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, along with other villages Mutalau, Tuapa, Alofi & Hakupu, were the first major village settlements of Niue following settlement by Polynesian voyagers from Samoa, Tonga and Pukapuka some 700+ years ago.
Avatele Beach, the village's main sea track, is the largest and most well known beach on the island and although the sand is mostly of the coarse kind it is an important swimming and picnic site for both tourists and residents. The beach was also the site of Captain James Cook'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 & present, including Niue's late inaugural Premier Sir Robert Rex, his late brother and long-serving Senior Advisor to Government Leslie Rex OBE, the late Rev. Ikiua Lupo first President of the Ekalesia Niue & Hon. Himalea Takelesi Niue's first High Commissioner to New Zealand and former Member of Parliament. Renown All Black, Frank Bunce is also descended from the village,and is of the same family as Sir Robert Rex.
Current prominent and Avateleans of interest include:
Hon. Billy Graham Talagi - Avatele Representative MP (1999 - present),
Rev. Matagi Jessop Vilitama - Ekalesia Avatele Pastor (1996 - 2007)