Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean that consists of three tropical coral atolls with a combined land area of 10_km and a population of approximately 1,400. The atolls lie north of the Samoan Islands, east of Tuvalu, south of the Phoenix Islands, southwest of the more distant Line Islands (both island groups belonging to Kiribati) and northwest of the Cook Islands. The United Nations General Assembly designated Tokelau a Non-Self-Governing Territory. Until 1976 the official name was Tokelau Islands. Tokelau is sometimes referred to by the older, colonial name of The Union Islands. The name Tokelau is a Polynesian word meaning "North Wind". The islands were named the Union Islands and Union Group by European explorers at an unknown time. Tokelau Islands was adopted as the name in 1946, and was contracted to Tokelau on 9 December 1976.
Contributions by Linmhall, Gadfium, and Grutness.