Kiribati Islands

Kanton Island, Central Kiribati

Kanton is a coral atoll, 3.5 sq mi (9 sq km). Located in central Pacific, is largest of the Phoenix Islands, which comprise part of Kiribati, ca. 3,220 km south east of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Map of Kanton Island

Annexed by the British at the end of the 19th century, the island was also claimed by American guano companies. In 1937 the British built a radio station on Kanton, but in 1938 the United States formally claimed the island, and placed it under the control of the Department of the Interior. British and American colonists were brought to Kanton in 1938 but were evacuated during World War II. In 1939 both Great Britain and the United States agreed on joint control of the island and nearby Enderbury Island. In 1979, Kanton (then Canton), along with the remainder of the Phoenix Islands, became independent as part of the Republic of Kiribati. Kanton is also known as Abariringa.

Tokelau Islands
Tokelau Islands

Formerly the Union Islands, island group, (10 sq km), located in South Pacific, a territory of New Zealand. It is composed of three small atolls, Atafu, Nukunono (the largest), and Fakaofo.

Explored by British commodore John Byron in 1765, the group was made a British protectorate in 1877 and was later included in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony. In 1925 Tokelau was mandated to New Zealand, and from 1926 to 1948 the islands were administered from Western Samoa. In 1948 New Zealand acquired formal sovereignty, and in 1949 Tokelau officially became part of New Zealand.

The Polynesian inhabitants have a subsistence economy; the chief export is copra. Tokelau has a population of 1,500 people.

Tokelau's small size, isolation, and lack of resources greatly restrain economic development and confine agriculture to the subsistence level. The people must rely on aid from New Zealand to maintain public services, annual aid being substantially greater than GDP. The principal sources of revenue come from sales of copra, postage stamps, souvenir coins, and handicrafts. Money is also remitted to families from relatives in New Zealand.

There is no airport on Tokelau, only air transportation being lagoon landings by amphibious aircraft from Samoa.

This page was written and designed by Lech Slawomir Tomczak, LA7MFA

Last updated Fri Sep 3 09:27:21 MET DST 1999