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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+13 (18 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:
many previous; latest effective 1 January 1949 (Tokelau Islands Act 1948); amended many times, last in 2007 (2012)

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: Kuresa NASAU (since February 2014); 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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
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 23 January 2014 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: independents 20

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Court of Appeal in New Zealand (consists of the court president and 8 judges sitting in 3- or 5-judge panels depending on the case)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Judicial Selection Committee and approved by three-quarters majority of the Parliament; judge tenure NA
subordinate courts: High Court, in New Zealand; Council of Elders or Taupulega

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, in conjunction with the canoe, symbolizes the country 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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