Niue Facts

Niue Facts and History


Niue is in the South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and French Polynesia. It is located approximately 2,400 km northeast of New Zealand and 600 km from Tonga, east of the date line. It belongs to the Polynesian Islands, which in the South Pacific include the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Easter Island, Pitcairn, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Wallis and Futuna.

Because of its remoteness, Niue used to be called the “deserted island” (Savage Island).

Nuie means coconut. The country is one of the smallest states in the world. The self-governing state has been associated with New Zealand since 1974, from where large sums of support flow into the country every year.

In 2004, Nuie was hit by Hurricane Heta, one of the strongest in living memory. Large areas of the island in the southeast were destroyed.

The population of Niue is constantly falling. There are now 10 times as many Niueans living in New Zealand as on the island itself. Niue has one of the largest reefs in the world, which rises from the sea.

Although Niue is part of Polynesia, there is no hierarchical system of chieftains whose posts are inherited.

Name of the country Niue
Form of government Niue is a parliamentary-democratic monarchy in the Commonwealth. The state is a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand.
Location Niue is in the South Pacific near Tonga; 19 ° south latitude and 170 ° west longitude
National anthem “Ko E Iki He Lagi”
Population Around 1,300, around 22,000, live in New Zeala (Credit: Countryaah: Niue Population)
Ethnicities approx. 90% Niuer and 10% Europeans as well as islanders from Tonga and Samoa
Religions Around 75% Protestants, 10% Mormons and 15% Catholics and others
Languages Nuean and English
Capital Alofi, with about 580 residents
Surface 263 km²
Highest mountain Highest elevation 68 m
International license plate NZ (New Zealand)
Currency New Zealand Dollar (NZ $)
Difference to CET – 12 h
International phone code + 683
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .nu

Niue: history


Legend has it that the island was settled by Huanaki and Fao and the fire gods of Fonuagalo, a hidden land. The first Polynesian settlers came by canoes and vacas from Tonga, Samoa, and Pukapuka Island from the Cook Islands.


According to Abbreviationfinder website, in the 9th – 10th centuries the Samoans came, in the 16th century the islanders from Tonga attacked Nuie.

James Cook (1728-1779) reached the islands in 1774 and was greeted with red-painted teeth by hostile savages. He couldn’t go ashore. Because of the reception he called the island “Wild Islands” in contrast to Tonga, which he called Friendship Islands.


The missionary John Williams (1796–1839) tried in vain to convert the islanders, despite his great proselytizing success in Samoa in the years after his landing there in 1830. It should be mentioned that he was murdered on the occasion of further proselytizing attempts on Vanuatu and then eaten.

It was not until missionaries from Samoa arrived in 1856 and 1849 that the islanders were able to be Christianized. The first British missionary came to the island in 1861.

20th century until today

In 1900 Niue became a British protectorate. A year later the island became dependent territory of New Zealand.

On October 19, 1974 the Niue Constitution came into force and Niue thus became independent, albeit in free association with New Zealand. The first Niues embassy was opened on March 1st, 2001 in Wellington/New Zealand. In 2004, Niue was badly hit by cyclone Heta.

Niue Facts