Joined United Nations: Not A Member
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 09 July 2012
1,269 (July 2011 est.)
Elizabeth II of United Kingdom
Queen since 6 February 1952
The monarch is hereditary and holds that position for life or until
abdication. The high commission is selected by the Queen to
serve for a three year period
Next scheduled election: None
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Premier since 18 June 2008
Premier elected by the Legislative Assembly for a three-year
term; election last held 16 May 2011
Next scheduled election: 2014
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Niuen 78.2%, Pacific islander 10.2%, European 4.5%, mixed 3.9%, Asian 0.2%, unspecified 3% (2001 census)
Ekalesia Niue (Niuean Church - a Protestant church closely related to the London Missionary Society) 61.1%,
Latter-Day Saints 8.8%, Roman Catholic 7.2%, Jehovah's Witnesses 2.4%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%, other
8.4%, unspecified 8.7%, none 1.9% (2001 census)
Parliamentary democracy; 12 second order villages. Legal system is based English common law; Niue is self-governing,
with the power to make its own laws
Executive: Monarch represented by High Commissioner; Premier elected by Legislative Assembly; last held 116
May 2011 (next to be held in 2014)
Legislative: Unicameral Legislative Assembly (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year
terms; 6 elected from a common roll and 14 are village representatives)
elections: last held 7 May 2011 (next to be held in 2014)
Judicial: Supreme Court of New Zealand; High Court of Niue
Niuean, a Polynesian language closely related to Tongan and Samoan; English
Niue is in the Polynesian cultural zone of the South Pacific with a culture and language strongly related to that in
neighboring Tonga and Samoa. Niue probably was first settled more than 1000 years ago by Tongans and Samoans. In
1774 British explorer James Cook became the first European to visit the island, which he named Savage Island for the
hostile reception he received. In the mid-19th century, missionaries of the London Missionary Society converted the
islanders to Christianity. Niueans petitioned Queen Victoria three times to place their island under the protection of the
British Crown; they were successful in 1900. The following year, New Zealand annexed Niue as part of the Cook
Islands. In 1904 it became a separate colony with its own administration. In preparation for self-government, the
Legislative Assembly was established in 1960. On October 19, 1974, Niue became self-governing in free association
with New Zealand. Niueans are citizens of both Niue and New Zealand. There are about 14,500 Niueans presently
living in New Zealand compared to less than 2,300 in Niue. About half the people live in and around the capital, Alofi,
on the island's west side. Others live in villages scattered along a road that circles the island. Niue's population has been
in decline since the 1980s due to limited economic opportunities. Incentives to entice Niueans to return to their
homeland have been unsuccessful. New Zealanders can reside in but not take up gainful employment without Niuean
permission. New Zealand also maintains oversight of foreign and defense affairs for Niue. For many years New
Zealand foreign aid supplied the money that kept the government running. With a dramatic cutback in foreign aid and
the large number of cutbacks in the public sector, the present government has set a course designed to try and attain
economic self-sufficiency by the year 2000. 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 about 1269 in 2012), with substantial
emigration to New Zealand, 2,400 km to the southwest.
Sources Road Toad Peace Corps Niue Data; CIA World Factbook (select Niue)
The economy suffers from the typical Pacific island problems of geographic isolation, few resources, and a small
population. Government expenditures regularly exceed revenues, and the shortfall is made up by critically needed grants
from New Zealand that 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 emigration to New Zealand. Efforts to increase GDP include
the promotion of tourism and a financial services industry, although the International Banking Repeal Act of 2002
resulted in the termination of all offshore banking licenses. Economic aid from New Zealand in FY08/09 was US$5.7
million. Niue suffered a devastating typhoon in January 2004, which decimated nascent economic programs. While in
the process of rebuilding, Niue has been dependent on foreign aid.
