Niue country brief
The island of Niue is located in Polynesia, east of Tonga and northeast of New Zealand. Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, an arrangement dating from October 1974. Niueans are New Zealand citizens. Approximately 90 per cent of Niue's population lives in New Zealand. At the time of Niue's 2017 Census, the resident population was 1591.
The Head of State is HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor-General of New Zealand.
System of Government
Niue's parliament is the Fale Fono (General Assembly) and consists of 20 members
(14 constituency or 'village' seats and six 'common roll' seats) elected every three years by universal suffrage. The 20 members elect a Premier, who then selects three cabinet ministers. Assembly members currently all serve as independents. The members appoint a Speaker from outside their ranks.
Niue's most recent general election was held on 30 May 2020. The Fale Fono elected the Hon Dalton Tagelagi as Premier (he formerly served as Minister for Natural Resources in the late Sir Toke Talagi's government). Tagelagi is also Niue's Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Australia and Niue established diplomatic relations on 27 February 2013, with Australia's High Commissioner in Wellington appointed as non-resident High Commissioner to Niue. Australia established a High Commission in Alofi in August 2020 with a resident High Commissioner. Australia and Niue enjoy a friendly relationship based on shared membership of Pacific regional organisations, development cooperation and people-to-people links.
Australia is helping Niue build a skilled workforce by providing opportunities for education.
The Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships program enables Niueans to undertake undergraduate degree and diploma-level study within the Pacific region. Individuals gain skills and knowledge to make a lasting contribution to Niue's short- and long-term development.
Niue faces economic challenges common to small island states within the region. These include geographic isolation, limited natural resources and a small population. Cyclones occasionally devastate the island's infrastructure, including housing and tourist facilities.
The tourism industry is a vital sector in the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted revenue streams derived from tourism.
Under the terms of the constitutional agreement between New Zealand and Niue, New Zealand provides administrative assistance and substantial economic assistance in the form of direct budget support and project-related aid.
Fishing licences and the international lease of Niue's unique four-digit telephone numbers are important income earners for the country. Remittances from Niueans living abroad supplement the income of island families.
Noni-juice production also provides ongoing employment opportunities.
Niue's population has been a concern of successive governments. At the time of Niue's 2017 Census, the population was 1,591. The 2018 New Zealand Census counts 30,867 ethnic Niueans resident in New Zealand. The 2016 Australian Census counts 4,958 ethnic Niueans resident in Australia.
High-level visits and meetings
October 2018: High Commissioner Ewen McDonald attended Niue's Constitution Day.
April 2018: High Commissioner to New Zealand Ewen McDonald visited Niue to present his credentials as non-resident High Commissioner to Niue.
November 2015: Minister for International Development, the Hon Steven Ciobo, visited Niue and held bilateral meetings.
July 2015: Premier Talagi attended the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting in Sydney.
August 2014: High Commissioner to New Zealand Michael Potts visited Niue to present his credentials as non-resident High Commissioner to Niue
December 2010: Then Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, the Hon. Richard Marles visited Niue.