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Tuesday 24th October
Tokelau Facts
Tokelau consists of the atolls of Atafu, Fakaofo and Nukunonu.

Swains Island is geographically part of the Tokelau group of islands but belongs to American Samoa.

The highest point in Tokelau is five metres.

The atolls of Tokelau are at risk from rising sea levels caused by global warming.

The first people to settle on Tokelau were Polynesians.

The islands of the Pacific are usually divided into three areas: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

Polynesia, which means many islands, is a name covering over a thousand islands between Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna are in this grouping.

Tokelau was sighted by Commodore John Byron, the English explorer, in 1765.

An American expedition explored the islands of Tokelau at the beginning of the 1840s.

In the 1860s a number of Tokelauans were taken by slave traders.

Tokelau became a British Protectorate in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

In 1916 the islands of Tokelau were annexed by the UK and administered with the Gilbert Island (Kiribati) and the Ellice Islands (Tuvalu).

In 1925 Tokelau came under the administration of New Zealand.

The Tokelau Act (1948) made Tokelau part of New Zealand.

Tokelau is a self-administering territory of New Zealand.

Self-government with free association with New Zealand is under consideration. However a referendum in 2007 did not produce the majority vote necessary to change Tokelau's political status.

The New Zealand government operated the Tokelauan Resettlement Scheme in the second half of the twentieth century. As a result more Tokelauans live in New Zealand than live on the islands.

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