Tokelau to receive over $35 million in wharf and IT upgrades from New Zealand

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced major investments in Tokelau's transport and internet infrastructure today.

Mr Peters said due to Tokelau's location in the Pacific, the small island nation needs major wharf and IT upgrades.

"Tokelau is incredibly remote. It has no air services so is dependent on ships to get to and from its nearest neighbour Samoa, around 500km away," said Mr Peters.

To transfer off the ships and onto the shore, passengers and cargo must take small barges and go through narrow channels cut into the coral reef.

"At the moment, this critical ship to shore infrastructure is in bad shape and these transfers are difficult and dangerous.

"We are investing $15.8 million to upgrade the reef channels and wharves. This will make transfers much safer and will allow cargo to be moved much more efficiently."

Tokelau's remoteness also makes it dependent on the internet to connect to the rest of the world.

As Tokelau's current satellite internet is slow and unreliable, New Zealand has also invested $22.2 million to connect Tokelau's atolls to undersea fibre optic cables providing a much faster connection.

"Faster internet will help us deliver better communications, improved health and education services and undersea cables will be much more resilient to extreme weather," said Mr Peters.


Tokelau flag.
Tokelau flag. Source: istock.com