Enter the country or territory for the information paper you want. (We do not have information papers on all countries.)
Official Name - Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands, known as Wallis and Futuna
Land Area - 274 km2 on three main islands: Uvea, Futuna and Alofi, and 20 islets
Population - 13,500 (2008 Census) 12,800 (2010 estimate)
Main Town - Mata-Utu (on Uvea Island)
Religion - Roman Catholic
Languages - Wallisian, Futunian, French,
Currency - CFP = French Pacific franc (XPF)
Exchange Rate - CFP 70.71 = NZ$1 (August 2011)
EEZ - 200nm
Political system - Overseas territory of France
National government - The Territorial Council comprises three customary kings, plus three members appointed by the French High Administrator on the advice of the Territorial Assembly.
National legislature - The single-chamber Territorial Assembly comprises 20 seats, with members elected by universal suffrage for five-year terms.
Last election - 2007
Next election due - 2012
Head of State - President of France: HE Nicolas Sarkozy represented in Wallis and Futuna by High Administrator (Préfet) Michel Jeanjean
Head of Government - President of the Territorial Assembly: Siliako Lauhea
Main political parties - Lua Kae Tahi, Mouvement des Radicaux de Gauche (MRG), Rally for the Republic (RPR) allied to France’s UMP, Socialist Party (PS), Taumu’a Lelei, Union Poulaire Locale (UPL), Union Pour la Démocratie Française (UDF)
GDP - XPF 18,000 million (2005 estimate)
GDP per capita - XPF 1.2 million per person
Real GDP Growth (annual % change) - n/a
Exports (fob) - Negligible
Main exports - Copra, chemicals, construction materials
Imports (cif) - 5,736 million XPF
Inflation - 3.2%
NZ Exports (fob) -
NZ$11.2 million (2010 annual value)
Main Exports - Special purpose motor vehicles, meat (beef products), milk & cream, wood (sawn or chipped), iron/non-alloy steel, prepared or preserved meat, cane or beet sugar and cement.
Other key exports include building materials and machinery, fresh meats, fruit and vegetables.
NZ Imports (cif) - Negligible
Main Imports - Buttons
Services Trade - Negligible
New Zealand is accredited to Wallis and Futuna through its Consulate-General in Nouméa. Official contact is limited. New Zealand enjoys a strong presence in the small market of Wallis and Futuna due to the cargo ships and petrol and gas tankers that supply Wallis and Futuna leaving from New Zealand. There is potential for increased trade in services.
The first people in Wallis and Futuna have been traced back to around 1300 B.C. Tongan voyagers took possession of Uvea in the 15th century, and Samoan voyagers took possession of Futuna in the 17th Century. The first Europeans to arrive in the islands were Dutch explorers in the Futuna Islands in 1616, and British explorers in the Wallis islands in 1767.
French influence on the islands began from the 1830s. French Catholic missionaries introduced Christianity to the islands from 1837. An early missionary on Futuna, Pierre Chanel, was the South Pacific’s first Catholic martyr, and is now the patron saint of Oceania. Both island groups were declared a French protectorate in 1842.
During World War Two, Uvea was a US army base, and 6,000 US soldiers were stationed there. The US army built the first real infrastructure on the island. In 1959, following a period of political and economic instability, the inhabitants voted to become a French overseas territory. Wallis and Futuna officially became a French overseas territory in 1961. The islands’ status was changed to ‘Overseas Collectivity’ in 2003.
Since the 1970s, there has been steady migration from Wallis and Futuna to New Caledonia (in New Caledonia’s 2009 census, 21,300 declared themselves to be of Wallis or Futunan origin).
Futuna’s infrastructure suffered significant damage to its infrastructure as a result of Cyclone Tomas in 2010.
Wallis and Futuna is located in the central South Pacific, with Samoa its nearest neighbour. There are approximately 225km between the Wallis Islands group (Iles Wallis) and Futuna and Alofi islands (Iles de Horne).
Wallis and Futuna is an Overseas Collectivity of France. The President of France’s representative in Wallis and Futuna is the High Administrator (Préfet), Michel Jeanjean, who holds executive authority in the territory. Wallis and Futuna is represented in the French Senate by Senator Friar Robert Laufoaulu (elected during the French Senate elections in September 2008) and in the French National Assembly by Deputy Albert Likuvalu.
Wallis and Futuna has its own Territorial Assembly which has legislative authority over a limited range of local matters. Three members appointed by the Préfet with the approval of the Territorial Assembly sit alongside the three customary Kings in the Wallis and Futuna Territorial Council.
Traditional culture is important to the small island territory which is divided into three kingdoms; Uvea (Wallis Island), and Sigave and Alo (Futuna and Alofi Islands). The Kings hold authority over customary matters including land ownership and use, and can be replaced by customary means.
The current King of Wallis Kapiliele Faupala was crowned in July 2008, replacing his predecessor Kulimoetoke who died in May 2007 after ruling Wallis since 1959.
The current King of Sigave is Polikalepo Kolivai, crowned in 2010.
Petelo Vikena was crowned King of Alo in November 2008, but abdicated in January 2010. There is currently no King in the Alo Kingdom.
Wallis and Futuna is largely dependant on France for its income, which directly finances the public sector, health and education services. It also provides funding for key development projects over a range of areas, including infrastructure, economic development, environmental management, and health facilities.
70% of employment is in the public sector - although only about 20% of the population are in salaried employment. There is some income from remittances from the large off-shore population in New Caledonia.
A real concern for Wallis and Futuna is a growing ageing population with consequent economic development issues. Very few of the age group 18-30 live in the islands due to the limited formal employment opportunities. This is a current focus for the territorial government.
Local industries include copra, handicrafts, fishing and lumber. Agricultural produce includes breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas, pigs and goats.
Although over a quarter of imports (around 28%) come from France (and the EU), New Zealand enjoys a strong presence in this small market (New Zealand is the fourth largest source of imports). This is largely due to the commercial shipping line which leaves from New Zealand and operates a one-way service to Wallis and Futuna. New Zealand exports to Wallis and Futuna amounted to NZ$11.2 million for 2010.
The other key exporters to Wallis and Futuna are Singapore (fuel), Australia, and Fiji, followed by New Caledonia.
Current exports consist of construction materials and commercial vehicles, fresh and processed dairy products, fresh meats, and fruit and vegetables.
Exports from Wallis and Futuna to New Zealand are negligible.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade manages a modest programme of assistance, to French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna focussed on short term training awards. The programme provides short-term training in New Zealand with the objective of enhancing equitable social and economic development in the territories. The awards are focused on young people living in the regions and provinces, and covers English language training, technical courses and/or work attachments. Wallis and Futuna students are eligible to study in New Zealand under this programme.
New Caledonia-based Aircalin (Air Calédonie International) operates the only commercial flight service into the Islands, and between Wallis and Futuna. The runway at Futuna was extended in 2008. Further upgrades to the Futuna airport are planned but have been delayed because of damage suffered from Cyclone Tomas in 2010. Wallis airport is also being upgraded. A new runway and terminal opened in 2010, and a new control tower is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
New Zealand passport holders travelling on holiday or business can enter Wallis and Futuna for up to 90 days without a visa. For all other travel contact the French Embassy for information on visa requirements.
The New Zealand Consul-General in Noumea is accredited to Wallis and Futuna [external link].
The Safe Travel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Wallis and Futuna [external link].