Tokelau Culture

Tokelau Economy and Culture


Tokelau is a very poor community, with a consumption power of about 1,000 US $ (814 €) per capita. The government earns approximately € 410,000 (less than US $ 500,000) annually, against expenses of € 2,300,000 (US $ 2,800,000). This shortfall is offset by the financial assistance provided from New Zealand. Tokelau exports around € 80,000 (US $ 100,000) in stamps, copra and handicrafts to New Zealand, from which in turn it imports € 245,000 (more than US $ 300,000) in food, building materials and fuel.

Local industries include small businesses producing copra, wood crafts, woven crafts, stamps, coins, and fishing. Tokelau agriculture produces Coconut, Copra, Panapén, Papaya and Banana. In addition, there is raising of pigs, goats and birds. Many money gains come primarily from the sale of postage stamps for collectors.


Tokelau is pure Polynesian culture, as they have a pool of resources according to need. Respect for the elderly is an integral characteristic of this culture, age being which normally determines the level of employment, and older residents occupying managerial positions. Tokelau produces fine handicrafts, fabrics, such as carpets, bags, hats and fans. In Tokelau stamps and coins are also sold as collectibles. Tokelau History and Geography can be found on simplyyellowpages.

Tokelau celebrates both religious and secular holidays with festivals, sporting competitions and parades. Thanks to these great distances, indigenous culture has been preserved in Tokelau to a greater degree than in most places on the planet.


The Tokelau flag was adopted by the local parliament of said New Zealand dependent territory in May 2008. Until that date, the official flag corresponded to the New Zealand flag, although the officialization of the flag by the authorities is still pending. New Zealanders.
The flag of Tokelau is composed of a navy blue background on which a curved yellow triangle is located and with four stars forming the Southern Cross in the canton. The background represents the Pacific Ocean while the stars are a reference to New Zealand and the three atolls that belong to Tokelau (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo) and to Swains Island, claimed by said territory but under current administration of the United States.
In 1989 an unofficial flag was designed to represent Tokelau. This Flag consists of a blue cloth containing three golden or yellow concentric rings. These rings are cut off on the left and right side. In the cut of the rings that is located closer to the mast, three white stars with five points each are represented and in the one that is further away, a green palm tree. The stars and rings equally represent the atolls of the archipelago, although they do not include Swains.

The shield

The Tokelau Archipelago, dependent on New Zealand, agreed in 2004 through a treaty to become a state of free association with this country under the Charter of the United Nations. In 2006 and 2007, two referendums were held to approve said status. In May 2008, the Tokelau General Fono, the assembly or parliament of this territory, approved its own coat of arms and flag. Until that year, only New Zealand’s national symbols were officially used in the archipelago.

In the shield or national emblem of Tokelau a Tuluma is represented, a wood carving, characteristic of the territory, which is part of the tackle or equipment used by fishermen. In the central part of Tuluma, a Latin cross is represented, a symbol of Christianity. At the bottom of the shield, written on a ribbon with the same color as the Tuluma, you can read the motto of this territory: “Tokelau mo te Atua”, which in Tokelauan means “Tokelau for the Almighty”. The cross and the motto reflect the importance of Christianity among the population of the archipelago.


The Horse Racing in Tokelau are the main sport of this island. Soccer is widely practiced by Tokelauans but, being a dependency of New Zealand, they have not been able to create their own soccer team. Thus, Tokelauans admire the New Zealand soccer team and adopt it as their own team.

The Volleyball is the most popular sport of Tokelau, as Tokelau banned whaling as a sport, in all aspects, ie hunts whales caused by Tokelauans themselves, to hunt whales in Tokelauan territory or even territory New Zealander. The Surf and Waterpolo are also sports very practiced by the Tokelauans.

Tokelau Culture