Samoa and Tokelau to skip a day for dateline change

Tokelau island Tokelau is set to join Samoa in taking a dateline leap on 29 December

Samoa and Tokelau are set to skip a day and jump across the international dateline to align with trade partners.

When the clock strikes midnight (10:00 GMT Friday) as 29 December ends, Samoa and Tokelau will fast-forward to 31 December, missing out on 30 December.

Samoa announced the decision in May in a bid to improve ties with major trade partners Australia and New Zealand.

Neighbouring Tokelau decided to follow suit in October.

The change comes 119 years after Samoa moved in the opposite direction. Then, it transferred to the same side of the international date line as the United States, in an effort to aid trade.

But New Zealand and Australia have become increasingly valuable trade partners for the country.

"In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we're losing out on two working days a week," Samoan Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi previously said.

"While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand, and when we're at church on Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane."

He added that Samoa also does a lot of business with China and Singapore and the dateline change will make commerce with the region "far, far easier".

Samoa is located approximately halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii and has a population of 180,000 people. Local time up to now has been 21 hours behind Sydney. From 31 December it will be three hours ahead.

Tokelau is a tiny New Zealand-administered territory of three islands. It lies to the north of Fiji, approximately half-way between Hawaii and the Australian coast. Local time is currently 23 hours behind Wellington time.


The above Samoa and Tokelau to skip a day for dateline change,



The South Pacific Islands of Samoa and American Samoa have been devastated by a tsunami that hit the islands on Tuesday, 29th September 2009. An earthquake measuring 8.3 caused waves between 3 and 6 metres and hit the south-west coasts which were heavily populated by many high-end and budget tourist resorts and local villages.


Whole villages have been wiped out, with buildings flattened and beaches washed away. Residents had to leave everything behind as they were evacuated to higher ground.

The tsunami had a devastating impact on the beautiful Samoan islands with a terrible loss of precious life and property.

Our loving thoughts and prayers are with all the Samoan people and those wonderful friends of Samoa who also have lost their loved ones during their time of loss. Our heartfelt thanks go to the many wonderful aid agencies and friends of Samoa who contributed so promptly to the rebuilding of Samoa after this terrible tragedy struck. May God's love and blessings be with you all.

For further information about the Samoa Tsunami, you are welcome to CLICK HERE for some relevant images.


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