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Department of Island Territories

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The Department of Island Territories is a now-defunct New Zealand government department that was tasked with administrating New Zealand's three Pacific Islands territories—the Cook Islands (until 1965), Niue, and Tokelau, and the country's League of Nations mandate Samoa (until 1962). It was established on 3 October 1919 under the "External Affairs Bill" as the Department of External Affairs. In 1943, the Department was renamed the Department of Island Territories after a separate Department of External Affairs was created to conduct the country's external relations. In 1975, the Department was dissolved and its functions were absorbed back into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the successor to the External Affairs Department.


The Department was headed by a Minister of Island Territories who oversaw the Resident-Commissioners of the Cook Islands and Niue, and the Administrator of the Tokelau Islands. The Island Territories Department was responsible for the formulation and development of New Zealand government policy towards its Island Territories. The Department's other functions included transmitting advice and assistance from other New Zealand government departments to local Island governments, operating the ship G.m.v. Moana Roa, and acting as a purchasing agent for the Island Territories. The Department was known to have offices in both the capital Wellington and the country's largest city Auckland.

Ministers of External Affairs

  • James Allen, Reform Government, 1919
  • Ernest Lee, Reform Government, 1920-1922
  • Francis Bell, Reform Government, 1923-1925
  • William Nosworthy, Reform Government, 1926-1928
  • Joseph Ward, United Government, 1929
  • George Forbes, United Government, 1930-1935
  • Michael Joseph Savage, First Labour Government, 1936-1940
  • Frank Langstone, First Labour Government, 1941-1942
  • Peter Fraser, First Labour Government, 1943
  • Ministers of Island Territories

  • Peter Fraser, First Labour Government, 1944-1949
  • Frederick Doidge, First National Government, 1950
  • Clifton Webb, First National Government, 1951-1954
  • Tom Macdonald, First National Government, 1955-1957
  • John Mathison, Second Labour Government, 1958-1960
  • Leon Götz, Second National Government, 1961-1963
  • Ralph Hanan, Second National Government, 1964-1969
  • Ministers of Island Affairs

  • Duncan MacIntyre, Second National Government, 1970-1972
  • Phil Amos, Third Labour Government, 1973-1974
  • References

    Department of Island Territories Wikipedia

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