Picturesque thatched roof cottages may be part of a typical Pacific island dream, but they’re not very practical in a tropical cyclone, when winds can reach 200 km an hour.
The first Niuean homes were called fala pola. These were kafika-tree frames bound with coconut husk rope and covered with coconut fronds.
When the Christian missionaries arrived, they encouraged the people of Niue to leave their traditional dwellings and to live in lime-plastered, thatched-roofed houses in coastal villages.
After disastrous cyclones in 1959 and 1960, the New Zealand Government replaced the colonial style houses with tin-roofed “hurricane-resistant” concrete-block dwellings.
Source: Niue by Charles Cooper. Reed Children’s Books, 2000, Auckland, New Zealand. ISBN 18694884