· What is the size of Tokelau?
Tokelau consists of three atolls. The largest atoll is Nukunonu at 4.7 sq. km. Fakaofo and Atafu are 4 sq. km and 3.5 sq. km respectively. The atolls are three to five metres above sea level at the highest points.
· What currency is used?
New Zealand currency is the only currency used in Tokelau.
· What is the typical climate?
Warm and humid for much of the year. The wet season lasts from November to April, and the dry season from May to October. The average maximum daily temperature is approx 30 C.
· What is the population?
The total population of Tokelau is approximately 1500. Atafu has the largest population of approx 600, followed by Fakaofo with approx 500 and then Nukunonu with approx 400.
· How do I get to Tokelau?
Tokelau has no airport. So you must fly to Apia (Samoa) and then travel by boat to Tokelau. A return fare on the boat is approximately NZ$450. Travel time is usually around 24-28 hours. The boat runs every 2 weeks subject to change. For information on boat bookings and tentative schedules, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
· Is there accommodation available?
The Luana Liki Hotel can be found on the atoll of Nukunonu. Prices are approximately NZ$50 per person a day including all meals. For more information: telephone/fax 690-4116
Currently there are no hotels on Atafu and Fakaofo, however accommodation can be arranged through local families prior to or upon arrival.
· What common transport is used?
Small boats on the sea and a few vehicles that run coral tracks are the main forms of transport. The tiny, fragmented size of the settlements means walking is often the most reliable way of getting between points.
· What types of food are available?
The typical local diet consists mainly of fish, coconut products, breadfruit, poultry, pork and other imported food e.g. canned foods, drinks, etc. which are available at local cooperative and private stores.
· What languages are used?
Tokelauan is predominantly used on the atolls. It is related to Samoan and Tuvaluan. English is taught as a second language and is widely understood.
There are dialect differences among the three atolls. Tokelauans read the Samoan Bible and some speak some Samoan. Most who live in Tokelau have very rudimentary knowledge of English as a second language. Tokelauan is used in the schools.
Frequently used words:
Taloha ni (Welcome)
E a mai koe? (How are you?)
Ko ai to igoa? (What is your name?)
· What are the main religions?
The main religions are the Congregational Christian Church (on Atafu and Fakofo) and the Catholic faith (on Fakaofo and Nukunonu). The Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses are present in small numbers.
Each atoll has their own school with classes beginning at pre-school and carrying through to Year 13. Staff members are qualified teachers, usually from Samoa, Fiji, and NZ.
· Village Activities
Many Tokelauan men and women regard cricket-island style (kilikiti) as their national sport, which can sometimes involve almost the entire village. The bat is made of a three-sided wooden piece resembling a war club while the ball is made of rubber. Teams are divided by boundaries, committees, associations, and sometimes kilikiti is played to mark special days in the Tokelauan calendar. Many other introduced sports including rugby, netball, and volleyball are favorites, particularly among the youth, and are played annually during the inter-island competitions.
Music and dance
Fatele is the common form of dance. It is usually performed at village gatherings or major events and is believed to have been introduced from Tuvalu. Preformed in a group, the songs begin with a stanza, which is repeated three to six times followed by an increased pitch and tempo. The singing is often accompanied instrumentally by a wooden box (pokihi) and a biscuit tin (apa) used as drums. There are also forms of song and dance adopted from Samoa and the Northern Cook Islands.
Tokelau is abundant in marine resources, but has very limited land resources. Consisting of three tiny atolls, Tokelau is comprised of 127 islets or ‘motu’ varying in length from 90m to 6km, and in width from a few meters to 200m. The country's rich marine resources include lagoons, reefs, and deep-sea. Fisheries have yet to be thoroughly recorded.
Population growth could potentially pose a threat, yet it appears that the population has stabilized at about 1,575 people.
Tokelau's major environmental problems include: overexploitation of certain fish and other marine species, coastal sand, it’s (albeit tiny) forest resources; pollution of freshwater lenses from improper disposal of chemicals and coastal waters from both land-based sources and shipping; and due to the country's limited space, a serious solid waste disposal problem.
Other environmental concerns include frequent storms and cyclones, climate change and sea-level rise, and the need to improve environmental awareness, education, planning, management, and legislation, as well as to integrate environmental and development policies.