Niue is an island country in the Southern Part of the Pacific Ocean. The island is bordered by New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, and Cook Island and has a total land area of 260 square kilometers with a population of about 1190 people, though in the 1960s there were about 5000 people in the island. Niue has close association with New Zealand which maintains diplomatic relations with the country. The citizens of the Niue are also considered citizens of New Zealand, and the Queen of New Zealand is also the head of its state. The Cabinet ministers of Niue that is comprised of the premier and three other ministers govern and exercise sovereignty over the island. The cabinet form part of the country’s Legislative Assembly which is comprised of 20 elected members 6 of whom are elected directly by the electorate and 14 elected by the electors of each village constituency. The Niue has the responsibility of electing a premier among other duties. Some of the premiers of Niue through history include;
Sir Robert Rex
Sir Robert Rex was the first elected premier of Niue. He was born in 1909 and become the premier on October 19, 1974, when the Island was established as the self-governing territory until his death on December 12, 1992. Rex was not interested in politics though he was supported by the Niue People’s Action Party. He held different ministerial portfolios during his tenure as the premier. Due to his valuable service to the people, Rex was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1973. He was also appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1977 and Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1984.
Mititaiagimene Young Vivian
Young Vivian has been Niue premier for two terms. He was first the successor of Sir Robert Rex upon his death in December 1992 until the elections of the following year. During May 2002, he won the election through Niue People’s Action Party becoming the premier of the Island. He got re-elected to parliament unopposed in the 2005 and 2008 elections but lost the premier position in 2008 to fellow MP Toke Talagi. He also served as the general secretary of the Pacific Community. Like Sir Robert Rex, Young Vivian held almost all ministerial positions in Niue especially under the leadership of Rex.
Frank Lui was elected to Niue National Assembly in 1993 as an independent candidate and took over the position of the premier from the interim Premier, Young Vivian. He was again re-elected as premier in 1996 but lost his seat to Sani Lakatani, a member of Niue People’s Action Party in the 1999 elections after which he announced his retirement. In honor of the queen’s birthday in 1999, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He was not affiliated with any party throughout his life as a politician.
The current premier of Niue Island, Toke Talagi, was elected on June 19, 2008, defeating Young Vivian who was serving for the second time as premier. Toke Talagi led the Island to become the founding member of Polynesian Leaders Group. He has also served as the deputy prime minister and in different ministerial positions. He is also the president of the Island’s rugby union.