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In 1889 the chiefs and rulers of Niue, in a letter to Queen Victoria, asked her "to stretch out towards us your mighty hand, that Niue may hide herself in it and be safe".

After expressing anxiety lest some other nation should take possession of the island, the letter continued: "We leave it with you to do as seems best to you.

Rex became the first Niuean to receive a knighthood – in 1984.

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Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand.

Between 90–95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, A bilingual country, Niue has over 30% of its population speak both Niuean and English, though the percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers. In October 2016, Niue officially declared that all its national debt was paid off, and that there was no longer any national debt in Niue.

Until the beginning of the 18th century, Niue appears to have had no national government or national leader; chiefs and heads of families exercised authority over segments of the population.

Around 1700 the concept and practice of kingship appears to have originated through contact with the Tongans who settled around the 1600s.

The chiefs of Mutalau village allowed him to land and assigned over 60 warriors to protect him day and night at the fort in Fupiu.

Christianity was first taught to the Mutalau people before it spread to all the villages.A despatch to the Secretary of State for the Colonies from the Governor of New Zealand referred to the views expressed by the Chiefs in favour of "annexation" and to this document as "the deed of cession".A British Protectorate was declared, but it remained short-lived.The Niue Constitution Act vests executive authority in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Zealand and the Governor-General of New Zealand.The Constitution specifies that in everyday practice sovereignty is exercised by the Niue Cabinet of Ministers, composed of the premier and three other ministers.The last and only Niuean political party to have ever existed, the Niue People's Party (1987–2003), won once (in 2002) before being disbanded the following year.

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