Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands, with a total of 259 km2 consisting of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 meters above sea level including an Exclusive Economic Zone of 390,000 km2. The population of the island is estimated at 1,611 (2011). 2014 marks 40 years since Niue achieved independence in free association with New-Zealand.
Agriculture is very important to the culture and traditions of Niueans, it also contributes to the economy. About 204km2 (about 78 percent) of Niue's total land area are available for agriculture. Taro is a staple food with yams, bananas, cassava and sweet potato also grown. The Niue Government and the Reef Group from New Zealand started two joint ventures in 2003 and 2004 involving the development of the fisheries and nonu juice. The Niue Fish Processors Ltd is also a joint venture company processing fresh fish, mainly tuna (yellow fin, big eye and albacore), for export to the overseas markets. The fish processing facility has now closed with the Nonu factory still in operation exporting nonu juice overseas. Niue honey and vanilla beans are also exported in small quantities to markets overseas.
Niue is well on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, with 6 goals (poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health and combat HIV, AIDS, malaria and other diseases) achieved and 2 goals (environmental sustainability and partnerships) on track.