Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia is an independent republic associated to the United States. It consists of four states – from west to east, Chuuk and Kosrae – that are spread across the Western Pacific Ocean. Together, the states comprise around 607 islands that cover a longitudinal distance of 2,700 km just north of the equator, they lie northeast of New Guinea, south of Guam and the Marianas, west of Nauru and the Marshall Islands, east of Palau and the Philippines, about 2,900 km north of eastern Australia and some 4,000 km southwest of the main islands of Hawaii. While the FSM's total land area is quite small, it occupies more than 2,600,000 km2 of the Pacific Ocean, giving the country the 14th largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world; the sovereign island nation's capital is Palikir, located on Pohnpei Island, while the largest city is Weno, located in the Chuuk Atoll. Each of its four states is centered on one or more main high islands, all but Kosrae include numerous outlying atolls.
The Federated States of Micronesia is spread across part of the Caroline Islands in the wider region of Micronesia, which consists of thousands of small islands divided among several countries. The term Micronesia may refer to the region as a whole; the FSM was a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trust Territory under U. S. administration, but it formed its own constitutional government on May 10, 1979, becoming a sovereign state after independence was attained on November 3, 1986 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Other neighboring island entities, former members of the TTPI, formulated their own constitutional governments and became the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau; the FSM has a seat in the United Nations and has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983. The ancestors of the Micronesians settled over four thousand years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system evolved into a more centralized economic and religious culture centered on Yap Island.
Nan Madol, consisting of a series of small artificial islands linked by a network of canals, is called the Venice of the Pacific. It is located on the eastern periphery of the island of Pohnpei and used to be the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur dynasty that united Pohnpei's estimated 25,000 people from about AD 500 until 1500, when the centralized system collapsed. European explorers—first the Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands and the Spanish—reached the Carolines in the sixteenth century; the Spanish incorporated the archipelago to the Spanish East Indies through the capital, in the 19th century established a number of outposts and missions. In 1887, they founded the town of Santiago de la Ascension in what today is Kolonia on the island of Pohnpei. Following defeat in the Spanish–American War, the Spanish sold the archipelago to Germany in 1899 under the German–Spanish Treaty of 1899. Germany incorporated it into German New Guinea. During World War I, it was captured by Japan.
Following the war, the League of Nations awarded a mandate for Japan to administer the islands as part of the South Pacific Mandate. During World War II, a significant portion of the Japanese fleet was based in Truk Lagoon. In February 1944, Operation Hailstone, one of the most important naval battles of the war, took place at Truk, in which many Japanese support vessels and aircraft were destroyed. Following World War II, it was administered by the United States under United Nations auspices in 1947 as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands pursuant to Security Council Resolution 21. On May 10, 1979, four of the Trust Territory districts ratified a new constitution to become the Federated States of Micronesia. Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands chose not to participate; the FSM signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States, which entered into force on November 3, 1986, marking Micronesia's emergence from trusteeship to independence. Independence was formally concluded under international law in 1990, when the United Nations ended the Trusteeship status pursuant to Security Council Resolution 683.
The Compact was renewed in 2004. The Federated States of Micronesia is governed by the 1979 constitution, which guarantees fundamental human rights and establishes a separation of governmental powers; the unicameral Congress has fourteen members elected by popular vote. Four senators—one from each state—serve four-year terms; the President and Vice President are elected by Congress from among the four state-based senators to serve four-year terms in the executive branch. Their congressional seats are filled by special elections; the president and vice president are supported by an appointed cabinet. There are no formal political parties. In international politics, the Federated States of Micronesia has voted with the United States with respect to United Nations General Assembly resolutions; the FSM is a sovereign, self-governing state in free association with the United States of America, wholly responsible for its defense. The Division of Maritime Surveillance operates a paramilitary Maritime Wing and a small Maritime Police Unit.
The Compact of Free Association allows FSM citizens to join the U. S. military without having to obtain U. S. permanent residency or citizenship, allows for immigration and employment for Micronesians in the U. S. and establishes economic an
French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic and the only overseas country of France. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean, its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres. French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands: the Society Islands archipelago, composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. Among its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited. Tahiti, located within the Society Islands, is the most populous island, having close to 69% of the population of French Polynesia as of 2017. Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the capital. Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007. Following the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers visited the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions. Traders and whaling ships visited. In 1842, the French took over the islands and established a French protectorate they called Etablissements des français en Océanie.
