Tokelau thanks Samoa for being a 'shield' from the Covid-19 pandemic

The general manager of the Apia based Office of Tokelau, Aukusitino Vitale, said "Samoa's response has been a blessing for Tokelau given it's the only window in and out for travellers to Tokelau."

He said his government is also grateful Samoa has given approval for vessels to berth in Apia to load essential supplies for Tokelau.

Mr Vitale said decisions on how to handle Covid-19 were made in Tokelau in mid-March and

one of their actions was to have churches stream their services online with people worshipping at home.


Remote Tokelau readies for Covid-19

The New Zealand territory in the central Pacific has set up isolation and treatment facilities on each of its three atolls.

For weeks now, Tokelau has already imposed restrictions on who can travel there. Only returning residents are allowed to travel, and they have to undergo a medical examination before they board the boat from Samoa, which has also closed its borders to all arrivals.

Still, the head of the Tokelau public service, Aukusitino Vitale, said the general fono has ordered the territory to prepare.


Tokelau hoping to build Pacific Games presence

The non-self-governing New Zealand territory, which has a local population of only 1500, had one self-funded athlete at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea but a beefed-up team of 56 made the trip to Apia this year and competed in seven different sports: netball, swimming, rugby league nines, touch rugby, judo, Va'a and lawn bowls, where they won a bronze medal in the men's pairs.

Trapped whale shark inspires fear, then love in Tokelau

Whale sharks, which can grow to around 10 metres in length, are slow-moving filter-feeders and pose no threat to humans, but Gulliver sparked alarm in Nukunonu atoll among locals who assumed he was a man-eating shark.

In May this year, a team of Australian researchers arrived in Nukunonu, after being summoned by a local teacher who suspected the animal was a whale shark and hoped to put fears to rest, said Brad Norman, one of the researchers.

By that point, it had been around six months since people in Nukunonu had been allowed to go into the lagoon.

Samoa recycle company to assist Tokelau with waste management

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed this month between Tokelau's Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment and the Pacific Recycle company in Apia, Samoa.

The dumping of waste on land or at sea is an ongoing issue on Tokelau due to the shortage of land area for a rubbish dump.

A study in 2003 discovered a decline in particular fish species due to waste contamination damaging the health of coral ecosystems.

Frustration in Tokelau with Apia-based administration

Siopili Perez says at the last general fono the new public service commissioner was asked to investigate bringing the core operation to Tokelau while maintaining a function in Apia.

Mr Perez said the commissioner is due to submit a report at the next general fono in two weeks which will outline recommendations on how to structure the administration.

The ulu said while transport and recruitment would stay in Apia, all other services would eventually move to Tokelau.

Strengthening resilience to Ocean Acidification in Tokelau

For Tokelau, this is now underway with a special inception workshop held in Samoa, to plan implementation of the different activities.

With the Tokelau General Fono recently endorsing the Tokelau Climate Change Strategy – 'Living with Change' the protection of the ocean is featured as a high priority.

 Being part of the New Zealand Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification (NZPPOA) regional project to build resilience to ocean acidification is especially important for Tokelau and her community.

Tokelau says Vessel Day Scheme allows them to support Samoan economy

They attributed their success to its association with the PNA, successful multilateral negotiations for the recently inked US Treaty and better bilateral fishing deals.

Tokelau’s fishery generates 99 per cent of the country’s non-grant revenue, with the Purse Seine fishery generating 90 per cent of the total income estimated for 2016 at US$13.5million.

Prior to becoming involved in the PNA Vessel Day Scheme, Tokelau’s average return from its fisheries was less than US$1million.

Tokelau tops country domain name list

With more than 31 million addresses using the territory's .tk registration, Tokelau has now almost twice as many entries as China and Germany which follow in second and third position.

Radio New Zealand International reports the boom is attributed to Tokelau being one of the countries offering free registration.

Missing Tokelauans located by NZ Orion

New Zealand's Rescue Coordination Centre was alerted on Tuesday afternoon that the men were missing after a squall separated a fleet of small fishing boats.

An Orion flew to Tokelau yesterday and found them after a four-hour search.

The Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator Mike Roberts says the men had no lifejackets, flares or food, and a single bottle of water between them.

He says it seems they lost sight of land after the squall and headed in the wrong direction.

They have now been returned to Atafu Atoll.