This unknown group of Polynesian islands - exactly midway between Hawaii and New Zealand (who administer Tokelau) and 500 miles away from Samoa, its nearest neighbour - took a decision, in 2001, to use the power of the Internet simultaneously to increase their international profile and to raise much-needed funds for technological development.
To achieve these aims, Tokelau are allowing website owners to use addresses ending in .tk for free, whilst charging for addresses which would be more popular (eg www.art.tk or www.travel.tk).
Tokelau consists of three coral reef 'atolls' - rings of tiny islets surrounding a central lagoon - with an area of just 12 sq miles and a population of 1500. The islands can only be reached by the monthly, 36 hour, boat trip from Samoa and welcome a mere 10-20 tourists every year. Tokelau remains one of the few unspoilt and virtually undiscovered south sea paradises in the world, but the atolls are so low-lying (their highest point is 16 feet above sea level) that global warming has produced a very real risk that the entire country could be uninhabitable by the end of this century.
I am a registered 'Ambassador' for Tokelau - giving me a joint responsibility for promoting the Project worldwide.
To read more about the project, click here to take a look at the Tokelau Project 'dot.tk' website.
Also, you might like to take a look at the website of the band Te Vaka, whose members come from Tokelau and surrounding islands. Click here to visit their website.
text © Mary-Clare Buckle
webpage © Andrew Green