Weather station to help protect atoll nation

Work on a weather station is underway to help Tokelau build its knowledge of and resilience to climate change, Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi announced today.

“The weather station will help Tokelau forecast and record changes in the weather,” Kris Faafoi said.

“Over time the data on temperatures, rainfall and wind will help us identify and address the impacts of climate change on Tokelau.”

The station is part of a broader programme of work on disaster resilience that the New Zealand aid programme is funding in Tokelau, and is a joint project by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) and Metservice. 

New Zealand is also working with Tokelau to identify coastal hazards and help enhance Tokelau’s resilience to existing and future erosion and inundation, including that arising from climate change.

“This work will involve village representatives assessing existing coastal defences and collecting data,” Kris Faafoi said.

“Reliable information on the localised impact of climate change is will then allow Tokelau to evaluate risks and prioritise work to mitigate them.

“We want to build deeper partnerships in the Pacific, and work more closely with our neighbours on issues we all face – from climate change resilience and human rights to health, education, gender and youth.

“I am very honoured to have been able to undertake this trip, and it has created already many special and unique memories.”

Notes to editors:

Kris Faafoi is the first New Zealand Minister of Tokelauan descent and the first New Zealand Minister to visit Tokelau in 14 years. The visit is part of the Government’s recently announced shift in New Zealand’s strategic approach to the Pacific, known as the Pacific Reset. Tokelau is a non-self governing territory and part of the Realm of New Zealand.