Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) north-east of New Zealand within the triangle formed by Tonga to the west, Samoa to the north, and the Cook Islands to the east. Its land area is 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) and its population, predominantly Polynesian, is around 1,190. They commonly refer to the island as "The Rock", a reference to the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia".

Niue, whose capital is the village of Alofi, is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, and New Zealand conducts most of its diplomatic relations on its behalf. Niueans are New Zealand citizens, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. 90 to 95 percent of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the Niuean language.

Niue was brought within the boundaries of New Zealand on 11 June 1901 by the same Order and Proclamation as the Cook Islands. The Order limited the islands to which it related by reference to an area in the Pacific described by co-ordinates, and Niue, the situation of which is 19.02 S., 169.55 W, is within that area.

Self-government was granted by the New Zealand parliament with the 1974 constitution, following a referendum in 1974 whereby Niueans were given three options: independence, self-government or continuation as a New Zealand territory. The majority selected self-government and Niue's written constitution was promulgated as supreme law.

 

What we're doing in Niue

VSA first began working in Niue in 1968 with a small programme focused on supporting agriculture, education and the development of small business. Today, VSA has renewed its commitment to Niue, with volunteers supporting the Department of Education in its provision of special education services and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Our programme in Niue is managed from Wellington under the Polynesia programme. VSA currently has two volunteers on assignment in Niue, both working with the Department of Education

Social challenges in Niue are linked to education, climate change and capacity building.