Administrator of Tokelau, Mr Jonathan Kings
Administrator of Tokelau, Jonathan Kings call for a decision in next General Fono (Parliament meeting
) on urgently improving service delivery to the people of Tokelau during his statement to the General Fono in Atafu, during this week.
Kings has highlighted that a lot has been achieved under the partnership and asks that Tokelau bring commitment. He understands that time is needed but stresses that a delay in a decision mean a delay in receiving the benefits.
He stressed the important examples of what has been achieved with the support provided to Tokelau by New Zealand. He has highlighted that 30% of Tokelau’s budget this year is made up of its own revenue earned from its fisheries with New Zealand providing the technical support. He was also delighted to express the work carried out with Massey University appointed to assist Tokelau Education Department in redesigning of the education system.
FULL STATEMENT BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF TOKELAU, JONATHAN KINGS.
Jonathan Kings speech to the General Fono
November 2014: Atafu, Tokelau
I acknowledge the servant of God. I acknowledge the elders and the guidance they have given to us for this meeting. I acknowledge the members of the General Fono. We give thanks to God for his blessings in granting you the leaders of Tokelau and all of us good health.
New Zealand is ready to support Tokelau to improve the quality of life in Tokelau.
New Zealand has people, systems and resources.
New Zealand can do more to help. Tokelau is not alone. By working in partnership we can bring the resources of all of New Zealand to assist you. You are New Zealand citizens you are entitled to expect this from New Zealand.
In return New Zealand asks that you bring to the partnership your commitment to improve life in Tokelau, your commitment to struggle to be self-reliant, and your hard work.
Partnership opens the possibility for new models for the delivery of services to Tokelau. New approaches are what the change plan which we have discussed with na taupulega over the last week is all about.
I do not ask that you accept everything in the change plan. I also accept that you need time. But there is much in the plan which you might agree with. Time is also your enemy. Delay means delay to the relocation of the public service. Delay means your children continue to receive a poor education. Delay means continuing health care problems.
I do not ask for decisions today but we will have to make decisions at the next General Fono.
So do engage. Do debate and then do act. I am not asking for you to make decisions in haste but I am asking you to have a sense of urgency.
Look for what you want to take from the plan and implement it. Look for ways to increase your own income; use your resources wisely; live within your means; and ensure that you and your public service are professional, efficient and effective. Be hard on yourselves.
Today I will give two examples of what we are achieving and hope to achieve by looking for new ways of doing things. My examples are fisheries and education.
I will also comment about other areas where by working in partnership I believe we can improve the quality of life in Tokelau.
I will finish with an example of how change is not just about big initiatives but is also about changing what we do in our jobs day to day.
This year nearly 30% of Tokelau’s income will come from its own sources – its fisheries. Only three years ago more than 95% of Tokelau’s income was from New Zealand. The change is a massive achievement.
It did not happen by accident.
It happened because Tokelau got world class advice from Stan Crothers and the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand.
It happened because for many years the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has argued for Tokelau’s inclusion in regional fisheries bodies.
It happened because of the work the Ulu, and your fisheries advisers do representing Tokelau in regional fisheries meetings, arguing for Tokelau’s positions, with support from New Zealand.
It happened because of the training and support provided to your offshore and inshore fisheries staff by the Ministry of Primary Industries.
By working in partnership we have increased fishing revenues from less than $1m per year to around $7m this year and possibly a bonus year of $11m next year.
By working in partnership we have increased capacity in Tokelau.
By working in partnership we have ensured that Tokelau is an influential country in regional fisheries discussions. Tokelau hosted successful fisheries meetings and signed the Tokelau Arrangement.
It is a great example of what we can achieve by working together, with New Zealand experience and capacity supporting Tokelau. With New Zealand not just providing support but also delivering services on behalf of Tokelau.
In partnership with New Zealand Tokelau is committing to significantly improve the education of the children of Tokelau. From schools, to department, from parents to taupulega, from decision making to budgets.
Our vision is schools as good as any school in New Zealand. With children achieving at the same level as children in New Zealand. Using Tokelau language resources prepared in New Zealand and Tokelau. Using the best teachers which New Zealand can provide to support teachers in Tokelau. Using technology to provide to our children courses and resources from New Zealand, which Tokelau cannot provide on its own.
Last week Massey University was appointed to work with Tokelau on the complete redesign of your education system to achieve this vision. Massey will also address the urgent issues of school leadership and governance, teacher effectiveness and student achievement. The Massey team will arrive in Tokelau this week.
A number of other New Zealand government agencies and the private sector also provide support and can do more:
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management is providing disaster management support.
Capital Coast Health continues to provide excellent service for patients under its Memorandum of Understanding with Tokelau.
The Department of Internal Affairs is willing to increase its role in supporting the management of citizenship.
The Cabinet Office provides advice on stamps and coins.
We are asking the Ministry of Education to provide greater support for education.
Statistics New Zealand provides statistics support.
MFAT provides advice and support – development experts, finance, legal (constitution), protocol (Government House and Cabinet Office, climate change, and New Zealand’s posts overseas etc.)
Defence provides surveillance patrols, search and rescue and periodic practical help – Tropic Twilight.
From the private sector there are examples such as Power Smart which continues to monitor the renewable energy system to TML which will manage the crewing and regulatory requirements of the new ship.
As you see New Zealand is doing a lot but there there is far more that New Zealand can provide.
I will finish by providing feedback on recent work done with your Police.
Murray Lewis from New Zealand Police is mentoring Tokelau Police. Murray has encouraged your police to adopt simple initiatives including regular foot patrols both day and night, and weekly visits to the school, the hospital and the elderly. I hope they are still operating.
I hope that na Taupulega are also receiving monthly reports advising of police activities for the preceding month, and that the quarterly reports and Annual Reports required by Tokelau are being delivered.
I am told that more untrained officers have been accepted for training in Apia.
When Murray returns to Apia and Tokelau in February he will provide basic skills and leadership training for the leaders of the police.
I finish with the police example because it shows that change is not just about big change. It is not just about reform of our education system and reform of our public service. It is also about making small changes to what we do. It is regular foot patrols. It is being professional and doing a good job. It is looking for ways to be self reliant.
As leaders of Tokelau you have a responsibility to be clear about where you want Tokelau to be in 2025. You have a responsibility to ensure that the Tokelau you want becomes reality. Be brave. Be bold. Be ambitious. Be demanding. Consider the change plan and do it with urgency. Then lets together make a difference.