In 1946, the EFOs became an overseas territory under the constitution of the French Fourth Republic, Polynesians were granted the right to vote through citizenship. In 1957, the EFOs were renamed French Polynesia. In 1983 French Polynesia became a member of the Pacific Community, a regional development organization. Since 28 March 2003, French Polynesia has been an overseas collectivity of the French Republic under the constitutional revision of article 74, gained, with law 2004-192 of 27 February 2004, an administrative autonomy, two symbolic manifestations of which are the title of the President of French Polynesia and its additional designation as an overseas country. French Polynesia was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Scientists believe the Great Polynesian Migration happened around 1500 BC as Austronesian people went on a journey using celestial navigation to find islands in the South Pacific Ocean; the first islands of French Polynesia to be settled were the Marquesas Islands in about 200 BC.
The Polynesians ventured southwest and discovered the Society Islands around AD 300. European encounters began in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, sailing at the service of the Spanish Crown, sighted Puka-Puka in the Tuāmotu-Gambier Archipelago. In 1606 another Spanish expedition under Pedro Fernandes de Queirós sailed through Polynesia sighting an inhabited island on 10 February which they called Sagitaria the island of Rekareka to the southeast of Tahiti. Over a century British explorer Samuel Wallis visited Tahiti in 1767. French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville visited Tahiti in 1768, while British explorer James Cook arrived in 1769. In 1772, the Spanish Viceroy of Peru Don Manuel de Amat ordered a number of expeditions to Tahiti under the command of Domingo de Bonechea, the first European to explore all of the main islands beyond Tahiti. A short-lived Spanish settlement was created in 1774, for a time some maps bore the name Isla de Amat after Viceroy Amat. In 1772, Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen came across Bora Bora in the Society Islands.
Christian missions began with Spanish priests. Protestants from the London Missionary Society settled permanently in Polynesia in 1797. King Pōmare II of Tahiti was forced to flee to Mo'orea in 1803. French Catholic missionaries arrived on Tahiti in 1834. In 1842, Tahiti and Tahuata were declared a French protectorate, to allow Catholic missionaries to work undisturbed; the capital of Papeetē was founded in 1843. In 1880, France annexed Tahiti; the island groups were not united until the establishment of the French protectorate in 1889. After France declared a protectorate over Tahiti in 1840, the British and French signed the Jarnac Convention in 1847, declaring that the kingdoms of Raiatea and Bora Bora were to remain independent from either powers and that no single chief was to be allowed to reign over the entire archipelago. France broke the agreement, the islands were annexed and became a colony in 1888 after many native resistances and conflicts called the Leewards War, lasting until 1897.
In the 1880s, France claimed the Tuamotu Archipelago, which belonged to the Pōmare Dynasty, without formally annexing it. Having declared a protectorate over Tahuata in 1842, the French regarded the entire Marquesas Islands as French. In 1885, France appointed a governor and established a general council, thus giving it the proper administration for a colony; the islands of Rimatara and Rūrutu unsuccessfully lobbied for British protection in 1888, so in 1889 they were annexed by France. Postage stamps were first issued in the colony in 1892; the first official name for the colony was Établissements de l'Océanie. In 1940, the administration of French Polynesia recognised the Free French Forces and many Polynesians served in World War II. Unknown at the time to the French and Polynesians, the Konoe Cabinet in Imperial Japan on 16 September 1940 included French Polynesia among the many territories whic
Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park, it is believed that Easter Island's Polynesian inhabitants arrived on Easter Island sometime near 1200 AD. They created a thriving and industrious culture, as evidenced by the island's numerous enormous stone moai and other artifacts. However, land clearing for cultivation and the introduction of the Polynesian rat led to gradual deforestation. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population was estimated to be 2,000–3,000. European diseases, Peruvian slave raiding expeditions in the 1860s, emigration to other islands, e.g. Tahiti, further depleted the population, reducing it to a low of 111 native inhabitants in 1877.
Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of "special territory." Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, comprising a single commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. The 2017 Chilean census registered 7,750 people on the island, of whom 3,512 considered themselves Rapa Nui. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world; the nearest inhabited land is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 kilometres away. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile; the name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday in 1722, while searching for "Davis Land". Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland; the island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua means "Easter Island". The current Polynesian name of the island, Rapa Nui, was coined after the slave raids of the early 1860s, refers to the island's topographic resemblance to the island of Rapa in the Bass Islands of the Austral Islands group.
However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa was the original name of Easter Island and that Rapa Iti was named by refugees from there. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island since French ethnologist Alphonse Pinart gave it the romantic translation "the Navel of the World" in his Voyage à l'Île de Pâques, published in 1877. William Churchill inquired about the phrase and was told that there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island; the phrase appears to have been used in the same sense as the designation of "Land's End" at the tip of Cornwall. He was unable to elicit a Polynesian name for the island and concluded that there may not have been one. According to Barthel, oral tradition has it that the island was first named Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka, "The little piece of land of Hau Maka". However, there are two words pronounced pito in Rapa Nui, one meaning'end' and one'navel', the phrase can thus mean "The Navel of the World".
