1. Oceania – Oceania, also known as Oceanica, is a region centred on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. The term is used more specifically to denote a continent comprising Australia. The term was coined as Océanie circa 1812 by geographer Conrad Malte-Brun, the word Océanie is a French word derived from the Latin word oceanus, and this from the Greek word ὠκεανός, ocean. Natives and inhabitants of this region are called Oceanians or Oceanicans, as an ecozone, Oceania includes all of Micronesia, Fiji, and all of Polynesia except New Zealand. New Zealand, along with New Guinea and nearby islands, part of the Philippine islands, Australia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, in geopolitical terms, however, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are almost always considered part of Oceania. Australia and Papua New Guinea are usually considered part of Oceania along with the Maluku Islands, puncak Jaya in Papua is often considered the highest peak in Oceania. Oceania was originally conceived as the lands of the Pacific Ocean and it comprised four regions, Polynesia, Micronesia, Malaysia, and Melanesia. The area extends to Sumatra in the west, the Bonin Islands in the northwest, the Hawaiian Islands in the northeast, Rapa Nui and Sala y Gómez Island in the east, and Macquarie Island in the south. Not included are the Pacific islands of Taiwan, the Ryukyu Islands and the Japanese archipelago, all on the margins of Asia, and the Aleutian Islands of North America. The islands at the extremes of Oceania are Bonin, a politically integral part of Japan, Hawaii, a state of the United States. There is also a geographic definition that excludes land on the Sunda Plate. Biogeographically, Oceania is used as a synonym for either the Australasian ecozone or the Pacific ecozone, Oceania is one of eight terrestrial ecozones, which constitute the major ecological regions of the planet. The Oceania ecozone includes all of Micronesia, Fiji, and all of Polynesia except New Zealand, New Zealand, New Guinea, Melanesia apart from Fiji, and Australia constitute the separate Australasian ecozone. The Malay Archipelago is part of the Indomalaya ecozone, related to these concepts are Near Oceania, that part of western Island Melanesia which has been inhabited for tens of millennia, and Remote Oceania which is more recently settled. The term is used to denote a continent comprising Australia. New Zealand forms the corner of the Polynesian Triangle. Its indigenous Māori constitute one of the cultures of Polynesia. It is also, however, considered part of Australasia, the history of Oceania in the medieval period was synonymous with the history of the indigenous peoples of Australasia, Micronesia, Melanesia, PolynesiaOceania – A map of Oceania from the CIA World Factbook
2. Sovereign state – A sovereign state is, in international law, a nonphysical juridical entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and it is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or state. The existence or disappearance of a state is a question of fact, States came into existence as people gradually transferred their allegiance from an individual sovereign to an intangible but territorial political entity, of the state. States are but one of political orders that emerged from feudal Europe, others being city states, leagues. Westphalian sovereignty is the concept of sovereignty based on territoriality. It is a system of states, multinational corporations. Sovereignty is a term that is frequently misused and that position was reflected and constituted in the notion that their sovereignty was either completely lacking, or at least of an inferior character when compared to that of civilised people. Lassa Oppenheim said There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than that of sovereignty. It is a fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon. In the opinion of H. V. Evatt of the High Court of Australia, sovereignty is neither a question of fact, nor a question of law, but a question that does not arise at all. The right of nations to determine their own status and exercise permanent sovereignty within the limits of their territorial jurisdictions is widely recognized. The Westphalian model of sovereignty has increasingly come under fire from the non-west as a system imposed solely by Western Colonialism. What this model did was make religion a subordinate to politics and this system does not fit in the Islamic world because concepts such as separation of church and state and individual conscience are not recognised in the Islamic religion as social systems. Nation denotes a people who are believed to or deemed to share common customs, religion, language, origins, however, the adjectives national and international are frequently used to refer to matters pertaining to what are strictly sovereign states, as in national capital, international law. State refers to the set of governing and supportive institutions that have sovereignty over a definite territory, State recognition signifies the decision of a sovereign state to treat another entity as also being a sovereign state. Recognition can be expressed or implied and is usually retroactive in its effects. It does not necessarily signify a desire to establish or maintain diplomatic relations, There is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations on the criteria for statehood. In actual practice, the criteria are mainly political, not legal, in international law, however, there are several theories of when a state should be recognised as sovereignSovereign state – Member states of the United Nations, all of which are sovereign states, though not all sovereign states are necessarily members
3. Australia – Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the worlds sixth-largest country by total area, the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. Australias capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney, for about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages classifiable into roughly 250 groups. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored, on 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states. The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard, Australia has the worlds 13th-largest economy and ninth-highest per capita income. With the second-highest human development index globally, the country highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom. The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis a name used for putative lands in the southern hemisphere since ancient times, the Dutch adjectival form Australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south. On 12 December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted, in 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia. The first official published use of the term Australia came with the 1830 publication of The Australia Directory and these first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturists, the northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited sporadically by fishermen from Maritime Southeast Asia. The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent, are attributed to the Dutch. The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, the Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines and named the island continent New Holland during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement. William Dampier, an English explorer and privateer, landed on the north-west coast of New Holland in 1688, in 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain. The first settlement led to the foundation of Sydney, and the exploration, a British settlement was established in Van Diemens Land, now known as Tasmania, in 1803, and it became a separate colony in 1825. The United Kingdom formally claimed the part of Western Australia in 1828. Separate colonies were carved from parts of New South Wales, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, the Northern Territory was founded in 1911 when it was excised from South AustraliaAustralia – Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley region of Western Australia
4. Federated States of Micronesia – Together, the states comprise around 607 islands that cover a longitudinal distance of almost 2,700 km just north of the equator. While the FSMs total land area is small, it occupies more than 2,600,000 km2 of the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Palikir, located on Pohnpei Island, while the largest city is Weno, each of its four states is centered on one or more main high islands, and all but Kosrae include numerous outlying atolls. The Federated States of Micronesia is spread across part of the Caroline Islands in the region of Micronesia. The term Micronesia may refer to the Federated States or to the region as a whole, the FSM was formerly a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trust Territory under U. S. Other neighboring island entities, and also members of the TTPI, formulated their own constitutional governments and became the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The FSM has a seat in the United Nations, the ancestors of the Micronesians settled over four thousand years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a centralized economic. Nan Madol, consisting of a series of artificial islands linked by a network of canals, is often called the Venice of the Pacific. European explorers—first the Portuguese in search of the Spice Islands and then the Spanish—reached the Carolines in the sixteenth century, the Spanish incorporated the archipelago to the Spanish East Indies and 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. 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, and the Northern Mariana Islands chose not to participate. The FSM signed a Compact of Free Association with the United States, independence was formally concluded under international law in 1990, when the United Nations officially 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 remaining ten senators represent single-member districts based on population, and serve two-year termsFederated States of Micronesia – Map of the Federated States of Micronesia.
