Nukufetau atoll from space
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Nukufetau is an atoll that is part of the nation of Tuvalu. The atoll was claimed by the US under the Guano Islands Act some time in the 19th century and was ceded in a treaty of friendship concluded in 1979 and coming into force in 1983. It has a population (2002 census) of 586 who live on Savave islet. In 1951 the school that was located on Motumua islet was transferred to Savave and became the government primary school for Nukufetau. It was named the Tutasi Memorial School in honour of its predecessor.
- Faiava Lasi
- Kongo Loto Lafanga
- Motuloa (north of Nukufetau)
- Motuloa (south of Nukufetau)
- and at least 12 other islands
The biggest island is Motulalo. In the late 19th century, after the coming of the missionaries, the people of Nukufetau lived on Fale islet before shifting to Savave which is on the lagoon side of the Fale settlement.
The traditional history of Nukufetau is that a party of Tongans were the first people to settle. When they landed they found only one fetau (or fetaʻu in Tongan) tree growing on the atoll, so they called the place Nukufetau - the island of the fetau. They planted coconut trees and settled on Fale on the western side of the atoll.
Arent Schuyler de Peyster, of New York, captain of the armed brigantine or privateer Rebecca, sailing under British colours, passed through the southern Tuvalu waters in May 1819 sighting Nukufetau.
Alfred Restieaux was a trader on Nukufetau in the late 19th century from 1873 to 1879 and met his wife Litia. He returned sometime in the 1880s; in 1892 Captain Davis, of HMS Royalist, recorded Alfred Restieaux and Emile Fenisot as trading on Nukufetau. Restieaux died on Nukufetau in 1911.
Nukufetau Post Office opened around 1925.
During World War II Coastwatchers, who observed and reported on Japanese shipping, had a station on Nukufetau. In 1943 United States Navy Seabees build a deepwater wharf and an airfield on Motulalo, which is the largest islet of Nukufetau. Two intersecting runways of Nukufetau Airfield formed an "X" shape.
B-24s were based at the airfield. The Marine Attack Squadron 331 (VMA-331) also flew Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers from Nukufetau. After the war the airfield was dismantled and the land returned to its owners, however as the coral base was compacted to make the runway the land now provides poor ground for growing coconuts.
Cyclone Pam, March 2015
Nukufetau was effected by storm surges caused by Cyclone Pam in early March 2015, which damaged houses, crops and infrastructure. As of 22 March, 76 people (13 percent of the population) were displaced and were living in 2 evacuation centres.
General election, 2010
|Nukufetau constituency results|
Lotoala Metia died on 21 December 2012 The calling of a by election was delayed until the High Court ordered Prime Minister Willy Telavi to issue a notice of elections five days after the judgment, which is delivered in 29 May 2013. The Nukufetau by-election, 2013 was held on 28 June. The by-election was won by Pita Elisala with over two-thirds of the vote. Following the by-election the government changed with the Parliament appointing Enele Sopoaga as Prime Minister.
|Nukufetau by-election, 2013|
|Opposition gain from Government||Swing|
Notable local person
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- British Admiralty Nautical Chart 766 Ellice Islands (1893 ed.). United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO). 21 March 1872.
- Nofoaiga Lafita, Hugh Laracy (ed.) (1983). "Chapter 12 - Nukufetau". Tuvalu: A History. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific and Government of Tuvalu. p. 91.
- Nofoaiga Lafita, Hugh Laracy (ed.) (1983). "Chapter 12 - Nukufetau". Tuvalu: A History. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific and Government of Tuvalu. pp. 86–87.
- Nofoaiga Lafita, Hugh Laracy (ed.) (1983). "Chapter 12 - Nukufetau". Tuvalu: A History. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific and Government of Tuvalu. p. 86.
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- Tyler, David B. - 1968 The Wilkes Expedition. The First United States Exploring Expedition (1838-42). Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society
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- Resture, Jane. "From Restieaux to Resture". Retrieved 4 November 2012.
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- "Tuvalu: Tropical Cyclone Pam Situation Report No. 1 (as of 22 March 2015)". Relief Web. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
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- "Tuvalu Minister dies in Suva", Islands Business, 24 December 2012
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- "Tuvalu’s former PM Sopoaga has another shot", Islands Business, 10 June 2013
- "Tuvalu’s Opposition waiting to hear from GG", Islands Business, 1 July 2013
- Coutts, Geraldine (2 July 2013). "Tuvalu opposition demands parliament be allowed to sit after weekend by-election". Radio Australia. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- "Tuvalu’s parliament convenes July 30", Islands Business, 3 July 2013
- "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2002. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "Palamene o Tuvalu (Parliament of Tuvalu)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2013.