Niue Assembly

Niue Fono Ekepule
Type
Type
Leadership
Speaker
Hima Douglas
since 11 June 2020
Structure
Seats20
Political groups
  Non-partisan (6)
  Village representatives (14)
Elections
Last election
29 April 2023
Meeting place
Alofi
Website
www.gov.nu/parliament

The Niue Assembly or Niue Parliament (Niuean: Niue Fono Ekepule) is the legislature of Niue. It consists of 20 members; 14 representatives of the villages and 6 elected on a common island-wide roll. Members are directly elected by universal suffrage, and serve a three-year term. Niue follows the Westminster system of government, with the Premier elected by the Assembly and the Cabinet drawn from it.

History

The Assembly is descended from the Island Council established under the Cook Islands Act 1915. This was disbanded in 1959 and reconstituted as the Assembly, which was successively granted greater control.[1] The Assembly assumed full law-making power within the constitution upon self-government in 1974.

The Assembly is physically located in Alofi.

Speaker of the Assembly

The Assembly is presided over by a Speaker, elected by its members from outside their ranks. If a member of the Assembly is elected Speaker, they must resign their seat.[2] The Speaker does not vote in proceedings, and does not enjoy a casting vote.

The current Speaker is Hima Douglas.

Elections

Elections are held under a simple plurality system, with electors in the fourteen villages electing one member per village by majority vote, and six members from a common roll. Electors must be New Zealand citizens, resident for at least three months, and candidates must have been electors, resident for twelve months.

Terms of the Niue Assembly

Term Elected in Government
13th Assembly 2008 election Non-partisan
14th Assembly 2011 election Non-partisan
15th Assembly 2014 election
16th Assembly 2017 election
17th Assembly 2020 election
18th Assembly 2023 election

Legislative procedures

The power of the Assembly to pass legislation is circumscribed by the constitution. Any member may introduce a bill, but the Assembly may not proceed on bills dealing with financial matters without the consent of the Premier. Bills affecting the criminal law or personal status, the public service or Niuean land may not proceed without a report from the Chief Justice, the Niue Public Service Commission, or an appropriate Commission of Inquiry respectively.[3]

A bill becomes law when passed by the Assembly and certified by the Speaker.[4] There is no Royal Assent.

See also

References

  1. ^ Island Territories: Niue Island in Te Ara: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966.
  2. ^ Constitution of Niue, article 20 (3).
  3. ^ Constitution of Niue, Articles 30 – 33.
  4. ^ Constitution of Niue, Article 34.