Insight '74 - Notebook on Niue Island

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Tono kōrero mai

A documentary on Niue island, as its people prepare to vote in a referendum on self-government. Up-and-coming leader Young Vivian describes the island.

A man named Tahafa explains his bush garden or plantation and the importance of subsistence farming on Niue. He explains the role of feasting and food donations to pastors in the local culture.

Government leader Robert Rex, explains what he knows of the history of the 'stone boats' found on the island. He says they are actually the remains of forts, and only coincidentally look like boats after coconuts grew up in the centre.

Actuality of singing on Saturday night by the Rarotongan community on Niue, followed by singing in church next morning.

Tahafa explains his name, which means 14, and the significance of other names on Niue, where family names are not very popular, although more people are starting to use them. He also discusses the traditional adoption of children by extended family members.

Niue's Director of Health says many children suffer from intestinal parasites and respiratory infections.

Gary Leonard, an agricultural officer from New Zealand, explains how tough farming is on Niue, due to the climate and rocky soil. Passionfruit are being grown but require hand pollination.

A Select Committee arrives from New Zealand and is welcomed by Mr Rex at a 'kai' or feast. Pastor Tukutama says grace.

The committee tours the island explaining the self-government proposals. Committee chairman Koro Wetere is heard speaking at a public meeting, explaining Niueans will continue to be New Zealand citizens. A man (speaking in Niuean, translated by Tahafa) says his village of Avaseli [Avatele?] is not in favour of self-government as the people have not heard enough about it from their leaders.

Tahafa says people have not had time to go through the constitution before the vote. Niueans based in New Zealand are not permitted to vote in the referendum. Robert Rex explains that is they are eligible to vote in New Zealand they can no longer vote in Niue as well.

Tahafa's father, who is a village council chairman, is unenthusiastic about living in New Zealand and working for a wage only, with no land to provide for you. He says New Zealand is a 'slave country' where everyone is always in a rush.

Another man named Fiatala says he came back from New Zealand because he found the living too hard there. On Niue he has his own home and in New Zealand he was frightened of the traffic and he heard there were murders there.

Tahafa explains what changes he would like to see if Niue votes for self-government. He would like to see Niueans running the government instead of expatriate New Zealanders. He says improving water supply is a priority, along with electricity.

Actuality of singing and dancing as a group of Niueans prepare to leave for New Zealand.

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Year 1974

Reference number 328043

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Documentary radio programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits Craddock, Pat, Producer
Vivian, Young (b.1935), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Rex, Robert, 1909-1992, Speaker/Kaikōrero

Duration 00:29:47

Date 24 Aug 1974