HIES five! Tokelau’s first household survey now underway

The first-ever Household and Expenditure Survey (HIES) in Tokelau is now underway. The survey aims to get a handle on how much money is circulating within households of the three atoll villages: Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo. It is part of an assessment of the quality of life in the New Zealand territory.

On each island 10 households have been randomly selected to participate in the first round of the survey. They will be asked to respond to a set of very detailed questionnaires, and also asked to keep a diary for two weeks that details their exact daily expenses and income.

In 3 months’ time 3x10 other households will be asked to do the same, 3x10 other households in 6 months and finally another 3x10 households in 9 months’ time. That way, the income and spending pattern in Tokelaucan be analysed for a whole calendar year.

The survey is conducted by the Tokelau National Statistics Office in Apia, with the assistance of three HIES experts from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea, New Caledonia. Bertrand Buffière, Michael Sharp and Pierre Wong have done similar surveys using the same methodologies in a range of Pacific Island countries; Tokelau is the latest in their support programme.

An 8-day workshop for training local interviewers has just been completed in Nukunonu, the middle atoll of Tokelau. Two public servants from each atoll will be conducting the household interviews in English, with Tokelauan used where needed. The questionnaires are in English as is the diary, although a translation of the latter is being provided to participants. The interviews proper will start the day after Mother’s Day Holiday.

The information provided by the interviewees will be handled in the strictest confidence: only aggregate data will be published from which individuals cannot be identified. The numbers are too small to allow for a comparison between villages. All of Tokelau has about 260 households – of which almost half will be interviewed over the course of the year.

The aim is to get an overall picture of the country’s money flows and spending patterns, which can then form the basis for policy development by the taupulega (village councils) and by the Council of the Ongoing Government of Tokelau. The results will also allow for a refinement of the Consumer Price Index, which is currently being calculated every 3 months.

For enquires please contact:
Jaap (“iapi”) Jasperse, PhD
Statistics Adviser, Tokelau National Statistics Office
Phone +685 729 4913, Email: yahpnz@gmail.com


1-9 May: Training for the first-ever Tokelau Household Income and Expenditure Survey, in Nukunonu: with experts from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea, and 2 interviewers each from Atafu (AA), Nukunonu (NN) and Fakaofo (FF).

Left to right: Aleki Manuele, NN; Jaap Jasperse ('iapi'), Apia; Bertrand Buffiere Noumea; Mesepa Tuisano (Sepa), FF; Mete Lui, FF; Loimata Leo (Loi), NN; Naniseni Taupau (Hemi), AA; Selepa Kalolo, AA; Michael Sharp, Noumea; Pierre Wong, Noumea.

The SPC team from Noumea: Pierre Wong, Bertrand Buffiere, and Michael Sharp.

Tokelau HIES team training in Falefa, Nukunono, day 1.
L-R around the circle: Hemi, Selepa, Loi, Sepa, Aleki, Mete, Pierre, Mike, Bertrand.

See also the leaflets in English and in Tokelau language: pdf, 200 KB each.