Two new departments for Tokelau: Climate Change and Fisheries
The importance of fisheries revenue and negative impacts from the increasing effects of climate change to Tokelau’s current and future prosperity have been emphasized by Tokelau’s 9th parliament.
At its second session currently taking place in Nukunonu, the General Fono has appointed ministers to two new agencies responsible for each sector. Hon Kelihiano Kalolo as Minister for the Climate Change Agency, and Hon Mose Pelasio as Minister for the Fisheries Management Agency (FMA).
The decision to create a standalone climate agency was made in October 2016 “because of the importance of climate change to Tokelau”.
The importance of fisheries is underscored by the fact that fisheries revenue now makes up over 95% of Tokelau’s earned revenue, and contributes about 30% of Tokelau’s annual capital and operating expenditure. Tokelau aspires to a greater level of economic independence and it was obvious that fisheries revenue and associated risks to said revenue needed to be managed effectively.
In July 2014, Tokelau requested New Zealand’s assistance to reform its offshore fisheries with the aim to develop national capacity that would:
- manage the significant risks to offshore fisheries revenue;
- realise the long term potential of offshore fisheries; and
- support each of the three Taupulega to effectively manage their inshore fisheries.
With the allocation of the new office holders now confirmed, the revised allocation of ministerial portfolios are as follows:
Ulu o Tokelau – Faipule Siopili Perez
- Office of the Ongoing Government of Tokelau (OCOG)
- Law and Justice
- Foreign Affairs
Faipule Siopili Perez
- Department of Finance
- Department of Health
Faipule Afega Gaualofa
- Department of Transport
- Department of Energy
Faipule Kelisiano Kalolo
- Department of Natural Resources Economics Development and Environament
- Public Service Commission
- Department for Climate Change
Pulenuku Petelo Patelesio
- Department of Support Services
Pulenuku Mose Pelasio
- Department of Fisheries
Pulenuku Fano Mativa
- Department of Education
This is the Ninth National Government of Tokelau since the first was established in 1993.
The list of Ulu-o-Tokelau:
1993 Salesio Lui
1994 Keli Neemia
1995 Lepaio Simi
1996 Pio Tuia
1997 Falima Teao
1998 Kuresa Nasau
1999 Pio Tuia
2000 Kolouei O’Brien
2001 Kuresa Nasau
2002 Pio Tuia
2003 Kolouei O’Brien
2004 Kuresa Nasau / Patuki Isaako
2005 Pio Tuia
2006 Kolouei O’Brien
2007 Kuresa Nasau
2008 Pio Tuia
2009 Foua Toloa
2010 Kuresa Nasau
2011 Foua Toloa
2012 Kelihiano Kalolo
2013 Salesio Lui
2014 Kuresa Nasau
2015 Siopili Perez
2016 Afega Gaualofa
2017 Siopili Perez
Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. It is located in the Pacific Ocean north of Samoa and south of the Equator (9 00 S, 172 00 W).
It is made up of three small atolls separated from each other by high seas. The total land area is approximately 12 km². The total sea area of the exclusive economic zone is approximately 518,000 km². The height above sea level is between 3-5 metres, the maximum width is 200 metres. Tokelau is therefore particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.
The people of Tokelau are New Zealand citizens.
The population of 1499 (2016 census) is spread approximately equally among the three atolls (Atafu (541); Fakaofo (506) and Nukunonu (452). The traditional lifestyle was subsistence but Tokelau has moved to a cash economy. The only natural resource of any current economic significance is the fishery of the exclusive economic zone.
Tokelau has no main town; each island has its own administrative centre, hospital, school and basic infrastructure. There are no airstrips or harbours. Access is only by ship; through the Port of Apia, Samoa.
There are approximately 7000 Tokelauans living in New Zealand, and smaller communities live in Australia, Samoa, American Samoa, and Hawaii.