Tokelau is made up of three small coral atolls – Atafu, Fakaofo and Nukunonu – with a total land area of 12 square kilometres.
Tokelau is located about 500km north of Samoa and is home to around 1,500 people. It is part of the Realm of New Zealand and its people are New Zealand citizens. There are more than 7,000 Tokelauans living in New Zealand.
Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. However, it has its own political institutions, judicial system, public services (including telecommunications and shipping), and full control of its budget.
Tokelau has a unique political structure. The position of Ulu-o-Tokelau, the Titular Head of Government, is rotated annually between the leader (Faipule) of each atoll. The General Fono (national legislative body) meets three times a year and is made up of elected representatives from each atoll.
New Zealand assists the Government of Tokelau to provide essential public services and infrastructure for its people and to develop its economy and capacity for self-governance.
The relationship between Tokelau and New Zealand is led by the Administrator of Tokelau. This is a statutory position held by a New Zealand public servant, and appointed by the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs. The current Administrator of Tokelau is Ross Ardern.