Tokelau Government Awaits Day in High Court

Mr Jovilisi Suveinakama and Mr Heto Puka are suing the Government in the High Court of
Tokelau so that they can be reinstated to their roles. The High Court of New Zealand serves
as the High Court of Tokelau.

In 2017, the High Court had already ruled that there is considerable doubt as to whether
reinstatement to their positions is an available option (ref High Court Judgment 15 Dec
2017).

Ulu o Tokelau, July 2018
Ulu o Tokelau, Hon Afega Gaualofa delivering his closing statement to the General Fono (Legislative Assembly). 
Photo Tokelau Media


The Ulu o Tokelau, Faipule Afega Gaualofa, on behalf of the Executive, spoke after last
week’s parliamentary session or Fono on the atoll of Fakaofo.

“We will stay true to the judicial process initiated by Mr Suveinakama and Mr Puka. That
will be the proper forum to state our views,” he said.

“The two dismissed public servants also filed two applications with the High Court and they
have both been unsuccessful. The Government’s lawyers are pushing to have the hearing of
the lawsuit in the High Court as quickly as possible.

“Recent publicity about Mr Puka being turned away by the Fono and myself overlooks the
Standing Orders with which he, being a former public servant, should have been familiar.
The Fono Agenda had already been set.

Further pressed to comment on the issue of air service, Faipule Gaualofa explained that
“Tokelau and New Zealand will continue looking at ways of making this possible and
ensuring we can sustain it financially in the long run. The safety of our people on the three
villages, passengers and the protection of our fragile environment are issues of paramount
importance.

“Establishing an air service requires the initial approval of each village Council of Elders.
Neither the Fono nor the Executive nor New Zealand has the power to enforce it, the reason
for which talatalanoa (ongoing discussion) among all parties is important” the Ulu
concluded.
General Fono July 2018
The Ninth Government of Tokelau in its 5th session 7-10 July 2018 in Fakaofo, Tokelau. 
Photo Tokelau Media


Contact: Mr Tino Vitale | Email: tino.vitale@nukunonu.org