Politics of Niue takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency, whereby the
Chief Minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Niue is self-governing in free association with
New Zealand and is fully responsible for internal affairs. New Zealand retains some responsibility for external affairs, in
consultation with Niue. The Niue Constitution Act 1974 (NZ) vests executive authority in Her Majesty the Queen in
Right of New Zealand and the Governor-General of New Zealand. The constitution specifies that in everyday practice,
it is exercised by a Cabinet of the Premier of Niue and three other ministers. The premier and ministers must be
members of the Niue Assembly, the nation's legislative assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the
The monarch is hereditary; her representative in relation to Niue (the Governor-General of New Zealand) is appointed
by the monarch. The New Zealand high commissioner is appointed by, and acts solely as a diplomatic agent of, the
New Zealand Government. The cabinet is chosen by the premier and appointed by the Speaker of the Niue Assembly
and collectively responsible to Parliament.
In Niue, political parties have never played an important role. There is, at present, no political party, and candidates to
elections therefore run as independents. The only party ever to have existed, the Niue People's Party, disbanded in
As there are no political parties, there is no formal parliamentary Opposition.
Wikipedia: Politics of Niue
No IDP's with respect to war or ethnic strife however 14,500 Niueans live in New Zealand in comparison to 1,398
who live on the island as a result of limited economic opportunity as a result of its remoteness and economic devastation
from a typhoon which struck Niue in January 2004.
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: New Zealand (including Niue)
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 24, 2012
Women participated fully in political life. There were 41 women in parliament. There were eight women on the executive council,
which comprises 28 ministers (20 within the cabinet and eight outside the cabinet). The chief justice of the Supreme Court was a
woman. There were three women in the 25-seat parliament of the Associated State of the Cook Islands and four women in the
20-seat parliament of the Associated State of Niue.
Labor organization in the territory of Tokelau (population 1,400) was limited and based on communal decision making and activity.
In Niue, a self-governing country in free association with New Zealand (population 1,400), the dominant public sector (460
positions) had an active public service association.
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Committee on Rights of the Child holds fifty-ninth session in Geneva from16 January to 3 February 2012
Committee on the Rights of the Child
12 January 2012
Situation of Children’s’ Rights in Azerbaijan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Madagascar, Togo, Thailand, Cook
Islands and Niue to be reviewed
The Committee on the Rights of the Child will meet at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 16 January to 3 February 2012 to review
the promotion and protection of children's rights under the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two
Optional Protocols in Azerbaijan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Madagascar, Togo, Thailand, Cook Islands and
The Committee is a body of independent experts formed in 1991 to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of
the Child by its State parties. The Convention gives a comprehensive collection of children's rights the force of international law.
The Committee also monitors implementation of two Optional Protocols to the Convention: the first on the involvement of children
in armed conflict and the second on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. A third Optional Protocol on a
Communications Procedure was recently approved by the United Nations General Assembly on 19 December 2011. It will allow
individual children to submit complaints about specific violations of their human rights under the Convention and its first two
Optional Protocols. The Protocol opens for signature in 2012 and will enter into force upon ratification by 10 United Nations
To date 193 countries have ratified or acceded to the Convention, making it the most widely accepted international human rights
instrument. Only Somalia and the United States have not ratified it. States parties to the Convention are expected to send
representatives to the Committee to present reports on their efforts to implement children's rights. States must report initially two
years after acceding to the Convention and then every five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns
and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.
At the session, Azerbaijan, Myanmar, Madagascar, Togo and Thailand will present their combined third and fourth periodic reports.
Cook Islands and Niue will field initial reports. Azerbaijan, Thailand and Togo will also present initial reports on their ratification of
the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and initial reports on ratification of the
Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict will be delivered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Azerbaijan and Thailand.
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Freedom In The World 2010
Global climate change and rising sea levels pose significant challenges to Tuvalu and other low-lying island states. The premier of
Niue, a small island off the coast of New Zealand, offered refuge to Tuvaluans in August 2008, and many have accepted the
invitation and migrated to the island.
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Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand:
Submission to the New Zealand Government on their Draft Report for the Universal Periodic Review
17 March 2009
1) Amnesty International (AI) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the New Zealand Government’s draft report for
the Universal Periodic Review 2009, as well as the opportunity to attend and contribute to the respective consultations in Auckland,
Wellington and Christchurch recently.
2) The following concerns and recommendations are in addition to our submission to the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva
dated 10 November 2008. This submission responds to the Government’s draft report and notes key issues of concern with that
report. Background of Country (Section 2)
3) Paragraph 2.1: In terms of New Zealand’s constitutional and political structure, the Treaty of Waitangi does not form part of
New Zealand‘s legal system until it is explicitly referred to in legislation. Maori rights are not constitutionally protected in New
Zealand and are able to be extinguished by an Act of Parliament. This vulnerability was demonstrated clearly by the Foreshore
and Seabed Act 2004 (see point 10).
