New Zealand Hands Over Tokelau Ferry To Samoa

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Cargo, passenger ferry specially designed to service Tokelau

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Feb. 25, 2016) – New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully is in Apia today to participate in a ceremony marking the handover of the new Tokelau ferry, the MV Mataliki.

"The Mataliki is a purpose-built vessel that has been specifically designed to carry passengers and cargo between Samoa and the three atolls of Tokelau," McCully says during the hand over this morning.

"Tokelau can only be reached by ship so this vessel is a vital lifeline for the atolls. The Mataliki will sail between Samoa and Tokelau fortnightly, offering a safe, reliable, and faster service for the people of Tokelau.

"We have invested $12.5 million in the design and build of the Mataliki. The vessel will be owned by Tokelau and operated initially by the New Zealand company, Transport and Marine Ltd.

"New Zealand is committed to the special constitutional relationship we share with Tokelau and the handover of the Mataliki today is a milestone in improving Tokelau’s connectivity with the Pacific region and the wider world," Mr McCully says.

While in Apia, Minister McCully will meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, community leaders and local business representatives, and the Leader of the Opposition.

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