Tokelau National Strategic Plan

Tokelau National Strategic Plan

 1July 2010 – 30 June 2015


(This work is not copyrighted. It can be reproduced in all or in part without the
express  consent of the Government of Tokelau, provided that the source is acknowledged.
Office of the Council for Ongoing Government
P.O. Box 865ApiaSAMOA Tel: (+685)
20822  Fax: (+685) 21761)

(Photographs used by permission from: Aliki Faipule Foua Toloa, Wong Chiu Tuipoloa,
Kula Teao, Rosa Tuia, Livi Mativa  and Hei Perez)



It is with great pleasure that I present the Tokelau National Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015 (TNSP).  The TNSP presents the development vision for Tokelau and identifies its medium-term national development goals for the financial periods 2010/11 – 2014/15.

Tokelau’s strategic vision reflects the aspirations of her people for cultural, economic and social development in the future. The Vision is “Healthy and Active Communities with Opportunities for All.”
The TNSP reflects our first national effort to formalise a public document which not only articulates the vision of our people for the future, but also sets out the development strategies that will be implemented during the TNSP period.  The TNSP will assist Tokelau to manage her scarce resources responsibly and ensure that principles of good governance are upheld throughout all levels of public administration and civil society.

The Government of Tokelau is committed to achieving the goals identified as the development priorities in the TNSP over the next five years.  The TNSP will assist us to make the difficult decisions on the use of scarce resources ensuring that we remain focused on achieving the vision of a good quality of life for all community members of Tokelau.

Our small and fragile nation is very susceptible to global events and environmental changes.   Therefore, development that is truly sustainable is essential if we are to ensure our survival.   The TNSP maps out the initial steps we must take for the long-term preservation of our land, our surrounding waters, our culture and heritage and our people. 

I would like to thank the Tokelau Public Service Senior Management team members, both at the village and national levels for their hard work in pulling the TNSP together, in addition to their core operational responsibilities.  The villages and communities of Tokelau have also contributed through their respective Village Plans and consultation notes from meetings for these plans and community consultations in Tokelau, New Zealand and Australia. I am also grateful to the contributions to the TNSP by our colleagues in the Office of Administrator for Tokelau, our other external stakeholders and individual members of the Tokelau community. 

It is my fervent hope that the implementation of the strategies of the Tokelau National Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015 will contribute much to the achievement of the strategic vision of our nation and aspirations of our people.

Aliki Faipule Foua Toloa, Ulu o Tokelau,  4 March 2010


CBOs Community-based organisations
COG Council for the Ongoing Government
CRCs Community Resource Centres
DRR Disaster Risk Reduction
EDNRE (Dept of) Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone
EMIS Education Management Information System
ERP Emergency Response Plan
ESA Economic Support Arrangement
FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN)
GHG greenhouse gases
GoT Government of Tokelau
HACCP Hazard Analytical Critical Control Point
HIV & AIDs Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
HRCD Human Resource Capacity and Development
ICT Information and Communications Technology
IT Information Technology
M&E Monitoring and Evaluation
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
MFAT Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZ)
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MRE Monitoring, Review and Evaluation
NCDs Non-communicable Diseases
NHRCD National Human Resources Capacity and Development
NPW National Policy for Women
NZAID New Zealand Agency for International Development
OCOG Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government
PER Public Expenditure Review
SPC Secretariat for the Pacific Community
TALO Tokelau Apia Liaison Office
TEMS Tokelau Environment Management System
TEP Tokelau Emergency Plan
THSP Tokelau Health Strategic Plan
TNSP Tokelau National Strategic Plan
TORs Terms of Reference
TPS Tokelau Public Service
TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training
UNOCHA United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
WHO World Health Organisation (UN)


Chapter 1 - Introduction


The Planning Process

Organisation of the Document

Chapter 2 - Vision, Goals, Principles and Indicators (go to Chapter 2)

The Land and the People of Tokelau

The Economy

The Strategic Vision

Strategic Development Goals

Guiding Principles

Key Development Indicators 

Millennium Development Goals

Chapter 3 - National Goals and Strategies 2010 - 2015 (Go to Chapter 3)

 Policy Outcome Area 1 - Good Governance


Public Sector Management

Financial Management

Law and Justice

Monitoring and Evaluation

Goals, Targets and Indicators

Chapter 4 - Policy Outcome Area 2 - Infrastructure Development (go to chapter 4)




Water and Sanitation

Food Security

Goals, Targets and Indicators

Chapter 5 Policy Outcome Area 3 - Human Development (go to chapter 5)



Community-based Organisations

Human Resource Capacity and Development

Goals, Targets and Indicators

Chapter 6 Policy Outcome Area 4 - Sustainability (go to chapter 6)

Village Economic Development

Small Business Development


Language and Cultural Heritage 




Waste Management

Disaster Risk Reduction

Goals, Targets and Indicators

Annex 1 Millennium Development Goals (go to annexes)
Annex 2 Contribution of Drinking Water and Sanitation to MDGs
Annex 3 Tokelau National Strategic Plan Overview



In 1889 the Union Jack was raised on all islands of Tokelau and she was declared a British Protectorate.  Tokelau was then included in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony and administered by the British Western Pacific High Commission based in Suva in 1916.  The administering power of Tokelau again changed hands in 1925 when Tokelau was placed under the responsibility of New Zealand.  Two recent referendums in 2006 and 2007 to change Tokelau’s political status did not succeed and today Tokelau remains a non-self governing territory of New Zealand.  Tokelauans are New Zealand citizens.  During the 1990s New Zealand delegated all administrative and legislative powers to the General Fono, the highest authority on Tokelau.  In 2003 the Principles of Partnership between New Zealand and Tokelau was signed.
This summarises the current understanding of the political relationship between New Zealand and Tokelau. The administrative and legislative powers which previously had been held by the General Fono were formally delegated in 2004 to the Taupulega (Village Council of Elders) in recognition of the fact that they are the highest authority on Tokelau.  The three Taupulega collectively re-delegated authority for issues of national interest to the General Fono.  Following this realignment, a majority of the functions of government for Tokelau were transferred to the three atolls with a substantial part of key public services remaining at the national level administration and primarily based in Samoa.  A New Zealand government appointed Administrator of Tokelau located in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) heads a group that manages the day-to-day relationship with Tokelau.  The right to veto any administrative and legislative decision is still vested in the Administrator of Tokelau though the close working relationship between New Zealand and Tokelau has meant that the use of this authority has never been necessary.
The Economic Support Arrangement (ESA) between Tokelau and New Zealand was designed in accordance with the Principles of Partnership which provide a framework of economic and administrative assistance for Tokelau. The ESA was put in place following a gradual process in which Tokelau has moved to greater responsibility for its core budget management.  The ESA 2007 – 2010 was the first support arrangement in which Tokelau is responsible for managing its recurrent budget.  The ESA builds on a process of ‘devolution’ of political and financial control to village authorities and away from central government which began in the late 1990s and culminated in actual devolution of core service provision to the village level in July 2004.

The first ESA was designed according to Tokelau’s national strategic priorities set over that period which focused on six areas:

1. Village development, including upgrading village infrastructure, good governance, capacity building, sustainable resource use and population, culture and language retention;

2. Provision of quality health services;

3. Provision of quality education services;

4. Provision of appropriate transport services;

5. Improved ICT capability;

6. Economic development.

The Tokelau National Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015 (TNSP) builds on the strategic vision identified and used to establish the first ESA in 2007.  While the strategic priorities have not changed significantly since this time, the development of a formal document which details the aspirations of Tokelau and how the nuku through the Taupulega Office and the national departments plan to achieve these is a milestone.  The next ESA with New Zealand will be based on the priorities identified in the TSNP.

The process of information gathering used for developing the TNSP included meetings and consultations throughout the three nuku (villages) and amongst the government departments, meetings with Tokelau communities in New Zealand and Australia and with opportunities to contribute given to the Office of Administrator of Tokelau also.  The prime objective was to identify development priorities in the medium and long-term.  The key stakeholders also identified the challenges which need to be addressed so that the goals and objectives of the TNSP can be achieved.  The TNSP is not the end of the planning and development process; it marks only the beginning. The TNSP articulates the strategic vision for Tokelau and identifies the national development priorities. National Departments and individual nuku (villages) will align their Corporate Plans with the priorities of the Tokelau National Strategic Plan and a matching time-frame.  Key indicators and targets will be set and aligned to specific objectives of the different levels of plans.  Annual work programmes or action plans will fall out of the corporate plans for each department and nuku and will identify and outline activities to be carried out during that financial period and the budget requirements to achieve these.  The performance assessment and review of senior management of the public service will be tied to the implementation of their respective Corporate Plans.
As the first effort by Tokelau to formalise a public document which articulates
its aspirations  for economic and social development in the future, the implementation of the TNSP over the  established timeframe will see it undergo various amendments and fine-tuning.  This is to be expected given the lack of base-line data for many targets and indicators and also as Tokelau builds its human resource capacity at all levels of the public service. )

The Planning Process

Tokelau has long aspired to develop a formal national strategic plan which describes its vision for the future and the developments required to achieve this in the long-term.  Tokelau has a unique relationship with New Zealand.  Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand but over the last two decades this relationship has developed significantly and strengthened with the gradual transfer of governance to Tokelau.  So while Tokelau is part of New Zealand, it is able to informally govern itself.  Tokelau is substantially dependent on New Zealand for financial assistance for its recurrent budget and major development projects.  New Zealand contributes about 80% of the recurrent budget and the national revenue raised primarily through the issue of licences to fish in Tokelau’s Exclusive Economic Zone averages about $2m annually, though this fluctuates according to the quantity of fish caught in Tokelau waters.  With the administrative and financial support from its closest partner New Zealand and contributions of project-based funds and technical support from its regional partners, Tokelau has reached a stage in its development where it is able to determine for itself those areas of priority to which scarce resources are to be allocated to achieve identified outcomes and targets.
The process undertaken to complete the TNSP has involved comprehensive consultations with all levels of the communities in each nuku as well as with the national and village public service and was initiated by the Council for Ongoing Government.  The Tokelau communities in New Zealand and Australia were also given an opportunity to contribute to the Plan through consultations with representatives of the Council and comments were recorded at the meetings and forwarded by individuals as a consequence of this.  Copies of the draft  Plan were distributed for comment to representative Members of Parliament in the different  political parties of New Zealand that the Council met with during its meetings in September  2009.  Comments were also received after consultations with the Office of the Administrator for Tokelau within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  A peer review was completed and recommendations received from the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC).  In working closely with its regional development partners, copies of the draft Plan were also given to UNDP,Apia, Samoa. (see acronyms)

Organisation of the Document

The TNSP provides a road map for the development of Tokelau over the next five years within a ten-fifteen year perspective. The strategic priorities have been grouped under four broad policy outcome areas.  The groupings used and the order in which the priority areas are listed in the TNSP does not signify a ranking of importance. The cross-sectoral nature of strategies necessary to address these priorities will require an integrated approach to be taken by the Government.
The TNSP identifies four policy outcome areas which reflect Tokelau’s development priorities.   There are four corresponding development goals that determine the key areas of focus under each of the goals.  The current situation for each of the key areas is described and challenges relating to this are identified.  Based on these issues and challenges, key objectives and corresponding strategies have been developed to assist the sector / department and / or village to achieve the targets determined for these key areas.  This then sets out the programme of development that Tokelau will undertake over the medium-term in its quest to achieve its vision.

The TNSP has been divided into four sections:

Part One: The introduction gives the background information for the TNSP and describes the consultation process and how the document is organised;

Part Two: This sets out the Vision, Goals, Principles and Indicators.  The Tokelau context is described in this section;

Part Three: The third section of the TNSP sets out the Goals and Strategies.  The Policy Outcome Areas are explained and the key areas relevant to the goal are described identifying issues, challenges, objectives and strategies which will be established to achieve the goal;

Part Four: This section lists annexes referred to in the main body of the TNSP.

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The Land and the People of Tokelau

Tokelau consists of three small coral atolls that lie between latitudes 8 and 10 degrees south and 171 and 173 degrees west in a sea area of some 300, 000 square kilometres.  Atafu, the most northern atoll, lies 92 kilometres north-west of the central atoll, Nukunonu.  The most southern atoll, Fakaofo, is 64 kilometres south-east of Nukunonu.  The largest atoll is Nukunonu at 4.7sq km.  Fakaofo and Atafu are 4sq km and 3.5 sq km respectively.  From  Atafu in the north to Fakaofo in the south, Tokelau extends for less than 200km and the atolls  are three to five metres above sea level.  Therefore, the physical features in Tokelau are very limited and make the territory vulnerable to sea level rising caused by the effects of climate change. 

Tokelau’s closest neighbour Samoa lies 480 kilometres to the south.  Tokelau is relatively isolated, where the only means of transport is by sea via Samoa and it is from here that  travel and shipment of supplies originate. Except for Fakaofo (which has two villages), the  population of each atoll is concentrated in a single village, on the western shore, close to a  small natural pass into the central lagoon.  This allows smaller boats to transport passengers and cargo from larger ships docked in the open sea. 

The Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings in 2006 confirmed the usual resident population of Tokelau as 1466.  Tokelau has a youthful population with a median age of 22 years.  Of the usual resident population, there is a noticeable narrowing of the population structure in the 20 – 29 year olds, most likely because of their mobility for reasons such as education and employment outside of Tokelau.  There are almost the same number of males and females, with females having a higher life expectancy.
The atolls comprise of calcium carbonate coral reefs, sands and rock.  Low fertility of the coral-sand ‘soil’ means that only a few food crops such as, breadfruit, coconut, pandanus, giant swamp taro and banana, can be supported in the Tokelau environment. The porous soils have prevented agricultural development beyond a subsistence economy. 

The climate is hot with an average temperature of 28 deg C.  Severe tropical storms have been more frequent in recent years with cyclones in 1987, 1990. 1991 and 2005 and due to the low-lying nature of the atolls, causes extensive damage to houses and general infrastructure.   The global climatic changes are a real threat to Tokelau’s long-term viability.

Climate change has had an obvious effect on Tokelau.  We now experience more cyclones and storm surges than we had in the past.  The cyclones and storm surges are more intense and the impact of this is evident on the coastal areas which have eroded and some species of plants have noticeably disappeared due to the saline levels of the soil.  We have also seen the disappearance of some our smaller islets due to the sea-level rise caused by climate change.   On larger islets, the increasing erosion threatens the production of the few crops which can be grown.

The extreme weather conditions are experienced more often with an increasing number of hot days during the year and unusually high temperatures during times of the year when one would normally expect cooler temperatures.  As a consequence of coral bleaching, now an annual event, degradation of the coral reefs both inside and outside the lagoon has occurred.  Coral within the lagoons are noticeably in poor health and more of them are dying from one year to the next.  This has greatly affected the quantity and quality of food supply from the in-shore fish population. The life cycle of in-shore fish is also affected by the extreme weather conditions which has seen the decrease in the number and gradual disappearance of some  species of fish from the lagoons.  This threatens the food supply for villages as fish is the main source of sustenance.

Hotter temperatures are also affecting the health of the general population, particularly the more vulnerable such as those with respiratory ailments or the young and elderly.  Coping with the longer spells of hot weather and increasing periods of no rain is stressful and there is a need to mitigate for this risk by improving the water storage systems and ensuring that all families are able to access adequate and safe supplies of water.

The impact of climate change on the environment causing erosion of coastal areas, and the disappearance of some plant species, diminishing the availability of fish in the lagoon is a major cause of concern for Tokelau.  The reality of this however is that the visible changes to the environment and the effects on the livelihood of the people has very little to do with what we are doing on our island homes.  The causes of such drastic changes are due primarily to the pollution levels which the world at large continues to pump into the atmosphere and into the oceans. Tokelau’s concern is that should the developed nations not heed the warnings by scientists for the need to reduce GHG emissions to a required level, she stands to lose not just her lands and environs but also the culture and traditions which affirm the identity of her people. (see acronyms)
To cope with the impact of climate change, Tokelau will have to have far-reaching strategies which address the management of her natural resources and lead to sustainable development.   The people of Tokelau have always been resilient and adapted to the threats to the survival of her lands.  The measures which need to be taken will require Tokelau to better manage her coastal areas with replanting with species of plants and crops which can withstand the harsh soil and temperature conditions.  Coral gardening has been successful in the past and work is underway for coral gardening and lagoon restocking of clams, pearl oysters and trochus.

Infrastructure development will also have to adapt to different conditions caused by climate change.  The housing schemes will have to ensure that buildings are ‘climate-proof’ so that they can better cope with storm surges and that water tanks are structurally sound with the capacity to withstand long periods of drought.  All of this will add to the already expensive costs for building accommodation on Tokelau where all building raw materials and equipment must be shipped in.

Tokelau will also have to put in place stringent food security measures to ensure that the prime sources of staple foods can be sustained.  Despite efforts to establish conservation areas, coral bleaching and the effects of extreme weather conditions have certainly affected the intended results of these.  Tokelau has very few natural resources which it can rely on for economic development other than its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Climate change has also impacted on the migration of fish around the oceans due to the changes in ocean temperatures from one area to the next.  This presents a real risk to the fish resources available from Tokelau’s EEZ, her only substantial economic development activity.

The adaptation strategies to mitigate for the impact of climate change on the small atolls of Tokelau require a combination of things: change in attitude and behaviour from our communities; adaptation measures in the provision of all essential services and a greater capital investment to ‘climate-proof’ further infrastructure development. 

The Economy

Tokelau is dependent on financial assistance from New Zealand for its recurrent budget and also for the majority of its infrastructure developments.  There is currently little opportunity for diversification. Local revenue is primarily from the EEZ Fishing License fees, locally imposed duties and taxes, freight and boat fares and interest payments. With few natural resources available for economic development, Tokelau relies on assistance from New Zealand for the majority of its development initiatives.  Village-based economic projects have been established in the past, such as a fish processing plant in Atafu, but they have proved to be too difficult to sustain given Tokelau’s relative isolation from sizeable markets, limited infrastructure and transport constraints.  Establishing community-owned enterprises as well as small private businesses may occur as a result of making available micro-financing opportunities.  While this may have a limited effect on the national economy, it does provide avenues by which individuals and communities can begin to realise entrepreneurial aspirations.
The Strategic Vision
 The Strategic Vision for the 2010 – 2015 Tokelau National Strategic Plan is for “Healthy and Active Communities with Opportunities for All.”  The achievement of the vision relies on attaining sustainable national development that results in an improved quality of life for all our people without compromise to our environment and future viability. As a small island nation with limited land resources, relatively isolated, with only one form of transportation available and a very mobile population, Tokelau faces enormous sustainability challenges.  The people of Tokelau are proud of their culture and heritage and want to ensure that any development that is undertaken to improve the standard of living should not threaten her fragile environment. 

Tokelau intends to develop to bring about improved living standards and safe, viable and united communities who are respectful of their culture and environment.  By 2015, Tokelau will be a place where:

  •  the community is just, fair, safe and law-abiding;
  • our sense of national pride and unity is promoted;
  • reliable and efficient transport and communications services link Tokelau with the outside world;
  • a degree of economic self-reliance has been achieved through sustainable economic development;
  • the population is healthy, through effective and efficient health services that are freely and easily accessible with appropriate medical and clinical provisions;
  • parents are committed to have their children attend school because the education system provides every child with the support to fulfil their potential;
  • the environment is clean, safe and healthy and sustained for our future generations;
  • Christian values are upheld;
  • challenges of modernisation can be resolved and do not undermine our culture and heritage;
  • the integrity of “te Faka-Tokelau” and “te aganuku” is maintained through the preservation and strengthening of Tokelau language, cultural heritage and traditional practices such as the inati, tama manu and kaiga.

This is the context in which the TNSP has been developed, with a vision which aspires to build cohesive communities with the capacity to endure and enjoy good health and social well-being.

Strategic Development Goals
The Government of Tokelau through the process of planning described earlier in this document has identified four strategic development goals, one for each of the four policy outcome areas of good governance, infrastructure development, human development and sustainability.   

The goals are:

Policy Outcome Area 1: Good Governance

Goal 1: Improved governance, public sector and financial management, and application of the rule of law
Policy Outcome Area 2: Infrastructure Development

Goal 2: Improved standard of living through adequate, reliable and efficient infrastructure

Policy Outcome Area 3: Human Development

Goal 3: Improved health and education outcomes and social-wellbeing of our  communities

Policy Outcome Area 4: Sustainability

Goal 4: Improved economic, cultural, environmental and spiritual sustainability

Guiding Principles

A number of principles have been identified to guide actions
and progress in achieving the  national strategic development goals.  These guiding principles have been adopted and are listed below.  As expected, there is some overlap between the goals and the guiding principles:

a. A consultative and collaborative approach through participation of all citizens in economic, social and political processes and activities

b. Cohesiveness and coordination of public service provisions between government departments and village administrations

c. Equitable development between population groups through recognition of the uniqueness of each nuku, diversity of needs and access to opportunities, services,  goods and privileges

d. Honesty, impartiality, professionalism, integrity, hard work, efficiency, transparency and accountability in the public service

e. Respect for, and preservation of, the values and culture of Tokelau

f. Respect for human rights and the rule of law and equality before the law

g. Sustainable economic, social and political development without compromise to the environment

h. Effective, transparent and corruption free management of public finances

i. Effective decision-making, ideally based on evidence from research, policy monitoring and evaluation and regular review

j. Effective disaster risk reduction policy and procedures

Key Development Indicators

Tokelau’s development situation is often not well known in the international community as is the  case for most small Pacific island nations.  Factors which contribute to this such as the paucity of data and statistics published and included in the international development sector and the difficulties Tokelau faces to promote its situation as it may only have observer or associate status in different forums exacerbate this situation.  Adherence to development declarations has not been an important feature of Tokelau’s strategic planning in the past.  However, it would be useful for Tokelau to be able to compare its performance against those of similarly placed developing small island states and to use international development indicators to guide its own progress towards achieving targets in relevant development areas.

Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed to by the international community at the UN Millennium Summit in September, 2000.  This Summit identified eight MDGs to be met by 2015, with 18 corresponding targets.
 The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders agreed in the Cairns Compact (2009, Cairns) that development objectives for the region should also be based on the principle of revitalising commitment to the achievement of MDGs.  The MDGs span across the areas of hunger and poverty, disease and illiteracy, environment, discrimination against women, human rights, governance and democracy (see Annex 1).  In summary, Goals 1 through to 7 set the agenda for action by developing countries while Goal 8 outlines the responsibilities of developed countries to assist developing countries to achieve MDGs. 

It can be argued that due to Tokelau’s unique situation as a territory that some of the MDG targets and indicators have little relevance in its planning agenda, such as Goal 2, which provides for universal primary education being accessible to all boys and girls. Universal primary education has not been an issue with Tokelau.  However, the MDGs are a very important set of targets which the international community make reference to in regards to development and measuring progress for developing nations.  Because of this, it is in Tokelau’s interest to report against relevant MDG targets and to make reference to these as required. Notwithstanding, all the MDGs have been integrated into the relevant sector targets and indicators, to highlight their importance.  Overall, Tokelau still has much to do not only to  achieve all the MDG targets but that it does so in a manner that is sustainable over the long-term. To attain all the MDG targets, the following challenges have been identified:


  • Some MDG indicators do not work well statistically in small island nations such as Tokelau Challenges relating to human resource capacity, infrastructure development, very limited means to generate national income and mobility of resident population are some of the specific challenges which Tokelau contends with in trying to meet MDG targets;
  • Environmental sustainability is a key issue for low lying atolls such as Tokelau and its efforts to address the impact of climate change and rising sea levels require additional funding and technical assistance.  Tokelau does not always qualify for these funds and technical assistance due to its status as a territory.  MDG targets for Goal 7 are difficult to achieve and / or sustain in this context;
  • Global events such as has been experienced recently with the global recession and the onset of a new Influenza strain highlight Tokelau’s vulnerability.  Any medium and long-term development trends can be changed very quickly as a consequence of the effects of such events on Tokelau.
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(Key Areas: Governance, Public Sector Management, Financial Management, Law and Justice, Monitoring and Evaluation)

Good governance relates to political and institutional processes and outcomes that are necessary to achieve the goals of economic and social development.  Establishing systems and processes which promote principles of good governance is one of the most critical national priorities for Tokelau.  The key attributes of good governance are transparency, responsibility, accountability, participation and responsiveness to the needs of people.  Tokelau’s commitment to good governance promotes the advancement of human rights through the improvement of the government’s capacity to fulfil its responsibility to provide public goods and services which  are essential, such as the right to good quality education and health services, to live in a safe  community, to have adequate housing and to have sufficient food.  This section of the TNSP reflects Tokelau’s aspirations to strengthen its political and institutional processes by ensuring mechanisms are in place which encourages community participation in decision-making and information sharing opportunities which promote monitoring of implementation of policies and use of public resources in a responsible manner.

GOAL 1: Improved governance, public sector and financial management, and application of the rule of law.
The Taupulega (Village Council of Elders), General Fono (National Assembly) and the Council for the Ongoing Government (Executive Government) of Tokelau are the principal administration institutions of governance in Tokelau.  The Taupulega provides policy direction at the village level whereas the General Fono provides all policy direction at the national level.  When the General Fono is not in session the Council for the Ongoing Government becomes the government of the day.  Following the devolution of responsibility for on-atoll public services to the villages, the Taupulega has had to contend with various challenges in line with the additional responsibilities that were transferred.  The quantum and scope of responsibilities that were transferred to the Taupulega have presented many challenges.

