Pacific island goes gaga for the Lady

The tiny Pacific atoll of Niue is attempting to lure US pop superstar Lady Gaga to its shores by pledging every single person from the island will attend if she performs there.

The island, about 2,500 kilometers northeast of New Zealand, has about 1,600 inhabitants and Niue Tourism spokesman Mike Hogan said they were all keen to see a concert by the chart-topping diva.

“It’s not a promise many places could make, every person coming along,” Auckland-based Hogan told AFP.

“She’s really struck a chord with the kids on the island. She’s so unusual and she thinks outside the box. So we thought we’d think outside the box and invite her here.”

The hope is that Lady Gaga will add an appearance in Niue after performing concerts in New Zealand in June.

Hogan said Niue would be thrilled to pamper the singer at one of its resorts if she did make the trip.

“We’d reserve a whole wing for her, of course,” he said. “There’s only one flight a week from New Zealand but I presume she’d have her own jet, so she could stay as long as she liked.”

Known locally as “The Rock”, Niue was settled by Polynesian seafarers more than 1,000 years ago and the palm-dotted island’s name in the local language means “behold, the coconut”.

The British explorer captain James Cook tried to land there three times in 1774 but was deterred by fearsome warriors, eventually giving up to set sail for more welcoming shores and naming Niue “Savage Island” on his charts.

Modern day Niueans are desperate for visitors, with the population dropping from a high of about 5,000 in the mid-1960s as people seek better economic opportunities in places such as New Zealand and Australia.



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