Another name, Mata ki te rangi, means "Eyes looking to the sky". Islanders are referred to in Spanish as pascuense. Oral tradition states the island was first settled by a two-canoe expedition, originating from Marae Renga, led by the chief Hotu Matu'a and his captain Tu'u ko Iho; the island was first scouted after Haumaka dreamed of such a far-off country. At their time of arrival, the island had Nga Tavake'a Te Rona. After a brief stay at Anakena, the colonists settled in different parts of the island. Hotu's heir, Tu'u ma Heke, was born on the island. Tu'u ko Iho is viewed as the leader who caused them to walk; the Easter Islanders are considered to be South-East Polynesians. Similar sacred zones with statuary in East Polynesia demonstrates homology with most of Eastern Polynesia. At contact, populations were about 3,000-4,000. By the 15th century, two confederations, hanau, of social groupings, existed, based on lineage; the western and northern portion of the island belonged to the Tu'u, which included the royal Miru, with the royal center at Anakena, though Tahai and Te Peu served as earlier capitals.
The eastern portion of the island belonged to the'Otu'Itu. Shortly after the Dutch visit, from 1724 until 1750, the'Otu'Itu fought the Tu'u for control of the island; this fighting continued until the 1860s. Famine followed the destruction of fields. Social control vanished as the ordered way of life gave way to lawlessness and predatory bands as the warrior class took over. Homelessness prevailed, with many living underground. After the Spanish visit, from 1770 onwards, a period of statue toppling, huri mo'ai, commenced; this was an attempt by competing groups to destroy the socio-spiritual power, or mana, represented by statues, making sure to break them in the fall to ensure they were dead and without power. None were left standing by the time of the arrival of the French missionaries in the 1860s. Between 1862 and 1888, about 94 % of the population emigrated; the island was victimized by blackbirding from 1862 to 1863, res
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France in the southwest Pacific Ocean, located to the south of Vanuatu, about 1,210 km east of Australia and 20,000 km from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, a few remote islets; the Chesterfield Islands are in the Coral Sea. Locals refer to Grande Terre as Le Caillou. New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 km2, its population of 268,767 consists of a mix of Kanak people, people of European descent, Polynesian people, Southeast Asian people, as well as a few people of Pied-Noir and North African descent. The capital of the territory is Nouméa; the earliest traces of human presence in New Caledonia date back to the Lapita period c. 1600 BC to c. 500 AD. The Lapita were skilled navigators and agriculturists with influence over a large area of the Pacific. British explorer Captain James Cook was the first European to sight New Caledonia, on 4 September 1774, during his second voyage.
He named it "New Caledonia". The west coast of Grande Terre was approached by the Comte de Lapérouse in 1788, shortly before his disappearance, the Loyalty Islands were first visited between 1793 and 1796 when Mare, Lifou and Ouvea were mapped by William Raven; the English whaler encountered the island named Britania, today known as Maré, in November 1793. From 1796 until 1840, only a few sporadic contacts with the archipelago were recorded. About fifty American whalers have been recorded in the region between 1793 and 1887. Contacts became more frequent because of the interest in sandalwood; as trade in sandalwood declined, it was replaced by a new business enterprise, "blackbirding", a euphemism for taking Melanesian or Western Pacific Islanders from New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, New Hebrides, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands into indentured or forced labour in the sugar cane plantations in Fiji and Queensland by various methods of trickery and deception. Blackbirding was practiced by both French and British-Australian traders, but in New Caledonia's case, the trade in the early decades of the twentieth century involved relocating children from the Loyalty Islands to the Grand Terre for labour in plantation agriculture.
New Caledonia's primary experience with blackbirding revolved around a trade from the New Hebrides to the Grand Terre for labour in plantation agriculture, mines, as well as guards over convicts and in some public works. The historian Dorothy Shineberg's milestone study, The People Trade, discusses this'migration'. In the early years of the trade, coercion was used to lure Melanesian islanders onto ships. In years indenture systems were developed; this represented a departure from the British experience, since increased regulations were developed to mitigate the abuses of blackbirding and'recruitment' strategies on the coastlines. The first missionaries from the London Missionary Society and the Marist Brothers arrived in the 1840s. In 1849, the crew of the American ship Cutter was eaten by the Pouma clan. Cannibalism was widespread throughout New Caledonia. On 24 September 1853, under orders from Emperor Napoleon III, Admiral Febvrier Despointes took formal possession of New Caledonia. Captain Louis-Marie-François Tardy de Montravel founded Port-de-France on 25 June 1854.