The challenge of understanding the relevant concepts of good governance and how they fit with the Faka-Tokelau is often complicated by the lack of uniform policies.  The unique governance structures of each atoll, a lack of understanding of the western principles of good governance and the impact of non-compliance to policy are some of the main issues which need to be addressed.  Good governance training and development at all levels is required to ensure there is transparency and accountability and that decision making is informed and evidence-based. 

  •  To strengthen and institute good governance practices at all levels of public administration;
  • To align national and village policies so as to strengthen efficiencies, transparency and accountability;
  • To institute sound and best decision-making principles and practices.


  • To develop Terms of References (TORs) that clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of General Fono, Taupulega, Council for Ongoing Government members / Ministers and Directors;
  • To develop and implement ongoing Governance Training for Council for Ongoing  Government, General Fono and Taupulega members;
  • To develop and implement ongoing training on good governance principles at all levels of the Tokelau Public Service (TPS);
  •  To review and develop national and village policies in line with good governance principles and practices.

The public sector provides the means by which the government implements its policies.   Competent service provisions and independent and good advice from public servants are necessary requirements at all levels of public administration.  Policy objectives for this goal focus on the challenges of creating an environment where there is confidence in the public service and the delivery of its services and improving financial management, so that the public service operates efficiently within the constraints of the budget.

The TPS refers to those services provided at the national level, under the coordination of the General Manager, Apia, and the services provided at the village level, under the management of the respective village General Manager (Director or Coordinator).
National public services include the Departments of Finance, Health, Education, Economic Development,Transport and Support Services, Energy and the Office of the Council for Ongoing Government.  The national public service supports the General Fono and the Council for the Ongoing Government.  The Director of the respective national departments reports directly to the Faipule with the delegated responsibilities for that portfolio.  The Village Public  Service supports the Taupulega for each village and is made up of the General Manager  (Director or Coordinator) leading a team which includes staff who work in the school, hospital,  (Information Technology) IT support services, co-operative store, finance, FM radio, general  village workers and the traditional workforce. 

  • To maintain good dialogue and partnership arrangements with NZ;
  • To review, develop and strengthen arrangements and communications with our regional development partners and beyond;
  • To institute sound and best management principles and practices;
  • To improve transparency and accountability;
  • To provide appropriate, accurate and timely accounting, banking, IT and financial management services and advice;
  • To strengthen human resource capacity at all levels of the public service with a workforce who are qualified, ethical and professional;
  • To establish effective provisions of communication between the national and village public services to improve and strengthen their working relationship; * To provide for and maintain effective Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).


  • To develop and furnish regular reports to account for funds from NZAID and other funding partners;
  • To develop national department and village corporate plans that are aligned to the National Strategic Plan;
  • To review accounting, banking and financial management policies so that they comply with principles of transparency and accountability;
  • To develop and implement a Human Resource Capacity Development (HRCD) Plan;
  • To strengthen Performance Management Review process and procedures;
  • To review Human Resource (HR) policies and Manual to align with HRCD Plan;
  • To review and confirm national and village public service structures and relationships;
  • To review and develop TORs for all national and village public service positions;
  • To review, confirm and maintain national and village DRR arrangements, including communication channels with NZ government and other stakeholders.

A fundamental principle to building Tokelau’s communities and enhancing Tokelau’s growth and development potential is improving the quality and standard of financial management operations and services.  This includes a commitment by Tokelau to maintaining high standards of economic governance over its resources consistent with New Zealand practices.  Tokelau Leaders, Taupulega and the public service require accurate, timely, complete and credible financial management advice, information and reports for policy and decision making.

Strengthening leadership, governance and public ownership of prudent financial management and accountability is a necessary requirement.  All internal stakeholders have a collective and collaborative role in ensuring the government is transparent, honest and accountable for the efficient and effective management and use of the government’s financial resources.
Strengthening Tokelau’s financial management and revenue administration operations and services contribute to achieving Tokelau’s legal mandate and strategic objectives of the TNSP.

  • To strengthen financial management advisory, reports and information services to the General Fono and the Council for Ongoing Government (COG) for policy and decision-making;
  • To improve planning and budgeting methodologies and approaches, to recognize potential risks, the differences in villages and departments situations that may affect programme / project delivery;
  • To enhance transparency and efficiency in the management and utilisation of financial resources;
  • To strengthen coordination, consultative mechanisms and collaborative efforts among  villages and departments, in identifying priorities as well as cost effective solutions; to avoid duplication of efforts and inefficient use of resources;
  • To strengthen and improve implementation and compliance with the Finance  Rules,  Banking Rules, Government Policies; internal controls and accountability requirements;
  • To enhance and strengthen Tokelau public service capacity and capability to effectively implement financial management operations and services;
  • To strengthen and improve revenue collection processes, accounting and banking services and operations; 
  • To liaise and negotiate with New Zealand and other donors to secure funding on more  flexible arrangements and to provide additional resources for more general budget support rather than project specific terms; and
To strengthen Tokelau representation to meetings/conferences dealing with important issues that have wide political, legal, policy and financial implications for Tokelau.
  • To strengthen planning, budget setting and prioritisation processes including linkages to corporate and operational planning at the village and national levels;
  • To provide policy advice, coordination and other assistance as required tosupport Tokelau’s decision-making processes;
  •  To ensure timely and appropriate review, consolidation and agreement of annual budgets for expenditure and revenue for villages and departments;
  •  To ensure that all financial, accounting and banking operations and services are conducted efficiently and effectively as required by legislation;
  • To improve villages and departments understanding and knowledge of prudent financial management and accountability requirements;
  • To provide efficient and effective budget and revenue administration and management services;
  • To improve on cash flow management services and investment of funds; and
  • To continue training and awareness programme for the Public Service on financial management services and operations including Finance Rules, Financial Policies and Internal control procedures.

As a territory of New Zealand, Tokelau inherits New Zealand’s judicial system and likewise the Chief Justice of New Zealand is the Chief Justice of Tokelau. However, over the years, the people of Tokelau and the government of New Zealand have worked closely together to develop a legal system suitable to the Tokelau context.

Each village on Tokelau has a Law Commissioner appointed by the New Zealand Governor General on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs after consultation with the respective Taupulega.  In all cases, the Law Commissioners appointed have no formal training or experience outside Tokelau.  The Law Commissioner is supported by the Court Clerk in the Law Commissioner’s court.  All the villages have at least one Police Sergeant and at least one other police officer who sits in court as Prosecutors. 

The development of the judicial system in Tokelau is at a very early stage, and strengthening the capacity and knowledge of all judicial officers is crucial.  There are also very real challenges in the performance of the independent role of the Law Commissioner in the execution of their responsibilities under the law and that of the Taupulega (Village Council) who have overall authority within the village.  The ongoing capacity training programme for the Tokelau Judicial Officers and the Taupulega has increased the knowledge of the Taupulega in relation to the important roles of the Law Commissioners and the need for this role to function independently.  The establishment of the Benchbook for the Law Commissioners in both official languages is a tool available to the Judicial Officer to assist in carrying out their functions effectively hence improving the quality of justice in Tokelau.
  • To enhance community safety;
  • To improve access to justice;
  • To institute principles of good governance and enhance integrity in the institutions of law and justice;
  • To improve information and human resource management in the law and justice sector;
  • To improve national border management.
  •  To strengthen the institutions of law and justice with associated legislative review and integration of principles of good governance and anti-corruption;
  • To implement ongoing public awareness campaigns and education programmes to promote peaceful and safe communities and ensure access to laws;
  • To strengthen the capacity and knowledge of all personnel in the law and justice sector;
  • To develop and implement a training programme which assists to harmonise customary and community-based justice with the formal justice institutions.
Monitoring, review and evaluation (MRE) of performance against identified targets and indicators is a very important component of planning.  Data collection, collation and analysis is the initial requirement for effective monitoring.  Monitoring, review and evaluation (MRE) is carried out in various forms.  There is monthly financial reporting to the General Fono delegates, Council of Ongoing Government, the Taupulega and departments.  Reporting to the General Fono is on a 6 monthly basis by way of sector reports. There are also opportunities where both Tokelau and New Zealand work collaboratively together to review certain sectors.   Formal arrangements and appropriate mechanisms are in place to regularly monitor progress against the specific strategies in the Tokelau National Strategic Plan, 2001 – 2010, and the Economic Support Arrangement (ESA).  Other review, monitoring and evaluation activities outside of the financial requirements will also be necessary to ensure that the targets under each of the TNSP goals will be achieved.  Each department and Taupulega Office will need to gather the necessary data and information that will give indications as to how much progress has been made towards achieving the set targets. 

Funding assistance provided by NZ under the ESA is subject to satisfactory and timely reporting by Tokelau on a periodic basis through the Sector Reports and specific project reports. The reporting system aims to inform Tokelau’s planning and financial monitoring. A mid-term review of the ESA and TNSP is undertaken which should:
  • provide feedback on the implementation of both the ESA and TNSP;
  • identify successes and achievements that could be replicated elsewhere;
  • identify problems to ensure they are not repeated;
  • provide an assessment of the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of the programmes and service delivery.

The ESA is also subject to independent and detailed evaluation of the effectiveness of the programmes and activities undertaken and of public expenditure review (PER) made at the departmental and the village levels at the end of ESA and TNSP period.
During the ESA period, NZ and Tokelau may agree on specific sector or activity reviews to be undertaken to guide future decision making in Tokelau. Once the assignment is agreed, NZ will provide Tokelau with the resources to pay for the implementation of the review.  Tokelau will manage the contract for the reviews, unless Tokelau specifically requests NZ to manage the contractual arrangements. 
The Office of the Council for Ongoing Government (OCOG), in working closely with the relevant departments is responsible for the following:
  • Reporting back to the COG on a regular basis on key national activities;
  • Annual performance review of departmental services;
  • Council reporting to every GF session;
  • Reporting to NZ on a 6 monthly basis; and
  • Quarterly reporting to all other donors.
The Taupulega Offices are responsible for monitoring specific policies. The main challenge in the area of MRE is the lack of coordination, commitment and adherence to MRE policies in place. 
(refer to acronyms)
Standard periodic monitoring reports detailing achievements against the annual Work Plans indicators are prepared and submitted to the COG and General Fono.  The main indicator of progress will be the number and quality of outputs implemented and successfully achieved.

Six monthly and annual sector reports by villages and departments are coordinated and consolidated by the Department of Finance in collaboration with OCOG.  Government accounts and financial operations are subject to annual independent audit by Audit NZ.

Data gathering and statistical analysis of data is a concept that has yet to be integrated into the reporting culture of the public service.  At this point in time, the role of statistics gathering specifically through the collection and collation of information for the national census is the responsibility of an individual staff member located in the Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government.  A Strategic Plan for Statistics was developed and endorsed by the General Fono in 2008.  This plan focuses on developing the capacity level of local users and a proposal for establishing a statistics unit and strengthening the role of the unit through centralisation of core statistical functions and capacity building.  To achieve this we need financial resources and quality staff to undertake functions of the proposed statistics unit, as well as having the relevant legislation in place and engaging in effective coordination and management mechanisms.  The function of the statistics unit would be to provide appropriate and quality statistical services to public service departments and villages.  The information gathered through this process will feed into a national database under the Statistics Unit for management and dissemination.   This information will be made available at any time to all users but more importantly utilised for national planning and monitoring of existing programmes. 
  • To have an effective MRE policy which supports national development and is responsive to:
  • A culture of acceptance of constructive critique
  • Policies that reflect te faka-Tokelau
  • To signal when change of direction is necessary (timely review of policies to reflect current situation);
  • To provide relevant, quality and timely statistical information in support to targets and indicators required for monitoring of national development;
  • To ensure that all activities at national and villages are monitored, reviewed and evaluated so that Tokelau will continue to receive the benefits of services and programmes;
  • To strengthen and improve the capacity for monitoring, review and evaluation; * To strengthen policy decisions and delivery of programmes based on results   of monitoring, review and evaluation; and
  • To foster close working relationship with regional and international networks with expertise in this area.
  • To develop and implement Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and Policy;
  • To strengthen monitoring, review and evaluation mechanisms;
  • To establish a national statistics unit to centralise all core functions in this area;
  • To implement HR plan to enhance monitoring, review and evaluation as an integral part of public sector services provisions;
  •  To assess results objectively against realistic targets;
  • To establish partnerships with Regional Statistical Offices.
Improved governance, public sector and financial management, taxation and revenue administration
  • All departments and villages with up-to-date corporate plans aligned to TNSP by 2012;
  • Number of national and village policies in line with good governance principles and practices endorsed and operational;
  • Percentage of departments and villages produced and tabled Annual Sector Reports aligned to TNSP with COG and General Fono;
  • Number of financial management initiatives (e.g. Superannuation Scheme, Development Bank) endorsed by General Fono, effectively implemented and operational according to legislation;
  • Number of Policy Papers and Reports tabled and decided upon by the General Fono and COG on financial results and economic performance including donor funded projects;
  • Percentage increase in number of public servants trained in good governance, financial and human resources management;
  • Percentage increase in number of staff continuing to work and apply new skills in financial management in the government;
  • Percentage reduction in the number of failures and incidents of non-compliance with Government Policies and Internal Control Procedures;
  • Percentage of departments and villages implement effectively Staff Performance Management and Review processes;
  • Number of financial reports issued and annual audited accounts that meet international standards and within agreed deadlines;
  • Number of outputs achieved against the annual work programme and budget
  • Percentage increase in government revenue for annual Budget
  • Percentage decrease in cash disbursements by government for village stores operations;
  • Percentage increase in annual revenue (more than $1 million and less than $2 million) considered for transfer for Tokelau general reserve fund; and
  • Percentage increase in annual revenue (more than $2 million) considered for transfer to Tokelau Trust Fund
  • Enhanced results-based monitoring, review and evaluation
  • Systems for data collection, collation and analysis within departments  and villages are established by start 2012;
  • Number of policies reviewed and developed each year matches the  planned schedule;
  • Proportion of targets achieved;
  • MRE policy is developed and implemented.
Improved application of law
  • Percentage increase in the number of trained and qualified staff  working as Law Commissioners, court clerks and police officers;
  • Increasing number of participants taking part in community  awareness law workshops;
  • Increasing number of people using legal services;
  • All Village Rules for each village are completed;
  • Percentage increase in the number of laws both at national and  village reviewed and / or developed;
  • Percentage increase in number of cases before the Law Commissioner each year for breach of national and / or village laws;
  • All Tokelau Laws are translated.
Enhanced results-based monitoring, review and evaluation
  • Systems for data collection, collation and analysis within departments  and villages are established by start 2012;
  • Number of policies reviewed and developed each year matches the  planned schedule;
  • Proportion of targets achieved;
  • MRE policy is developed and implemented.
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(Key Areas: Energy, Transport, Telecommunications, Water and sanitation, Food security).

