Minister honoured to represent NZ in Tokelau visit
Hon Kris Faafoi
Minister of Civil Defence
28 September 2018
Minister honoured to represent New Zealand on first Tokelau visit in more than a decade
Minister of Civil Defence Hon Kris Faafoi will visit Tokelau next week, the first visit by a New Zealand Government minister since 2004.
Mr Faafoi, whose parents left Tokelau to settle in New Zealand in the 1960s, will spend three days in the islands. He will meet with each atoll’s Taupulega (village council) and community members, and see progress on New Zealand-funded projects.
The visit is part of the Government’s recently announced shift in New Zealand’s strategic approach to the Pacific, known as the Pacific Reset.
“We want to build deeper partnerships in the Pacific, and work more closely with our Pacific neighbours on issues we all face, such as climate change resilience, good governance, health, education, gender, youth and human rights,” said Mr Faafoi.
“It’s really a special honour for me to undertake this trip, both as a member of the coalition government that has enabled a really positive Pacific reset, and as the son of proud Tokelauan parents – I am truly honoured.”
Mr Faafoi will visit village project sites, such as the new hospital in Fakaofo, staff housing near the hospital in Nukunonu, and the administration building on Atafu.
He will see the upgrade of the wharf and reef passage on Atafu, the first of the four sites where these facilities are being rebuilt to improve safety and enable a new inter-atoll vessel to enter into service. In addition to providing local search and rescue capability, this vessel will provide more frequent transport between Tokelau’s three atolls. It is being built by ICON Custom Boats with funding from New Zealand’s Maritime Safety Programme.
The trip to Tokelau will follow a stop in Apia, Samoa, where Mr Faafoi will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa and visit the National Emergency Operating Centre. Mr Faafoi will then travel to Tokelau on board the HMNZS Otago, which is in the Pacific undertaking Operation Calypso, a five month mission to conduct Resource and Border Protection tasking and defence diplomacy in the South West Pacific, supporting wider New Zealand Government initiatives.
Tokelau is a non-self governing territory and part of the Realm of New Zealand.