The government and the Reef Group from New Zealand started two joint ventures in 2003 and 2004 to develop fisheries and a 120-hectare noni juice operation. Noni fruit comes from Morinda citrifolia, a small tree with edible fruit. Niue Fish Processors Ltd (NFP) is a joint venture company processing fresh fish, mainly tuna (yellowfin, big eye and albacore), for export to overseas markets. NFP operates out of a state-of-the-art fish plant in Amanau Alofi South, completed and opened in October 2004.
Transport in Niue takes place on a road network, and via an (international) airport and a sea port.
A ring road around the island’s coast is the major route, and roads cross the central plateau linking Alofi to the villages of Lakepa, Liku and Hakupu on the opposite coast. All villages in Niue are connected by roads. There are utility roads to the inland and some coastal areas, unsealed, used mainly for accessing taro plantations, coconut areas and walking access to the sea.
Niue International Airport in the west, south of Alofi, is the only airfield. It was extended in 1995 to allow Boeing 737 aircraft to take off with maximum weight. Boeing 737-300, 737-800 and Boeing 757 aircraft have used the airport. Air New Zealand is the only airline serving Niue, with a weekly flight from Auckland. The flight is operated with an A320 departing Auckland on Saturday and arriving the previous day due to the International Date Line. The flight from Niue departs on Friday.
Niue has a sea port, Sir Robert’s Wharf in Alofi, which can be used only by flat-bottomed smaller vessels. The cargo ship Forum Pacific from Reef Shipping uses the wharf when the sea is calm. Otherwise cargo vessels and fishing boats use moorings about 100 metres from the reef, and barges are used to offload their cargo.
Most Niuean households own a vehicle. There are four car-rental companies, which also hire bicycles, motorbikes and minibuses.
Flag of Niue:
The flag of Niue was adopted on 15 October 1975. It consists of the Union Jack in the upper left corner with a star in the middle of the Union Jack and four stars forming a diamond around it. It is very unusual for a flag based on a British ensign design, in having not only a yellow background, but also a defaced (edited) Union Jack in the canton. It was designed by Patricia Rex, the wife of the then-Premier Robert Rex.
From the Niue Flag Act 1975: “The Niue National Flag shall be a golden yellow flag, bearing on the upper canton of the hoist thereof the Union Flag, commonly known as the Union Jack, displaying 2 five-pointed yellow stars on the vertical line and on the horizontal line thereof separated by a blue disc containing a larger five-pointed yellow star.”
The symbolism represented by the flag is described in the Act. The Union Jack symbolises the protection granted by the United Kingdom in 1900 after petitioning by the Kings and Chiefs of Niue. The yellow field symbolizes “the bright sunshine of Niue and the warm feelings of the Niuean people towards New Zealand and her people.” The association with New Zealand, which took over responsibility and administration of Niue in 1901, is also represented by the four small stars that depict the Southern Cross. Finally, the blue disc containing a larger star represents the deep blue sea surrounding the self-governing island of Niue.