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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. Referenda held in 2006 and 2007 to change the status of the islands from that of a New Zealand territory to one of free association with New Zealand did not meet the needed threshold for approval.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Tokelau

Dependency status
Self-administering territory of New Zealand; note - Tokelau and New Zealand have agreed to a draft constitution as Tokelau moves toward free association with New Zealand; a UN-sponsored referendum on self governance in October 2007 did not produce the two-thirds majority vote necessary for changing the political status

Government type
NA

Capital
None; each atoll has its own administrative center
Time difference
UTC+14 (19 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
None (territory of New Zealand)

Independence
None (territory of New Zealand)

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

Constitution
Administered under the Tokelau Islands Act of 1948; amended in 1970

Legal system
Common law system of New Zealand

Suffrage
21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General of New Zealand Anand SATYANAND (since 23 August 2006); New Zealand is represented by Administrator Jonathan KINGS (since February 2011)
Head of government
Foua TOLOA (since 21 February 2009); note - position rotates annually among the 3 Faipule (village leaders)
Cabinet
The Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau, consisting of 3 Faipule (village leaders) and 3 Pulenuku (village mayors), functions as a cabinet
Elections
The monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; administrator appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand; the head of government chosen from the Council of Faipule and serves a one-year term

Legislative branch
Unicameral General Fono (20 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve three-year terms based upon proportional representation from the three islands - Atafu has 7 seats, Fakaofo has 7 seats, Nukunonu has 6 seats); note - the Tokelau Amendment Act of 1996 confers limited legislative power to the General Fono
Elections
Last held on 17-19 January 2008 (next to be held in 2011)
Election results Independents 20

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

Political parties and leaders
None

Political pressure groups and leaders
None

International organization participation
PIF (observer), SPC, UNESCO (associate), UPU

Diplomatic representation in the us
None (territory of New Zealand)

Diplomatic representation from the us
None (territory of New Zealand)

Flag description
A yellow stylized Tokelauan canoe on a dark blue field sails toward the manu - the Southern Cross constellation of four, white, five-pointed stars at the hoist side; the Southern Cross represents the role of Christianity in Tokelauan culture and symbolizes the country's navigating into the future, the color yellow indicates happiness and peace, and the blue field represents the ocean on which the community relies

National symbol(s)
Tuluma (fishing tackle box)

National anthem
Name "Te Atua" (For the Almighty)
Lyrics/music Unknown/Falani KALOLO
Note
Adopted 2008; in preparation for eventual self governance, Tokelau held a national contest to choose an anthem; as a territory of New Zealand, "God Defend New Zealand" and "God Save the Queen" are official (see New Zealand)


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  Tokelau [ New Zealand ] (New Zealand):




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