7 Sep 2009

Tokelau leaders presented with their new flag in Wellington

7:41 pm on 7 September 2009

The Tokelau flag has been officially presented by the New Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, to the Ulu o Tokelau , Aliki Faipule Foua Toloa, at a ceremony held at Government House in Wellington today.

The ceremony was also attended by other members of Tokelau's Council for Ongoing Government, Aliki Faipule Pio Tuia and Aliki Faipule Kuresa Nasau.

The occasion marks a milestone in the history of Tokelau, which is a non-self governing territory of New Zealand, and which has used the New Zealand flag for its official ceremonies up to now.

The flag, together with the national symbol for Tokelau, was approved by the General Fono last year, but could not be presented for use until official approval was given by the Queen.

The flag has the Southern Cross in the top left hand corner with a canoe in full sail in the right hand corner on a blue background.

The Ulu says the Southern Cross signifies Tokelau's relationship with New Zealand and the navigational importance for the livelihood of her people in the past, in the present and the future.

The blue background signifies the ocean which provides sustenance for the people of Tokelau.

The canoe represents Tokelau's journey for a viable and sustainable future.

The flag will be officially launched by the General Fono next month.