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Friday 1 November 2013 3:18pm

200 years of contact and change

Margaret Pointer

Pointer Niue cover imageThe book

Tiny Niue lies alone in the south Pacific, a single island with formidable cliffs rising from the deep ocean. Far from the main shipping routes and with a daunting reputation, 'Savage Island' did not naturally invite visitors.

Yet Niue has a surprisingly rich history of contact, from the brief landings by James Cook in 1774 through to the nineteenth-century visits by whalers, traders and missionaries, and into the twentieth century when New Zealand extended its territory to include the Cook Islands and Niue.

To date, this story has not been told. Using a wide range of archival material from Niue, New Zealand, Australia and Britain, Margaret Pointer places Niue centre stage in an entertaining and thoroughly readable account of this island nation through to 1974, when Niue became self-governing.

As important as the written story is the visual record, and many remarkable images are published here for the first time. Together, text and images unravel a fascinating and colourful Pacific story of Nukututaha, the island that stands alone.

The author

Born and educated in Gisborne, MARGARET POINTER trained as a secondary school teacher of history, geography and social studies. Her teaching career has been interspersed with regular stints of living overseas with her diplomat husband and their two sons. When Mike Pointer was posted to Niue as High Commissioner in the late 1990s, Margaret became involved in research to trace the lost story of Niue Island's involvement in World War I. The resulting exhibition and book rekindled a passion for further historical research and led to this larger publication. Margaret was awarded a Copyright Licensing New Zealand Writers' Award in 2013, to help fund what the selection panel described as 'a ground-breaking piece of work'.

Publication details

Paperback, 170 x 245 mm, 384 pages, full colour, ISBN 978 1 877578 95 3, $50
Not available in the US

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