Tokelau welcomes new head of government

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Tokelau has a new Ulu-o-Tokelau, or head of government, Kelihiano Kalolo.

In a statement, National Public Service general manager Tino Vitale said the general fono chairperson, deputy chairperson and the 28 members of the 12th Government of Tokelau have been sworn in.

He said the Ulu, on behalf of the Taupulega, or Council of Elders, tabled the council’s decision on ministerial portfolios amongst council members for general fono endorsement.

The Ulu-o-Tokelau is an annual rotational role that is served by the Faipule or leader of each atoll.

Voting took place on all three atolls and also in the Apia office of the administration on 26 January .

It was the first time in Tokelau’s history that all three atolls have taken part in the same electoral process with Nukunonu elders opting out previously.

The decision was made to merge Transport and Support Service under one minister.

Tokelau is a realm nation of New Zealand and also has an administrator but the New Zealand government respects the traditional governance structures that it says are “integral to community life in Tokelau”.

The new administrator of Tokelau Don Higgins attened the general fono.

“It is a privillenge and pleasure to be here,” Higgins said.

In a video address he set out his plans while in the role.

“To complete the projects that we started before covid which were halted by covid and they include some critical infrustructure.

“To work with Tokelau on a journey towards nationhood, its something that New Zealand, Tokelau as well as the United Nations have agreed upon. To find a path for Tokelau towards self-determination.

“Those discussions begin again within Tokelau,” Higgins said.

In 2020, Kelihiano Kalolo drafted a referendum on the territory moving to independence from New Zealand to be held by 2025.

Ministerial portfolios:

*aliki Faipule Esera Tuisano – 1) Transport And Support Services, 2) Energy
*aliki Faipule Petelo Alapati Tavite – 1) Finance, 2) Health
*aliki Faipule Elehi Kelihiano Kalolo – 1) Education, 2) Climate Change

*As The Ulu he also has Justice, National Public Service, Ngos, Office Of The Ongoing Government Of Tokelau
*aliki Pulenuku Nofo Iupati – 1) Economic Development, Natural Resources & Environment (Ednre)
*aliki Pulenuku O’tinielu Tuumuli – Fisheries
*aliki Pulenuku Petelo Patelesio – Telecommunications.

SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS