Celebrating Niue Constitution Week

Limu pools

Celebrating Niue Constitution Week

During the third week in October each year, Niueans in Australia, New Zealand and around the world celebrate Niue Constitution week. It’s a celebration of independence and the unique identity of Niue as an island nation in the Pacific. Its also celebrates language and culture.

Affectionately called the ‘Rock of Polynesia’ or ‘Rock of the Pacific’, the island nation, of mainly Polynesian ancestry, has a population of *1,639. *Source (based on the latest United Nations estimates 6 Sept 2021).

There are 14 villages dotted across the island with the capital Alofi as the main port and one airport that transports passenger’s in and out of the island.

The tiny island of Niue boasts one of the largest upraised coral atoll’s in the world.

The Limu Pools (featured in the main image) were formed in the porous limestone along the coast. Access is by the sea track from Namukulu Village outside Alofi.

With three public holidays during the third week of October is considered Constitution Week in Niue.

The first public holiday is Constitution Day, October 19 followed by next two days October 20 and October 21.

The holiday celebrates the day that the Niue Constitution Act 1974 took effect.

The week of celebrations includes flag raising ceremonies, cultural performances and sporting competitions and takes place during the week of these dates.

This year it’s the 47th anniversary of the day the New Zealand Parliament granted Niue its Independence on “Constitution Day” on October 19, 1974.

Niue commemorates the important occasion where it became a self-governing state, and no longer a New Zealand territory, but one that is in free association with New Zealand. Niueans are in fact citizens of New Zealand.

What’s even more interesting is that Niue is a part of the Realm of New Zealand. Essentially both countries shares the same Head of State, Her Majesty the Queen, in Right of New Zealand.

Niue’s currency is the New Zealand dollar so when it relates to remittances from family and or relatives overseas contributes to the relatively high standards of living.

The Niueans have a strong sense of community spirit and are proud of their language.

Niuean Language Week sees a host of online language programs and a reminder to parents that preserving the language is just as important for families in Australia and New Zealand.

English is widely spoken, and a large number of people speak both English and Niuean, a Polynesian language akin to Tongan and Samoan.

Niue language week finishes on Saturday 23rd October 2021.

For more information on Niue Language week:

Click here to visit the Niue Community Council Victoria

 

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Dee Raghavan

Dee Raghavan is the Senior Manager, Engagement Marketing at CulturalPulse. She has a passion for writing, travelling and experiencing other cultures through sport, music, film, art and food. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]