Infrastructure is an issue of overarching importance to society.  It includes the physical capabilities and service systems that provide the population with the essentials of electric power, water, sanitation, telecommunications, transport facilities and various support services.   Infrastructure has perhaps one of the strongest cross-sectoral implications for national development.  An effective system of physical infrastructure is crucial for productivity and poverty reduction but it is also vital for human development and the foundation for economic development.
GOAL 2: Improved standard of living through reliable, adequate and efficient infrastructure


The Tokelau Energy system (Power) has been recently upgraded to a 24 hour supply system.   While the Energy Department is based in Fakaofo, the management of each power system is the responsibility of each Taupulega.  The current energy supply system is about 95% diesel powered and 5% solar.  The Department of Energy consists of two staff members including the Director.  The issues for energy supply in the current system are:

  • High cost of operations
  • Completely dependent on imported fuel to operate system
  • Remoteness of Tokelau causing difficulties with supply of fuel and spare parts
  • Lack of qualified personnel.
Renewable energy is recognised internationally as an important element of a more sustainable energy future. As the world considers how best to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission while meeting ever increasing energy demands, the Government of Tokelau will contribute to this global objective by supporting an increase in the amount of electricity Tokelauans source from renewable energy.

The renewable energy target is one of the government’s responses to climate change by moving from the use of fossil fuels to that of a combination of solar and bio-fuel to generate power for Tokelau.  The Department of Energy Corporate Plan outlines the key objectives for the Department of Energy for the next 3-5 years and in detail outlines this phase in Tokelau’s quest to integrate renewable energy options into our energy mix.
  • To integrate renewable energy into Tokelau’s energy mix;
  • To improve power system infrastructures on generation, transmission and distribution;
  • To reduce energy usage through efficiency and conservation gains;
  • To develop and maintain a productive, effective and committed workforce in the energy sector informed about energy legislation, regulations and engineering practices.

  • To implement renewable energy project with the generation of power solely from solar and bio-fuel technology;
  •   To ensure that renewable energy sources are ecologically sustainable;
  • To develop and implement a maintenance programme that ensures a regular upgrade  of the power system infrastructure to the highest standards including power generation,  transmission, distribution and power management;
  •   To implement an ongoing public campaign to raise the level of consumer awareness on how to minimise energy usage and how to use electricity safely;
  •   To develop and implement a HR plan in accordance with principles of equality of opportunity and ensures that energy staff are trained to the required level and includes succession planning.

Tokelau Transport is responsible for the provision of Tokelau’s Shipping Service
which provides the means by which the government implements its shipping service policies.  The key objective for the Shipping service is to provide Tokelau with a regular, reliable and safe service covering the carriage and transfer of passengers and freight between Apia and Tokelau including also transfers from ship to shore when in Tokelau.  Competent service provisions and good advice from the department’s management are necessary requirements in the provision of the shipping service.
The Transport services which are provided at the village level, comes under the direct responsibility of each Taupulega (Village Council).  Each Taupulega delegates the responsibilities of managing this service to the village General Manager (Director or Coordinator). For example, the Village aumaga (work force) provides the stevedoring in Tokelau, while in Apia a private company is contracted to provide this service.

Currently, Tokelau owns and operates one ship – the MV Tokelau. The MV Tokelau originally a double-hulled boat underwent structural changes to increase its cargo and passenger capacity.   The change to a mono-hull and addition to the length of the ship have weakened the structure  of the MV Tokelau as it was not originally built for the purpose it is now used for.  Maintenance and repairs costs are expensive but are necessary to keep the ship seaworthy as it is the only means by which Tokelau remains connected to the outside world.  The ship can carry up to 65 passengers but the lack of appropriate accommodation facilities is a problem which is exacerbated by the limited space for safe storage of cargo, separate from passengers.  The MV Tokelau is scheduled to travel to Tokelau on a fortnightly basis. The duration of the round journey varies between 6 to 11 days depending on inter-atoll and national activities or training and consultation requirements. From time to time, the schedule is disrupted due to unplanned medical evacuations from the villages to Apia.  When this occurs passengers are stranded until the MV Tokelau has completed the return trip to Apia. The MV Tokelau is also utilised for Search and Rescue as required by Tokelau for missing boats between the atolls or by Samoa for missing vessels between the two countries.  As required, the MV Tokelau is also available to give support during emergencies due to natural disasters.   Samoa Shipping Co vessels are used for additional charters not only to transport passengers during peak travelling times between Apia and Tokelau,  but also when large orders of supplies for government/village  projects are required or when there are national activities which necessitate moving large  groups between atolls.. Additional charters have averaged between10 – 12 per annum over the last 5 years. 

A new shipping service is planned for Tokelau with the intention to increase the capacity for  passengers and cargo including appropriate cooling space for transport of fresh fruit and  vegetables.  The new shipping service will also be used to meet medical evacuations and emergency requirements. Many reviews and studies have been completed as to the best transport options for Tokelau and in full discussion with New Zealand a design and build ship  was decided upon. 

The issues which continue to challenge Tokelau in the provision of a safe and efficient transport service are:

1. The wide scope of responsibilities and activities encompassed under the role of the Department of Transport – ranging from the commercial activities of the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office (TALO) for the supply of goods to the villages through to arrangements to land cargo and passengers safely at each nuku.

2. Ensuring safe and efficient wharf handling of cargo and passenger movement.

3. Maintaining cargo handling and work conditions at a high standard, by reducing physical handling, danger, and bodily strains whilst maintaining the whole original state of the cargo itself.

4. Improving passenger comfort such as accommodation on the ship, speed and sea-keeping.

 5. Increasing cargo capacity for dry, frozen and dangerous goods to meet current needs and the growing demands.

6. Ensuring that the new ship specifications will meet operational conditions and the needs of Tokelau, including facilities that meet requirements for medical patients.

  • To provide a shipping service that meets the social and economic needs of Tokelau;
  • To further develop Department of Transport Operations and Shipping Manuals;
  • To ensure that the Tokelau ship is safe and fit for service, and operated according to all the relevant codes, conventions and classification society prescriptions, and crew  possess valid competency and safety certificates including class certificates;
  • To strengthen HR management and capacity of national and village transport staff;
  • To establish and maintain ship-to-shore infrastructure, facilities and equipment to a high standard.

  • To work closely with NZ to identify and implement transport options which best meets Tokelau’s needs;
  • To develop and implement Departmental Operational and Shipping Management Manual for TALO Office, the ship and three villages;
  • To develop and implement a Human Resource Development plan and programme for office staff, ship crew and village workers;
  •  To improve channels, install navigational lights and appropriate lighting for night work;
  • To build proper wharf facilities and provide appropriate machinery and equipment for safe and efficient transfer of passengers and cargo handling from ship to shore;
  • To improve boat scheduling to accommodate different needs and priorities.

Apart from transportation, telecommunications provides the only other means to link Tokelau with the outside world.  Tokelau’s telecommunications system is over a decade old and is currently delivered by Teletok, a national corporation, which has its headquarters in Fakaofo.   Teletok has officers in the other atolls.  Services provided by Teletok include telephone, internet, facsimile, IT procurement, repair and maintenance, and Sky TV.  Other telecommunication services such as VHF and HF radios and FM Radio are provided by the Taupulega Offices.

The telecommunications system as it stands currently, does not meet the needs and aspirations of the people and the government.  The main issues which need to be addressed are:
  •   The system is often not working, with either telephone or internet (or both means of  communications) not working in one or other of the atolls;
  • Only basic services are available through the telephone lines, e.g. facsimile, telephone and teleconferencing. and internet lines;
  •  Telecommunication Tokelau Rules were overlooked when deciding services for the villages;
  • Decision to merge IT personnel under Teletok was not supported resulting in shortages in this area;
  • The charges for telephone calls to the consumer are expensive.
  • To establish an efficient, reliable and affordable telecommunications system which complies with international standards and has the capacity to meet present and future needs of private consumers and the public service;
  • To provide services such as videoconferencing, telemedicine, distance and flexible education in support of national services such as Health and Education;)
  •  To strengthen HR capacity to meet all requirements for new system, service provisions and succession planning;
  • To provide IT support services;
  •  To provide for emergency telecommunications when the national system has an outage or in support of Search and Rescue. 
  •  To review policies, procedures and systems to align with new telecommunications system;
  • To implement new telecommunications system and public awareness campaign on all three villages and the national public services;
  • To develop and implement a comprehensive training programme on all aspects of the new network for technical staff;
  • To develop and implement Information Communications and Technology (ICT) training programmes to meet the needs of different internet users;
  • To develop and implement specialised service provision plan to meet the technical  needs of public services, particularly Health and Education.
The villages continue to pursue its water and sanitation programme in terms of building proper toilets and water tanks for every house in the village.  Issues in this area include:
  •   Little coordination for water conservation, hygiene and village planning;
  •   Complaints that family home water tanks do not last due to the poor quality of building skills and materials used during construction;
  •   A shortage of clean drinking water occurs in times of drought causing concerns about the effects on the health of community members;
  • Village maintenance plans do not exist or are in an incomplete state, causing concern about the future sustainability of village infrastructure.
  • To sustain good quality of water supply and improve water quality control;
  • To improve infrastructure design and increase storage capacity for water;)
  • To improve sanitation and wastewater disposal;
  • To monitor reserve capacity and quality;
  • To meet requirements of the Hazard Analytical Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan;
  • To strengthen the capacity for qualified personnel to support the provision of this service to communities.
  • To develop a national water and sanitation policy which villages can adapt and include in their village maintenance plans;
  • To increase nationwide awareness on water conservation and hygiene and possibly revive traditional methods for water conservation;
  • To monitor reserve capacity and quality and report monthly;
  • To ensure that Tokelau Building Code includes quality requirements for water tanks;
  • To implement HACCP Plan;
  • To ensure that HR Development Plan includes requirements for trained and qualified personnel in this area.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines that food security exists  when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and  nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Climate change poses great risks to the supply of in-shore marine resources whereby the extreme weather conditions have affected the health of the coral in the lagoons as well as the life cycle of fish resulting in an increase in the quantity and gradual disappearance of some species.  This threatens the food supply for the villages as fish is the staple food.   Tokelau’s natural marine resources are its greatest food supply source.  While coastal marine management plans have been in place for all three villages for some years now, little improvement has been evident, e.g. supply of clams in both Atafu and Fakaofo. Fish and shellfish poisoning is also a threat to food security.  Efforts have been made to establish conservation areas but coral bleaching and the effects of extreme weather conditions have affected the intended results of these. 

Low fertility of the coral-sand soil means that only a few food crops such as breadfruit, coconuts, pandanus, giant swamp taro and bananas can be supported in the Tokelau environment.  The coastal areas need to be better managed with replanting with species of plants and crops which can withstand the harsh soil and temperature conditions.   While livestock for Tokelau is limited only to poultry and pigs, they are still a consideration with respect to food security in regards to trans-boundary diseases in animals.  Quarantine services have been stepped up to an extent with the import of foreign plants into the villages now being prohibited.

