Regions of Oceania
Oceania, being made up of a large number of islands, was
divided into four regions, in order to
facilitate references on each territory. These are:
It covers the territories of countries such as Australia,
New Zealand and New Guinea, which are the largest islands,
and also islands in the regions close to Indonesia.
Meaning "black islands", it encompasses the territories
Maluku Islands, New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji,
among others, located in the northeast and east of
It covers the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Palau,
Micronesia and Nauru states. In this region there are
dependencies in the United States located north of
It covers the territories of the islands located in the
south of the Pacific Ocean, as well as the areas of Samoa,
Tonga and Tuvalu.
In general, most of the islands that make up Oceania
originate from volcanic activities and
their sizes vary. The territories have different
characteristics, with some mountainous regions
and others with flat relief.
It is possible to find areas with a predominance of
deserts and savannas. The climate
is also diverse, with areas of arid and
semi-arid, subtropical and
tropical Mediterranean regions being found
throughout the continent. The countries were colonized
mainly by the British, who still have territories on the
continent. Australia was incorporated in 1770, and New
Zealand around 1840.
Some countries stand out in some ways. These are:
Countryaah, the Australia, largest country
of Oceania, comprising an area of approximately
7,692,024 km2. Due to its territorial
extension, it is considered by many as an island
continent. The country is one of the most developed
in the world with low rates of violence and poverty.
It also corresponds to the largest economy in Oceania, with
a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of
approximately US $ 1.313 trillion, and is the 13th
largest economy in the world.
The country's economy is based mainly on
the service sector, which accounts for
about 71% of its GDP. Nevertheless, the primary
sector is also quite relevant, as it deals with
exports to countries like Japan, China, the United States
and others. The tour also adds to its
economy, accounting for about 3.9% of GDP.
2) New Zealand
New Zealand is located southwest of the Pacific Ocean.
The country consists of two main islands, the North
Island and the South Island, and
other smaller ones. Geographically isolated, the country is
one of the largest economies in Oceania, being considered
one of the most developed countries in the world.
Its Human Development Index ( HDI ) is
among the best in both education, health and quality of
It is considered the second largest economy on the
continent, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of
approximately US $ 198.2 billion. The economy is based on
the extractive industry and tourism.
About 2.4 million tourists visit the country each year.
3) Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is located in Melanesia. The country is
one of the largest economies in Oceania, as well as one of
the most populous countries on the continent, with a GDP of
US $ 18.45 million.
Its economy is based mainly on the primary
sector, with agriculture; in the secondary
sector, with the wool, mining and
construction industry; and also in the service
sector. The country exports products such as
oil, gold, coffee, cocoa,
among others. However, despite the great economic
development, poverty rates are very high in
About 6,187,591 inhabitants live in the
country, making it the second most populous country in
Oceania, second only to Australia. The country is also known
for its great cultural diversity. About
848 languages are spoken in it, distributed
in traditional communities.
Tonga is a constitutional monarchy in Oceania. The
archipelago is located over 3000 kilometers northeast of
Sydney in Australia and approximately 640 kilometers east of
Fiji; in the Pacific south of the equator and west of the
date limit. The 169 islands are also called the Friendship
Islands and are the only monarchy in the Pacific.
Tonga (the name) means 'the holy island'.
National anthem is' Ko e fasi 'oe tu' ioe 'Otu Tonga '
('Song of the King of the Tonga Islands').
Geography and environment
The islands lie from north to south in two parallel rows
of approximately 800 kilometers of islands and atolls. They
are divided into 3 main groups: Vavau in the north, Haapai
(central group) and Tongatapu in the south. Four of the
western islands are active volcanoes; most islands are flat
atolls. The highest point is at Kao, 1030 meters above sea
level. The capital Nukualofa is located on Tongatapu, the
largest island and a coral island. To the east and south of
the islands is the world's third-largest deep sea, the Tonga
pit, 10,882 meters. In 2014 and January 2015, a now 1.6 x 2
kilometer submarine volcanic island ascended from the sea 65
kilometers northwest of Nuku'alofa; the island is now 149
Areas not used for agriculture have tropical rainforests.
Eua has the largest number of species of trees. Fangu Kakai
and the Tongatapu Lagoon area have mangroves, and there are
swamps on low mud flats. Many cultivated tropical plants
have been introduced.
