Niue

Former Niue premier Sir Toke Talagi dies after lengthy illness

The four-term premier has been ailing for the past few years, to the point where much of his last year as premier was spent in New Zealand for medical treatment.

Sir Toke was flown to Auckland Hospital last week, but was returned by charter flight to Niue on Sunday - where he died two days later surrounded by family.

The government of Niue said it was Sir Toke's wish to return and spend his final days on his beloved island Niue.

Fire-hit Niue broadcaster gets creative ahead of election

A fire at the BCN's offices last week destroyed the TV studios and editing suite, and seriously damaged the radio studios.

That hit plans for debates, meet-the-candidate sessions and extensive live coverage in the week of the election.

A journalist at the BCN, Sofaia Koroitanoa, said they had ve been scrambling to find ways to cover an election from a temporary office with no broadcasting equipment.

Niue formalises one of largest marine reserves in world

The 127,000 square kilometre zone constitutes 40 percent of Niue's exclusive economic zone.

First mooted five years ago, the Moana Mahu has this month been legally established by the Niue parliament.

The reserve will include a special management space area around the partially submerged Beveridge Reef .

This area would be known as the "Beveridge Reef Nukutulueatama Special Management Area" and was considered to have particular importance for its biodiversity.

Niue is world's first 'Dark Sky nation'

The title recognises an area with exceptional quality of starry nights and a commitment to protecting the noctural environment.

Such dark-sky area designations aim to restrict artificial light pollution so that night skies can be observed and enjoyed to their fullest potential.

Tourism Niue said the protection added to current measures, including a marine reserve which was 40 percent of Niue's exclusive economic zone.

The Huvalu Forest Conservation area, which contains some of the world's most threatened flora and fauna, is also protected.

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Niue latest to introduce plastic bag ban

The ban began this week, however there will be a transition period where existing stocks must be used by 1 June.

Plastic shopping bags litter roadsides, add to excess rubbish in the community, and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

To combat that the government has imposed a Prohibition Order after receiving Cabinet approval in February.

The Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in response to the ban by placing signs outside the main shopping areas, encouraging people to use cloth or re-usable shopping bags.

Building shipped to Pacific Islands to dodge demolition

The 25-year-old building in Auckland's Beresford Square has been used as a cafe, wine bar and information hub and will now get a new home on the island of Niue as a tourist cafe. 

City Rail Link is the $4.4 billion project to upgrade Auckland’s train network with twin tunnels under the city and two new stations.

The building is being moved to make way for Karangahape Station.

Link Alliance deputy project manager Dale Burtenshaw said moving the distinctive building was a win-win outcome for everyone.

Vanuatu fields darts team in Niue

The team will be represented by 8 male and 8 female players.

The members were presented to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee last week.

VASANOC CEO, Henry Tavoa congratulated the management and players for taking initiative to fundraise for the event and also wished them well.

The competition ends on Saturday.

Teams from Niue, Nauru, Tonga and Papua New Guinea are also competing in the event.

Baby in Niue hospitalised with suspected case of measles

The baby is one of 15 in the New Zealand territory who has not yet been vaccinated due to being aged under 12 months.

The child was admitted to Niue Fo'ou Hospital on Tuesday.

Parents with babies aged under one year and unimmunised pregnant mothers have been advised to avoid the hospital.

The Niue Health Department said, as of 13 December all children aged one to two years had been vaccinated while two to four year olds were at 96 percent.

Primary school aged children are at 85 percent and high school students are at 92 percent.

PNG, Solomon Islands still in contention for Oceania Rugby Cup

The Pukpuks only led by 5-3 at half-time, with replacement Emil Latumahina scoring the opening try minutes after coming onto the field to replace injured second five Tisa Kautu, but scored four more tries in the second spell, including in the final play of the match, to end up comfortable winners.

PNG captain Ahulo Ottio said they started slowly but eventually found their rhythm as the match wore on.

"We knew it was always going to be a grind with the bulk of the boys (in the Niue team) coming from New Zealand and Australia," he said.

Niue premier says leeches comment 'idiotic'

Heather du Plessis-Allan singled out Niue during her national radio show saying pension portability for Niueans amounted to "welfare sponging".

Her comments prompted angry reactions on social media but she defended them saying she was talking about Pacific island countries and their governments not their people.

Sir Toke has dismissed the comments.

"I have no idea what she's on about because she's never been up here. She has absolutely no idea what she's talking about. Do you want me to comment on some idiotic thing like that? The answer is no."