Consumer demand for less-traditional foods has consequently increased the quantity of imported foods coming onto Tokelau shores over the last few years. Currently the decisions on what food items are imported are made by the village Co-operative Store personnel.  The goods which are ordered by the Co-op Store determine to a large extent what individual households will include in their diet.  To improve national nutrition trends and provide better food options for the communities the decision on what should be purchased and available at the Co-op Store should include groups who have the health, welfare and well-being of the nation in their interests.

Issues for food security include:
  • Coastal marine management plans need to be reviewed to include more relevant activities to address the impact of extreme weather conditions on the quality and quantity of fish resources;
  • Replanting of coastal areas with species of plants and crops which can tolerate the soil and weather conditions;
  • Reviving the planting of local produce;
  • Expansion of organic vegetable garden nursery to all three villages while limiting the introduction of new species proven to grow in an atoll environment until local produces such as pulaka has been revitalised;
  • Developing sustainable food programmesand supporting community initiatives in organic farming and cultivating traditional crops;
  • Increase community awareness about food security and how the risks can be mitigated and/or managed;
  • Improve coordination between national departments, such as Health, Agriculture, Quarantine, Stores and Customs in the implementation of regulations to promote food security;
  • Identification of appropriate land areas on each village conducive for growing local foods;
  • Village leaders understand the need for families to have the time and resources to nurture individual plantations and gardens to decrease dependency on imported foods;
  • Improve the nutritional value of the mix of imported foods purchased through the Village Co-op Store.
  • To develop and promote sustainable marine resources, crop, livestock and forestry management systems;
  • To develop a National Competent Authority for food security and food standard control and promote a sustainable food security policy and programme;
  • To increase community awareness about food security and how to address this at the community and individual family level;
  • To improve quarantine and bio-security measures;
  • To improve the coordination between national departments involved with implementing relevant regulations and policies to promote food security;
  • To establish guidelines for the purchase of food stuffs in line with an agreed nutritional value table.
  • To develop and implement Food Security and Food Standard Control Policy;
  • To review, improve and implement village in-shore management plans;
  • To develop and enforce by-laws and policies to manage sea-pollution and marine resource over-fishing;
  • To establish village committees to enforce by-laws and policies;
  • To develop and enforce laws to manage food security at all borders of Tokelau;
  • To implement ongoing training and education programmes to increase knowledge and improve skills in areas relevant for food security at the village and national levels;
  • To develop and implement village based programmes on sustainable cultivation  methods which suit local conditions;
  • To establish sustainable programmes that support community initiatives in organic farming and cultivating traditional crops;
  • To establish a Co-op Store Food Purchasing Committee and TORs for members which will include representatives from the Fatupapepae, local health staff and the Taupulega Office;
  • To develop and implement nutritional plan and policies to guide the purchase of imported food stuffs into villages.
Goal2: Improved standard of living through reliable,  adequate and efficient  infrastructure
Targets / Indicator
Reliable, efficient and appropriate Energy
  • 20% reduction in the number of power outages per year
  • 50% increase in trained and qualified staff
  • 50% decrease in staff turnover per year
  • Electricity consumption per annum meets planned targets
  • % improved on energy efficiency
  • All households installed with prepaid meters by 2015
Reliable, efficient and appropriate Transport
  • Proportion of national budget for maintenance of ship-to-shore facilities and equipment
  • Actual expenditure on upgrading ship-to-shore facilities and equipment
  • 80% total cost recovery from passengers and cargo by the end of the TNSP period
  • 50% increase in qualified/certified staff by the end of the TNSP period
  • 50% decrease in charters from Samoa Shipping
Reliable, efficient and appropriate Telecommunications
  • 50% reduction in the number of system failures – telephone service, internet service
  • 50% reduction in the number of bad debts
  • Number of training workshops provided
  • % increase in number of qualified staff 
  • Number of households continuously connected for 12 months or more.
Improved Water Waste and Sanitation
  • The Water, Waste and Sanitation review 2010 will provide baseline for planning outcomes for out years
  • Households and schools will report a 10% increase in water available for drinking, personal hygiene, food preparation, cleaning and laundry
  • 100% of homes with good quality water tanks
  •  National water and sanitation policy developed and implemented
  • 50% decrease in vector bourne disease (eg Flies and Water)
  • Ratio of functioning toilets per school population – for girls and boys increases to 100% by end of TNSP period
  • Waste management champions on each atoll to increase their time  by 50 % (max) for both Vector control and Waste Management
Improved Food security
  • A Food Safety and Security Policy will have been developed and implemented
  • 100% of food cooked (including Umu) is cooked to 70oC, served  at no less than 60oC and stored as recommended in WHO Food, Safety and Storage guidelines
  • 100% participation in multi-sectoral approach to create awareness and action around food safety and security
  • 21 days provision of food available at all times on atolls in case of emergency
  • Co-op Store Foodstuffs Purchasing Committee established and functioning
  •  Purchase of foodstuffs for Co-op Store to adhere to Guidelines
  •  Decrease in imported foods of poor nutritional quality

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(Key Areas: Health, Education, Community-Based Organisations, Human Resource ) Capacity and Development)

Human Development should be seen as an all-embracing strategy of development with a focus on the ways to fulfil the potential of people by enlarging their capabilities, empowering and enabling them to participate actively in their own development.  Human Development is a people-centred priority which encompasses areas which contribute to human capital formation – Health, Education, Community-based Organisations (civil society) and Human Resource Capacity and Development.
GOAL 3: Improved health, education outcomes and social-wellbeing of our communities


The Tokelau Health Strategic Plan (THSP) 2009 – 2015, sets out the future development and planning of health care services for the resident population of Tokelau. The overall outcome to be achieved by this Plan is “A Healthy Future for the Population of Tokelau” through:  Promotion, Prevention, Preservation and Sustainability.

The health of the population has over a generation worsened to the point that Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has become an urgent priority that needs to be addressed. In addition, other health issues such as Communicable Diseases, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Child Health remain a challenge.  The population health approaches in the THSP 2009-2015 planned for the next five years will help arrest the worsening health status of Tokelauan people. Other health issues such as Communicable Diseases, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Child Health have been woven into the overall population health approach we are pursuing and  planning for over the next 5 years.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Steps Survey (2005) provided the baseline regarding NCDs for the Department of Health, Government of Tokelau and population to address. There are also a number of Global and Regional Health strategies that Tokelau is recommended to incorporate into the planning process1 alongside a number of other key funded health strategies related to population health. One such strategy is the ‘Pacific Framework for the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases’ 2. Tokelau has a draft NCD Plan (2008) which has provided the basis for planning and implementation of actions incorporating the recommendations from the Step Survey.

The Department of Health’s draft Strategic plan has 4 key goals:
1. Protect the health of our population
2. Protect our environment
3. Develop an Efficient and Effective health system
4. Develop our Workforce
The objectives we will use to achieve a healthy population are:
1. Improve service delivery through improved Primary Care
2. Improve the health of our population through Public Health programmes.
3. Minimize the incidence and onset of chronic disease
4. Keep our youth safe
5. Improve outcomes associated with chronic disease
6. Build relationships internally and externally, that will enhance commitment to
7. Promote awareness of Public Health 
8. Enable Taupulega/Village/Nuku and families to make informed lifestyle decisions
9. Promote environmental safety
10. Improve food security, sanitation, water and waste hygiene

Addressing the four key goals means we will be addressing public health issues, strengthening our health system so that we can provide good safe primary care.

We aim to integrate the principles of sustainable development into policy and programmes and work with Department of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment to also ensure the health issues associated with such developments are interwoven. Protecting our environment and ensuring robust inter departmental/inter atoll planning regarding climate change and natural disasters are incorporated for national outcomes.

Workforce is key to delivery of the THSP and the Department is committed to developing a workforce that meets the needs of the current and future population.

To that end, the Department is developing a Workforce plan that will incorporate previous work and data that has been captured by various agencies over the last 2 years.

A number of actions with measurable outcomes supported by a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework have been developed for the next five years in each of the key goal areas.  These actions will require a whole of Government approach that will encourage ownership, choice and change by each of the communities across the country.

The indicators and targets identify the high level outcomes the department intends to achieve and is closely linked with the Tokelau Health Strategic Plan (2009 - 2010) and Donor agency strategic funded outcomes.
The role of the Department of Education is that of lead advisor to the government on the education system.  The people of Tokelau recognise the importance of education for the future of their children and sustainability of their nation.  Therefore, the Department of Education has identified as its mission “To raise educational achievement, promote equality of opportunity and outcomes for all students, and to improve the quality of educational services delivery.”
Research identifies that the major source of variance in student’s achievement apart from student ability itself is that of teacher influence.  Student ability accounts for about 50% of the variance in student achievement whereas teachers account for about 30% of the variance.   It is what the teachers know, do and care about which have a powerful influence on student achievement.3 School and school leadership also have an influence on student achievement to the extent that Principals who create a school with high student responsiveness – i.e. more like a primary school atmosphere, create a climate of psychological safety to learn and create a focus on discussion on student learning have greater influence on student achievement.  These factors have been taken into account in the formulation of strategies to address shortcomings in the provision of education at the school level for Tokelau.

There are some issues specific to the context of Tokelau education which must also be included in the mix for developing strategies and setting indicators and targets.  The devolution of the management, resourcing and governance of schools to each village was carried out in July 2004 with the intention that each Taupulega would take direct responsibility for ensuring that all students under their jurisdiction would be afforded a quality education as of right.  It was at this time that the Department of Education took on a national advisory role together with responsibilities of administrating the national scholarships scheme and providing curriculum advice and guidance to schools.  The Department of Education recognises that it must work to influence teacher performance at the classroom level to influence educational achievement. 

The key to achieving positive outcomes for the education sector will be largely dependent on the extent to which the schools, through the Taupulega and the Department of Education can work together effectively.  Improving the quality of lesson delivery at the classroom level is difficult for the Department of Education to affect and monitor.  Therefore interventions such as teacher professional development programmes, school leadership workshops, teacher performance review training and national assessment policy development and implementation are means by which the Department of Education can influence change and bring about more positive learning outcomes.  Challenges for the delivery of a good quality education for all children include:
  • School governance – which has been devolved to the Taupulega without appropriate training provided to assist them to understand the requirements and responsibilities this entails;
  • Human Resource Capacity – the limited number of national staff available to do the work.  Current capacity does not adequately meet the needs of the department, the school sector or the needs of Tokelau’s children and young adults;
  • Teacher quality issues – there is a shortage of adequately trained quality teachers on  Tokelau and a large number of individuals employed to teach in schools are untrained, unqualified or inexperienced;
  • School leadership – the quality of school leadership is poor.  This is associated with the absence of monitoring and evaluation of schools and a staff appraisal system;
  • Isolation – the distances, costs and time for transporting people between atolls presents real challenges and alternative means of communication such as internet are currently not reliable and inefficient;
  • Resources – there is a shortage of teaching and learning resources in the Tokelau  language and this puts real pressure on the implementation of the Tokelau – English Bilingual policy throughout all levels of schooling;
  • Primary education – there is a real shortage of teachers at the Early Childhood  Education level through to Year 8, whereby teachers are required to be fluent Tokelau speakers and proficient in English to be able to deliver the curriculum in both  languages;
  • Life-skills programme – issues such teenage pregnancy, alcohol and tobacco abuse and youth suicide need to be addressed through a comprehensive programme to help young people make good life-style choices;
  • Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) – options in this area are required for all students to promote a more holistic curriculum and give students more opportunities.
  • To improve the quality of education provision at all levels of schooling;)
  • To strengthen Human Resource Capacity and Development;
  • To improve governance, management and operations of schools;
  • To strengthen the systems and structures of the education sector;
  • To affirm and strengthen the provision of Tokelau Culture and Language throughout the education sector.
  • To align the Government of Tokelau Scholarships Policy to the National Human Resource Capacity and Development Plan to address national development priorities;
  • To develop and implement a teacher supply strategy to meet demands and enhance the quality of permanent Tokelau teachers;
  • To develop and implement a structured programme to address Department of  Education capacity and skills requirements;
  • To develop and implement Community-based education and training programmes that addresses the needs of individuals and communities;
  • To increase the scope and improve the standard of post-secondary courses available for students and communities;
  • To implement an early intervention inclusive education programme for all students and in particular for those with special education needs;
  • To develop and implement village-based school governance training and education programme for Education Committees and Taupulega;
  • To develop and implement a programme to improve the quality of school leadership, management and systems;
  • To support schools in the procurement and development of relevant teaching resources;
  • To develop and implement tools to assess and monitor national student achievement at key points of schooling;
  • To institute a policy review programme and process;
  • To develop and implement an efficient Education Management Information System  (EMIS)To establish and promote ongoing positive relationships and networks with  Pacific regional and international organisations;
  • To develop and implement policy for Tokelau language resource production and procurement;
  • To actively promote and support the establishment of a Language Commission.
Community – based Organisations (CBOs) play a vital role at the local community level to support the way of life in the villages.  The main CBOs in the villages are those for women (Fatupaepae), youth (Tupulaga) and the able men’s group (Aumaga / Taulelea).  The traditional social structures do come under a lot of stress with the pressures from external influences and lack of income earning opportunities available on the villages, particularly for women and youth.   Achieving a sustainable community requires that individuals and groups have  opportunities for training and education and motivation to respond to the complex issues they  encounter in their personal lives, working lives and community lives.  Hence the role of CBOs is important.

