25 Jul 2012 12:21
[tz] Tokelau in wrong time zone?
Steffen Thorsen <thorsen <at> timeanddate.com>
2012-07-25 10:21:39 GMT
2012-07-25 10:21:39 GMT
The IANA tz database, Wikipedia, CIA World Fact Book, most time zone web sites and a lot of other sources claim that Tokelau is on UTC+14 (or UTC-10 if they have not corrected for the date line switch in December). However, we got a complaint a few weeks ago, from a user in Tokelau that our Tokelau time on timeanddate.com was one hour ahead of the actual time there. He claimed Tokelau had the same current time as Samoa (UTC+13) at the moment and he worked for the Tokelau Government. This lead us to investigate, we double checked by calling hotels and offices based in Tokelau asking about the time there, and they all told a time that agrees with UTC+13. So it was soon evident that Tokelau is on UTC+13. The next problem was to find when they changed from UTC+14, or if it might have happened as they moved from UTC-10 last December (skipping 23 hours instead of a full day). But sources agreed that there had not been any time change recently, Tokelau does not participate in DST and that the change last December was to skip a full day - and this means that Tokelau was on UTC-11 last year. We found some NZ government sources, saying UTC-11, one being as far back as 2005: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/foreign-relations/tokelau/tokelau-brochure2005.pdf says "Local time: GMT –11." One from 2012, but that one has not adjusted for the date line change: http://www.nzte.govt.nz/explore-export-markets/australia-pacific/Documents/Pacific%20Fast%20Facts.pdf says "Time zone: GMT -11 hours" So, Tokelau has probably been on UTC-11 (or +13) at least since year 2005. This makes me wonder, has Tokelau ever been on UTC-10? Looking in the record for Fakaofo, it says they changed from Local Mean Time in 1901, and then moved the clocks by nearly 85 minutes! I looked through the australasia file and could not find any other location that moved their clocks by more than 1 hour as they went from LMT to a standard time zone or a time zone somehow connected to GMT. (The vast majority adjusted by less than 30 minutes.) Currently we have: (tabs mangled) Zone Pacific/Fakaofo -11:24:56 - LMT 1901 -10:00 - TKT 2011 Dec 30 # Tokelau Time 14:00 - TKT Shanks says UTC-10 from 1901 and is probably the source here. I think there is a good chance the change actually was to UTC-11 back then, and that they have never changed their clocks after that - if not we would need to find some date between 1901 and 2005 that they changed their time zone. Don Higgins, Advisor to the Administrator of Tokelau raised the fact about the wrong time and has contributed significantly to our research. Best regards, Steffen Thorsen - timeanddate.com