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Reef Island
NASA Landsat visible color image
NASA Landsat visible color image
Nanumanga is located in Tuvalu
Location in Tuvalu
Coordinates: 06°20′S 176°25′E / 6.333°S 176.417°E / -6.333; 176.417Coordinates: 06°20′S 176°25′E / 6.333°S 176.417°E / -6.333; 176.417
Country Tuvalu
 • Total 3 km2 (1 sq mi)
Population (2002)
 • Total 589
 • Density 200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Demonym Nanumangan
ISO 3166 code TV-NMG
Main article: Tuvalu

Nanumanga or Nanumaga is a reef island and a district of the Oceanian island nation of Tuvalu.[1][2] It has a surface area of about 3 km² with a population of almost 600.


On 9 May 1824 a French government expedition under Captain Louis Isidore Duperrey of the ship La Coquille sighted Nanumaga.[3]

Louis Becke, who later became a writer, became the resident trader for the Liverpool firm of John S. de Wolf and Co. on Nanumaga from about April 1880 until the trading-station was destroyed later that year in a cyclone.[4] Becke later wrote The Rangers of the Tia Kau[5] that describes a shark attack at the Tia Kau reef between Nanumea and Nanumaga.

The population of Nanumaga from 1860–1900 is estimated to be between 300[6] to 335 people.[7]

Nanumaga Post Office opened around 1925.[8]

In 1986 it became a centre of debate when Pacific archaeologists discovered the submerged Caves of Nanumanga, and found what they argued was the remains of fire created by pre-historic inhabitants.


There are three lagoons, the largest, Vaiatoa, having four islands. There are mangrove woods and dry vegetation. The island has an oval outline, with the longer axis oriented north-south. A fringing reef surrounds the whole island, which makes local fishing and transport into and out of the island difficult.


  • Cape on the north: Te Kaupapa
  • Cape on the south: Te Papa


At the 2002 census the population of the atoll was 589.


The two villages are Toga[9] (population 308) and Tokelau (pop. 281), at the western side of the island. The junior school is Lotohoni Primary School.


There are a few paths.


Nanumanga is one of the eight constituencies in Tuvalu, and elects two Members of Parliament. Following the 2010 general election, Monise Lafai and Falesa Pitoi were elected to parliament. Pitoi was a re-elected incumbent, while Lafai defeated incumbent Otinielu Tausi. Following an assessment of Dr Pitoi's health in December 2013 the Governor-General declared a vacancy for the constituency of Nanumaga.[10] The by-election for the vacancy in the Nanumaga electorate occurred on 14 January 2014.[11] The candidates were Halo Tuavai, Otinielu Tauteleimalae Tausi and Pai Teatu.[12] Otinielu Tausi was the successful candidate.[13] On 3 March 2014 Tausi was elected as the speaker of the parliament.[14][15]

2010 election results[edit]

Nanumaga constituency results[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-partisan Monise Lafai Symbol confirmed.svg 379
Non-partisan Falesa Pitoi Symbol confirmed.svg 296
Non-partisan Otinielu Tausi 230

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ "Map of Nanumaga (Nanumanga)". Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  2. ^ British Admiralty Nautical Chart 766 Ellice Islands (1893 ed.). United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO). 21 March 1872. 
  3. ^ Keith S. Chambers & Doug Munro, The Mystery of Gran Cocal: European Discovery and Mis-Discovery in Tuvalu, 89(2) (1980) The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 167–198
  4. ^ 'Louis Beck, Adventurer and Writer', Chapter 8, Rascals in Paradise, James A. Michener and Arthur Grove Day, Secker and Warburg (1957)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Richard Bedford, Barrie Macdonald & Doug Monro, Population Estimates for Kiribati and Tuvalu (1980) 89(1) J. of the Polynesian Society 199
  7. ^ W.F. Newton, The Early Population of the Ellice Islands, 76(2) (1967) The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 197–204.
  8. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  9. ^ The place was former named Tonga but it was a wrong translation
  10. ^ "Tuvalu to hold by-election in Nanumaga". Radio New Zealand International. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Matau, Robert (January 2014). "New speaker for Tuvalu in the new year?". Islands Business. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Tuvalu by-election sees former speaker win seat". Islands Business – From RNZI/ FENUI NEWS/PACNEWS. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Tuvalu by-election sees former speaker win seat". Radio New Zealand. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Matau, Robert (4 March 2014). "Tuvalu's new speaker". Islands Business. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Tuvalu PM says ousted speaker misinterpreted constitution". Radio New Zealand International. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Cannon, Brian (16 September 2010). "Tuvalu Election Results". Tuvalu News ( Retrieved 28 September 2014.