Given their traditional status and that they are based in the villages, CBOs are better placed than the wider public services to address more effectively the local needs of their respective communities.  For CBOs’ activities to be strengthened in the local communities, there is a need for a more collaborative and cooperative approach between external assistance, the relevant office of the Taupulega and the government departments. CBOs also need assistance in the formalisation of their structures and policies so that they can effectively carry out their important roles within the villages.

Organised sports groups are also an important feature of village life.  Village and national sports activities offer a means of promoting education, health and social wellbeing.  All three villages organise regular inter-group sports events and national teams have also competed quite successfully in the South Pacific Games which are held every four years.  Sport promotes learning and understanding, participation and inclusion and is a uniting force at the village and national levels.  Sports development has the potential to influence behaviour and lifestyles and could contribute to economic development. Sports development at the village level is very well organised.  However, the structure and policies for national sports development needs to be improved and formalised.
  • To formalise and strengthen CBO structures and policies;
  • To enhance capacity of communities through an increase in education and training opportunities through CBOs;
  • To improve health statistics for all community members;
  • To empower women and youth to organise themselves productively and maximise opportunities that will bring about more positive changes and benefits for women, men and youth of Tokelau;
  • To strengthen national sports development and enhance opportunities for equal participation by women, girls, men and boys from all villages.
  • To develop, review and implement CBO policies and frameworks;
  • To develop and implement health programmes particularly to raise awareness of the effects of smoking and alcohol abuse amongst different groups of the community;
  • To establish national and village targets for the rate of women and youth included in education and training programmes;
  •  Develop and implement an ongoing programme of health workshops to address issues relevant to Youth;
  • To develop and implement national structure and policies for the development of sports participation and resourcing for national and international events.
Human Development is about enriching human lives and the enhancement of human capabilities. Human resource capacity and development reinforces the enhancement of human capabilities. As a developing nation, Tokelau currently experiences gaps in its workforce which it plugs through short-term and medium-term stop-gap measures, some of which are not sustainable going into the future.  The decision to devolve “on-atoll” services to the responsibility of the villages through the Taupulega has had far-reaching effects on the extent to which village public services are able to deliver these at an acceptable standard.   While training programmes have been accessed from external agencies and implemented either on site or through off-island workshops, these have not adequately addressed the needs of the different sectors to have qualified and skilled Tokelau personnel delivering the quality services. 

Most departments and villages have identified HR capacity building and succession planning as priority issues which challenge their ability to deliver quality Services.  Another factor which contributes to skills shortages in key areas is the mobile nature of the resident population of Tokelau.  This is evident in the narrowing of the population structure in the 20 – 29 year olds, most likely to be seeking further education and employment opportunities outside of Tokelau4.  All these challenges warrant urgent action to develop an overarching National Human Resource Capacity and Development (HRCD) Plan or Framework which links to the provision and maintenance of a quality training and education programme contributing to human resource development and skill needs of Tokelau. The HRCD Plan would address issues of short-term training and capacity building opportunities and provide for alignment of the Government of Tokelau Scholarships Scheme to meet medium-term human resource development and skills gaps for the nation.
  • To establish a National Human Resource Capacity and Development (NHRCD)  Plan;
  • To address the capacity needs at local village level identified as a consequence of devolution of “on-atoll” services.
  • To consolidate all scholarships funded through the recurrent-budget allocations under one scheme and policy under the Government of Tokelau Scholarships Scheme;
  • To align the Government of Tokelau (GoT) Scholarships Scheme Policy with the NHRCD Plan;
  • To establish a National Committee to implement the NRCD Plan, primarily by administering GoT scholarships.
  • To develop, approve and implement the NHRCD Plan;
  • To review and if necessary improve Taupulega Office organisational structure in line with requirements for delivery of a quality public service;
  • To review and if necessary improve individual department organisational structures in line with Corporate Plans and NHRCD Plan;
  • Departments and Taupulega Offices to develop and implement relevant training  programmes to address skills and knowledge gaps identified in review; * To establish and implement relevant Performance Review procedures at all levels of the public service;
  • To review the Government of Tokelau Scholarships in line with the NHRCD Plan;
  • To review the role and responsibilities of the Scholarships Committee in line with requirements for a National Committee to implement the NHRCD Plan.
Goal 3: Improved health, education outcomes, and social wellbeing of our communities
Target / Indicator
Improved Health Outcomes:
To protect our population
  • To reduce the incidence and prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by 2%
  • To reduce the death rate related to NCDs by 2%
  • To reduce the prevalence of tobacco use by 5%
  • To reduce the prevalence of alcohol use by 10%
  • To increase fruit and vegetables consumption by at least 2%
  • To reduce the prevalence of obesity by at least 2%
  • Surveillance, reporting and management of communicable diseases
Develop an efficient and effective health system
  • New and equipped hospitals on each atoll
  • Develop a Population database with benchmarked indicators that will be able to map, track and detect disease trends
  • All of the population will see a doctor at least 4 times per year
  • TPRS referrals will decrease by 25%
  • Casual drop-ins will decrease by 50%
To protect our environment
  • 25% improvement in water supply
  • 50% improvement in waste management *  40% improvement in Sanitation
Develop our Workforce
  • Increase the number of health trainees by 26 (medical 3, nurse  practitioners 3, general nursing 6, lab technologist 1, pharmacy technologist 1, Public Health and Env. Officers 3, dental therapists 3, health promotion 6)
  • Ensure available employment after graduation
  • Develop a public health workforce
  • Develop other health related services, e.g. mental health
Improved education outcomes
  • Literacy and numeracy achievement levels in Year 4 improves over the TNSP period
  • Literacy and numeracy achievement levels in Year 6 improves over the TNSP period
  • Proportion of students commencing Year 1 and reaching Year 8 increases over time
  •  Percentage of students proceeding beyond Year 11 increases over the TNSP period
  •  Percentage of scholarships students successfully completing awards improves over TNSP period
  • Government of Tokelau Scholarships Policy is reviewed to align with  the HRCDP and approved by the end of TNSP period
  • Number of qualified teachers in schools increase over the TNSP period
  • Performance review ratings for Principals improves over TNSP period
  • Teacher appraisal ratings improve over the TNSP period
  • Tokelau Language Commission is established
Community development – improved social well-being
  • Number of CBO members who have participated in good governance activities increase over the TNSP period
  • Increasing number of CBO projects funded by external agencies is completed during the TNSP period
  • 50% increase in the number of women reporting serious crimes (sexual abuse cases) to police
  • At least 3 women become trained Counsellors
  • 50% increase in the number of women using counselling services from one year to the next
  • 50% increase in the number of women running their own small businesses
  • 50% increase in the number of women employed at the village level
  • 60% decrease in the number of women with NCDs
  • Increase by at least 6 the number of women General Fono delegates
  • Increase by at least 6 the number of women in each TaupulegaYouth  Policy and Policy for Women are developed and implemented through National Action Plans
  • 50% increase in the number of women enrolled in vocational training and community education
  • Number of serious crimes reported decreases by 30 % each year?
  • Number of serious crimes offenders convicted decreases by 50% over the Plan period
  •  Number of serious crimes reported to be committed by youth offenders decreases by 50% over the Plan period *  Number of convictions of youths for serious crimes decreases by 50% over the Plan period
  • Number of sex abuse cases against children falls (molestation, rape,  sodomy, and carnal knowledge) decreases by 50% over the Plan period
  • The proportion of the population who smoke decreases by at least 20% over the Plan period
  • The proportion of women and youth who smoke decreases by 30% over the Plan period
  • The amount of alcohol imported decreases by 40% over the Plan period
  • The incidences of suicides decreases by 50% over the Plan period
  • The participation of local individuals in international sports events increases by 50% each year.
Improved Human Resource Capacity and Development
  •  Number of qualified and trained staff within the public service and villages increases by 10% over 5 years
  • Number of GoT scholarship awardees that return to Tokelau increases to 75% by 2015
  •  NHRCD Plan is completed and implemented by end of TNSP period
  • National Committee (Scholarships Committee) for NHRCD Plan Implementation is in place by end of 2014
  • All positions in TPS and Taupulega Office have up-to-date and relevant JDs by 2012
  • Performance Review Process implemented at all levels of TPS including Taupulega Office
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(Key Areas: Village Economic Development – small business development, tourism; Language and Cultural Heritage, Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment, Waste Management, Disaster Risk Reduction)

Tokelau recognises the importance of sustainable development in achieving its vision for the future.  Sustainable development involves not only environmental issues but also economic development and human development.  Since 2000, indigenous societies have stressed that development is not simply seen in terms of economic, social or environmental concerns, but that a key root of development is culture – ‘our whole way of life’.  Sustainability in the broadest sense is the capacity of a people to endure.  To endure, a society’s development needs to take account of the interconnections among its economic, social, environmental and cultural systems.  The challenge is how a society like Tokelau can retain the cultural norms and values which define her people and adopt a western model of development acceptable to external stakeholders.
GOAL 4: Improved economic, cultural, environmental and spiritual sustainability


Village and Economic development are national priorities for Tokelau, though very little has progressed in the last 4 years. Village economic development planning revolves around the areas of exporting of dried fish and germinating coconuts targeting Tokelau communities in NZ; selling of handicrafts in Hawaii and Samoa and bakeries for local communities. Each village has large deep freezers and fishing alias at varying stages of repair. Each village has an Economic Development Unit responsible for establishing and supporting economic development activities generated by CBOs or the Taupulega.

Economic development opportunities are limited to a few privately owned enterprises such as small stores selling popular imported goods like soft drinks, ice-creams and snacks and the Fatupaepae (Women’s Group) operated enterprises.  Communal sharing of resources and the lack of micro-financing mechanisms make it difficult to establish privately owned enterprises.   Community-based organisations such as the Fatupaepae have established activities which promote economic development, and the returns on such activities are used to fulfil group aspirations.  The National Policy for Women (NPW) highlights the development priorities upon which village and national activities over the next five years will focus.  The NPW states that “women are at the core of developments at the local level [and that this] feeds into development at the national level.” 5 Goal 5 of the NPW refers to equal economic participation for women and the objectives for this goal highlights the importance of involving women in all  areas of economic development through the provision of and access to services, training and  funding which facilitates sustainable livelihood opportunities.  The youth of Tokelau also have the potential to contribute much to village economic development though there is no specific strategy which gives direction on how this could be achieved.  The Youth Policy currently  being drafted can provide a steer on this but strategies and activities within the other sectors  such as education and health can do much to provide young people with the necessary skills,  knowledge and confidence to develop and / or participate community economic development  projects and activities.  The development and implementation of the policies for the CBOs such as the Fatupaepae and Youth should be an integral part of the strategy for each nuku. 

The Department of Economic Development Natural Resources and Environment (EDNRE) is working towards providing capacity and technical support for village specific initiatives. Training and technical support for these initiatives should be targeted to ensure that all groups, such as youth and women and girls participate and have opportunities to benefit accordingly.  A reliable shipping service is critical to all economic development in Tokelau. Adequate and efficient infrastructure and the availability of accessible markets are other requirements necessary for sustainable village economic development.  Coordinating the village-based economic development activities of the CBOs and establishing realistic market expectations based on the ability to supply products is a key function which the Department EDNRE will have to  carry out.  It will be the provision of this type of support and ongoing training and technical  assistance which will determine the success of sustainable village economic development.  
  • To effectively consult with villages and departments, other stakeholders and partners  in identifying needs and priorities as well as cost effective solutions, including better  use of pilot projects, to address them;
  • To encourage economic activities that contributes to the cultural social, political and environmental development of the three villages; 
  • To involve and include women and youth in Village Economic Development planning and implementation;
  • To develop a plan for economic development activities within each of the villages;
  • To ensure that an eco-system management approach and the principles of sustainable development are clearly reflected in all village development projects;
  • To establish linkages to markets abroad for products, such as handicrafts and potentially foodstuffs bound for Samoa, American Samoa and New Zealand (customs permitting).
  • To develop and implement effective mechanisms for engaging with villages on economic development priorities;
  • To complete and implement National policies for Women and Youth;
  • To complete a feasibility study for a range of identified micro-economic projects for informed decisions on future projects;
  • To create a data-base for the collection of key statistics and information for future reference and decision making;
  • To pilot projects in areas of priority which are to be identified (these could include the service industry, tourism industry or agriculture within the village context);
  • To develop and implement ongoing training which promotes an eco-system management approach to village development activities;
  • To identify and integrate traditional conservation practices into a plan for sustainable rehabilitation and replanting of natural resources used for economic development  activities, for example, coral gardening and marine protected areas (MP)A);
  • To develop and implement a series of workshops to enhance skills and knowledge of potential weavers and carvers in producing handicrafts;
  • To assess and identify viable local and overseas markets for handicrafts;)
  • To develop and implement a plan for quality standards for handicrafts which are consistent with standards of importing countries.
Small business development is an area of village economic development that has not had much support in the past. With communal-focused traditions and values, the primary focus has been on contributing labour to community-based economic projects through membership in the community-based organisations (CBOs).  Small businesses which have been established include small family shops, bakery, handicraft and carving, hotel and guest houses.  Some may view Tokelau’s environment as quite limiting for small business development but there is a potential to grow this with the Government working closely with the communities to encourage this sector. An initiative from the Government is the establishment of a Development Bank to support small business development.  Additional to the establishment of such an initiative, is the need for private enterprise development to be discussed at the village level so that an environment to support the growth of such can occur.  The demands made on the time and efforts of individuals through community-based activities can cause tension with  the requirements of running a small business.  It would useful to discuss these tensions  upfront and for the Taupulega and village to come to some understanding on how to balance  community responsibilities and individual aspirations and still promote improved standard of  living for all.

