Lockdown on Tokelau as first community case of Covid is confirmed

A spokesperson for the government has confirmed to RNZ Pacific the small nation of three atolls announced the first-ever case on Sunday.

Up until now Tokelau, which is a dependency of New Zealand, was the last remaining country along with Turkmenistan to not have experienced community cases.

RNZ Pacific reports the case is located on Nukunonu, the largest atoll in Tokelau.

Tokelau has now been plunged into lockdown.

The index case doesn't know how they contracted the virus.

Work is underway to establish how the virus entered the community.

Tokelau welcomes new head of government

In a statement, National Public Service general manager Tino Vitale said the general fono chairperson, deputy chairperson and the 28 members of the 12th Government of Tokelau have been sworn in.

He said the Ulu, on behalf of the Taupulega, or Council of Elders, tabled the council's decision on ministerial portfolios amongst council members for general fono endorsement.

The Ulu-o-Tokelau is an annual rotational role that is served by the Faipule or leader of each atoll.

Tokelau family under house arrest for nearly a year over vaccine defiance

The tunoa was imposed on the family of four by the Taupulega, or council, on Nukunonu, one of the three atolls that make up Tokelau.

The New Zealand dependency with a population of about 1500 has had no cases of Covid-19 since the global pandemic began in early 2020, according to the World Health Organisation.

However, there are strict protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Pacific Maritime Safety Programme approved for another four years

The programme delivers maritime safety initiatives to seven Pacific Island countries – Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu.

The funding, from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2026, marks the fourth phase of the programme.

The PMSP is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade programme, funded through the International Development Cooperation programme and delivered by Maritime NZ.

Bookings trickle in for quarantine-free flights from Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Vanuatu

One-way travel with low-risk Pacific countries resumes on November 8 from the three islands and Tokelau, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced last week.

Travellers from those nations will be able to bypass spending 14 days at a managed isolation and quarantine facility.

All travellers, New Zealand citizens, and NZ resident or visa critical purpose visa holders, would need to have stayed 14 days in their countries before departure and aren’t required to provide a pre-departure test.

They must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens.

New Zealand expands one-way quarantine-free travel with Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tokelau

The change will see travellers from those countries and Tokelau who have the right to reside permanently in New Zealand and people covered by border exceptions, from 8 November.

“Travellers must be fully vaccinated, unless they are New Zealand citizens. RSE workers are currently required to have at least one dose, and will be required to be fully vaccinated from 1 January 2022,” said Covid-19 response Minister Chris Hipkins today.

Tokelau receives first vaccine delivery in time for nationwide rollout

The HMNZS Wellington delivered the vaccine consignment to the Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu atolls of Tokelau.

The ship and its 76 crew used a rigid hulled inflatable boat and a Seasprite helicopter to carry out contactless delivery of the vaccines.

HMNZS Wellington Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Pip Davies said the weather provided some challenges to the delivery.

Tokelau head pays tribute to Samoan repatriation help

Kelihiano Kalolo said words could not adequately express the heartfelt thanks towards the Samoa government and its people.

"They accommodated our requests at a time when they were also desperate to bring their own citizens home."

He said Samoa gave up space reserved for their citizens and resources such as beds in managed isolation and testing capacity.

"Without this generosity, our people would not have been able to make it home," Kalolo said.

Samoa Govt allows Tokelau contract worker repatriation

Approval had also been given to allow Tokelauan students to be repatriated from New Zealand and to travel directly to Tokelau after arrival in Samoa.

The approval was given by Cabinet this week along with other additions to the current Covid-19 State of Emergency orders.

Approval was also given to a special Talofa Airways charter flight from Apia to Niue and Fiji to repatriate returning Fijian citizens.

Eight passengers were due to fly back from Nadi, including six US nationals who would fly direct to American Samoa and two Samoan citizens returning home.

Samoan health team on humanitarian mission to Tokelau

The Samoan government responded by sending a team of two doctors, two nurses on the Nafanua II on Tuesday.

The successful medical operation was conducted for 6 hours on Wednesday 17 June 2020.

Nafanua II and its crew with the Samoan Health Officials returned on Thursday and arrived early Friday morning.

A statement said the humanitarian efforts illustrate co-operation between Samoa Police and its other stakeholder partners such as the Ministry of Health and Tokelau Office.