Niue’s only newspaper turns 30

Photo: Niue Star/Facebook

Last month marks the 30th anniversary since the first issue of Niue Star was published on the 11th of June 1993. 

The family owned newspaper is the pride of Michael and Halosi Jackson of Hakupu. 

BCN News spoke with Niue Star owner Michael Naea Jackson who said that he wished to extend his gratitude to their valued customers in Niue and in New Zealand. Jackson said that he and his family are very proud to have reached this milestone of serving the community for thirty years.

Michael Jackson is one of the longest serving journalist in Niue having worked in media from printing, to photography and camera operator to Editor of Niue Star, a career spanning over fifty years.

Before Niue Star, the Tohi Tala Niue (TTN) was the government’s daily newspaper providing information such as the weather bulletin and other government information for the local population at no cost.

He reflected on those days when central government had control over the media and content was pro-government with strict instructions not to include a ‘Letter to the Editor’ segment in the Tohi Tala Niue, thus not allowing any dissenting voice to be heard.

Jackson said that he was employed in the government printer division working closely with his colleagues in the Tohi Tala Niue and Radio 2ZN, people who motivated him to establish Niue Star in 1993.

He recognises that times have changed and the media landscape has changed with social media and the internet but Niue Star serves those who don’t have access to the internet, mainly the elderly, for them Niue Star is essential source of information.

Recently, in collaboration with BCN, news content provided by the national broadcaster was also published in the Niue Star, a partnership to ensure that the public have access to information.

BCN News obtained pictures from Mike Jackson of the first edition published by his team with then Editor Raewin Rex-Woods, with reporters Dorothy Iuso and Moka Tano Puleoti. The typist Joan Peauvale, with Lisi Makani as the paper’s photographer with the translator was the late Rev Fellow Pahetogia and on the computer is Moka Tano Puleoti. 

The front page of the first issue of the Niue Star featured the former Premier with the headline “Lui for unity” a story about the celebrations held at the Alofi Tokelau Hall by the village to congratulate Frank Lui for winning the premiership in March that year. The Alofi North VC Chairperson Richard Hipa led the celebrations to congratulate their member of parliament Frank Lui who won the election for the premiership 11 to 9 against MP for Hakupu Young Vivian. 

Also in this first issue are pictures of the Queen’s birthday Athletic sports special between local village teams and a team of athletes from Auckland. 

On page five told stories about the opening of the pastors’ house at Mutalau which was officially opened by Iris Lui and blessed by then Vice President of the Ekalesia Niue at the time the late Rev. Iosefa Sionetuato. The article mentioned that the pastor’s house cost $80,000 (US$49,000). 

On the same page was another story about the farewell of Pastor Panama Olehake by the village of Lakepa as he and his wife returned to their home village of Tamakautonga after serving Lakepa for 21 years. Pastor Panama Olehake was 83 years old at the time. 

Speaking to BCN News from Auckland, Mike Jackson, he said that he is grateful to many people, his family and his staff, former and current, grateful to his former colleagues Tahafa Talagi, Sione Jacobsen, Hima Douglas, Lofa Rex and Terry Chapman who was the original editor of TTN.

Jackson thanked his family and his staff from the beginning Rayween Rex-Wood and her husband John Woods, Lisi Hekesi Makani, Rachel Paea Sipeni, Dorothy Iuso Kauie, Rev Fellow Pahetogia, Joan Peauvale, Moka Tano Puleoti and Carmen Fuhiniu.