Some of the many challenges of small business development are the: lack of support from national services either due to lack of manpower or lack of knowledge, e.g.: exploring export  markets; lack of proper planning and business skills; capacity to identify other potential  business/income generating opportunities – diversification; lack of financial means to provide  seeding funds; transport system not supportive of any initiative to export products; and the  restrictive environment for private enterprise growth. Hence the key objective should be to create an enabling environment for private enterprise economic development initiatives including:
  • finding a balance between time commitments to village-based activities and time needed for private enterprise initiatives
  • the establishment of Co-operatives
  • establishing a Tokelau Development Bank for the provision of micro-finance
For sustainability reasons it is equally important that economic initiatives are adapted to suit Tokelau’s context.  The provision of training and technical support in areas to promote small business development would be best done through the CBOs with emphasis on the inclusion of all members at such workshops and not just the office holders.  Issues such as by-laws to regulate the small business private sector would also need to be considered and put in place. 
  • To provide an enabling environment and infrastructure which will promote the establishment and sustainability of small enterprise development;
  • To enhance and promote Tokelau’s private sector through small enterprise development and entrepreneurial skills training. To facilitate ongoing business planning and financial management training for all CBOs.
  • To establish government micro-finance facilities and opportunities through a Tokelau Development Bank system;
  • To establish appropriate village by-laws and national rules to regulate private enterprise economic initiatives;
  • To provide government incentives to promote and develop small enterprise activities on the three villages;
  • To develop and implement financial advice and training workshops for business case development and grant funding applications facilitated through CBOs.
There has been minimal development for tourism in Tokelau due to the insufficient infrastructure and issues relating to isolation. The possible negative impact of tourism on a small and fragile ecosystem such as Tokelau makes it important to put in place necessary policies to manage this development activity.  Tokelau will need to have in place and maintain appropriate transport and communication systems; develop the necessary capacity; address land tenure issues and develop a strong market strategy so as to establish a collaborative approach to tourism. While tourism focuses on telling the world about our way of life it is important that it is done in such a way that the impact on the already fragile environment, culture and traditions does not out-weigh the financial benefits gained
  • To assess the viability of establishing eco-tourism and cultural tourism as a revenue earning venture for villages;
  • To develop a plan for the establishment of eco-tourism and cultural tourism;
  • To develop tourism marketing plans which are aligned to the community- based ventures;
  • To develop HR development plan and accommodation plan to cater for requirements necessary to establish and grow tourism to Tokelau.
  •   To approve and implement the plan for establishing eco-tourism and cultural tourism in line with recommendations made in the viability assessment report and other studies  completed in the area of eco-tourism;
  • To develop and implement a tourism marketing plan which is aligned to the viability assessment report and other community-based ventures;
  • To provide ongoing hospitality training through the CBOs to cater for increase in tourism sector;
  • To increase the number of good quality accommodation and hospitality services required to support the influx of tourists;
  • To determine village by-laws and national rules to regulate the tourist sector in line with environmental and traditional requirements.
Tokelau culture is the foundation of our identity as a people.  It is dynamic and evolves through time as a result of exposure to other influences.  Tokelau culture is our way of life and gives meaning to our social, political and economic relationships and structures.  Spiritual well being is a vital part of our culture.  Tokelau language is the expression of our culture, as are our oral traditions, visual, performing arts, and crafts, such as inati, fatele, and national gatherings.   Our spiritual well-being is closely tied to our culture, language and traditions.  Christianity was integrated into the Tokelau way-of-life through the work of missionaries from Samoa and other Pacific nations during the latter part of the 1800s. Christian values are incorporated into the all aspects of life in Tokelau and communities pride themselves on how these values are manifested in their daily activities. 

Tokelau values its language and culture and encourages the retention of them through activities in the villages such as Aganuku Day and policy development at the national level with the incorporation of Tokelau language throughout the national school curriculum.  Activities outside of Tokelau also reflect the continuing importance of our language and culture for our families who live away from the mother-land – such as the translation of the Bible and the increasing number of Tokelau early childhood centres in New Zealand. Increasing contact with the outside world made possible through improved transportation and communication has consequently meant an increased use of English without deliberate planned actions to maintain and develop Tokelau language will diminish the status of Tokelau language.  Changes in practices because of changes in technology and global trends such as the impact of climate change have resulted also in the loss of cultural knowledge.  For example, the diminished use of canoes, decreasing use of traditional Tokelau houses has diminished the presence of related skills in the population, the cultural protocols associated with these activities are not known by many and the words, phrases, proverbs to do with the  culture of building and using canoes and houses are forgotten.  The creative skills in speech making, songs and dances will also diminish unless there are active programmes to keep these alive through community activities and school curricula.  The impact of climate change poses a threat on the viability of Tokelau into the future.  Our livelihood relies on our fragile eco-system and the existence of our lands.  The threat to our physical existence on the atolls that we call Tokelau poses a real risk to the survival of our culture, language and traditions.

Tokelau language has very limited print, recorded, financial and human resources.  Print material is limited to translations with few literary and creative materials such as stories, poems, songs etc.  The quality of teaching Tokelau language is another issue which adds to the diminishing use and standard of language.  Tokelau language teachers are not trained on how to teach Tokelau language.  Like translation, a long held erroneous assumption is that if you know how to speak Tokelau, you can also teach it.  This is not true, and in fact language teaching is based on principles on what it means to know a language.  The issues pertaining to Tokelau language status and structures require a nationally coordinated approach that is adequately resourced and has relevant infrastructure support and accountability measures.   The maintenance of Christian values and cultural values despite the influences of external factors requires reinforcement of these in the various activities on Tokelau.
  • To enhance the use of Tokelau language and maintenance of cultural heritage within our communities on Tokelau and abroad;
  • To promote spiritual wellbeing in our communities;
  • To develop and support the establishment of national institutions which will act as stewards of Tokelau language and culture;
  • To promote the use of Tokelau language throughout all national official events, policies and records.
  • To establish a Language and Culture Task Force to facilitate the planning to develop a Language Commission responsible for ongoing Tokelau language and cultural heritage development;
  • To develop a national policy and programme for Tokelau language and cultural heritage;
  • To encourage and support community and national activities which promote spiritual wellbeing amongst individuals and groups;
  • To develop a HR development plan for Tokelau language;
  • To implement community activities which promote Christian values, the use of Tokelau language and traditional skills and knowledge;
  • To ensure that the status of Tokelau language is maintained through school curriculum policies and translation policy requirements.
Tokelau’s low fertility of the coral-sand ‘soil’ means that only a few food cropssuch as, breadfruit, coconut, pandanus, giant swamp taro and banana, can be supported in the Tokelau environment.  The nurturing of crops such as the giant swamp taro and banana is rarely done now and livestock is limited to poultry and to some extent pigs.  Since 2006 the quarantine services have stepped up in terms of not allowing foreign plants to be imported into the villages.

Villages have been piloting new seedlings which promote the revival of local produce such as pulaka (swamp taro) and atoll soil management technologies trialled to identify a way forward that would promote sustainable practices for food security into the future.  The availability of land and having enough soil to cultivate crops to cater for the demand is a challenge.  Planting species of crops that have been proven to survive well in soil with high salinity levels and in atoll conditions are currently being undertaken with the support of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Given Tokelau’s plan to move towards renewable resources to generate energy, a programme for replanting coconuts on villages will need to be implemented to ensure the adequate supply of coconut oil is available to supplement the photovoltaic component of this hybrid energy project.

Tokelau has a relatively species-poor ecosystem in comparison to other atolls in the Pacific.  The atolls’ terrestrial and marine ecosystems have been described as being generally low in plant, animal and marine biodiversity.  Although this may be expected on such a remote and insular atoll environment, the further degradation and/or loss of the limited biodiversity is a real threat.  Biodiversity is highly desirable though there has been no assessment in recent years of the status of endangered species (plant and animal) on the atolls.  However, it is generally recognized that several species are in decline. Of particular concern are several  timber species ‘Kanava’ ( Cordia sibcordata); ‘Puapua’ (Guetarda speciosa); ‘Puka’ (Pisconia grandis); and ‘Fala’ (Pandanua sp. Var. ‘Kiekie’).  A significant reduction in some of these species has occurred due to the effects of recent cyclones as well as over harvesting and exploitation for local building and handicraft materials.

Pest elimination is also an issue and control measures will need to be developed and adopted.   In line with this would be the need for stringent quarantine and bio-security measures and the development of an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in the case of managing a pest or disease breakout.
  •  To develop and promote management systems for sustainable crop, livestock and forestry;
  • To improve food and nutritional security;
  • To improve bio-security and domestic trade opportunities;
  • To enhance human resource capacity within the villages and respective departments in required skills and knowledge;
  • To provide research-based solutions to combat pests and diseases.
  • To develop and implement sustainable crop, livestock and forestry management practices through an ongoing programme of training;
  • To strengthen the capacity to identify pests and diseases problems and develop methods to control these;
  • To increase crop and animal diversity in a sustainable manner;
  • To increase the use of traditional methods for production and food preparation and preservation;
  • To promote growing local produce and replanting programme to meet needs for resources for food supply and renewable energy project requirements;
  • To develop and implement bio-security regulations (quarantine) which comply with international standards;
  • To increase domestic marketing of agricultural products;
  • To establish commodity pathway for at least one local product;
  • To increase the number of trained and skilled community members who are able to lead further training and pass on skills and knowledge to others.
Fisheriesis Tokelau’s largest resource and therefore must be managed appropriately for sustained food security for present and future generations. While in-shore coastal marine management plans have been in place for all three villages for some years now, there is still a lot to be done in the management plan for Tokelau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Substantial revenue has been generated from Tokelau’s EEZ under the US Tuna Treaty and from licensing of foreign vessels to fish in the EEZ over the last few years. Tokelau envisages that the making of revised fisheries regulations will provide a strong platform for a more effective management of Tokelau’s EEZ. This is a requirement under Tokelau’s obligations to the Tuna Commission.

Current challenges in this sector include the lack of support and coordination due to lack of resources and capacity in this area. Concerns have also been raised in regard to traditional skills and fishing methods being lost and little time is allocated outside of village activities to families to explore marine resources as a means of generating income.  However, livelihood-related activities such as aggressive fishing practices and natural threats such as the multiplication of alomea (giant starfish known as “crown of thorns”) threaten the sustainability of fish resources for future generations and are destroying the coral reef and the over-all ecosystem.

The lack of regular and efficient transport to expedite delivery of fish to external markets and with limited means to manage its EEZ, especially in regard to illegal commercial fishing, are  the main challenges which limits potential earnings in this sector.  The two factors which most inhibits the exportation of fish products to overseas markets are the irregular and inefficient transport means and the quality control requirements for overseas markets. 
  • To restock and manage the inshore marine resources sustainably;
  • To create an enabling environment which would allow both village coordination and private enterprise;
  • To maximise actual and potential benefits from the effective management of Tokelau’s  EEZ;
  • To develop a HR development plan to build capacity in this sector at the village and national level.
  • To develop, approve and implement a conservation and management plan to ensure sustainability of inshore marine resources;
  •  To develop and implement sustainable fishing regulations which entail the release of undersized fish and prevent excess catch;
  • To establish a committee to enforce policies for sustainable fishing practices, including type and size of nets;
  • To obtain technical assistance to design and implement alomea eradication programme;
  • To establish and implement fishing regulations for safety and well-being;
  • To explore and establish an MOU or arrangement with neighbouring Pacific nations for EEZ surveillance;
  • To implement training and education programmes to improve knowledge and skills of village and department stakeholders working in this sector.
Tokelau is very vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise owing partly to its small land  mass surrounded by ocean, and its location in a region prone to natural disasters.  The impacts of climate change which are expected in Tokelau can be summarised as follows:
a) Climate change is expected to affect the physical and biological Characteristics of the coastal areas, modifying the ecosystem structure and functioning.  This will affect near-shore marine and coastal areas, many etlands and mangroves and other trees by changes in sea level and storm surges.
b) Climate variability and intensification of cyclones and storm surges pose a significant threat to the sustainable development of Tokelau.
c) The longer spells of hot weather and increasing periods of no rain experienced as a result of the variability of the weather has impacted on the supply of water and has consequences on the water storage systems.
d) The hotter temperatures, causing coral bleaching, have also affected the quantity and quality of fish supply from the in-shore coastal areas. Species diversity loss has also been problem.
e) The potential economic impact of climate change on Tokelau is very high.

