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New Zealand contribution to Tokelau Trust Fund

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs

5 November 2008 Media Statement

New Zealand contribution to Tokelau Trust Fund

New Zealand is contributing $15 million this financial year to the Tokelau International Trust Fund, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today. The funding comes from the backline funding for New Zealand Aid.

“New Zealand helped establish the Trust Fund in 2004 as a sign of its commitment to Tokelau and its people. The Trust Fund represents a vital, long term and inter-generational commitment to the three atolls of Tokelau,” Helen Clark said.

“Tokelau is a very small but important part of the New Zealand community, its people are New Zealand citizens and many Tokelauans have made New Zealand their home. An estimated 7000 Tokelauans live in New Zealand.

“It is important New Zealand continues to support the vibrant, forward looking communities on the atolls of Tokelau. As the Trust Fund builds it will provide added certainty for Tokelau in the years ahead.

“New Zealand, Australia and Britain, together with Tokelau itself, have all contributed to the Trust Fund, which will amount to around $52 million after this latest New Zealand contribution.

“With a population of only 1,450, it is crucial that all Tokelauans, in Tokelau, New Zealand and elsewhere remain committed to the protection and promotion of Tokelau’s unique culture, heritage and language.

“To ensure this happens supporting vibrant, living communities on Tokelau is vital,” Helen Clark said.

Tokelau has been administered by New Zealand since 1926, but in 1994 these powers were delegated to each atoll community. In 2003 Tokelau assumed full responsibility for managing its budget and running its own affairs.

In addition to this latest contribution to the Tokelau Trust Fund, New Zealand, through NZAID, will also provide $14 million in official development assistance to Tokelau in the 2008/09 year as part of a three-year programme of economic assistance.

Additional funding is also allocated for the provision of a quality shipping service between the atolls and Apia.


ENDS

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