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Niue

(self-governing in free association with New Zealand)


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Introduction

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 2,100 in 2000) with substantial emigration to New Zealand.

Geography

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
  land: 260 sq km
  water: 0 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%
  permanent crops: 8%
  permanent pastures: 4%
  forests and woodland: 19%
  other: 50% (1993 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 agreements
  party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification
  signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note: one of world's largest coral islands

People

Population: 2,113 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: NA
  15-64 years: NA
  65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: 0.47% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population

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

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: Polynesian closely related to Tongan and Samoan, English

Literacy
  definition: NA
  total population: 95%
  male: NA%
  female: NA%

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: none
  conventional short form: Niue

Data code: NE

Dependency status: self-governing in free association with New Zealand; Niue fully responsible for internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs

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 each with its own village council whose members are elected and serve three-year terms

Independence: on 19 October 1974, Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand

National holiday: Waitangi Day, 6 February (1840) (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty)

Constitution: 19 October 1974 (Niue Constitution Act)

Legal system: English common law

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 Warren SEARELL (since NA August 1993)
  head of government: Premier Sani LAKATANI (since 1 April 1999)
  cabinet: Cabinet consists of the premier and three ministers
  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)
  election results: Sani LAKATANI elected premier; percent of Legislative Assembly vote - NA

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)
  elections: last held 19 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2002)
  election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NPP 9, independents 11

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of New Zealand; High Court of Niue

Political parties and leaders: Niue People's Action Party or NPP [Young VIVIAN]

International organization participation: ESCAP (associate), Intelsat (nonsignatory user), 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 US: none (self-governing territory in 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

Economy - overview: The economy is heavily dependent on aid and remittances from New Zealand. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by grants from New Zealand which 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.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.5 million (1994 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,250 (1994 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: NA%
  industry: NA%
  services: NA%

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (1995)

Labor force: 450 (1992 est.)

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 (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 3 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: coconuts, passion fruit, honey, limes, taro, yams, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, poultry, beef cattle

Exports: $117,500 (f.o.b., 1989)

Exports - commodities: canned coconut cream, copra, honey, passion fruit products, pawpaws, root crops, limes, footballs, stamps, handicrafts

Exports - partners: NZ 89%, Fiji, Cook Islands, Australia

Imports: $4.1 million (c.i.f., 1989)

Imports - commodities: food, live animals, manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, drugs

Imports - partners: NZ 59%, Fiji 20%, Japan 13%, Samoa, Australia, US

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid - recipient: $8.3 million (1995)

Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1 - 1.9451 (January 2000), 1.8889 (1999), 1.8629 (1998), 1.5082 (1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

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 Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  total: 234 km
  paved: 0 km
  unpaved: 234 km

Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 1
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Police Force

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of New Zealand

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

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