Tokelau’s Police force sworn in at General Fono

The General Fono (Parliament’s) session in Fakaofo last week provided the setting for a swearing-in ceremony of almost all Tokelauan policemen and women. Both sergeants and ten constables had previously completed their training with their Samoan colleagues in Apia and had graduated there. But no pledge of allegiance to Tokelau had yet been made.

That gap was filled on Thursday 10 March, in the presence of a representative of the New Zealand Police force in Wellington, Acting Inspector Max Taylor. He was there instead of retired Inspector Murray Lewis who had played a significant role in the Tokelau police training also (but was unable to attend this event).

Himself newly sworn in, the Ulu o Tokelau, Faipule Afega Gaualofa listened how the officers took the following oath (in Tokelauan)* in front of the raised Tokelau flag:

The police officers take the oath in front of Ulu o Tokelau, Faipule Afega Gaualofa.
“I, [full name], do swear that I will faithfully serve the people and the Government of Tokelau. That I will discharge the duties of Constable, without favour or affection, malice or ill will until I am legally discharged, that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences against the peace, and that while I continue to hold office I will, to the best of my knowledge discharge all the duties there faithfully according to the law, so help me God.”

* The oath in Tokelau reads:
“Ko au [igoa] e tauto ka tautua fakamaoni au ki tagata ma te Malo o Tokelau, ka fakatino e au na tiute o te leoleo e heai he fakapito fakauo, fakakaukau, pe fakakino ke pa kite taimi e uma ai au ma te galuega, ka puipui e au te filemu i te mea e gata mai ai te mafai fakateleoleo ka koi taukave e au te galuega, ma ko na mafai uma ka ko mauagia ka tautua ai au ki tenei ofiha ma te fakamaoni. Ke fehoahoani mai te Atua ki ate au.”
After throwing their hats into the air – and catching them – the newly sworn officers marched off to resume their duties in their new status.

Their names are Sergeant Safiti Gaualofa and constables Tavita Pue, Heo Peleni, Kovati Gasologa and Gaualofa Gaualofa from Fakaofo; Sergeant Iosefo Leo and constables Aleki Manuele, Viliamu Iaopo and Tegei Lui from Nukunonu; plus Acting Sergeant Hegalo Taumanu and constables Famaoni Famaoni and Ioane Nu’utuli from Atafu.

Hats up in the air – and caught again! 

Story and pictures by Jaap ("iapi") Jasperse

Published verbatim (but with wrong photocaption) in Samoa Observer on 16 March 2016