4) Paragraph 2.2: Amnesty International would welcome this paragraph explicitly noting that because the Cook Islands and Niue are
not United Nations member states, and New Zealand has only limited responsibility, these self-governing states, and their peoples,
are in practice excluded from the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. This could be useful in shortening the section.
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Human Rights Watch Letter to Pacific Island Forum Leaders
August 1, 2009
We write to urge you and other leaders attending the 40th Leaders' Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Cairns from
August 5 to 6, 2009, to address the ongoing human rights violations in Fiji.
At your 2004 meeting, PIF leaders issued a vision statement stating their objective to seek a Pacific region that is respected for its
“defense and promotion of human rights." This objective forms part of the good governance pillar of the Pacific Plan that was
endorsed by PIF leaders at their 2005 meeting. Using this vision as a basis, we urge PIF leaders to more strongly denounce the
ongoing violations of human rights in Fiji and identify solutions to tackle this serious problem.
We acknowledge that PIF leaders have taken a range of measures over the past two and a half years to try and convince Fiji to
return democratic governance in an acceptable time frame. The interim Fiji government ultimately dismissed these efforts, resulting
in Fiji’s suspension from the PIF on May 2, 2009. On suspending Fiji, PIF Chair Hon. Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue, said, “A
regime which displays such a total disregard for basic human rights, democracy and freedom has no place in the Pacific Islands
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Toke Talagi delivers Firm Climate Change Message
Posted by Newsdesk on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I find it appalling, really appalling that we can’t make a political decision on these matters, it’s a dreadful lack of understanding of
our legacy as world leaders at this moment, particularly the large countries.”- Hon. Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue.
From the Rock of Polynesia to the Cradle of Humanity, the Premier of Niue has traveled far to present a firm message at the UN
Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa
Niue is a large upraised coral atoll in the Pacific that is home to less than 1,500 residents in 14 different village communities. For
the people of Niue, like many other communities in Small Islands Developing States, the impacts of climate change are real and they
are being felt now.
In 2004, Niue was struck by category 5 Cyclone Heta that caused major damage to infrastructure and agriculture estimated at NZD
37.7 million, which is close to three times the value of Niue’s GDP, highlighting Niue’s economic vulnerability to climate change.
“The politics of climate change is broken into three parts,” said the Premier of Niue, Hon. Toke Talagi.
“One is to do with the risk assessment of the information being given to us from scientists and whether it is perceived as low,
medium or high. The second is in relation to risk assessment in terms of funding and the third is to do with the legacy of us
Leaders at the moment with our respect to make decisions on climate change, or not.”
The Premier feels that some of the developed countries view the risk assessment as medium allowing for more time to continue the
negotiations, whereas others view the risk assessment as high. It is this inability to agree that delays an outcome, continuing to
disagree while the climate change problem grows worse and “nothing is done.”
The Alliance of Small Islands States has called for a Durban mandate to negotiate a new protocol under the climate convention by
2012 with ambitious mitigation goals consistent with holding warming below 1.5 degrees Celcius.
The new Protocol must include ambitious quantitative, national economy wide, legally binding targets for the developed countries
not presently Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. It also means increasing the level of mitigation ambition by developing countries
according to their different levels of capability and responsibility.
“We are the current cabinet of World Leaders, the legacy that we are leaving behind at this moment is the inability to make
decisions that will enable us to respond to climate change and take collective action. We are not doing that therefore our legacy is
unfortunately that we did nothing.”
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Structuring the Cultural Sector in the Pacific for Improved Human Development
June 1, 2011
Cultural Mapping Exercise is currently in discussion with the SPC Human Development Program (Culture) to take place in Niue in
the coming months. The Exercise is Component 3 of the European Commission Project on “Structuring the Cultural Sector in the
Pacific for Improved Human Development” (Preserving Endangered Cultural Heritage). A Project Coordinator will be selected to
implement the Niue component and is expected to complete task over a period of six months. We have identified old Village
Settlements for this exercise and hope to restore some of these sites for preservation or for on going development of communities.
