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Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an
island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by som ...
in the
South Pacific Ocean South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
, northeast of
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
. Niue's land area is about and its population, predominantly
Polynesian Polynesian is the adjectival form of Polynesia. It may refer to: * Polynesians, an ethnic group * Polynesian culture, the culture of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia * Polynesian mythology, the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia * Polyne ...
, was about 1,600 in 2016. Niue is located in a triangle between
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
,
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
, and the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua , coordinates = , largest_city = Avarua , official_languages = , languages_type = Spoken languages , languages = , ethn ...
. It is 604 kilometers northeast of Tonga. The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
". Niue is one of the world's largest
coral island A coral island is a type of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll ( ...
s. The
terrain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and fe ...

terrain
of the island has two noticeable levels. The higher level is made up of a
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
cliff In geography and geology, a cliff is an area of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included ...

cliff
running along the coast, with a plateau in the centre of the island reaching approximately 60 metres (200 feet) 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 A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

coral reef
surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capital,
Alofi Alofi is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segme ...

Alofi
. Niue is a
self-governing __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In syste ...
state in free association with
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
, and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations on its behalf. As part of the
Realm of New Zealand The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area (or realm) in which the monarch of New Zealand functions as head of state. The Realm of New Zealand is not a federation; it is a constitutional concept encompassing the three autonomous legal ...

Realm of New Zealand
, Niueans are citizens of New Zealand and
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Queen Elizabeth II
is Niue's
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
in her capacity as
Queen of New Zealand The monarchy of New Zealand is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a genera ...
. Between 90% and 95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the
Niuean language Niuean (; ) is a Polynesian Polynesian is the adjectival form of Polynesia. It may refer to: * Polynesians, an ethnic group * Polynesian culture, the culture of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia * Polynesian mythology, the oral traditions of ...
. Niue is a
bilingual country Official multilingualism is the policy adopted by some states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' ...
, with 30% of the population speaking both Niuean and
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
. The percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers. Niue is not a member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

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. As such, Niue is a member of some UN specialised agencies (such as
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
, and the
WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the co-ordinating machinery of the Unit ...

WHO
), and is invited, alongside the other non-UN member state, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua , coordinates = , largest_city = Avarua , official_languages = , languages_type = Spoken languages , languages = , ethn ...
, to attend United Nations conferences open to "all states". Niue has been a member of the
Pacific Community The Pacific Community (SPC), formerly the South Pacific Commission, is an international development International development or global development is a broad concept denoting the idea that societies and countries have differing levels of ec ...
since 1980. Niue is subdivided into 14 ''villages'' (
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, ...
). Each village has a council that elects its chairperson. The villages are at the same time electoral districts; each village sends an assemblyperson to the
Parliament of Niue The Niue Assembly ( niu, Niue Fono Ekepule) is the legislature of Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political ...
. A small and , Niueans hold legislative elections every three years. 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 Green growth is a term to describe a hypothetical path of economic growth Economic growth can be defined as the increase or improvement in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economics, economy over tim ...
; the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
is helping the nation convert to
renewable energy Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resource File:Global Vegetation.jpg, Global vegetation A renewable resource, also known as a flow resource, is a natural resource which will replenish to replace the portion resou ...
. 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.


History

Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
ns from
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
settled Niue around 900 AD. Further settlers arrived from
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
in the 16th century. Until the beginning of the 18th century, Niue appears to have had no national government or national
leader Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English ...

leader
; chiefs and heads of families exercised authority over segments of the population. A succession of ''patu-iki'' (kings) ruled, beginning with Puni-mata. Tui-toga, who reigned from 1875 to 1887, was the first Christian king. The first Europeans to sight Niue sailed under Captain
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

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 Fe'i bananas (also spelt Fehi or Féi) are cultivated plants in the genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of na ...
. For the next couple of centuries, Niue was known as Savage Island until its original name, "Niue", which translates as "behold the coconut", regained use. Whaling vessels were some of the most regular visitors to the island in the nineteenth century. The first on record was the ''Fanny'' in February 1824. The last known whaler to visit was the ''Albatross'' in November 1899. The next notable European visitors represented the
London Missionary Society The London Missionary Society was an interdenominational Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abraham ...
; they arrived on the ''Messenger of Peace''. After many years of trying to land a European missionary, they abducted a Niuean named Nukai Peniamina and trained him as a
pastor A pastor (abbreviated as "Pr" or "Ptr" , or "Ps" ) is the leader of a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus ...

pastor
at the
Malua Malua is a small village on the Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, π ...

