30 Apr 2015

New history recovers Niue's stories - academic

3:47 pm on 30 April 2015

Auckland University Pacific Studies lecturer, Damon Salesa, says a new book on Niue history is a vital collection of the islanders' stories.

Dr Salesa was guest speaker for the launch of 'Niue 1774 - 1974, 200 years of Contact and Change' last night in Wellington.

It is the first comprehensive written history of Niue and Dr Salesa says the author, historian Margaret Pointer has been able to give the island's stories back to its people.

"One of the things that Margaret has done is recover these stories and give them to us in a form we can share. One of the challenges of history and one of its priomises is that you spend time with the dead. You read their papers, you hear their stories, and the biggest challenge that comes out of that - apart from the challenge of feeling lonely - is not only do you listen to these people, you have to speak for them."

Cover picture used in Niue 1774–1974: 200 years of contact and change. Author Margaret Pointer. 
People gather on the wharf at Alofi in 1900 as the governor’s party prepares to come ashore.

People gather on the wharf at Alofi in 1900 as the governor’s party prepares to come ashore. Photo: Images from: Niue 1774–1974: 200 years of contact and change. Otago University Press

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