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Coral atolls in New Zealand-Tokelau

Coral atolls in New Zealand-Tokelau

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in an Island with a meagre population of friendly people? If not, then its time you visit the beautiful island of Tokelau in the mid-way between the Islands of New Zealand and Hawaii. To be precise about the exact location of the island, it is located about 500 Km north of the island of Samoa. With a meagre population of about 1500 odd people, the culture followed here is mostly Polynesian and the people here are proud about their rich cultural heritage. History reckons that the island was settle about 1000 years ago and the archaeological evidence that was found in the island supports these evidences. The tradition of Tokelau is still maintained and even today the only way to reach the island is by a ship which runs to the island every two weeks. Yes, I said that right, there are no harbours, no ports and the only possible way of reaching the island is the above mentioned ferry service every 2 weeks. Although it is famous for the tradition that they follow, many of the people have moved to the mainland of New Zealand in search for a living.


Regarded to be the country with the smallest economy in the entire world, the Central Intelligence Agency’s report also shows that the average annual purchasing power per capita of the people living in the country is about US $1,000. Because transportation is such a problem, most of the food items and the drinks that are needed for everyday activity is provided by the ships that visit the island to provide them with the essentials. The coral atolls that add to the beauty of the island is the sole reason as to why food cannot be grown aground on the island. Flora and fauna on the island is meagre as there is hardly any land to raise crops or other trees. Common reptiles such as the lizard are found in plenty and there are the migratory seabirds that visit the island of Tokelau in quick succession. Also, the geographic feature of the island is prone to sea level rises as the entire island lies about 3 to 5 m above the sea level.


The people who live in this island worship the god Tui Tokelau, after which the island is named. Earlier ruled by a group of clans, Tokelau is now a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. The main source of food in the island is the fish and the coconuts, which is the stable food for most of the islands around the world. The islands disputes were primarily governed by the Administrator, who was in turn appointed by the Minister of External Affairs. However, in the year 2004, the powers went to the hands of Village councils, accounting to a total number of three, who were appointed under the power of the Administrator himself. There is also a legislative council in Tokelau, known as the General Fono council under which the village heads are elected once in every three years. As a matter of fact, the mayor comes to power in the legislature and the laws in New Zealand are not applicable to this territory. Development assistance is provided to the island by the government of New Zealand as the island comes under its supervision. It is a matter of fact that the funding that is provided by the New Zealand government is enough to fund the entire island, which shows the low GDP of the island.


The culture of Tokelau Island is one that has to be talked about. The culture is famous for its ethnicity and traditional way of living. The way people take food is also an aspect that has to be looked into. Home grown food such as taro root, breadfruit, sweet potato and coconuts are mostly consumed and meat in the form of poultry and pork is taken. The handicrafts that are available in the island such as bags, fans and hats are pretty famous in the mainland of New Zealand. An example that presents a perfect example of the Tokelauan music and dance is the music group known as Te Vaka, which is also known as the “the canoe”.


Tourism is not prominent in the island of Tokelau. However, the silent nature of the island and the culture has started to pull more people towards the island. There is only one hotel in the island, known by the name of Luanaliki. There is also a resort by the name Fale Fa. These two places provide the only options for stay in the island. To get to the island, the ferry service from Apia is the only cheap option available to the tourists. The ferry takes about 24 hours one way and food is complementary during the journey. The main activities that can be done after reaching the island are swimming for long hours in the sparkling blue waters of the sea and the coral reefs provide a major option for the travellers to snorkel in the island. Evenings are entertaining with the local tribes providing excellent entertainment with some wonderful music and dance.

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