5. Fiji – Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealands North Island. Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, the two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 860,000. The capital, Suva on Viti Levu, serves as Fijis principal cruise port, about three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levus coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres like Nadi or Lautoka. Viti Levus interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain, Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry. The countrys currency is the Fijian dollar, Fijis local government, in the form of city and town councils, is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development. The majority of Fijis islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago, today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century, and, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji was a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as a Commonwealth realm, a republic was declared in 1987, following a series of coups détat. In a coup in 2006, Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power, later in 2009, Iloilo was replaced as President by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. After years of delays, an election was held on 17 September 2014. Bainimaramas FijiFirst party won with 59. 2% of the vote, Fijis 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 warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific. They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, and all their Manufactures, especially bark cloth and clubs, were highly valued and much in demand. They called their home Viti, but the Tongans called it Fisi, and it was by this foreign pronunciation, Fiji, 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. Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500 to 1000 BC, the first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 5000 years agoFiji – Ratu Tanoa Visawaqa
6. Kiribati – Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 100,000, more than half of live on Tarawa Atoll. The nation comprises 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island and they have a total land area of 800 square kilometres and are dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometers. Their spread straddles the equator and the 180th meridian, although the International Date Line is indented to bring the Line Islands in the day as the Kiribati Islands. The International Date Line circumscribes Kiribati by swinging far to the east, almost reaching the 150°W meridian, Kiribatis easternmost islands, the southern Line Islands south of Hawaii, have the most advanced time on Earth, UTC+14 hours. Kiribati became independent from the United Kingdom in 1979, the capital and now most populated area, South Tarawa, consists of a number of islets, connected by a series of causeways. These comprise about half the area of Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the IMF and the World Bank, and became a full member of the United Nations in 1999. The name Kiribati was adopted at independence and it is local enunciation of Gilberts. This name derives from the archipelago that forms the nation. It was named the Gilbert Islands after the British explorer Thomas Gilbert and he sighted many of the islands in 1788 while mapping out the Outer Passage route from Port Jackson to Canton. The Kiribati archipelago was named Îles Gilbert, in about 1820, by Russian admiral Adam von Krusenstern, both their maps, published in 1820, were written in French. The archipelagos name was incorporated in the entire Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony from 1916, the spelling of Gilberts in the Gilbertese language as Kiribati may be found in books in Gilbertese prepared by missionaries and others. It is often suggested that the name for the Gilbert Islands proper is Tungaru. The pronunciation differs, Kiribas is the pronunciation as ti in Kiribatese makes an s sound. The area now called Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians speaking the same Oceanic language since sometime between 3000 BC and AD1300, the area was not isolated, invaders from Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji, later introduced Polynesian and Melanesian cultural aspects, respectively. Intermarriage tended to blur cultural differences and resulted in a significant degree of cultural homogenisation, chance visits by European ships occurred in the 17th and 18th centuries, as these ships attempted circumnavigations of the world or sought sailing routes from the south to north Pacific Ocean. The passing trade gave rise to European, Chinese, Samoan and other residents from the 1830s, they included beachcombers, castaways, traders and missionaries. In 1892 local authorities on each of the Gilbert Islands agreed to Captain Davis RN declaring them part of a British protectorate with the nearby Ellice IslandsKiribati – Stamp with portrait of King George VI, 1939
7. Marshall Islands – The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is an island country located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the island group of Micronesia. The countrys population of 53,158 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The islands share maritime boundaries with the Federated States of Micronesia to the west, Wake Island to the north, Kiribati to the south-east, about 27,797 of the islanders live on Majuro, which contains the capital. Micronesian colonists gradually settled the Marshall Islands during the 2nd millennium BC, Islands in the archipelago were first explored by Europeans in the 1520s, with Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar sighting an atoll in August 1526. Other expeditions by Spanish and English ships followed, the islands derive their name from British explorer John Marshall, who visited in 1788. The islands were known by the inhabitants as jolet jen Anij. The European powers recognized Spanish sovereignty over the islands in 1874 and they had been part of the Spanish East Indies formally since 1528. Later, Spain sold the islands to the German Empire in 1884, in World War I the Empire of Japan occupied the Marshall Islands, which in 1919 the League of Nations combined with other former German territories to form the South Pacific Mandate. In World War II, the United States conquered the islands in the Gilbert, along with other Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands were then consolidated into the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands governed by the US. Self-government was achieved in 1979, and full sovereignty in 1986, Marshall Islands has been a United Nations member state since 1991. The country uses the United States dollar as its currency, the majority of the citizens of the Marshall Islands are of Marshallese descent, though there are small numbers of immigrants from the United States, China, Philippines, and other Pacific islands. The two official languages are Marshallese, which is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, and English, micronesians settled the Marshall Islands in the 2nd millennium BC, but there are no historical or oral records of that period. Over time, the Marshall Island people learned to navigate over long distances by canoe using traditional stick charts. Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar was the first European to see the islands in 1526, commanding the ship Santa Maria de la Victoria, on August 21, he sighted an island at 14°N that he named San Bartolome. On September 21,1529, Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón commanded the Spanish ship Florida and he stood off a group of islands from which local inhabitants hurled stones at his ship. These islands, which he named Los Pintados, may have been Ujelang, on October 1, he found another group of islands where he went ashore for eight days, exchanged gifts with the local inhabitants and took on water. These islands, which he named Los Jardines, may have been Enewetak or Bikini AtollMarshall Islands – Marshall Islanders sailing in traditional costume, circa 1899-1900.
8. Nauru – Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati,300 kilometres to the east and it further lies northwest of Tuvalu, north of the Solomon Islands, east-northeast of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of the Marshall Islands. With 10,084 residents in a 21-square-kilometre area, Nauru is the smallest state in the South Pacific and third smallest state by area in the world, behind only Vatican City and Monaco. Settled by native peoples from Micronesia and Polynesia, Nauru was annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century, after World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate administered by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japanese troops, after the war ended, the country entered into UN trusteeship. Nauru gained its independence in 1968, Nauru is a phosphate rock island with rich deposits near the surface, which allowed easy strip mining operations. It has some remaining phosphate resources which, as of 2011, are not economically viable for extraction, Nauru boasted the highest per-capita income enjoyed by any sovereign state in the world during the late 1960s and early 1970s. When the phosphate reserves were exhausted, and the environment had been seriously harmed by mining. To earn income, Nauru briefly became a tax haven and illegal money laundering centre, from 2001 to 2008, and again from 2012, it accepted aid from the Australian Government in exchange for hosting the Nauru detention centre. As a result of dependence on Australia, many sources have identified Nauru as a client state of Australia. Nauru was first inhabited by Micronesians and Polynesians at least 3,000 years ago, there were traditionally 12 clans or tribes on Nauru, which are represented in the 12-pointed star on the countrys flag. Traditionally, Nauruans traced their descent matrilineally, inhabitants practised aquaculture, they caught juvenile ibija fish, acclimatised them to fresh water, and raised them in the Buada Lagoon, providing a reliable source of food. The other locally grown components of their diet included coconuts and pandanus fruit, the name Nauru may derive from the Nauruan word Anáoero, which means I go to the beach. The British sea captain John Fearn, a hunter, became the first Westerner to visit Nauru in 1798. From around 1830, Nauruans had contact with Europeans from whaling ships, around this time, deserters from European ships began to live on the island. The islanders traded food for alcoholic palm wine and firearms, the firearms were used during the 10-year Nauruan Tribal War that began in 1878. After an agreement with Great Britain, Nauru was annexed by Germany in 1888, the arrival of the Germans ended the civil war, and kings were established as rulers of the island. The most widely known of these was King Auweyida, christian missionaries from the Gilbert Islands arrived in 1888Nauru – A Nauruan warrior, 1880.
9. New Zealand – New Zealand /njuːˈziːlənd/ is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, 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, fungal, the countrys varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealands capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland, sometime between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that later 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 Britain 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, today, the majority of New Zealands population of 4.7 million is of European descent, the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealands culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Since the 1980s, New Zealand has transformed from an agrarian, Queen Elizabeth II is the countrys head of state and is represented by a governor-general. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes, the Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue, and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealands territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and called it Staten Landt, 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 country before the arrival of Europeans. Māori had several 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, Middle 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 and this set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, and South Island or Te WaipounamuNew Zealand – The Waitangi sheet from the Treaty of Waitangi
10. Palau – Palau, officially the Republic of Palau, is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country contains approximately 250 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, the most populous island is Koror. The capital Ngerulmud is located on the island of Babeldaob. Palau shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia, the country was originally settled approximately 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines and sustained a Negrito population until around 900 years ago. The islands were first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, the Imperial Japanese Navy conquered Palau during World War I, and the islands were later made a part of the Japanese-ruled South Pacific Mandate by the League of Nations. During World War II, skirmishes, including the major Battle of Peleliu, were fought between American and Japanese troops as part of the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign. Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. Having voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. Legislative power is concentrated in the bicameral Palau National Congress, Palaus economy is based mainly on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product derived from foreign aid. The country uses the United States dollar as its currency, the islands culture mixes Micronesian, Melanesian, Asian, and Western elements. Ethnic Palauans, the majority of the population, are of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, a smaller proportion of the population is descended from Japanese and Filipino settlers. The countrys two official languages are Palauan and English, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, and Tobian recognised as regional languages. The name for the islands in the Palauan language, Belau, likely derives from either the Palauan word for village, beluu, or from aibebelau, the name Palau entered the English language from the Spanish Los Palaos, via the German Palau. An archaic name for the islands in English was the Pelew Islands and it should not be confused with Pulau, which is a Malay word meaning island. Palau was originally settled between the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, most likely from the Austronesia or Indonesia, the islands sustained a population of short-statured Negrito or Pygmy people until the 12th century, when they were replaced. The modern population, judging by its language, may have come from the Sunda Islands, however, the Spanish presence only began to express with evangelization, began at the end of 17th century, and its dominance began to take shape in the 18th century. The conscious discovery of Palau came a century later in 1697 and they were interviewed by the Czech missionary Paul Klein on 28 December 1696. Klein was able to draw the first map of Palau based on the Palauans representation of their home islands that made with an arrangement of 87 pebbles on the beachPalau – Map of 1888 showing the Spanish East Indies, being part of it Palau Islands (map without Philippines)
11. Papua New Guinea – Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua, Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. There are 852 known languages in the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers, most of the population of more than 7 million people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its live in urban centres. The country is one of the worlds least explored, culturally and geographically and it is known to have numerous groups of uncontacted peoples, and researchers believe there are many undiscovered species of plants and animals in the interior. Papua New Guinea is classified as an economy by the International Monetary Fund. Strong growth in Papua New Guineas mining and resource sector led to the becoming the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011. Growth was expected to slow once major resource projects came on line in 2015, mining remains a major economic factor, however. Local and national governments are discussing the potential of resuming mining operations in Panguna mine in Bougainville Province, nearly 40 percent of the population lives a self-sustainable natural lifestyle with no access to global capital. Most of the still live in strong traditional social groups based on farming. Their social lives combine traditional religion with modern practices, including primary education, at the national level, after being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975. This followed nearly 60 years of Australian administration, which started during the Great War and it became an independent Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in its own right. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans first arrived in Papua New Guinea around 42,000 to 45,000 years ago and they were descendants of migrants out of Africa, in one of the early waves of human migration. Agriculture was independently developed in the New Guinea highlands around 7000 BC, a major migration of Austronesian-speaking peoples to coastal regions of New Guinea took place around 500 BC. This has been correlated with the introduction of pottery, pigs, in the 18th century, traders brought the sweet potato to New Guinea, where it was adopted and became part of the staples. Portuguese traders had obtained it from South America and introduced it to the Moluccas, the far higher crop yields from sweet potato gardens radically transformed traditional agriculture and societies. Sweet potato largely supplanted the previous staple, taro, and resulted in a significant increase in population in the highlands. In 1901, on Goaribari Island in the Gulf of Papua, missionary Harry Dauncey found 10,000 skulls in the islands Long Houses, traders from Southeast Asia had visited New Guinea beginning 5,000 years ago to collect bird of paradise plumesPapua New Guinea – Kerepunu villagers, British New Guinea, 1885.
12. Samoa – The Independent State of Samoa, commonly known as Samoa and, until 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a unitary parliamentary democracy with eleven administrative divisions. The two main islands are Savaii and Upolu with four smaller islands surrounding the landmasses, the Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a language and cultural identity. Samoa is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Western Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976. The entire island group, which includes American Samoa, was called Navigator Islands by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans seafaring skills. The oldest date so far for remains in Samoa has been calculated by New Zealand scientists to a true age of circa 3,000 years ago from a Lapita site at Mulifanua during the 1970s. The origins of the Samoans are closely studied in research about Polynesia in various scientific disciplines such as genetics, linguistics. Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century, jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman, was the first known European to sight the Samoan islands in 1722. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768, contact was limited before the 1830s, which is when English missionaries and traders began arriving. Christian missionary work in Samoa began in 1830 by John Williams, of the London Missionary Society arriving in Sapapalii from The Cook Islands and Tahiti. However, Robert Louis Stevenson, who lived in Samoa from 1889 until his death in 1894, wrote in A Footnote to History, Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, … the Samoans are gentle people. The Germans in particular began to show great commercial interest in the Samoan Islands, especially on the island of Upolu, Britain also sent troops to protect British business enterprise, harbour rights, and consulate office. This was followed by a civil war, during which each of the three powers supplied arms, training and in some cases combat troops to the warring Samoan parties. The Samoan crisis came to a critical juncture in March 1889 when all three colonial contenders sent warships into Apia harbour, and a larger-scale war seemed imminent, a massive storm on 15 March 1889 damaged or destroyed the warships, ending the military conflict. The Second Samoan Civil War reached a head in 1898 when Germany, the United Kingdom, the Siege of Apia occurred in March 1899. Samoan forces loyal to Prince Tanu were besieged by a force of Samoan rebels loyal to Mataafa Iosefo. Supporting Prince Tanu were landing parties from four British and American warships, after several days of fighting, the Samoan rebels were finally defeated. American and British warships shelled Apia on 15 March 1899, including the USS Philadelphia, the eastern island-group became a territory of the United States and was known as American SamoaSamoa – Studio photo depicting preparation of the Samoa 'ava ceremony c. 1911.
