Niue is a 269 km² island in the southern Pacific Ocean, east of Tonga and is commonly known as the “Rock of Polynesia”, and natives of the island call it “the Rock” for short. Niue is 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to the southeast. The land area is 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) with about 1,400 people who are predominantly Polynesian. Though self governing, Niue is in free association with New Zealand, and lacks full sovereignty. Queen Elizabeth II is Niue’s head of state. Most diplomatic relations are conducted by New Zealand on Niue’s behalf.