History of Niue

Legends tell of the first settlement by Huanaki and Fao, together with the Fire Gods from Fonuagalo (Hidden Land). Centuries ago Polynesian settlers from TongaSamoa and Pukapuka Island in the Cook Islands, gave Niue the name of Motusefua (island on its own). The English navigator Captain James Cook sighted Niue in 1774, but was refused landing by the locals. He then named Niue ‘Savage Island’. Missionaries from the LMS (London Missionary Society) established Christianity in 1846. Niue chiefs gained British Protectorate status in 1900, and in 1901 Niue was annexed to New Zealand. In 1974 Niue gained self government in free association with New Zealand and government to this day has followed a Westminster-style rule with a 20 member assembly. The Premier is selected by the House and the Premier then selects 3 other members for Cabinet posts.