13. Solomon Islands – The countrys capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years, in 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón. Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, during World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal. The official name of the then British overseas territory was changed from the British Solomon Islands Protectorate to Solomon Islands in 1975, self-government was achieved in 1976, independence was obtained two years later. Today, Solomon Islands is a monarchy with the Queen of Solomon Islands, currently Queen Elizabeth II. Manasseh Sogavare is the current prime minister, in 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit the Solomon Islands archipelago, naming it Islas Salomón after the wealthy biblical King Solomon. It is said that they were given name in the mistaken assumption that they contained great riches. During most of the period of British rule the territory was named the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. On 22 June 1975 the territory was renamed Solomon Islands, when Solomon Islands became independent in 1978 they retained the name. The definite article, the, is not part of the official name but is sometimes used. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC, austronesian speakers arrived c.4000 BC also bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. Between 1200 and 800 BC the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, the first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. The people of Solomon Islands were notorious for headhunting and cannibalism before the arrival of the Europeans, missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century. They made little progress at first, because blackbirding led to a series of reprisals, the evils of the labour trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893. Traditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu and the societies in the south of Bougainville, however. Missionaries settled in the Solomons under the protectorate, converting most of the population to Christianity, in the early 20th century several British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow, however, and the islanders benefited little, journalist Joe Melvin visited in 1892, as part of his undercover investigation into blackbirding. In 1908 the islands were visited by Jack London, who was cruising the Pacific on his boat, with the outbreak of the Second World War most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia and most cultivation ceasedSolomon Islands
14. Tonga – Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 169 islands of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of the southern Pacific Ocean and it has a population of 103,000 people of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu. Tonga stretches across approximately 800 kilometres in a north-south line and it is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec to the southwest, and New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the farther west. Tonga became known in the West as the Friendly Islands because of the reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773. He arrived at the time of the festival, the yearly donation of the First Fruits to the Tuʻi Tonga. According to the writer William Mariner, the wanted to kill Cook during the gathering. From 1900 to 1970, Tonga had British protected state status, the country never relinquished its sovereignty to any foreign power. In many Polynesian languages including Tongan, the word tonga means south, the name of Tonga is cognate to the Hawaiian region of Kona. In Malay, the name of Tonga is also cognate to the word Tenggara, an Austronesian-speaking group linked to the archaeological construct known as the Lapita cultural complex reached and inhabited Tonga around 1500–1000 BCE. Scholars have much debated the exact dates of the settlement of Tonga. Not much is known before European contact because of the lack of a writing system, in the 15th century and again in the 17th, civil war erupted. The Tongan people first encountered Europeans in 1616 when the Dutch vessel Eendracht, captained by Willem Schouten, later came other Dutch explorers, including Jacob Le Maire, and in 1643 Abel Tasman. In 1845, the young warrior, strategist, and orator Tāufaʻāhau united Tonga into a kingdom. He held the title of Tuʻi Kanokupolu, but had been baptised by Methodist missionaries with the name Siaosi in 1831. Tonga became a state under a Treaty of Friendship with Britain on 18 May 1900. The treaty posted no higher permanent representative on Tonga than a British Consul, under the protection of Britain, Tonga maintained its sovereignty, and remained the only Pacific nation to retain its monarchical government. The Tongan monarchy follows a succession of hereditary rulers from one family. The 1918 flu pandemic, brought to Tonga by a ship from New Zealand, killed 1,800 Tongans, the Treaty of Friendship and Tongas protection status ended in 1970 under arrangements established by Queen Salote Tupou III prior to her death in 1965Tonga – The arrival of Abel Tasman in Tongatapu, 1643, drawing by Isaack Gilsemans.
15. Tuvalu – It comprises three reef islands and six true atolls spread out between the latitude of 5° to 10° south and longitude of 176° to 180°, west of the International Date Line. Tuvalu has a population of 10,640, the total land area of the islands of Tuvalu is 26 square kilometres. The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesians, in 1568, Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to sail through the archipelago, sighting the island of Nui during his expedition in search of Terra Australis. In 1819 the island of Funafuti was named Ellices Island, the name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay. A referendum was held in December 1974 to determine whether the Gilbert Islands, as a consequence of the referendum, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony ceased to exist on 1 January 1976 and the separate British colonies of Kiribati and Tuvalu came into existence. Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth on 1 October 1978, on 5 September 2000 Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations. The origins of the people of Tuvalu are addressed in the theories regarding migration into the Pacific that began about 3000 years ago, during pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the nearer islands including Samoa and Tonga. Eight of the nine islands of Tuvalu were inhabited, thus the name, Tuvalu, possible evidence of fire in the Caves of Nanumanga may indicate human occupation for thousands of years. The stories as to the ancestors of the Tuvaluans vary from island to island, on Niutao, Funafuti and Vaitupu the founding ancestor is described as being from Samoa, whereas on Nanumea the founding ancestor is described as being from Tonga. Mendaña made contact with the islanders but was unable to land, during Mendañas second voyage across the Pacific he passed Niulakita on 29 August 1595, which he named La Solitaria. Captain John Byron passed through the islands of Tuvalu in 1764 during his circumnavigation of the globe as captain of the Dolphin, Byron charted the atolls as Lagoon Islands. Chambers and Doug Munro identified Niutao as the island that Francisco Mourelle de la Rúa sailed past on 5 May 1781, mourelles map and journal named the island El Gran Cocal, however, the latitude and longitude was uncertain. Longitude could only be reckoned crudely as accurate chronometers were unavailable until the late 18th century, the name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay. In 1820 the Russian explorer Mikhail Lazarev visited Nukufetau as commander of the Mirny, Louis Isidore Duperrey, captain of La Coquille, sailed past Nanumanga in May 1824 during a circumnavigation of the earth. A Dutch expedition found Nui on the morning of 14 June 1825, whalers began roving the Pacific, although visiting Tuvalu only infrequently because of the difficulties of landing on the atolls. Captain George Barrett of the Nantucket whaler Independence II has been identified as the first whaler to hunt the waters around Tuvalu, in November 1821 he bartered coconuts from the people of Nukulaelae and also visited Niulakita. A shore camp was established on Sakalua islet of Nukufetau, where coal was used to melt down the whale blubber, the Rev. A. W. Elekana began proselytising Christianity. He was trained at Malua Theological College, a London Missionary Society school in Samoa, in 1865 the Rev. A. W. Murray of the LMS – a Protestant congregationalist missionary society – arrived as the first European missionary where he too proselytised among the inhabitants of TuvaluTuvalu – Lat. and Long. 8°19′S 179°08′E / 8.32°S 179.13°E / -8.32; 179.13 (Funafuti)
