Results are in for the 2023 Tokelau national election

The Government of Tokelau has declared the results of the 2023 national general elections.

Voting took place on all three atolls, and also in the Apia office of the administration on January 23.

Vote counting was challenging due to poor internet connectivity. The phone tower has also been playing up.

A government spokesperson said the election team was crowding around printers late Thursday night waiting for votes to come through one by one.

RNZ Pacific has been told there was a buzz about Nukunonu, the largest atoll, on national election day – 30 people voted from home including elderly.

Alapati Tavite was voted in. He has served as the Tokelau Deputy Director of Health and has been instrumental in the handling of the Covid-19 response.

His appointment in Nukunonu is significant as it means he will take on the Ulu o Tokelau role or head of state following a formal ceremony.

RNZ Pacific’s Tokelau correspondent Elena Pasilio said Tavite told her his focus will be on health and motivating young people to seek a higher education.

“Just getting heaps of motivations and inspirations for Tokelau students to wanta continue and further education and with health he really wants to promote healthy living. And that’s just two of his points, besides everything else that matters to Tokelau. He’s looking forward to whatever comes, he knows there will be challenges, but he’s ready to face them.”

Tokelau is a realm nation of New Zealand and also has an administrator, but the New Zealand government says it respects the traditional governance structures that are integral to community life in Tokelau.