The 19th of October is the official national day marked by the flag-raising ceremony. It is the day when the country commemorates the constitution recognising Niue as a self-governing state in free association with NZ, this year its 46th anniversary.
It is also the day when the members of the Fono Ekepule and the Island council before that are remembered for their work and especially those who have passed on.
In his address the Premier Hon. Dalton Tagelagi paid tribute to those leaders and Niueans who helped shape the history of Niue in the past to where we are today.
Premier Tagelagi spoke of the enduring relationship between Niue and New Zealand bound by this constitution. A relationship Premier Tagelagi likened to that of a family, a parent and child.
He acknowledged and welcome new friend in the Commonwealth of Australia with its first high commissioner now based in Alofi. The premier spoke of fostering relationships with Niue’s various partners in the process of nation building.
Speculation that this may be the last year the flag raising ceremony at the Fale Fono at Sialekula was confirmed when Speaker Hima Takelesi said that this may be the last year the ceremony will be held there.
Gifted by the New Zealand government the Fale Fono was officially opened in 1977 by then Prime Minister of New Zealand Right Hon. Robert Muldoon. The iconic Fale Fono which houses the parliamentary chambers of the Fono Ekepule and the Offices of Cabinet suffered severed structural damages in the 2004 category 5 Cyclone Heta.
The new building which will house the offices of Cabinet and parliament at Halamahaga will be ready next year.
A fitting ending to what may be the last flag raising at the Fale Fono, the Niue Youth Choir put on their best performance yet.
The anniversary of Niue’s 46th year of self-government ended with dinner and dancing at the site where, in 1974, the people saw the Niue flag raised for the very first time.