Niue and the Great War [Pointer]
In 1915, 160 Niuean men joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, and set sail to Egypt and France. Most had never left the island before, or worn shoes before. Most spoke no English, and most significantly, they had no immunity to European disease. Within three months of leaving New Zealand, over 80 per cent of them had been hospitalized.
Margaret Pointer traced the lost story of Niue’s involvement in World War I while living on the island in the 1990s. The resulting book, Tagi Tote e Loto Haaku: My Heart is Crying a Little, was published in 2000. This moving story has now been set in a wider Pacific context and also considers the contribution made by colonial troops to the Allied effort.