The focus will be on protection, preservation and transmission.
The Niue Legislative Assembly Member assisting the Taoga Niue Ministerial Portfolio and responsible to the Premier, Hon. Toke T
Talagi is, Mr. Billy G Talagi. This came into effect 13th June 2011.
Niue Museum Opening Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 12.00 noon. The Museum is located at
Halamahaga beside the main office of Niue Education Department and above the Niue Primary School. It houses the collection
salvaged from the Huanaki Museum and Centre after the devastation caused by Cyclone Heta in 2004. They were initially displayed
in a separate building after the restoration and cleansing ceremony that took place in October 2008 which represent 10% of
artifacts held at the former Museum. Their current display area is unsuitable and artifacts continue to deteriorate at a much rapid
Archives Staff will continue to restore the collection (removal of rustic paper clips, filing pins, replacement of folders) as well as
keeping wasps (who are taking up nesting in many archive boxes) and silverfishes away. The collection consists of files from the
time of New Zealand Resident Commissioners to Niue, Reports, Hurricane Houses, Staff Files and are located together in the same
building where our museum are displayed. Unless we have proper space for storage and restoration work, the collection will
continue to be a home of many unwelcome pests.
Our Radio Program is normally on every Tuesday morning, 9am - 10.00am, every fortnight. We broadcast from the Niue
Broadcasting Corporation studio at Fonuakula in Vagahau Niue. We are currently taking a short break and will resume broadcasting
in July 2011, please fell free to tune in and listen to many interesting Niue cultural heritage news items.
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Status of human rights and the Treaty
January 27, 2010
The Human Rights Commission has proposed seven priorities to improve the human rights of Maori in accordance with
international law and the Treaty of Waitangi.
In a discussion paper for the next New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights, the Commission calls for constitutional
arrangements to be examined, past grievances to be settled promptly and fairly, and new pathways to partnership and new forums
for consultation between the Crown and Tangata Whenua to be developed.
It also identifies the need to promote public awareness of the Treaty and to build relationships between Maori and non-Maori New
Zealanders at the community level.
The Commission says that all children and young people should enjoy improved economic, social and cultural outcomes that more
fully realise the rights set out in the Treaty of Waitangi and international human rights treaties, including the Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The implications of the Declaration for the rights of Pacific peoples should also be explored.
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said that the current status of human rights and the treaty was mixed.
“There are legislative mechanisms in place to protect the principles of the Treaty and the rights of Māori as Indigenous people but
in practice the level of recognition and protection varies. Systemic disadvantage and emerging issues remain to be fully addressed,
and the process of providing redress for historical grievances is yet to be completed.”
Comments on the proposals are being invited by mid March for inclusion in the Commission’s Status Report on Human Rights in
New Zealand Today, which will form the basis for the second New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights.
The seven priorities proposed are:
Examine constitutional arrangements: Review laws that make up our constitutional framework, to ensure the Treaty, indigenous
rights and human rights are recognised and provided for, and consider entrenching them as constitutional norms.
Settle the past: Conclude the settlement of historical breaches of the Treaty promptly and fairly.
Explore new pathways: Develop and implement new pathways to partnership between Tangata Whenua and the Crown in
central and local government, business, resource management, and environmental protection, in order to improve economic, social
and cultural outcomes for all New Zealanders.
Strengthen existing forums and processes: Build on existing processes and develop new forums for Tangata Whenua and the
Crown to engage at local and national levels.
Promote public awareness: Increase public understanding of the Treaty and the human rights of Indigenous peoples and build
relationships between Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders at the community level.
Focus on children and their families: Ensure all children and young people enjoy
improved economic, social and cultural outcomes that more fully realise the rights set out in the Treaty of Waitangi and
international human rights treaties, including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Explore indigenous rights implications in the wider Pacific: Promote discussion of the application of the Declaration of the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples in the wider Pacific context, particularly in relation to the peoples of Niue, the Cook Islands and Tokelau,
who are New Zealand citizens, and in light of the whakapapa connections of Māori to other Pacific peoples.
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Acting New Zealand High Commissioner
since 01 September 2011
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Governor General of New Zealand
since 23 August 2006