Malua
Theological College in Samoa. Peniamina returned in 1846 on the ''
John Williams John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer A composer (Latin wikt:compono, ''compōnō''; literally "one who puts together") is a person who writes musical composition, music, especially classical music in any fo ...
'' as a missionary with the help of Toimata Fakafitifonua. He was finally allowed to land in Uluvehi
Mutalau Mutalau is one of the fourteen List of villages in Niue, villages of Niue. Its population at the 2017 census was 100, up from 97 in 2011. History Overview It was previously known as Ululauta and Matahefonua. ''Ululauta'' and ''Matahefonua'' bo ...
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. In July 1849 Captain John Erskine visited the island in HMS ''Havannah''. 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 Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
, asked her "to stretch out towards us your mighty hand, that Niue may hide herself in it and be safe".''Commonwealth and Colonial Law'' by
Kenneth Roberts-Wray Sir Kenneth Owen Roberts-Wray, GCMG The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British founded on 28 April 1818 by , later , while he was acting as regent for his father, . It is named in honour of two , and . Th ...
, London, Stevens, 1966. p. 897
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". The British did not initially take up the offer. In 1900 a petition by the Cook Islanders asking for annexation included Niue "if possible". 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 The secretary of state for the colonies or colonial secretary was the British Cabinet The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown in the government of the United Kingdom The Government of ...
from the
Governor of New Zealand The governor-general of New Zealand ( mi, te kāwana tianara o Aotearoa) is the Viceroy, viceregal representative of the Monarchy of New Zealand, monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of ...
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. The
New Zealand Parliament The New Zealand Parliament ( mi, Pāremata Aotearoa) is the unicameral legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Monarchy of New Zealand, Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen i ...
restored self-government in Niue with the 1974
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
, 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 was promulgated as supreme law.
Robert Rex Sir Robert Richmond Rex (25 January 190912 December 1992) was the first Premier of the Pacific island state of Niue. Early life and family Rex was born to parents Leslie Lucas Richmond Rex, a European trader on Niue, and Fisimonomono Tufaina ...
, ethnically part European, part native, was elected by the
Niue Assembly The Niue Assembly ( niu, Niue Fono Ekepule) 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 t ...
as the first
premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, aut ...
, 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. On March 7, 2020, the
International Dark Sky Association The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is a United States-based non-profit organization incorporated in 1988 by founders David Crawford (astronomer), David Crawford, a professional astronomer, and Tim Hunter (astronomer), Tim Hunter, a physi ...
announced that Niue had become the first
Dark Sky Preserve A dark-sky preserve (DSP) is an area, usually surrounding a park or observatory, that restricts artificial light pollution. The purpose of the dark-sky movement is generally to promote astronomy. Different terms have been used to describe the are ...
Nation.


Government and politics

The
Niue Constitution Act The ''Schedules'' of the Niue Constitution Act 1974 form the Niue constitution. It stipulates the make-up of the executive branch of the government, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The Niue Constitution Act 1974 is the supreme l ...
of 1974 vests executive authority in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Zealand and in the
Governor-General of New Zealand The governor-general of New Zealand ( mi, te kāwana tianara o Aotearoa) is the viceregal A viceroy () is an official who runs a polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, wh ...
. The Constitution specifies that everyday practice involves the exercise of sovereignty by
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
, composed of the
Premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, aut ...
(currently
Dalton Tagelagi Dalton Emani Tagelagi (born 5 June 1968) is a Niuean politician and Premier of Niue since June 2020. He was elected premier by the Niue Legislative Assembly on 11 June 2020, defeating O'Love Jacobsen by 13 votes to 7. Tagelagi is the son of Sam ...

Dalton Tagelagi
since 11 June 2020) and of three other ministers. The Premier and ministers are members of the
Niue Legislative Assembly The Niue Assembly ( niu, Niue Fono Ekepule) 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 t ...
, the nation's parliament. The Assembly consists of 20 members, 14 of them elected by the electors of each village
constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state St ...
, and six by all registered voters in all constituencies. 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. Niue has no political parties; all Assembly members are independents. The only Niuean political party to have ever existed, the
Niue People's Party The Niue People's Party (also known as the Niue People's Action Party) was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a p ...
(1987–2003), won once (in 2002) before disbanding the following year. The Legislative Assembly elects a 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.
General elections A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
take place every three years, most recently on 30 May 2020. The judiciary, independent of the executive and the legislature, includes a
High Court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal ...

High Court
and a
Court of Appeal An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics ...
, with appeals to the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), somet ...
in London.


Defence and foreign affairs

Niue has operated as a
self-governing __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In syste ...
state in free association with New Zealand since 3 September 1974, when the people endorsed the Constitution in a plebiscite. 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 The ''Schedules'' of the Niue Constitution Act 1974 form the Niue constitution. It stipulates the make-up of the executive branch of the government, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The Niue Constitution Act 1974 is the supreme l ...
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 oncerning external affairs and defence and economic and administrative assistance respectivelyof 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 The Premier of Niue is Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as th ...
, 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 ( High Commission) in
Wellington Wellington ( mi, Te Whanganui-a-TaraTe Whanganui-a-Tara is the Māori name for Wellington Harbour. The term is also used to refer to the city of Wellington Wellington ( mi, Te Whanganui-a-Tara ) is the capital city of New Zealand. It i ...

Wellington
, New Zealand. It is a member of the
Pacific Islands Forum The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is an inter-governmental In international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign sta ...

Pacific Islands Forum
and of 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 Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty, is an international agreement A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in inter ...

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
, the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established an international International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * ''International'' ...
, the
Ottawa Treaty The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or often simply the Mine Ban Tre ...
and the
Treaty of Rarotonga The Treaty of Rarotonga is the common name for the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, which formalises a nuclear-weapon-free zone #REDIRECT Nuclear-weapon-free zone A nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) is defined by the United Nations ...
. The country became a member state of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
on 26 October 1993. 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 China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
on 12 December 2007. The joint communique signed by Niue and China differs in its treatment of the Taiwan question from that agreed by New Zealand and China. New Zealand "acknowledged" China's position on
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

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." Niue established diplomatic relations with
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
on 30 August 2012. On 10 June 2014 the Government of Niue announced that Niue had established diplomatic relations with Turkey. The Honourable Minister of Infrastructure
Dalton Tagelagi Dalton Emani Tagelagi (born 5 June 1968) is a Niuean politician and Premier of Niue since June 2020. He was elected premier by the Niue Legislative Assembly on 11 June 2020, defeating O'Love Jacobsen by 13 votes to 7. Tagelagi is the son of Sam ...

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. People of Niue have fought as part of the New Zealand military. During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
(1914-1918), Niue sent about 200 soldiers as part of the New Zealand (Māori) Pioneer Battalion in the New Zealand forces. Niue is not a
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
, but for a number of years the ISO list of country names (ISO- 3166-1) listed its full name as "the Republic of Niue". 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.


Geography

Niue is a
raised coral atoll A raised coral atoll or uplifted coral atoll is an atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are fo ...
in the southern Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga. There are three outlying
coral Corals are marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a ver ...

coral
reef A reef is a ridge or shoal In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following per ...

reef
s within the Exclusive Economic Zone, with no land area: #
Beveridge Reef Beveridge Reef is a submerged atoll located in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Niue, approximately 130 miles (209 km) from Niue and 600 miles (966 km) from the Cook Islands. The reef is normally submerged, with a small part visible at low tide. It ...
, southeast, submerged
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. Two different, well-cited models, the subsiden ...

atoll
drying during low tide, north-south, East-West, total area , no land area, lagoon deep. #Antiope Reef, northeast, a circular plateau approximately in diameter, with a least depth of . #Haran Reef (also known as Harans Reef), reported to break furiously, southeast. Besides these, Albert Meyer Reef, (almost long and wide, least depth , southwest) is not officially claimed by Niue, and the existence of Haymet Rocks ( east-southeast) is in doubt. Niue is one of the world's largest
coral Corals are marine invertebrates Marine invertebrates are the invertebrates that live in marine habitats. Invertebrate is a blanket term that includes all animals apart from the vertebrate members of the chordate phylum. Invertebrates lack a ver ...

coral
islands. The terrain consists of steep
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
cliffs along the coast with a central
plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the proces ...

plateau
rising to about above sea level. A
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

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 number of limestone
cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can also refer to much small ...

cave
s occur near the coast. The island is roughly oval in shape (with a
diameter In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position ...

diameter
of about ), with two large bays indenting the western coast, Alofi Bay in the centre and
Avatele Avatele, formerly known as Oneonepata Matavaihala, is one of the fourteen List of villages in Niue, villages of Niue, located on the southwest coast, with a population of 143 residents as of 2017. Geography Avatele Beach, the village's main sea ...
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 Oxisols are a soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="glacial till, Northern Ireland">glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liqu ...

oxisol
) and mercury, and they contain high levels of
natural radioactivity Background radiation is a measure of the level of ionizing radiation present in the environment at a particular location which is not due to deliberate introduction of radiation sources. Background radiation originates from a variety of sources, ...
. There is almost no
uranium Uranium is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

uranium
, but the radionucleides and Pa-231 head the
decay chain In nuclear science, the decay chain refers to a series of radioactive decays of different radioactive decay products as a sequential series of transformations. It is also known as a "radioactive cascade". Most Radionuclide, radioisotopes do not de ...
s. 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 Weathering is the deterioration of Rock (geology), rocks, soils and minerals as well as wood and artificial materials through contact with water, atmospheric gases, and biological organisms. Weathering occurs ''in situ'' (on site, with little o ...
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. 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 In chemistry, a phosphate is an anion, salt (chemistry), salt, functional group or ester derived from a phosphoric acids and phosphates, phosphoric acid. It most commonly means orthophosphate, a derivative of phosphoric acid, orthophosphoric a ...

phosphate
, but it is not accessible to plants, being in the very insoluble form of
iron phosphate Iron phosphate may refer to: * Iron(II) phosphate * Iron(III) phosphate {{Short pages monitor