Press Release – Tokelau Affairs
Tokelau, 7 May, 2013: Today the 6-Member cabinet or the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau began its week’s consultation with the village Council of Elders to discuss and seek views on the future of the Government of Tokelau. The Cabinet is chaired …Tokelau Cabinet Reaffirmed Its “Mana” As it Consults with Village Council of Elders
Tokelau, 7 May, 2013: Today the 6-Member cabinet or the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau began its week’s consultation with the village Council of Elders to discuss and seek views on the future of the Government of Tokelau. The Cabinet is chaired by the Ulu o Tokelau, which is rotated annually amongst the 3 Faipule members.
The Government of Tokelau is at cross-roads on some milestone decisions. These decisions have been encouraged by Tokelau’s intention to achieve its development objectives and positively participate in the region and internationally with the close support from the Government of New Zealand, its constitutional partner. There are challenges but the Government is committed to deliver for their people. The theme for 2013 is “to bring the catch home”. Tokelau is the first nation in the world where all its electricity needs are powered by solar energy.
The decision of the Council to meet with their elders and discuss the future of the Government of Tokelau is timely and is an opportunity for Government Ministers to review that decisions are in line with the wishes of the elders. There has been a lot of ‘soul searching’ on what needs to be done in the future. The theme of the consultation is “Working Together for the Future we want”.
“These consultation sessions have been too few and too far apart. It has been very humbling and encouraging to say the least. The community consultations allows the Ministers to reaffirm their ‘mana’ – the hands of their ‘fathers’ are on their shoulders reassuring them of the future. The future is uncertain but the message of unity is going to be the strength for moving forward. The leaders can feel the ‘pulse of the communities’ and there is a fresh breeze on Tokelau’s sail”, said Joe Suveinakama, the Secretary to Government.
The Cabinet and Officials are travelling on the Government’s vessel, PB Matua, for a week to consult with all 3 of its atolls. The consultation should end on Saturday before the vessel returns to Apia Samoa on its 26 hour journey. There are no airstrip on Tokelau and the Government is working closely with the Government of New Zealand for the procurement of a new vessel.