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History[edit | edit source]
Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand; and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations—though not all—on its behalf. Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. Between 90% and 95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the language of Niue. Niue is a bilingual country, with 30% of the population speaking both Niuean and English, though the percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers.
Niue is subdivided into 14 villages. Each village has a village council that elects its chairman. The villages are at the same time electoral districts; each village sends an assemblyman to the Parliament of Niue. A small and democratic nation, Niueans hold legislative elections every 3 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; the European Union is helping the nation convert to renewable energy. 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.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1846 - Christian missionaries arrive.
1853 - Niue is annexed by France.
1900 - Niue becomes a British protectorate.
1901 - The island is annexed to New Zealand.
1958 - Niue becomes an Overseas Territory of France.
1974 - Niue becomes a self-governing Territory Overseas of New Zealand.