Atafu Tokelau Community Group & Matauala
Matauala - another name for Atafu - is not only the centre for Atafu Tokelau Community Group Inc. it also represents the home base for the people of Atafu in Porirua, the Wellington region, and nationally throughout New Zealand.
Throughout the 1950s to 1970s, early migrants from Tokelau moved to Wellington, New Zealand and founded was has now become the Atafu Tokelau Community Group.
In 1978 these early pioneers purchased some land in Porirua and then built a community hall named Matauala, which was officially opened in 1987.
Read more of Our Story here.
Matauala Centre is available for hire, click here.
Atafu Tokelau Community Group Incorporated
The Atafu Tokelau Community Group is a registered Society under the Charities Commission of New Zealand. The purpose of this society is to promote religious, social, cultural, traditional family structures and values, educational, health and welfare development for our Tokelau community not only in the Wellington region but throughout its neighbouring communities.
The Atafu Tokelau Community Group Inc was founded by our mothers and fathers who migrated to the shores of Aotearoa New Zealand in the late1950’s through to the early 1970’s. A purpose-built Community Hall named Matauala was opened in April 1987 on a 5-acre block of land purchased by the society at 100-102 Bedford Street Porirua.
Matauala Hall and the land it is built on is a testament to their hard work, commitment and perseverance so that today and tomorrow’s generations can continue the work of ensuring that our family structures, culture and traditions are maintained and that God remains at the centre of our lives.
Niu Sila Mataio Taupe QSM was a prominent and respected leader, elder and a founding father of the Atafu Tokelau Community Group. He held a number of executive roles with the Group and was an active member of his local church. He served as a translator and interpreter.He was on the Board of Trustees for Porirua College, passionate about lifting academic achievement and ensuring the nurturing of our young people - the future generation of Tokelau. He ws a very proud husband, father and grandfather. In 2011 he was awarded a Queens Service Medal in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the Tokelau community. In 2017 he talked to Pasefika Proud about his migration story and legacy. He sadly passed away in 2021 aged 90.
Vision, Mission, Values & Principles
To build strong, resilient, connected and thriving community.
To promote social, economical and cultural well being of Tokelauans in Aotearoa through educational and social services
Fakaaloalo – respect, dignity
Alofa – love and compassion
Ola faka-te-agaga – spiritual beliefs
Tautua – service and support to others
Alofa ki te tama manu – compassion towards the most vulnerable in the community
Taofi ke mau ki na kupu a na tupuna – holdfast to the words of elders
Fai nuku – active patriotism
Loto mau – steadfast and perseverance
Loto nuku – patriotism to your village/nation
Loto tahi – of one heart and in unity
Loto fealofani – a harmonious and peaceful heart
Inati – principle of collective responsibility and sharing
Les Lehi Tenise Atoni has been President of the Atafu Tokelau Community Group (ATCG) since 2012, previously serving as Secretary. In 2022 he was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. (He talks to Radio 531pi about the honour in the video above).
As President, Les led the development of their first organisational strategic plan ‘Te Kanava’ for the period 2017 to 2021. Through Te Kanava, ATCG developed a Tokelau Language app, hosted meetings with the Administrator of Tokelau on supporting developments in Tokelau, hosted community engagements in partnership with government organisations, and successfully campaigned for government support the development of Gagana Tokelau as a NCEA subject.
Les is the Co-Project Leader for the Tokelau Kaiga Wellbeing Strategic Plan, the first national plan developed with Tokelau communities across all regions, launching in 2022. He is a founding member of the Tokelau Wellington Leadership Group, established in 2009, who introduced the Tokelau Language Week events. He has been a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council for the Minister for Pacific Peoples. Les is member of the Tokelau Governance Group, receiving the Pacific Heritage Award from Creative New Zealand for our Vaka Project in 2013.
The official opening of the Matauala Hall and community centre facility in 1978 was a major accomplishment for the Atafu Tokelau community in Wellington..
This 2-hour video documents the celebrations, the sense of pride and commitment to realising the vision of our tupuna to have a cultural centre, a home-away-from-home that we could call our own.
In January 2017, the Atafu Tokelau Community Group launched its 5 year strategy, called the Te Kanava Strategic Plan. President Les Atoni said at the time that it was "about harnessing the assets our tupuna (parents/elders) gifted us like the freehold land (estimated at 8 hectares) and buildings at Matauala estimated at $4.5million."
“With these assets as a base, we can now afford to strategically focus on community needs and deliver appropriate services such as educational programs, social support services, professionally through Te Kanava,” he said.
Matauala Centre is available for hire click here.