4 photos of Olohega: Tokyo 2013
Today we end the weeks with four photos from Olohega, the easternmost of Tokelau. These photos were taken in 1886 by the New Zealand based Thomas Andrew. Buster phoned Olohega (also known as Swains Island) for a full days. New Zealand businessman, politicians, planters, colonial administrators Frederick Moss wrote about the stopover.
From his report we learn from the description that accompanies these photos. that Olohega was a "...little jewel of reef, not three nautical leagues long and about a nautical leagues wide." By 1856, an American named Eli Jennings had established himself on Olohega with his Samoan family. The Buster came to Olohega, Eli Jr. was in command.
Olohega center was encircled by a wonderful saltwater lake encircled by coir groves. Olohega's inhabitants depended on merchant ships, which they would visit three to four a year.
SUMMARY TO THE EDITOR | Pacific Islands Report
I would like to comment on the New Zealand State Department's commentary on the New Zealand Foreign Ministry's Popular Music Group Demanding U.S. Return Remote Swains Island to Tokelau' (see: http://126.96.36.199/archive/2002/July/07-04-04. htm) and on the cover of the former US Ambassador William Bodde, Jr.
Firstly, the framework in which the Treaty between New Zealand and the United States of America on the delimitation of the maritime border between Tokelau and the United States of America (1980) shows that New Zealand, Tokelau's colony governor, did not bargain in Tokelau's best interest.
Tokelaus currently has three atols - Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo - with a total surface area of about 4.70 sq. m. along a 241-mile stretch of lake, 108 kilometers northern of Amama. In spite of all of the settlers that led to the 1925 US annexation of Tokelau's 4th Atoll-Olohega (Swains Island), the Tokelau people have always kept Olohega a municipal country that has always been farmed and caught until its estrangement by the Tokel lairs.
Olohega will be re-established under the Tokelau judiciary and will extend 108 nautical mile to the southern part of the island and another 800 hectares of closed, rocky lagoons able to support agronomy. In addition, there is a 200-mile long exclusion area extending outwards from Tokelau's entire country basis, resulting in a significant 25% rise in Tokelau's mineral resources basis.
That is the area in which New Zealand "advised" Tokelau to withdraw his case because "New Zealand's leading global lawyer " felt that "Tokelau's case was fragile and would not be successful in an interna-tional court. "It is disturbing that New Zealand could have known before the trial that Tokelau's lawsuit "would not be successful?
Or could it be that New Zealand, as a negotiating party in the Australia-New Zealand Treaty (ANZUS), told the Tokelauans to take Olohega to court? The University of Hawai216;i Professors of Law Sherry Broder and Jon Van Dyke summarize the result of the Anglo-French arbitration[1977-78], in which France was successful for extra waters privileges, "an enclave", using the Channel Islands, which are under the United Kingdom's jurisdiction but are near the coastline of France.
Both Broder and Van Dyke showed how this case corresponded to Tokelaus' entitlement to Olohega and thus deserved "special circumstances". "arguing that "Tokelau would be able to make further just arguments" because "Swains Island[Olohega] has long-standing links with Tokelau230; "2 They also found that Olohega is 108 mile from Tokelau, but 279 mile from American Samoa.
The Tokelau-based company will never experience the power of its claims with the contract unless it pursues it itself. This, indeed, is what Tokelau does and what Opetaia Foa216;i promotes. It should also be noted that since the 1970' s New Zealand admins have reiterated their commitment to the development of self-government in Tokelau (Kalolo 1999).
For Tokelau, the "treaty" has no obvious economical advantages, but rather raises Tokelau's economical dependence through the alienation of traditional/potential ressources. So what was New Zealand up to? Second, Tokelau's right to Olohega is deeply ingrained in his verbal tradition (cf. Matagi Tokelau, 1900; Matagi Tokelau; Matagi Tokelau 1999). In addition, 4 Koloniale notes confirm the story of the locals' verbal history of the Olohega Tokelau population before the advent of migrants.
Instead, the US claims and documentation used to create Olohega Joint Resolution 294 and supplementary legislation are weakness. This was revealed in an analytical study showing that the US annexation of Olohega was due to untenable clauses, for example the German version of the 1856 French-Guan Acts. No Guanos have ever been found, quarried or transported from Olohega.
The fact, highlighted by Secretary of State Charles Hughes in a 1924 report on the status of Olohega and other provisions of the Guano Acts, negates the Acts as the legal foundation on which the United States could have claimed Olohega. The fact that the United States was the initiator of the "treaty" in the first place is an acknowledgement that its claims to Olohega are perhaps less persuasive in an environment of decolonisation.
Third, the "treaty consultations" did NOT involve several hundred tokelais resident in the United States. After Olohega was annexed in 1925, the people of Tokelau became American citizens. She petitioned the Attorney General of American Samoa in 1953, who sought an inquiry into labour and civilian abuse by the indigenous coppra plantations, to have the undersigned and their family evicted without due legal proceeeding .
In collaboration with the owner of the plantations, Alexander E. Jennings, and the Governor of American Samoa, L.P. Draney, nominated by the US Department of the Interior, the expulsions transferred individual and whole family to Pago Pago, where they were exposed to severe sociopolitical and economical difficulties. Samoa's legislation to protect the country, although rightly benefiting the indigenous Samoans, refused the run-down Tokelau civilization entry to farmland and housing areas and took many homes to Honolulu and other parts of the United States.
The group, the indigenous peoples of Olohega and their offspring, were not involved in the "comprehensive consultation" on the "treaty". During the summer of 2000 I talked to Tokelauer (including two on the island, Samoa and American Samoa, who recall the times of the "Treaty" discussions. Tokelau's rulers signed the "treaty", but it is becoming increasingly clear that they did not reflect the will of the Tokelau tribe in this "international" world.
As with many Pacific islands, Tokelau's economical and social life as a self-governing nation is deeply ingrained in the nearby world. So it is essential that such archipelagos retain full command of their marine environment. "6 "6 Opetaia Foa?;i, like others from Tokelau, understand this message. Thank you to his group, Te Vaka, for their proactive part in spreading Tokelaus Olohega history to the world.
Tokelau Matagi: Stories and Traditions of Tokelau. Tokelau Affairs & Institute of Pacific Studies, 1991. Olohega's move into the story of Tokelau", Master's thesis, University of Hawai216;i, Department of Geography, 1999.