Environment sustainability is critical for a fragile ecosystem such as Tokelau. In 2003, Tokelau endorsed Bio-security Rules to acknowledge and address the challenges in regard to the environment. The villages have continued to support this issue by declaring protected areas covering both marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
A National Waste Management Strategic Plan was endorsed in 2007 and the Government of Tokelau and Samoa signed a Waste Management MOU which looks at reducing waste in Tokelau. Villages have their respective waste programmes that interface with the national initiative. Village programmes include:  waste champions in each village for day to day management; the Community Resource Centres (CRCs) are at varying stages of being operational; awareness raising programmes; solid waste rubbish dumping sites in place; recycling arrangements in place; and the ongoing  village cleaning days. The dumping of waste is still an issue both on land and at sea primarily due to lack of land space and leaching. Concerns continue to be raised in the village in regard to the presence of shipwrecks and their effect on surrounding sea-life. Waste management is so important that it is dealt with specifically in the next section.

Coastal protection by way of seawalls is at varying degrees of completion on each of the three atolls with work to date being focused at the most vulnerable areas of the villages. There needs to be more information provided in regard to the guidelines for using natural resources wisely and how to take care of our fragile environment. The call for a coordinated and collaborative approach towards the use of land and marine resources is urgent as Tokelau endeavours to deal with the impacts of climate change. Laws to prohibit the practice of sand mining and coral mining for construction are needed to conserve these fast diminishing and vital resources.   By-laws to guard against sea-pollution practices and regular maintenance of outboard motors have also been recommended by villages.  Tokelau is also reviewing and redeveloping its Climate Change Policy in keeping with its stance on promoting practices which minimise the emission of greenhouse gases, and establishing an adaption programme to enhance its resilience to the impacts of climate change.

  • To enhance resilience to immediate and long-term threats to the people of Tokelau and her economies and ecosystems;
  • To reduce the impact that extreme weather and climate change has on the three villages;
  • To enact laws and guidelines for using natural resources wisely.
  • To explore and adopt a comprehensive, integrated approach to climate change risk management that provides timely information, products and services, such as  understanding patterns and trends of cyclone frequency and intensity;
  • To ensure that Tokelau is fully included as part of the New Zealand (Ministry for Environment) climate change adaptation and mitigation work programme;
  • To improve access to short-term weather forecasts and seasonal climate predictions;
  • To access information specific to Tokelau on how the climate and sea-level may change in the future for each community and implications for such changes;
  • To integrate extreme weather and climate change-related considerations into our national planning and strategy documents, community infrastructure development, village planning and activities;
  • To complete seawall, housing and water storage projects and ensure maintenance of structures over time;
  • To increase awareness of weather extremes and climate change-related issues and how it affects all members of the community;
  • To identify and implement appropriate village level activities to reduce the impacts that climate change will have on Tokelau;
  • To develop and implement laws prohibiting sand-mining and coral mining for construction;
  • To undertake assessment to identify areas where sand deposits are sustainable for utilisation.
Waste management is a serious environmental problem for Tokelau which was highlighted in the Tokelau Environmental Management Strategy (TEMS, 1995).  The areas covered by the TEMS include the pollution of the freshwater lens, pollution of the coastal water, solid waste accumulation and hazardous waste and chemicals as well as oil spillage in Tokelauan waters.  The Tokelau Environmental Legislation Review, 1993, highlights the lack of and need for legislation in environmental matters and in particular the need to regulate the importation of non-biodegradable products and packaging.  

A national waste management strategic plan was endorsed in 2007 and each village developed its own waste management plan as a consequence.  A MOU with Samoa was signed to supplement the national plan, whereby recyclable and solid waste was able to be transported to Samoa.  In each village, waste champions were identified for day to day management of waste and the Community Resource Centres (CRCs) are at varying stages of being operational.  The initial awareness raising programme has encouraged most families to sort their rubbish into recyclable and solid waste before collection.

Dumping of waste on land or at sea continues to be an issue, primarily due to the shortage of land area for a rubbish dump.  The shipwreck on Fakaofo continues to leak waste into the lagoon and contaminates the food supply close to this site.   Recent study findings in 2003 6 suggest that significant waste and pollution from village(s) are added to the lagoon waters which is often exacerbated with the low rate of water exchanges between the open ocean and lagoon. Consequently, solid waste and sewage remain in the lagoon for longer periods due to low outflow flushing.

A rapid assessment of marine species7 was also included in the study. It linked the cause of decline for particular fish species, which are not only prone to over-harvesting but also coral bleaching. As a direct result, coral degradation by waste contamination damages the health of coral ecosystem and reefs and presents a grave concern for the survival of the atolls8.  Anecdotal evidence from interviews9 in 2003 showcase concerns of communities on the decline of fish such as atule, maeava (rabbit fish), tonu (red coral trout), uluakata (giant travelly) and atu (skipjack). 

The efforts of individuals and groups such as waste champions for the villages would be strengthened with the development and implementation of policies and regulations.  Issues such as waste management at the source of imports, such as non-biodegradable items, cleaning up historical solid waste and procedures for eliminating old plant and equipment which lay rusting in the villages could be addressed by such policies.  Another very important aspect is raising the level of awareness amongst all villagers about the impact of waste on the health of individuals and the environment.  There is a need for different sectors to work together with all villages to take responsible actions to minimise the importation of waste into Tokelau as well as managing the removal of waste in a safe manner.
  • To keep Tokelau clean and as much as possible free from solid waste;
  • To improve public awareness of the environmental, economic and social impact of  waste;
  • To plan for a decrease in the importation of packaged goods.
  • To develop and implement waste management policies and regulations;
  • To review and implement sustainable waste management plans throughout all villages which address waste importation and waste disposal;
  • To identify a national focal position designated to have carriage for the waste initiative and manage all consultations;
  • To develop and implement a consultation programme to explore community support for the various strategies for the effective management of waste;
  • To incorporate waste management information and systems into the Tokelau school curricula.
The Tokelau Emergency Plan (TEP) is in place whereby each village has their own individualised plan though these are specific to cyclones only.  Tokelau’s size, fragility and remoteness mean that disaster risk reduction is a critical area that needs urgent attention. Tokelau’s vulnerability to natural disasters may increase in the future due to the effects of climate change.  This is already evident with increased coastal erosion, storm surges and inundation as the sea level rises.  The intensity and frequency of cyclones could also increase in which case disaster reduction measures are of a more urgent concern.

Villages have carried out work for coastal protection by way of seawall construction and maintenance.  These are at varying degrees of completion with current work in the villages being focused on the most vulnerable locations.  However, to mitigate the effects of water inundation and flooding during times of cyclones, the seawall projects do need to be completed and maintained.  Resilience to the adverse effects of climate change can be addressed through comprehensive costal management and adaptation programmes for all villages and other activities and policies such as energy efficient building design and the use of renewable energy to meet our power demands. 

 A review of the current TEP will need to be completed to ensure that it covers a wider range of disasters other than cyclones.  Other issues which also need to be integrated into the TEP are better linkages with meteorological services so that warning times for approaching bad weather conditions are improved; and a plan for evacuation of villagers the circumstances require. 
  •   To review and update the TEP to address the scope of disasters likely to occur for a small ‘island’ nation such as Tokelau;
  • To strengthen the capacity to manage and respond to natural disasters and effects of climate change through systematic adaptation activities;
  • To review and if necessary improve legislation to encompass disaster risk management;
  • To develop safety at sea policy and procedures;
  • To develop fire risk management policy and procedures;
  • To review and if necessary improve emerging telecommunication arrangements, including radio;
  • To strengthen warning system.
  • To review current TEP to include strategies covering a wider range of disasters;
  • To improve access to short-term weather forecasts and seasonal climate predictions and instigate early warning systems for pending disasters;
  • To develop and establish a range of communication means to ensure functionality and availability at all times;
  • To review housing development policy and construction standards to mitigate the effects of disasters due to climate change;
  • To plant trees along the coastline to prevent further erosion;
  • To develop and implement climate change adaptation policies and programmes;
  • To develop and implement ongoing nationwide training and public awareness raising  programmes including drills and exercise on disaster-management procedures,  including with international partners (NZ, UNOCHR, Samoa Red Cross);
  • To develop and implement ongoing safety at sea training and education programmes.
Goal 4: Improved economic, cultural, spiritual and environmental sustainability
Target / Indicator
Improved economic sustainability
  • Number of economic development activities established in each village Increases over the TNSP period
  • Return on investment for village economic development activities increases by x%
  • Establish Tokelau Development Bank
  • Increase in locally raised revenue
  • Number of small enterprise development and entrepreneurial skills training increases over the NSP period
  • Number of small businesses established each year increases over the TNSP period
  • Number of small businesses in operation after 3 years of establishment
  • Increase in number of good quality accommodation for tourists over the TNSP period
  • Increase in the number of tourists to Tokelau
Improve Cultural sustainability
  • Tokelau Language Commission is established
  • Number of village community cultural activities held increases over  the TNSP period
  • Increase in the quantity of Tokelau Language print, visual and electronic resources produced over the TNSP period
  • Literacy levels in Tokelau language improves over the TNSP period
Improve environmental sustainability
  • Proportion of land area planted in local crops increases over TNSP period
  • Proportion of land area planted increases over the TNSP period
  • Increase crop and animal diversity by 25%
  • Increase in revenue from EEZ resources by 50%
  • Number of trained and qualified staff increases over the TNSP period
  • Number of EEZ violation prosecutions increases over TNSP period
  • Increase in proportion of power generated through renewable energy resources to 100% by end of TNSP period
  • Number of climate change adaptation projects increases over the TNSP period
  • Climate change policy and plan of action developed and implemented
Improved Waste management
  •  Decrease in number of shipments of waste to Samoa
  • Percentage of population with access to improved sanitation increases over TNSP period
  • National waste management policy developed and implemented
  • Waste management and recycling programme enhanced
Improved Disaster risk reduction
  • Tokelau Emergency Plan (TEP) updated and implemented
  • Seawall construction on most vulnerable locations in each village completed
  • Minimum number of 3 Emergency evacuation drills each year
  • Number of education and training workshops for safety at sea meets planned programme
  • Proportion of land that has been planted
  • TEP and Department of Health emergency plans integrated.

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Millennium Development Goals

Goals and Targets:
GOAL 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
Target 1: Halve between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living in poverty Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
GOAL 2: Achieve universal Primary Education
Target 3: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
GOAL 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Target 4: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.
GOAL 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Target 5: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-5 mortality rate

GOAL 5: Improve Maternal Health
Target 6: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality  rate.
GOAL 6: Combat HIV & AIDs, Malaria and other diseases
Target 7: Have halted by 2015, and begun to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDs. Target 8:Have halted by 2015, and begun to reverse, the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
GOAL 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Target 9: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources. Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
GOAL 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Target 12: Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trading and inancial system (includes a commitment to good governance development and poverty reduction – both nationally and internationally)
Target 14: Address the special needs of landlocked countries and small island developing states (through the Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island
Developing States and 22nd General Assembly provisions)
Target 16: In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth
Target 17: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries
Target 18: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.
Contribution of Improved Drinking Water and Sanitation to the MDG goals
MDG GOALS Contribution of Improved Drinking Water and Sanitation
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  •  The endurance and sustainability of families rest on the health and well-being of all its members.  Unhealthy adults and caring for sick children decreases the productivity of the family, community and the nation;
  •  Poor health caused by unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation is costly to the nation in terms of productivity lost and increase in health-care costs.
Goal 2: Achieve universal Primary Educatio
  •  Improved health due to a good standard of drinking water and safe  sanitation practices improves school attendance
  • Having separate and clean sanitation facilities for girls and boys in school increases girls’ attendance, especially after they enter adolescence
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Improved water services reduce time in health and care-giving responsibilities, usually the role of women.  This time could be used in more productive activities such as community education and leisure:
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
  • Improved sanitation and drinking water will reduce infant and child morbidity and mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
  • Having safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in health-care facilities will promote hygienic practices following delivery
Goal 6: Combat HIV&AIDs, malaria and other diseases
  • Having safe drinking water and basic sanitation help prevent water-related diseases, including diarrhoeal diseases, filariasis, trachoma and helminths
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Adequate treatment and disposal of wastewater contributes to better ecosystem conservation.  Careful management and storage of water supplies prevents contamination and helps to minimise the cost of water treatment
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
  • Development programmes and partnerships should recognise the fundamental role that safe drinking water and basic sanitation play in economic, social, environmental and human development.


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