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Avaiki Cave, north of Alofi, Niue
Pacific Island Guide  >  Niue

General Information

Niue is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as the "Rock of Polynesia." Natives of the island call it "the Rock." Although self-governing, Niue is in free association with New Zealand, meaning that the Sovereign in right of New Zealand is also Niue's head of state. Most diplomatic relations are conducted by New Zealand on Niue's behalf. Niue is located 2,400 kilometres north-east of New Zealand, in a triangle between Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. The people are predominantly Polynesian.

Historical Background

  • Niue is a small coral island. It was called Savage Island by James Cook because his crew didn’t understand Niuean customs. Niueans justifiably objected to the reputation James Cook’s name gave to them. They are no longer called the Savage Islands.
  • The Niuean language is related to Tongan.
  • Niue is one of the worlds’ smallest self-governing states. It is a protectorate of New Zealand.
  • The population in the year 2000 was about 2,113.
  • 75% of the people belong to the Ikalesia Niue, a Protestant church related to the London Missionary Society. Ten percent belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the other 15% are mostly Roman Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, and Seventh-Day Adventist.
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.

Research Tools

On the Internet, go to Choose the Library tab and then Family History Library Catalog. Type in Niue. Print the items you are interested in. Next, type in the name of the village where your ancestors came from to see if any records were made on that level. We should print out the lists we get and then click on the record types that interest us.

We can also use a Film/fiche number search and look at the descriptions of other microfilms, all of which contain information in Niue: 1886336, 1886337, 1886338, and 1886339 Items 1 – 14, 795720 item 2, and 928558 item 6.

1868 Some civil registration and a few church records exist. 1872-1912 London Mission Society lists of members 1900Civil registration, some compiled genealogies.

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