Staff of the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office (T.A.L.O), their families and Tokelauan students in Samoa, joined a Community Church Service at the E.F.K.T Hall in Aleisa on Wednesday 20 January.
All gathered at the Hall of the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Tokelau (E.F.K.T) compound in Aleisa mid afternoon. They were welcomed there by Setefano Panapa Sakaria, Tokelau Minister for Support Services.
The Church Service that ensued was led by the Reverend Ahela Suka, General Secretary of E.F.K.T.
All joined in singing hymns in Samoan (“Fa’afetai i le Atua”) and Tokelau (“Iehu te tautai o te vasa”).
A prayer of thanksgiving was presented by Aleta Aleta, Director of Education, a prayer of forgiveness by Margaret Sapolu, and benedictions were asked by Mitimiti Ngau Chun, both of the Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau.
The Bible reading was Mathew 5: 43-48, presented in Tokelauan by Puka Teao and in English by Alowesi Suveinakama (both students) and in Samoan by Jewel Tuitama of the Ministry of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment.
Volunteers were called to share God’s love and to call for a blessed and productive 2016. A first-time participant was Statistics Adviser Iapi Jasperse, who stressed the importance of continuous learning whatever your age, and of sharing knowledge by good communication - to achieve good results in the year ahead.
Newly re-appointed General Manager, Apia (National Public Service of Tokelau) Joe Suveinakama thanked everyone for their support and recalled “Tokelau mo te Atua”: Tokelau is founded on God. He called for a fresh start based on the traditional concepts of Fakamaoni (honesty) and Alofa (love).
The Public Service will continue to make decisions in the way that family decisions are being made, he said. And he is keen to work closer with the Tokelau community in Samoa, New Zealand, Australia and American Samoa. All this is meant to achieve what is in the best interest of the people in Tokelau, and their quality of life over there in particular.
The closing prayer was followed by refreshments for all, after which Community member Lafu Solomona offered words of thanks. No doubt a good way to collectively tackle the working year that has just begun!
My vision for Tokelau
General Manager, Apia
I have commenced in my position as the General Manager, Apia (National Public Service of Tokelau). I am honored to be re-appointed by Council to serve in this role and thank all those who have worked tirelessly in the process.
I have had the privilege of speaking with all Council members to thank them for their trust and confidence. There is no doubt in my mind, that at the end of the day the quality of life will be measured by what’s implemented and observed in the villages.
The expectations of Council cannot be achieved by one person alone nor a single position. With God’s blessings and wisdom I pray that we will all work together and continue to support and strengthen Tokelau’s future together.
The four key areas I would like us to target in our first 100 days together are:
1. Benchmarking Tokelau’s quality of life;
2. Completing the Tokelau 2016/17-2019/20 Strategic Plan;
3. Unity of the Tokelau Public Service (includes addressing Relocation);
4. Expediting our Development Enablers (especially on Transport (air-service) & ICT).
Underpinning these four key areas is the focus on the capacity and capability (including good governance) for our people and communities. In consultation with the Ulu o Tokelau I will defer my travel to the villages to an appropriate later date. With the blessings of the Council I endeavor to work closely with the Office of the Administrator to explore how they can better support our peoples’ development.
I would like to thank all my colleagues who have continued to take us through during the transition period for their hard work and commitment. I would personally like to thank Heto Puka and Kele Lui for their leadership, drive and fortitude – Malo na tamana! To the SMT – Hina, Tino, Sefo (& Tanu), Asofa, Dr Silivia, Aleta, Mika, Tealofi, Penehe and all senior officials – Fakafetai lahi lele! I would also like to acknowledge the support and contribution from our colleagues from the Office of the Administrator for the continuing support.
To all the members of the Tokelau Public Service at the village and national thank you for your service and dedication as we work together to improve the lives of our people.
Tokelau mo te Atua!