The Taupulega Fakaofo and Ulu o Tokelau Hon Afega Gaualofa will be the first to welcome Hon. Kris
Faafoi on an official visit to the three atolls of Tokelau starting today.
“We are looking forward to welcome a son of Fakaofo back to his land of birth. A double celebration as the
occasion also recognizes his achievement as the first Tokelauan to be elected into New Zealand parliament,”
said Hon Gaualofa.
With the last ministerial-level visit to Tokelau being former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s in 2004, Hon
Gaualofa said this will be a valuable opportunity for both parties to progress the relationship.
Hon Gaualofa also acknowledged the presence of New Zealand mainstream media in the delegation.
“I’m happy to see the media as part of Mr Faafoi’s group. It’s important they get to see Tokelau for
themselves. It puts our people’s faces, our developmental aspirations and cultural into context as they write
stories about us.
“We hope they enjoy their experience and report what they find with fairness, balance and accuracy.”
The Administrator for Tokelau, H.E. Ross Ardern, accompanying Mr Faafoi confirmed the Minister is
bringing donated goods to support disaster responses in the three atolls. And possibly look to “demonstrate
support for Tokelau under his portfolio of Civil Defence.”
Hon Faafoi and his delegation will leave Fakaofo tonight to visit Nukunonu tomorrow, and Atafu on
The full detailed program is attached.
For more information contact: Ms Litia Maiava, National Media Officer | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The period 2017-2019 saw the election of the Ninth Government of Tokelau. The first government was
established in 1993 with Nukunonu the first to host the government. Therefore, its elected Faipule, Salesio
Lio became the first to be bestowed with the Titular Title of Ulu o Tokelau.
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)
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
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.