Tokelau by Peter McQuarrie

Tokelau, People, Atolls and HistoryNew Zealander Peter McQuarrie has self-published a unique book titled Tokelau, People, Atolls and History. Peter knows Tokelau better than almost anyone else having spent many years there working as a telecommunications expert. His previous writings on the territory include Tuvalu, a celebration in photos of ten years independence published by the Government of Tuvalu in 1988 and Strategic Atolls: Tuvalu and the Second World War published by the Macmillan Browne Centre in 1994.

Tokelau, People, Atolls and History is a straightforward history and description of Tokelau, New Zealand's only South Pacific island territory. It covers the colonial history, Peruvian slave trading, New Zealand administration and the RNZAF, the Second World War, Development and Aid Projects, and modern Tokelau, as well as Tokelauan culture and the flora and fauna of the islands.

It's written for Tokelauans, the general public in New Zealand (who know so little about Tokelau), and those interested in the history of the Pacific Islands. As the book emphasises the connections between Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Tokelau, it is likely to appeal to those with an interest in Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the former British colony - The Gilbert and Ellice Islands - of which Tokelau was once a part.

The chapter titles are as follows: 1. The Atolls, 2. Who are the Tokelauans? 3. Tokelauan Culture, 4. Early European Contacts, 5. Slavers and Missionaries, 6. British Protection, 7. N.Z. Administration, 8. Tokelauan Labour Overseas, 9. The Second World War, 10. Post War Developments, 11. Copra, Rats, and Rhinoceros Beetles, 12. Reef Passages and Water Supplies, 13. Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.

This 266-page paperback (ISBN is 978-1-877449-41-3) includes 25 illustrations, three maps, notes, a bibliography, and index. The publication date is June, 2007, and the price NZD$35.95. Tokelau, People, Atolls and History is not available through online bookstores and the easiest way to order a copy is by email directly to the author: petermcq AT It's definitely the best and most current source of information on Tokelau you'll find.

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