Australia-Oceania :: Tokelau
(territory of New Zealand)

Introduction ::Tokelau

    Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925. Referenda held in 2006 and 2007 to change the status of the islands from that of a New Zealand territory to one of free association with New Zealand did not meet the needed threshold for approval.

Geography ::Tokelau

People and Society ::Tokelau

Government ::Tokelau

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Tokelau
    self-administering territory of New Zealand; note - Tokelau and New Zealand have agreed to a draft constitution as Tokelau moves toward free association with New Zealand; a UN-sponsored referendum on self governance in October 2007 did not produce the two-thirds majority vote necessary for changing the political status
    none; each atoll has its own administrative center
    time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    none (territory of New Zealand)
    none (territory of New Zealand)
    Waitangi Day (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand), 6 February (1840)
    administered under the Tokelau Act 1948; amended 1970
    common law system of New Zealand
    21 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of New Zealand Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006); New Zealand is represented by Administrator Jonathan KINGS (since February 2011)
    head of government: Foua TOLOA (since 21 February 2009); note - position rotates annually among the 3 Faipule (village leaders)
    cabinet: the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau, consisting of 3 Faipule (village leaders) and 3 Pulenuku (village mayors), functions as a cabinet
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; administrator appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand; the head of government chosen from the Council of Faipule and serves a one-year term
    unicameral General Fono (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms based upon proportional representation from the three islands - Atafu has 7 seats, Fakaofo has 7 seats, Nukunonu has 6 seats); note - the Tokelau Amendment Act of 1996 confers limited legislative power to the General Fono
    elections: last held on 19-21 January 2011 (next to be held in 2014)
    election results: independents 20
    highest court(s): Court of Appeal in New Zealand (consists of the court president and 8 judges sitting in 3- or 5-judge panels depending on the case)
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Judicial Selection Committee and approved by three-quarters majority of the Parliament; judge tenure NA
    subordinate courts: High Court, in New Zealand; Council of Elders or Taupulega
    PIF (observer), SPC, UNESCO (associate), UPU
    none (territory of New Zealand)
    none (territory of New Zealand)
    a yellow stylized Tokelauan canoe on a dark blue field sails toward the manu - the Southern Cross constellation of four, white, five-pointed stars at the hoist side; the Southern Cross represents the role of Christianity in Tokelauan culture and, in conjunction with the canoe, symbolizes the country navigating into the future; the color yellow indicates happiness and peace, and the blue field represents the ocean on which the community relies
    tuluma (fishing tackle box)
    name: "Te Atua" (For the Almighty)
    lyrics/music: unknown/Falani KALOLO
    note: adopted 2008; in preparation for eventual self governance, Tokelau held a national contest to choose an anthem; as a territory of New Zealand, "God Defend New Zealand" and "God Save the Queen" are official (see New Zealand)

Economy ::Tokelau

Energy ::Tokelau

Communications ::Tokelau

    general assessment: modern satellite-based communications system
    domestic: radiotelephone service between islands
    international: country code - 690; radiotelephone service to Samoa; government-regulated telephone service (TeleTok); satellite earth stations - 3 (2009)
    no TV stations; each atoll operates a radio service that provides shipping news and weather reports (2009)
    2,069 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    800 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 216

Transportation ::Tokelau

Military ::Tokelau

Transnational Issues ::Tokelau

    Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island (Olosega) in its 2006 draft independence constitution