A few dozen free settlers settled on the west coast in the following years. New Caledonia became a penal colony in 1864, from the 1860s until the end of the transportations in 1897, France sent about 22,000 criminals and political prisoners to New Caledonia; the Bulletin de la Société générale des prisons for 1888 indicates that 10,428 convicts, including 2,329 freed ones, were on the island as of 1 May 1888, by far the largest number of convicts detained in French overseas penitentiaries. The convicts included many Communards, arrested after the failed Paris Commune of 1871, including Henri de Rochefort and Louise Michel. Between 1873 and 1876, 4,200 political prisoners were "relegated" to New Caledonia. Only 40 of them settled in the colony. In 1864 nickel was discovered on the banks of the Diahot River. To work the mines the French imported labourers from neighbouring islands and from the New Hebrides, from Japan, the Dutch East Indies, French Indochina; the French government attempted to encourage European immigration, without much success.
The indigenous population or Kanak people were excluded from the French economy and from mining work, confined to reservations. This sparked a violent reaction in 1878, when High Chief Atal of La Foa managed to unite many of the central tribes and launched a guerrilla war that killed 200 Frenchmen and 1,000 Kanaks. A second guerrilla war took place in 1917, with Catholic missionaries like Maurice Leenhardt functioning as witnesses to the events of this war. Leenhardt would pen a number of ethnographic works on the Kanak of New Caledonia. Noel of Tiamou led the 1917 rebellion, which resulted in a number of orphaned children, one of whom was taken into th
New Guinea is a large island separated by a shallow sea from the rest of the Australian continent. It is the world's third-largest island, after Australia and Greenland, covering a land area of 785,753 km2, arguably the largest wholly or within the Southern Hemisphere and Oceania; the eastern half of the island is the major land mass of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. The western half, referred to as either Western New Guinea or West Papua, has been administered by Indonesia since 1963 and comprises the provinces of Papua and West Papua; the island has been known by various names: The name Papua was used to refer to parts of the island before contact with the West. Its etymology is unclear; the name came from papo and ua, which means "not united" or, "territory that geographically is far away". Ploeg reports that the word papua is said to derive from the Malay word papua or pua-pua, meaning "frizzly-haired", referring to the curly hair of the inhabitants of these areas. Another possibility, put forward by Sollewijn Gelpke in 1993, is that it comes from the Biak phrase sup i papwa which means'the land below' and refers to the islands west of the Bird's Head, as far as Halmahera.
Whatever its origin, the name Papua came to be associated with this area, more with Halmahera, known to the Portuguese by this name during the era of their colonization in this part of the world. When the Portuguese and Spanish explorers arrived in the island via the Spice Islands, they referred to the island as Papua. However, the name New Guinea was used by Westerners starting with the Spanish explorer Yñigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545, referring to the similarities of the indigenous people's appearance with the natives of the Guinea region of Africa; the name is one of several toponyms sharing similar etymologies meaning "land of the blacks" or similar meanings, in reference to the dark skin of the inhabitants. The Dutch, who arrived under Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten, called it Schouten island, but this name was used only to refer to islands off the north coast of Papua proper, the Schouten Islands or Biak Island; when the Dutch colonized it as part of Netherlands East Indies, they called it Nieuw Guinea.
The name Irian was used in the Indonesian language to refer to the island and Indonesian province, as "Irian Jaya Province". The name was promoted in 1945 by brother of the future governor Frans Kaisiepo, it is taken from the Biak language of Biak Island, means "to rise", or "rising spirit". Irian is the name used in the Biak language and other languages such as Serui and Waropen; the name was used until 2001, when the name Papua was again used for the province. The name Irian, favored by natives, is now considered to be a name imposed by the authority of Jakarta. New Guinea is an island to the north of the Australian mainland, but south of the equator, it is isolated by the Arafura Sea to the west, the Torres Strait and Coral Sea to the east. Sometimes considered to be the easternmost island of the Indonesian archipelago, it lies north of Australia's Top End, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York peninsula, west of the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands Archipelago. Politically, the western half of the island comprises two provinces of Indonesia: Papua and West Papua.
