9 Aug 2016

Tokelau leader to be buried in NZ

7:18 am on 9 August 2016

One of the longest serving leaders of Tokelau the late Panapa Sakaria is to be buried in New Zealand.

Mr Sakaria, one of the six members of the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau established in November 2003 who held the portfolio of Minister for Support Services, died on 30 July on his home atoll of Nukunonu, aged 57.

He was serving his fourth term as mayor of Nukunonu at the time of his death.

His body was taken to Samoa this week where a memorial service was held,

Mr Sakaria is scheduled to be flown to New Zealand on Wednesday accompanied by the Ulu-o-Tokelau Aliki Faipule Afega Gaualofa, council members, senior government officials, families and friends.

His burial in Wellington, New Zealand was at the request of wife Apolonia, who currently resides there.

The couple are parents of seven children.