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Tokelau

(territory of New Zealand)


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Introduction

Background: Originally settled by Polynesian emigrants from surrounding island groups, the Tokelau Islands were made a British protectorate in 1889. They were transferred to New Zealand administration in 1925.

Geography

Location: Oceania, group of three islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 9 00 S, 172 00 W

Map references: Oceania

Area
  total: 10 sq km
  land: 10 sq km
  water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: about 17 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 101 km

Maritime claims
  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; moderated by trade winds (April to November)

Terrain: low-lying coral atolls enclosing large lagoons

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
  highest point: unnamed location 5 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use
  arable land: 0% (soil is thin and infertile)
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 0%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  other: 100% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: lies in Pacific typhoon belt

Environment - current issues: very limited natural resources and overcrowding are contributing to emigration to New Zealand

People

Population: 1,458 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: NA
  15-64 years: NA
  65 years and over: NA

Population growth rate: -0.89% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: NA births/1,000 population

Death rate: NA deaths/1,000 population

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population

Infant mortality rate: NA deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: NA years
  male: NA years
  female: NA years

Total fertility rate: NA children born/woman

Nationality
  noun: Tokelauan(s)
  adjective: Tokelauan

Ethnic groups: Polynesian

Religions: Congregational Christian Church 70%, Roman Catholic 28%, other 2% (Note: on Atafu, all Congregational Christian Church of Samoa; on Nukunonu, all Roman Catholic; on Fakaofo, both denominations, with the Congregational Christian Church predominant)

Languages: Tokelauan (a Polynesian language), English

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: none
  conventional short form: Tokelau

Data code: TL

Dependency status: territory of New Zealand; note - Tokelauans are drafting a constitution, developing institutions and patterns of self-government as Tokelau moves toward free association with Wellington

Government type: NA

Capital: none; each atoll has its own administrative center

Administrative divisions: none (territory of New Zealand)

Independence: none (territory of New Zealand)

National holiday: Waitangi Day, 6 February (1840) (Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand)

Constitution: administered under the Tokelau Islands Act of 1948, as amended in 1970

Legal system: British and local statutes

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); the UK and New Zealand are represented by Administrator Lindsay WATT (since NA March 1993)
  head of government: Aliki Faipule FALIMATEAO (since NA 1997)
  cabinet: the Council of Faipule, consisting of three elected leaders, one from each atoll; functions as a cabinet
  elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; administrator appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand; the head of government is chosen from the Council of Faipule and serves a one-year term

Legislative branch: unicameral General Fono (45 seats - 15 from each of the three atolls; members chosen by each atoll's Council of Elders or Taupulega to serve three-year terms); note - the Tokelau Amendment Act of 1996 confers legislative power on the General Fono

Judicial branch: Supreme Court in New Zealand exercises civil and criminal jurisdiction

Political parties and leaders: none

International organization participation: SPC, WHO (associate)

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (territory of New Zealand)

Diplomatic representation from the US: none (territory of New Zealand)

Flag description: the flag of New Zealand is used

Economy

Economy - overview: Tokelau's small size (three villages), isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people must rely on aid from New Zealand to maintain public services, annual aid being substantially greater than GDP. The principal sources of revenue come from sales of copra, postage stamps, souvenir coins, and handicrafts. Money is also remitted to families from relatives in New Zealand.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.5 million (1993 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: NA%

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,000 (1993 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: NA%
  industry: NA%
  services: NA%

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Labor force: NA

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget
  revenues: $430,830
  expenditures: $2.8 million, including capital expenditures of $37,300 (1987 est.)

Industries: small-scale enterprises for copra production, wood work, plaited craft goods; stamps, coins; fishing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: NA kWh

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: NA%
  hydro: NA%
  nuclear: NA%
  other: NA%

Electricity - consumption: NA kWh

Electricity - exports: NA kWh

Electricity - imports: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: coconuts, copra, breadfruit, papayas, bananas; pigs, poultry, goats

Exports: $98,000 (f.o.b., 1983)

Exports - commodities: stamps, copra, handicrafts

Exports - partners: NZ

Imports: $323,400 (c.i.f., 1983)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, building materials, fuel

Imports - partners: NZ

Debt - external: $0

Economic aid - recipient: $3.8 million (1995)

Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1 - 1.9451 (January 2000), 1.8886 (1999), 1.8632 (1998), 1.5083 (1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: NA

Telephones - mobile cellular: 0 (1999)

Telephone system
  domestic: radiotelephone service between islands
  international: radiotelephone service to Samoa; government-regulated telephone service (TeleTok), with 3 satellite earth stations, established in 1997

Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA (Note: each atoll has a radio broadcast station of unknown type that broadcasts shipping and weather reports (1998))

Radios: 1,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: NA

Televisions: 0 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways
  total: NA km
  paved: NA km
  unpaved: NA km

Ports and harbors: none; offshore anchorage only

Merchant marine: none (1999 est.)

Airports: none; lagoon landings by amphibious aircraft from Samoa

Military

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of New Zealand

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

 

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