Niue is an island in the South Pacific Ocean, 1,500 mi northeast of New Zealand. Niue is located in a triangle between Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capital of Alofi.
Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations on its behalf. Niueans are citizens of New Zealand and Queen Elizabeth II is Niue's head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand.
The Niue Integrated Strategic Plan (NISP), adopted in 2003, is the national development plan, setting national priorities for development in areas such as financial sustainability. Since the late 20th century Niue has become a leader in green growth; the European Union is helping the nation convert to renewable energy. In January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which caused extensive damage to the island, including wiping out most of South Alofi. The disaster set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the NISP since national efforts concentrated on recovery.