeast of Auckland, N.Z., and 240 miles (385 km) east of the Vavaʿu Group of Tonga, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Niue is sometimes called “the Rock of Polynesia,” or simply “the Rock.” The capital and largest settlement is Alofi. Area 100 square miles (260 square km). Pop. (2006) 1,625.

Land and people
      Niue is a roughly oval, raised coral island that is about 40 miles (65 km) in circumference. The island has two distinct levels. The upper level, a central plateau with a maximum elevation of approximately 200 feet (60 metres), slopes steeply down at its edges to the lower level, a coastal terrace about 0.3 miles (0.5 km) wide and 80–90 feet (25–27 metres) high, which in turn slopes down to meet the sea in small cliffs. A fringing reef surrounds the island.

      Precipitation on Niue averages about 80 inches (2,000 mm) annually and falls mostly during heavy rainstorms (sometimes including tropical cyclones (tropical cyclone)) from December to March. A devastating cyclone struck Niue in 2004, causing a number of deaths and substantial property damage in the coastal areas, including the capital. The wet season, which is humid and warm, lasts from November to March, and the cooler dry season from April to October.

      The island's soil is extremely porous, so that water catchment from roofs is necessary to provide adequate water supply. The vegetation cover is scant but includes large trees, such as banyans and Tahiti chestnuts. There are also coconuts, fan palms, and pandanus, as well as hibiscus and other shrubs, ferns, and creepers.

      The population is mostly Polynesian. English is widely spoken, and a large number of people speak both English and Niuean, a Polynesian language (Polynesian languages) akin to Tongan and Samoan; a small proportion speak only Niuean. The inhabitants are predominantly Christian. Most people live in villages on the fertile coastal strip, which is intensively cultivated. The population declined throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries as many Niueans migrated to New Zealand because of limited economic prospects at home. In the early 21st century there were many times more native-born Niueans and their descendants living in New Zealand than on Niue itself.

      Niue's currency is the New Zealand dollar. The economy is based mainly on agriculture. About one-fourth of the land is arable and is held in traditional family patterns; land ownership is passed down through family lines, and, by law, land cannot be sold to foreigners. Passion fruit, coconuts, pawpaw, and limes are cash crops. Subsistence crops include taro (locally called talo), yams, bananas, sugarcane, papaya, guava, and citrus fruits. Livestock includes pigs, chickens, and cattle, and fishing is conducted for domestic needs. The government has made the development of the fishing industry a priority, and a fish-processing plant was opened in the village of Amanau in 2004. About one-fifth of the land is forested. Manufacturing is centred on processing crops and includes lime juice, passion fruit, copra, honey, leather goods, and handicrafts for export. An industrial park was established in Fonuakula in the early 21st century. Tourism makes a growing contribution to the economy.

      Alofi is the main port, and the island has a small airport as well. New Zealand is the major trading partner and source of financial aid. Continued financial assistance from New Zealand and international aid agencies, as well as remittances from relatives overseas, remain the key elements in maintaining a relatively high standard of living. The sale of postage stamps to philatelists and of fishing licenses as well as the provision of offshore banking services have also been important revenue sources.

      Under the 1974 Niue Constitution Act, Niue is self-governing, though Niueans are New Zealand citizens and members of the Commonwealth. New Zealand is responsible for defense and external affairs as well as administrative and economic assistance as necessary. Executive authority is vested in the British monarch, represented by the governor-general of New Zealand. The leader of the government is the premier, elected by the 20-member Legislative Assembly. The members of the assembly are elected by universal adult suffrage; the legal voting age is 18. The majority of assembly members are elected from village constituencies; the rest are elected by all voters and serve as at-large members. The premier selects a cabinet from among the members of the assembly. A general election is held at least every three years, upon the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly at the request of the premier. Education is free and compulsory between ages 5 and 16. There is an extension centre of the University of the South Pacific at Alofi.

      There is archaeological evidence that Niue was settled about 900 CE by Samoans. According to tradition, a second group, a war party from Tonga, arrived sometime in the 16th century. Capt. James Cook (Cook, James) landed on Niue in 1774 and, because of hostility from the Niueans, named it Savage Island. London Missionary Society members began to arrive in the 1830s, and by the 1850s the islanders had been converted to Christianity.

      In 1900 Great Britain annexed Niue along with the western part of Samoa (the eastern part went to the United States). New Zealand annexed the island in 1901 as part of the Cook Islands, but in 1904 it was separated and given its own resident commissioner and island council. The first Niuean Legislative Assembly was elected in 1960, and in 1966 the resident commissioner's authority was partly delegated to the assembly and a Niuean leader of government was installed. In 1974 the people voted for a new constitution, choosing self-government in association with New Zealand. The devastation caused by a tropical cyclone in 2004 greatly affected the economy, and over the next few years the island began to rebuild with the help of foreign aid, particularly from the New Zealand government and the European Investment Bank. Niue is a member of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Pacific Community, Secretariat of the) and the Pacific Islands Forum.

Sophie Foster

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Universalium. 2010.

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