16. Vanuatu – Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people, the first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island in 1606. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980, Vanuatus name is derived from the word vanua, which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu. Together the two indicated the independent status of the new country. The prehistory of Vanuatu is obscure, archaeological evidence supports the theory that people speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands about 3,300 years ago, pottery fragments have been found dating to 1300–1100 BC. The Spanish established a settlement at Big Bay on the north side of the island. The name Espiritu Santo remains to this day, Europeans did not return until 1768, when Louis Antoine de Bougainville rediscovered the islands. In 1774, Captain Cook named the islands the New Hebrides, during the 1860s, planters in Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Samoa Islands, in need of labourers, encouraged a long-term indentured labour trade called blackbirding. At the height of the trade, more than one-half the adult male population of several of the islands worked abroad. Fragmentary evidence indicates that the current population of Vanuatu is greatly reduced compared to pre-contact times, in the 19th century, Catholic and Protestant missionaries from Europe and North America went to the islands to work with the people. John Gibson Paton was a Scottish missionary who devoted his life to the region, settlers came looking for land on which to establish cotton plantations. When international cotton prices collapsed, planters switched to coffee, cocoa, bananas, initially, British subjects from Australia made up the majority of settlers, but the establishment of the Caledonian Company of the New Hebrides in 1882 attracted more French subjects. By the start of the 20th century, the French outnumbered the British two to one, the jumbling of French and British interests in the islands brought petitions for one or another of the two powers to annex the territory. In 1906, France and the United Kingdom agreed to administer the islands jointly, called the Anglo-French Condominium, it was a unique form of government. The separate governmental systems came together only in a joint court, melanesians were barred from acquiring the citizenship of either power. Challenges to this form of government began in the early 1940s, the arrival of Americans during the Second World War, with their informal habits and relative wealth, contributed to the rise of nationalism in the islands. The belief in a messianic figure named John Frum was the basis for an indigenous cargo cult promising Melanesian deliverance. Today, John Frum is both a religion and a party with a member in ParliamentVanuatu – James Cook landing at Tanna island, c. 1774
17. Chile – Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez, Desventuradas, and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile also claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes, the southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. Spain conquered and colonized Chile in the century, replacing Inca rule in northern and central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic, in the 1960s and 1970s the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil. The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010. Chile is today one of South Americas most stable and prosperous nations and it leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile, another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a locally known as trile. The Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, ultimately, Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such. The older spelling Chili was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching over to Chile, stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating Native Americans settled in fertile valleys, settlement sites from very early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodon and the Pali Aike Craters lava tube. They fought against the Sapa Inca Tupac Yupanqui and his army, the result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. The next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, the Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarros lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541. Although the Spanish did not find the gold and silver they sought, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chiles central valleyChile – The Mapuche people were the original inhabitants of southern and central Chile.
18. Easter Island – Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, in 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park. However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat, by the time of European arrival in 1722, the islands population had dropped to 2, 000–3,000 from an estimated high of approximately 15,000 just a century earlier. European diseases and Peruvian slave raiding in the 1860s further reduced the Rapa Nui population, Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. Easter Island is a territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, and, more specifically, according to the 2012 Chilean census, the island has about 5,800 residents, of whom some 60 percent are descendants of the aboriginal Rapa Nui. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile, the islands official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua, also means Easter Island. However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa was the name of Easter Island. William Churchill inquired about the phrase and was told there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island. The phrase appears to have used in the same sense as the designation of Lands End at the tip of Cornwall. He was unable to elicit a Polynesian name for the island itself, 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, and the phrase can also mean the Navel of the World. This was apparently its actual meaning, French ethnologist Alphonse Pinart gave it the actual translation 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, however it is common to refer to members of the community as Rapa Nui. Estimated dates of initial settlement of Easter Island have ranged from 300 to 1200, rectifications in radiocarbon dating have changed almost all of the previously posited early settlement dates in Polynesia. Rapa Nui is now considered to have settled in the narrower range of 700 to 1100 CE. Significant ecological impacts and major cultural investments in monumental architecture and statuary thus began soon after initial settlement, according to oral tradition, the first settlement was at Anakena. The island was most likely populated by Polynesians who navigated in canoes or catamarans from the Gambier Islands or the Marquesas Islands,3,200 km awayEaster Island – UNESCO World Heritage Site
19. Indonesia – Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a unitary sovereign state and transcontinental country located mainly in Southeast Asia with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the worlds largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres, Indonesia is the worlds 14th-largest country in terms of area and worlds 7th-largest country in terms of combined sea. It has an population of over 260 million people and is the worlds fourth most populous country. The worlds most populous island, Java, contains more than half of the countrys population, Indonesias republican form of government includes an elected legislature and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have Special Administrative status and its capital and countrys most populous city is Jakarta, which is also the most populous city in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the second highest level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper, agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesias major trading partners are Japan, United States, China, the Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Indonesia consists of hundreds of native ethnic and linguistic groups. The largest – and politically dominant – ethnic group are the Javanese, a shared identity has developed, defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a Muslim-majority population, and a history of colonialism and rebellion against it. Indonesias national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, articulates the diversity that shapes the country, Indonesias economy is the worlds 16th largest by nominal GDP and the 8th largest by GDP at PPP, the largest in Southeast Asia, and is considered an emerging market and newly industrialised country. Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950, Indonesia is a member of the G20 major economies and World Trade Organization. The name Indonesia derives from the Greek name of the Indós, the name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Windsor Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians—and, his preference, in the same publication, one of his students, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia, they preferred Malay Archipelago, the Netherlands East Indies, popularly Indië, the East, and InsulindeIndonesia – A Borobudur ship carved on Borobudur, c. 800 CE. Indonesian outrigger boats may have made trade voyages to the east coast of Africa as early as the 1st century CE.
20. West Papua (province) – West Papua is a province of Indonesia. It covers the two peninsulas of the island of New Guinea. Its capital is Manokwari, although the largest city is Sorong, and the 2010 census recorded a population of 760,855, the latest official estimate is 877,437. West Papua Province was created from the portion of Papua in February 2003, initially under the name of West Irian Jaya. The province covers the Birds Head and Bomberai peninsulas and the islands of Raja Ampat. With a population of 877,437 in 2014, it is the least populous province of Indonesia except for the newly created province of North Kalimantan, even after Indonesias independence in 1945, Papua and Irian Jaya were retained by the Dutch for various reasons. However, Indonesia claimed all of the territory of the former Dutch East Indies, including the Dutch New Guinea holdings and this vote was referred to as the Act of Free Choice. But, the vote was in fact conducted by consensus decision-making, or consensus of elders and this body was coerced into unanimously voting to remain part of Indonesia, the territory was named as the province of Irian Jaya, later Papua. The result of the vote was rejected by Papuan nationalists. The independence movement for West Papua has continued, primarily through peaceful protest and international pressure, West Papua was created from the western portion of Papua province in February 2003, initially under the name of Irian Jaya Barat, it was later renamed Papua Barat on 7 February 2007. In November 2004, an Indonesian court agreed that the split violated Papuas autonomy laws, however, the court ruled that because the new province had already been created, it should remain separate from Papua. The ruling also prohibited the creation of another proposed province, Central Irian Jaya, the split is in line with the general trend of provincial splits that is occurring in all parts of Indonesia in the post-Suharto era. The province changed its name to West Papua on 7 February 2007, in 2000 the areas now forming West Papua province consisted of three regencies – Manokwari, Sorong and Fakfak. By 2010 the province was divided into ten regencies and one autonomous city. Two new regencies have since created, all the existing regencies and city are listed below with their populations at the 2010 Census. * The areas and 2014 population of Arfak Mountains and South Manokwari Regencies are included in the figures for Manokwari Regency, the 2010 Census figures quoted above for all four of these regencies relate to their area as established in 2010. On 25 October 2013 the Indonesian House of Representatives began reviewing draft laws on the establishment of 57 prospective regencies/cities, poisoned Arrows, An investigative journey through the forbidden lands of West PapuaWest Papua (province) – Raja Ampat Islands
21. Papua (province) – Special Region of Papua is the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia, comprising most of western New Guinea. Papua is bordered by the nation of Papua New Guinea to the east and it was formerly called Irian Jaya and comprised all of Indonesian New Guinea. In 2002 the current name was adopted and in 2003 West Papua province was created from parts of Papua province. Papua is the official Indonesian and internationally recognised name for the province, during the Dutch colonial era the region was known as part of Dutch New Guinea or Netherlands New Guinea. Since its annexation in 1969, it known as West Irian or Irian Barat until 1973. This was the name until the name Papua was adopted in 2002. Today, the inhabitants of this province prefer to call themselves Papuans. The name West Papua was adopted in 1961 by the New Guinea Council until the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority transferred administration to the Republic of Indonesia in 1963. West Papua has since used by Papuans as a self-identifying term, especially by those demanding self-determination. The other Indonesian province that shares New Guinea, West Irian Jaya, has been renamed as West Papua. The entire western New Guinea is often referred to as West Papua internationally – especially among networks of solidarity with the West Papuan independence movement. The province of Papua is governed by an elected governor. Nevertheless, the agreement with the UN was nominally upheld, and was recognised by the community in spite of protests. This intensified the movement among indigenous West Papuans, deepening the Papua conflict. The conflict has continued to the present, with Indonesian security forces being accused of human rights abuses in their suppression of the independence movement. The Indonesian government maintains control over the region, barring foreign journalists or rights monitors from entering. In 1999 it was proposed to split the province into three government-controlled sectors, sparking Papuan protests, in January 2003 President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed an order dividing Papua into three provinces, Central Irian Jaya, Papua, and West Papua. The creation of this separate Central Irian Jaya Province was blocked by Indonesian courts, the previous division into two provinces was allowed to stand as an established factPapua (province) – Peak of Puncak Jaya
22. Japan – Japan is a sovereign island nation in Eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea, the kanji that make up Japans name mean sun origin. 日 can be read as ni and means sun while 本 can be read as hon, or pon, Japan is often referred to by the famous epithet Land of the Rising Sun in reference to its Japanese name. Japan is an archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, the country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one, the population of 127 million is the worlds tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98. 5% of Japans total population, approximately 9.1 million people live in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period, the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, from the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a period of isolation in the early 17th century. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the country has the worlds third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the worlds fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the worlds fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer, although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the worlds eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a country with a very high standard of living. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, in ancient China, Japan was called Wo 倭. It was mentioned in the third century Chinese historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms in the section for the Wei kingdom, Wa became disliked because it has the connotation of the character 矮, meaning dwarf. The 倭 kanji has been replaced with the homophone Wa, meaning harmony, the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, which is pronounced Nippon or Nihon and literally means the origin of the sun. The earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, at the start of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan introduced their country as NihonJapan – The Golden Hall and five-storey pagoda of Hōryū-ji, among the oldest wooden buildings in the world, National Treasures, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
23. Bonin Islands – The Bonin Islands, also known as the Ogasawara Islands, are an archipelago of over 30 subtropical and tropical islands, some 1,000 kilometres directly south of Tokyo, Japan. The name Bonin Islands comes from the Japanese word bunin, meaning no people or uninhabited, the only inhabited islands of the group are Chichi-jima, the seat of the municipal government, and Haha-jima, which includes Ogasawara Village. Ogasawara Municipality and Ogasawara Subprefecture take their names from the Ogasawara Group, geographically speaking, all of these islands are part of the Nanpō Islands. A total population of 2,440, comprising 2,000 on Chichi-jima and 440 on Haha-jima, lives in the Ogasawara Group, because the Ogasawara Islands have never been connected to a continent, many of their animals and plants have undergone unique evolutionary processes. This has led to the nickname of the The Galápagos of the Orient. The giant squid was filmed off the Ogasawara Islands for the first time in the wild on September 27,2005, and was captured in December 2006. The Bonin Islands consist of three subgroups, which are listed below along with their islands, Muko-jima Group - formerly Parry Group. Nakōdo-jima or Nakadachi-jima, Kita-no-jima, Mae-jima - formerly the Ears, Chichi-jima Group - formerly Beechey Group, ani-jima - formerly Hog I. /Buckland I. Otōto-jima - formerly North I. /Stapleton I, mago-jima, Higashi-jima Nishi-jima - formerly Goat I. Haha-jima Group - formerly Baily Group or Coffin Islands, Haha-jima - formerly Hillsborough I, hira-jima or Taira-jima Ane-jima - formerly Perry I. Mei-jima Administratively, the Volcano Islands, Nishinoshima, Okinotorishima and Minamitorishima, are part of Ogasawara municipality. Geographically, they are not traditionally considered part of the Bonin Islands, which are the Mukojima, Chichijima, in other words, the historical range of the Bonin Islands is not the precise equivalent of the Japanese governmental unit. The Bonin Islands is a term excluding the other islands which are today associated within the boundaries of a collective term. The first recorded visit by Europeans to the islands happened on 2 October 1543, when the Spanish explorer Bernardo de la Torre sighted Haha-jima, at that time, the islands were not populated. Japanese discovery of the islands occurred in Kanbun 10 and was followed by an expedition in Enpō3. The islands were claimed as a territory of Japan and they were then referred to as Bunin jima, literally the uninhabited islands. In 1727, Ogasawara Sadato, a ronin, claimed that the islands were discovered by his ancestor Ogasawara Sadayori, in 1593, and the territory was granted as a fief by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. However, investigation of the found that it was a fraudBonin Islands – An Ogasawara Island village during the early Shōwa period.