The eastern half forms the mainland of the country of Papua New Guinea. The shape of New Guinea is compared to that of a bird-of-paradise, this results in the usual names for the two extremes of the island: the Bird's Head Peninsula in the northwest, the Bird's Tail Peninsula in the southeast. A spine of east–west mountains, the New Guinea Highlands, dominates the geography of New Guinea, stretching over 1,600 km from the'head' to the'tail' of the island, with many high mountains over 4,000 m; the western-half of the island of New Guinea contains the highest mountains in Oceania, rising up to 4,884 m high, higher than Mont Blanc in Europe, ensuring a steady supply of rain from the equatorial atmosphere. The tree line is around 4,000 m elevation and the tallest peaks contain permanent equatorial glaciers—which have been retreating since at least 1936. Various other smaller mountain ranges occur both west of the central ranges. Except in high elevations, most areas possess a warm humid climate throughout the year, with some seasonal variation associated with the northeast monsoon season.
The highest peaks on the island of New Guinea are: Puncak Jaya, sometimes known by its former Dutch name Carstensz Pyramid, is a mist-covered limestone mountain peak on the Indonesian side of the border. At 4,884 metres, Puncak Jaya makes New Guinea the world's fourth-highest landmass after Afro-Eurasia and Antarctica. Puncak Mandala located in Papua, is the second-highest peak on the island at 4,760 metres. Puncak Trikora in Papua, is 4,750 metres. Mount Wilhelm is the highest peak on the PNG side of the border at 4,509 metres, its granite peak is the highest point of the Bismarck Range. Mount Giluwe 4,368 metres is the second-highest summit in PNG, it is the highest volcanic peak in Oceania. Another major habitat featur
Fiji the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres; the most outlying island is Ono-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760; the capital, Suva, on Viti Levu, serves as the country's principal cruise-ship port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry—or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount.
Due to its terrain, the interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited. The majority of Fiji's islands formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago; some geothermal activity still occurs today, on the islands of Vanua Taveuni. The geothermal systems on Viti Levu are non-volcanic in origin, with low-temperature surface discharges. Sabeto Hot Springs near Nadi is a good example. Humans have lived in Fiji since the second millennium BC—first Austronesians and Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century onwards, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji operated as a Crown colony until 1970. A military government declared a Republic in 1987 following a series of coups d'état. In a coup in 2006, Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power; when the High Court ruled the military leadership unlawful in 2009, President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, whom the military had retained as the nominal Head of State, formally abrogated the 1997 Constitution and re-appointed Bainimarama as interim Prime Minister.
In 2009, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau succeeded Iloilo as President. After years of delays, a democratic election took place on 17 September 2014. Bainimarama's FijiFirst party won 59.2% of the vote, international observers deemed the election credible. Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific thanks to its abundant forest and fish resources, its currency is the Fijian dollar, its main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry, remittances from Fijians working, bottled water exports. The Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development supervises Fiji's local government, which takes the form of city and town councils. Fiji's main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name "Fiji" is derived, though the common English pronunciation is based on that of their island neighbours in Tonga, its emergence can be described as follows: Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga.
They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific, but not great sailors. They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, all their Manufactures bark cloth and clubs, were valued and much in demand, they called their home Viti, but the Tongans called it Fisi, it was by this foreign pronunciation, first promulgated by Captain James Cook, that these islands are now known. "Feejee", the Anglicised spelling of the Tongan pronunciation, was used in accounts and other writings until the late 19th century, by missionaries and other travellers visiting Fiji. Located in the central Pacific Ocean, Fiji's geography has made it both a destination and a crossroads for migrations for many centuries. According to oral tradition, the indigenous Fijians of today are descendants of the chief Lutunasobasoba and those who arrived with him on the Kaunitoni canoe. Landing at what is now Vuda, the settlers moved inland to the Nakauvadra mountains. Though this oral tradition has not been independently substantiated, the Fijian government promotes it, many tribes today claim to be descended from the children of Lutunasobasoba.
Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled by Austronesian peoples before or around 3500 to 1000 BC, with Melanesians following around a thousand years although the question of Pacific migration still lingers. It is believed that the Lapita people or the ancestors of the Polynesians settled the islands first but not much is known of what became of them after the Melanesians arrived. Archeological evidence shows signs of settlement on Moturiki Island from 600 BC and as far back as 900 BC. Aspects of Fijian culture are similar to the Melanesian culture of the western Pacific but have a stronger connection to the older Polynesian cultures. Trade between Fiji and neighbouring archipelagos long before European contact is testified by the canoes made from native Fijian trees found in Tonga and Tongan words being part of the language of the Lau group of islands. Pots made in Fiji have been found in Samoa and the Marquesas Islands. In the 10th century, the Tu'i Tonga Empire was established in Tonga, Fiji came within its sphere of influence.
The Tongan influence brought Polynesian cu
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala