Avatele, (formerly known
as Oneonepata, Matavaihala), is a village on the southwest
coast of Niue with a
population of roughly 200 residents as of late 2007.
Avatele Beach, the village's main sea track, stretches along the
coast of Avatele Bay
, and is the largest
and most well known beach on the island. Although the sand is
mostly of the coarse kind it is an important swimming and picnic
site for both tourists and residents. Prior to the construction of
the Sir Robert Rex Wharf and Hannan International Airport in Alofi,
Avatele Beach was the principal landing place for many visitors to
along with other villages Mutalau, Tuapa, Alofi and Hakupu, were the first major village settlements of
Niue following settlement by Polynesian
voyagers from Samoa, Tonga and Pukapuka before the
The beach was also the site of Captain James
's third and final landing attempt on the island before
naming Niue "Savage Island" in 1774, since then it has been the
landing and official welcoming site of many prominent figures from
across the Pacific and the world such as missionaries Rev. George
Lawes, his brother Dr. Frank Lawes and former Governor-Generals of
Niue and New Zealand such as Sir Paul Reeves.
The village was first Christianized in early 1854 when a resident,
Muatoga, asked Paulo, the Samoan missionary residing in Mutalau, to
bring the gospel to his village in the far-south and Paulo agreed.
The village received its first pastor that same year, a Rev.
Samuela from Western Samoa who was sent by Paulo to care for the
young church at Avatele a village of over 1,000 residents at the
time. Since 1854, 14 Pastors have been entrusted with the care of
the Church in the village both from around Niue and overseas,
including the current Rev Petesa Sionetuato. The village has also
birthed its own share of missionaries over the years such as the
respected ancestor or tupuna
Rev. Sionepaea Kinimotu who
played a major role in the Christianisation of the Tuvalu Is.
Avatele has also produced its fair share of prominent Niueans past
and present, including Niue's late inaugural Premier Sir Robert Rex
, his late brother and long-serving
Senior Advisor to Government Leslie Rex OBE
late Rev. Ikiua Lupo first President of the Ekalesia Kerisiano
Niue, the late Takelesi Lagaluga first Niuean Head of a Government
Deapartment & his son Hon. Himalea Takelesi Niue's first High
Commissioner to New
Zealand and former Member of Parliament.
Black, Frank Bunce is also descended from the village, and is the
nephew of both Sir Robert Rex and Rev. Ikiua Lupo.
Current prominent and Avateleans of interest include:
Hon. Billy Graham Talagi - Avatele Representative MP (1999 -
Rev. Matagi Jessop Vilitama - Ekalesia Avatele Pastor (1996 -
Rev. Petesa Pokopokotau Sionetuato - Ekalesia Avatele Pastor (2008