24. Minami-Tori-Shima – The closest island to Minami-Tori-shima is East Island in the Mariana Islands, which is 1,015 kilometres to the west-southwest. The meaning of its Japanese name is Southern Bird Island and it is the easternmost territory belonging to Japan, and the only Japanese territory on the Pacific Plate, past the Japan Trench. Although very small and without a population, it is of strategic importance. It is also the easternmost territory of Tokyo, being part of Ogasawara village. Minami-Tori-shima is triangular in shape, and unusual in that it has a saucer-like profile, the central area of the island is 1 metre below sea level. Outside the reef, the ocean depths quickly plunge to over 1,000 metres, the island has a total land area of 1.2 square kilometres. The island also has the highest average temperature in Japan, the first discovery and mention of an island in this area was made by a Spanish Manila Galleon captain, Andrés de Arriola in 1694. It was charted in Spanish maps as Sebastian López, after the Spanish Admiral Sebastian López and its exact location was left unrecorded until further sightings in the early 19th century. The island was mentioned again in 1864 by the ship Morning Star, belonging either to the United States or the Kingdom of Hawaii and its position was recorded by a United States survey ship in 1874, and first landed on by a Japanese national, Kiozaemon Saito in 1879. On June 30,1886, a Japanese named Shinroku Mizutani led a group of 46 colonists from Haha-jima in the Ogasawara Islands to settle on Marcus Island, the settlement was named Mizutani after the leader of the expedition. The Empire of Japan officially annexed the island July 24,1898, the island was officially named Minami-Tori-shima and placed administratively under the Ogasawara Subprefecture of Tokyo. Sovereignty over the island before World War I was apparently disputed as various sources from the move the island from the American to Japanese domain without specific explanation. In 1902, the United States dispatched a warship from Hawaii to enforce its claims, in 1914, William D. Boyce included Marcus Island as an obviously American island in his book, The Colonies and Dependencies of the United States. In 1933, by orders of the Japanese government, the inhabitants of Minami-Tori-shima were evacuated. In 1935, the Imperial Japanese Navy established a station on the island. The United States Navy bombed it repeatedly in 1942 and in 1943, the island was taken by American forces on May 12,1945. Though isolated, the Japanese were able to resupply the garrison by submarine and that channel is still visible today. The Treaty of San Francisco transferred the island to American control, the island was returned to Japanese control in 1968, but the Americans retained control of the airstrip and LORAN stationMinami-Tori-Shima – Aerial photo from 1987
25. United States – Forty-eight of the fifty states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east, the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean, the geography, climate and wildlife of the country are extremely diverse. At 3.8 million square miles and with over 324 million people, the United States is the worlds third- or fourth-largest country by area, third-largest by land area. It is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, paleo-Indians migrated from Asia to the North American mainland at least 15,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century, the United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the following the Seven Years War led to the American Revolution. On July 4,1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, representing the first successful war of independence against a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, after the Articles of Confederation, the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of slavery in the country. By the end of century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the status as a global military power. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the sole superpower. The U. S. is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States. The United States is a developed country, with the worlds largest economy by nominal GDP. It ranks highly in several measures of performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP. While the U. S. economy is considered post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge economy, the United States is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo VespucciUnited States – Native Americans meeting with Europeans, 1764
26. Hawaii – Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States of America, having received statehood on August 21,1959. Hawaii is the only U. S. state located in Oceania and it is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U. S. state not located in the Americas, the state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast, Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group, it is called the Big Island or Hawaiʻi Island to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania, Hawaii has over a million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U. S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the fifty U. S. states. It is the state with an Asian plurality. The states coastline is about 750 miles long, the fourth longest in the U. S. after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, the state of Hawaii derives its name from the name of its largest island, Hawaiʻi. A common Hawaiian explanation of the name of Hawaiʻi is that was named for Hawaiʻiloa and he is said to have discovered the islands when they were first settled. The Hawaiian language word Hawaiʻi is very similar to Proto-Polynesian *Sawaiki, cognates of Hawaiʻi are found in other Polynesian languages, including Māori, Rarotongan and Samoan. According to linguists Pukui and Elbert, lsewhere in Polynesia, Hawaiʻi or a cognate is the name of the underworld or of the home, but in Hawaii. A somewhat divisive political issue arose in 1978 when the Constitution of the State of Hawaii added Hawaiian as an official state language. The title of the constitution is The Constitution of the State of Hawaii. Article XV, Section 1 of the Constitution uses The State of Hawaii, diacritics were not used because the document, drafted in 1949, predates the use of the okina and the kahakō in modern Hawaiian orthography. The exact spelling of the name in the Hawaiian language is Hawaiʻi. In the Hawaii Admission Act that granted Hawaiian statehood, the government recognized Hawaii as the official state name. Official government publications, department and office titles, and the Seal of Hawaii use the spelling with no symbols for glottal stops or vowel lengthHawaii – Hawaii from space, January 26, 2014
27. Palmyra Atoll – Palmyra Atoll is one of the Northern Line Islands, located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands, roughly one-third of the way between Hawaii and American Samoa. The nearest continent is almost 5,400 kilometres to the northeast, the atoll is 4.6 sq mi, and it is located in the equatorial Northern Pacific Ocean. Its 9 mi of coastline has one known as West Lagoon. It is an unoccupied equatorial Northern Pacific atoll administered as an incorporated territory by the United States federal government. The atoll consists of a reef, two shallow lagoons, and some 50 sand and reef-rock islets and bars covered with vegetation—mostly Coconut palms, Scaevola. The islets of the atoll are mostly connected, sand Island and the two Home Islets in the west and Barren Island in the east are not. The largest island is Cooper Island in the north, followed by Kaula Island in the south, average annual rainfall is approximately 175 in per year. Daytime temperatures average 85 °F year round, Palmyra is an incorporated territory of the United States, meaning that it is subject to all provisions of the U. S. Constitution and is permanently under American sovereignty, however, since Palmyra is also an unorganized territory, there is no Act of Congress specifying how Palmyra should be governed. Palmyra has no permanent residents, however, in 2004 accommodations were built to support a number of temporary inhabitants. The only relevant federal law simply gives the President the authority to administer Palmyra as directed, the issue of the governing of Palmyra is generally a moot point, since there is no permanent population remaining there, nor any reason to think that there will be in the future. Palmyra is the only unorganized incorporated territory of the United States, Cooper Island and ten other land parcels in this atoll are owned by The Nature Conservancy, Inc. which manages them as a nature reserve. The southwesternmost islets, including Home, are owned by descendants of former Palmyra owner Henry Ernest Cooper, the rest of Palmyra is federal land and waters under the jurisdiction of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For all other purposes, Palmyra is counted as one of the U. S, there is no current economic activity on Palmyra other than paid ecotourism visits and sport fishing by Nature Conservancy donors. Most of the roads and causeways there were built during World War II, All of these are now unserviceable and overgrown with bushes and grass, and most have washed-away gaps. There is a 2, 000-yard -long, unpaved, airstrip on Cooper Island that was built for the Palmyra Island Naval Air Station before, a construction program in 2004 erected several two-person bungalows and showers for the temporary residents. Fresh water is collected from the roof of a building in this area. The communal buildings of the area on the western coast of Cooper Island consist of about half a dozen buildings next to the only sea dockPalmyra Atoll – Palmyra Atoll viewed from the northwest, 2011
