Asia

Niue territory profile

  • 16 June 2016
  • From the section Asia
Map of Niue

Home to fewer than 2,000 people, the Pacific island of Niue is trying to encourage some of the 20,000 overseas Niueans - many of whom migrated to New Zealand - to return.

The coral atoll operates in free association with New Zealand, its main source of aid and biggest trading partner. All Niueans are New Zealand citizens with Wellington handling Niue's defence and foreign policy.

Cyclone Heta devastated Niue in 2004. Fishing, agriculture and tourism are economic mainstays and the island attracts whale-watchers, divers and yachting enthusiasts.

Niue has embraced the internet, earning money from the sale of its suffix, and in 2003 became the first territory to offer a free wireless internet service to all residents.

Lying between Tonga and the Cook Islands, Niue was settled by Samoans in the first century AD. Britain's Captain James Cook sighted the island in 1774 and British missionaries arrived in the 19th century. Niue was subsequently administered from New Zealand, becoming self-governing in 1974.

FACTS

Niue

Self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand

  • Population 1,400

  • Area 260 sq km (100 sq miles)

  • Major languages Niuean, English

  • Major religion Christianity

  • Life expectancy 67 (men), 76 (women)

  • Currency New Zealand dollar

Getty Images

LEADER

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Talagi has served two terms

Prime minister: Toke Talagi

Toke Talagi was first elected in June 2008 to serve a three-year term. He gained the backing of parliament for another term in May 2011 and was re-elected in April 2014.

Mr Talagi previously served as deputy premier and finance minister. He is also president of the Niue Rugby Union.

MEDIA

Most of Niue's media is government-owned and funded. Expansion of the internet has led to a growth in online media.

The Broadcasting Corporation of Niue (BCN) runs the island's only television network Television Niue and Radio Sunshine.

The Niue Star is the country's only independent source of print news.

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