The only native mammal is a fruit bat species on
Tongatapu and the introduced mammals include Polynesian rat,
dog and cat. There are about 20 species of terrestrial
birds, 2 of which are endemic (native): tonga whistles and
tonga furnace. There are seabird colonies, including
tropical birds, frigate birds, well oaks and the sweetbirds.
There are 20 species of reptiles; amphibians do not exist.
There are many molluscs, coral animals and fish species on
and near the coral reefs.
Tonga has a tropical ocean climate with an annual average
temperature ranging from 23 o C in the south to
27 o C in the north. Rainfall also increases from
the south (1500 millimeters annually) to the north (2700
millimeters annually). It rains most in January-April and
especially in the northern islands.
People and society
The Polynesian Tongans make up 96.6 percent and partial
Tongans 1.7 percent of the population; There are some
Chinese. 23.7 percent of the population is urban and more
than 70 percent of the population lives on Tongatapu (The
World Factbook, 2015). 36 of the 169 islands are inhabited.
Life expectancy at birth is 77.59 years for women and
71.53 years for men. Overpopulation has at times led to
emigration to New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
English and Tongan are official languages.
Almost the entire population has a Christian faith. 64.9
percent are Protestants and belong to the Free Wesleyan
Church (36 percent), Free Church of Tonga (12 percent),
Church of Tonga (7 percent) and Tokaikolo (2.5 percent). 18
percent are Mormons and 15 percent are Roman Catholics.
(Tonga Department of Statistics, 2013)
State and politics
Tonga is a constitutional monarchy. The political system
is stable and the king is head of state and
commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The election system was changed in April 2014. The
government is nominated by the Prime Minister. He and the
Deputy Prime Minister are elected indirectly by the
Legislative Assembly, 'Fale Alea', which consists of 1
chamber of 26 representatives; 17 are selected directly and
9 indirectly. There are elections every 3 years.
Tonga is divided into 5 divisions (administrative areas):
Eua Haapai, Niuas, Tongatapu and Vavau); these are divided
into a total of 23 districts.
The defense, His Majesty's Armed Forces (HMAF), consists
of a land force, a navy and a flight. It is not
Tonga is a member of the UN and several of the UN's
special organizations, Commonwealth of Nations, World Health
Organization, Pacific Islands Forum and the Cotonou
Economy and business
In 2014, agriculture contributed 18.1 per cent to GDP,
industry 21.1 per cent and the service sector 60.8 per cent.
(The World Factbook, 2015)
All land is owned by the Crown; it is leased to 33 noble
families. The main agricultural products are coconuts,
pumpkin, vanilla, tomatoes, yams, coffee, taro, sweet
potatoes, bananas, peanuts, watermelons and lemons. There
are large coconut palm plantations. The most important
livestock are cattle, pigs, goats and chickens. Fishing is
mostly driven for local consumption and is under
development. Many residents do not participate in the money
The industry is based on agricultural products and the
production of furniture, leather goods and building
materials. Some craft products are produced.
Tonga has a current account deficit abroad and receives
financial assistance from New Zealand, Australia, China and
EU countries. Money sent from Tongans abroad is a
significant source of income.
Knowledge and culture
Schooling is free and compulsory in state-run schools for
children aged 6-14. High school is 7 years old. The
University of the South Pacific has a center in Tonga. Many
Tongans take higher education abroad.
Tonga has 2 weekly newspapers and no daily newspapers.
There are 2 state-owned and 2 privately owned television
stations. Radio Tonga is a state-owned radio station; there
are 3 privately owned radio stations.
In the 1960s and 1970s, 'Epedi Hau'ofa (1939-2009)
published short stories, including Tales of the Tikong,
and Koni Helu Thaman (1946-) wrote poetry.
Traditional songs, such as 'ula', 'otuhaka' and
'me'etu'upaki' are performed mainly by ceremonies. 'Hiva
kakala' is love songs; several were made by Queen Salote in
the 1950s. Methodist singers sing hymns. Western pop music
is popular with younger Tongans. Tongan pop music is also
performed in the Tongan diaspora in the US, Australia and
Mixed dance, 'hollohola', is performed mostly in cities.
'Koniseti' (concert) consists of dance and song; the music
is melodic and the instruments guitar or brass band.
Rugby is national sport.
Mat weaving, wood carving and canoeing are widely used
art. Many Tongan men have extensive tattoos.