22 Oct 2014

Niue's High Commissioner calls for people to 'return home'

12:44 pm on 22 October 2014

Niue's High Commissioner to New Zealand says the country's 40th anniversary of self-governance signals it is time for more Niueans to return home.

More Niuean people live in New Zealand than in Niue, with nearly 80 percent of them born in New Zealand.

O'Love Jacobsen says Niue's small population needs boosting and the country must truly claim its independence to thrive.

"The only way that this can be done is for us to lure our people to come back home. We are very low in numbers and you can't have total independence with numbers like a thousand or so people. You need a little bit more than that."

O'Love Jacobsen says the Niuean language and the country's cultural traditions also stand to be lost unless that knowledge is passed down to younger generations.

The 2013 New Zealand census shows almost 24,000 Niueans live in New Zealand.

The Niue cultural section at the annual Pasifika Festival in Western Springs Park in 2010.

The Niue cultural section at the annual Pasifika Festival in Western Springs Park in 2010. Photo: PHOTO NZ