New approach as Atafu takes up Tokelau’s 2019 Government administration

By Lealaiauloto Aigaletaule’ale’a F. Tauafiafi

11.03.19, Atafu, Tokelau - The 7 th Parliamentary Session or General Fono of Tokelau’s Ninth Government will sit
tomorrow on Atafu, the northernmost atoll of the Tokelau Group. It will open with one of the most important
ceremonies on the annual calendar, ‘Te Fakanofoga o te Ulu’. It is the inauguration ceremony transferring the seat of
government from Fakaofo to Atafu, and bestow its Faipule, Hon Kelihiano Kalolo as the 27 th Ulu o Tokelau since the
inaugural ceremony in 1993.

Ulu designate Kelihiano Kalolo (3rd from eft) with Nukunonu Faipule Siopili Perez (2nd from left) at the Atafu wharf
Ulu designate Hon Kelihiano Kalolo (3rd from left) welcomes the last General Fono delegation to Atafu. (L-R) Director Atafu Taupulega Office, Mika Kalolo, Hon Siopili Perez, Hon Kelihiano Kalolo, GM, National Aukusitino Vitale.

The inauguration also serves to formally open the 7 th General Fono which will be Hon. Kalolo’s second time as the
Titular head of Tokelau. However, in his second tenure, he will introduce a new approach to the role by laying-out a
180-day plan of “what I want to achieve politically, in my first 180 days, as Ulu o Tokelau”.

The 2019 inauguration is significant as the three General Fono sittings for this year will be the final term of the 9th
government before the general elections in January 2020 usher in the 10 th Government of Tokelau.

Hon Kalolo added, “[The 180-day plan is] what I want us the Council to lead and achieve in 2019, the end of our
three-year term. We then leave what we have managed to advance for those taking office in the next three years,
2020 – 2022.”

This week, the General Fono will consider the first reading of Rules [legislations] in the areas of Health; Financial
Administration; and Rules aligning village by-laws relating to ages for consuming alcohol, smoking and for
attending school. General Fono delegates will debate key issues that include the Midterm Budget Review,
Scholarship Scheme, Patient Referral Scheme, Renewable Energy, Allowances and the tabling of the Investigation
Report now that the hearing at the Tokelau High Court in Wellington has completed.

Delegates from Fakaofo arrived in Atafu on Saturday; the Administrator of Tokelau, H.E. Mr Ross Ardern and his
delegation on Monday; with Nukunonu delegates the last to arrive later today.

Formal reception of Nukunonu delegation-223
Atafu taumatua Elia Mamoe formally welcomes the Nukunonu delegation to Atafu.

The General Fono is expected to conclude its deliberations by the end of this week.

For more information contact: Mr Aukusitino Vitale, GM, Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government of
Tokelau | Email:

This is the final year of the Ninth National Government of Tokelau - the first was established in 1993.
The list of Ulu-o-Tokelau:
1993 Salesio Lui (Nukunonu)
1994 Keli Neemia (Fakaofo)
1995 Lepaio Simi (Atafu)
1996 Pio Tuia (Nukunonu)
1997 Falima Teao (Fakaofo)
1998 Kuresa Nasau (Atafu)
1999 Pio Tuia (Nukunonu)
2000 Kolouei O'Brien (Fakaofo)
2001 Kuresa Nasau (Atafu)
2002 Pio Tuia (Nukunonu)
2003 Kolouei O'Brien (Fakaofo)
2004 Kuresa Nasau / Patuki Isaako (Atafu)
2005 Pio Tuia (Nukunonu)
2006 Kolouei O'Brien (Fakaofo)
2007 Kuresa Nasau (Atafu)
2008 Pio Tuia (Nukunonu)
2009 Foua Toloa (Fakaofo)
2010 Kuresa Nasau (Atafu)
2011 Foua Toloa (Fakaofo)
2012 Kelihiano Kalolo (Atafu)
2013 Salesio Lui (Nukunonu)
2014 Kuresa Nasau (Atafu)
2015 Siopili Perez (Nukunonu)
2016 Afega Gaualofa (Fakaofo)
2017 Siopili Perez (Nukunonu)
2018 Afega Gaualofa (Fakaofo)
2019 Kelihiano Kalolo (Atafu)


Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. It is located in the Pacific Ocean north of Samoa and
south of the Equator (9 00 S, 172 00 W). It is only accessible by boat, taking an estimated 28hours to reach the
closest atoll, Fakaofo, a further three hours to Nukunonu, and another six hours to Atafu.

It is made up of the three small atolls named above, separated from each other by high seas. The total land area is
approximately 12 km². The total sea area of the exclusive economic zone is approximately 518,000 km². The height
above sea level is between 3-5 meters, the maximum width is 200 meters. Tokelau is therefore particularly
vulnerable to natural disasters and impacts of climate change such as sea-level rise.

The people of Tokelau are New Zealand citizens. Their relationship hailed by the United Nations as a model for
other territories and administering countries to follow.

The population of 1499 (2016 census) is spread approximately equally among the three atolls (Atafu (541); Fakaofo
(506) and Nukunonu (452). The traditional lifestyle was subsistence but Tokelau has moved to a cash economy. The
only natural resource of any current economic significance is the fishery of the exclusive economic zone.

Tokelau has no main town; each island has its own administrative centre, hospital, school and basic infrastructure.
There are no airstrips or harbours. Access is by ship only, through the Port of Apia, Samoa.

There are approximately 7000 Tokelauans living in New Zealand, and smaller communities live in Australia,
American Samoa, Samoa, Rapa Nui, and Hawaii.