28. Realm of New Zealand – The Realm of New Zealand is the entire area in which the Queen of New Zealand is head of state. New Zealand is an independent, sovereign state and it has one Antarctic territorial claim, the Ross Dependency, one dependent territory, Tokelau, and two associated states, the Cook Islands and Niue. The King/Queen of New Zealand, represented by the Governor-General of New Zealand, is head of state throughout the Realm of New Zealand, the exact scope of the realm is defined by the 1983 Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General. It constitutes one of 16 realms within the Commonwealth, the Cook Islands and Niue became New Zealands first Pacific colonies in 1901 and then protectorates. From 1965 the Cooks were self-governing, so was Niue from 1974, Tokelau came under New Zealand control in 1925 and remains a non-self-governing territory. The British government took possession of territory in 1923 and entrusted it to the administration of New Zealand. Neither Russia nor the United States recognises this claim, and the matter is left unresolved by the Antarctic Treaty and it is largely uninhabited, apart from scientific bases. New Zealand citizenship law treats all parts of the realm equally, so most people born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, further conditions apply for those born from 2006 onwards. A governor-general represents the head of state in the area of the realm, essentially, Governors-General take on all the dignities and reserve powers of the head of state. From 31 August 2011 until 31 August 2016 the Governor-General was Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, dame Patsy Reddy was appointed to assume the position on 14 September 2016. The Realm of New Zealand is not a federation or a sovereign state. Both the Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing states in association with New Zealand. As such, the Parliament of New Zealand is not empowered to pass legislation in respect of these states. In foreign affairs and defence issues New Zealand acts on behalf of these countries, as the Governor-General is resident in New Zealand, the Cook Islands Constitution provides for the distinct position of Queens Representative. This individual is not subordinate to the Governor-General and acts as the representative of the Queen in right of New Zealand. Since 2013, Tom Marsters is the Queens Representative to the Cook Islands and this arrangement effectively allows for the de facto independent actions of internal and most external areas of governance. According to Niues Constitution of 1974, the Governor-General of New Zealand acts as the Queens representative, in the Cook Islands and Niue the New Zealand High Commissioner is the diplomatic representative from New Zealand. John Carter is the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, mark Blumsky was the New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue from 2010 until he was replaced by Ross Ardern in early 2014Realm of New Zealand – New Zealand
29. Niue – Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean,2,400 kilometres northeast of New Zealand, and east of Tonga, south of Samoa and west of the Cook Islands. Its land area is 260 square kilometres and its population, predominantly Polynesian, is around 1,612 as of November 2016 and they commonly refer to the island as The Rock, a reference to the traditional name Rock of Polynesia. Niue, whose capital is the village of Alofi, is a state in free association with New Zealand. Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand, between 90–95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the Niuean language. A bilingual country, over 30% speak both Niuean and English, though the percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers, Rugby is the most played sport in Niue. In October 2016, Niue officially declared that all its debt was paid off. Niue is not a member of the United Nations, but UN organisations have accepted its status as a state as equivalent to independence for the purposes of international law. As such, Niue is a member of some UN specialised agencies, and is invited, alongside the other non-UN member state. Niue is subdivided into 14 villages, each village has a village council that elects its chairman. The villages are at the same electoral districts. Each village sends an assemblyman to the Parliament of Niue, in 2003, Niue became the first country in the world to offer free wireless internet to all its inhabitants. Niue Island Organic Farmers Association is currently paving way to an MEA committed to making Niue the worlds first fully organic nation, a leader in green growth, Niue is also transitioning to solar power, with help from the European Union. In 2015, Niue started providing phone landlines to all of its inhabitants, in 2008, Niue became the first country in the world where laptops are provided to all its school students. A highly democratic nation, Niueans enjoy high freedom, with elections every 3 years, there are no political parties in Niue, all are independents. The last political party, Niue Peoples Party, won once, in January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which caused extensive damage to the entire island, including wiping out most of the south of the capital, Alofi. The disaster set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the Niue Integrated Strategic Plan, since national efforts concentrated on recovery, in 2008, Niue had yet to fully recover. Niue is one of the worlds largest coral islands, the terrain consists of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 metres above sea level. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capitalNiue – Interior of church building in Alofi, 1896. Photo by Thomas Andrew (1855–1939).
30. Cook Islands – The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total area is 240 square kilometres. The Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone, however, covers 1,800,000 square kilometres of ocean, the Cook Islands defence and foreign affairs are the responsibility of New Zealand, but they are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, the Cook Islands main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga, where there is an international airport. There is a population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand. In the 2006 census,58,008 self-identified as being of ethnic Cook Islands Māori descent, the Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. There are 15 major islands spread over 2,200,000 km2 of ocean, the islands were formed by volcanic activity, the northern group is older and consists of six atolls, which are sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth. The climate is moderate to tropical, palmerston Island sometimes grouped with the Northern Group. Manuae Winslow Reef The Cook Islands were first settled in the 6th century by Polynesian people who migrated from Tahiti, in 1813 John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour made the first recorded sighting of Rarotonga. The first recorded landing on Rarotonga by Europeans was in 1814 by the Cumberland, the islands saw no more Europeans until missionaries arrived from England in 1821. Christianity quickly took hold in the culture and many continue to be Christian believers today. The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888, due largely to community fears that France might occupy the territory as it had Tahiti, on 6 September 1900, the leading islanders presented a petition asking that the islands should be annexed as British territory. These instruments did not include Aitutaki and it appears that, though the inhabitants regarded themselves as British subjects, the Crowns title was uncertain, and the island was formally annexed by Proclamation dated 9 October 1900. The islands were included within the boundaries of the Colony of New Zealand in 1901 by Order in Council under the Colonial Boundaries Act,1895 of the United Kingdom. The boundary change became effective on 11 June 1901 and the Cook Islands have had a relationship with New Zealand ever since. When the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 came into effect on 1 January 1949, the country remained a New Zealand dependent territory until 1965, when the New Zealand Government decided to offer self-governing status to its colony. In that year, Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party was elected as the first Premier, Henry led the country until he was accused of vote-riggingCook Islands – Tapuaetai (One Foot Island) in the southern part of Aitutaki Atoll