APIA: WEDNESDAY 3 JULY 2013: Tokelau co-hosted the reception function for the 10th Pacific Health Minister Meeting held at the Samoa Tourism Authority in Apia, Samoa.
The Ulu o Tokelau, Aliki Faipule Salesio Lui, highlighted the unique and positive relationship between the two countries.
Lui also conveyed Tokelau’s much appreciation for the significant support Samoa has provided and also encouraged the need to enhance and strengthen partnership and collaboration efforts.
“The relationship between Samoa and Tokelau has its own unique history. Samoa is a second home to my people,” he said.
“As we do not have airstrips, we travel through to Samoa to get to other parts of the world.
“The Government of Samoa continues to support Tokelau in so many ways, including the ongoing support provided by Samoa Ministry of Health.”
Without an airstrip the only way to Tokelau is by boat through Samoa its closet neighbour.
The Tokelau Government spent around 60% of its NZD $15m budget in Samoa during the last financial year.
A slight increase of about 10% roughly over the past three years is due to the Government of Tokelau’s prioritising its infrastructure projects.
Products such as petrol and diesel, water tanks and much of its building supplies with food items contributed significantly to funds spent.
Tokelau’s relationship with Samoa is not only political, it is also cultural.
Many Tokelauans are multilingual and speak Samoan.
Tokelau’s 2011 census showed 45.8% of Tokelauans spoke Samoan, and 16.3% of those living in Tokelau had Samoan ancestry.