22 Aug 2005

Tokelau's General Fono considers further steps towards self government

7:25 am on 22 August 2005

The main political body for Tokelau, the General Fono, is deciding this week its next steps towards self government.

The New Zealand territory has already concluded it wants a form of free association with New Zealand, not full independence or full integration.

Consultations at village level have just been completed and draft rules for a referendum on independence in free assocation have now been drawn up.

The general manager of the Tokelau National Public Service, Falani Aukuso, says the Fono will consider issues such as who could vote on the referendum.

"That is a question that is asked by these draft rules - that is, to decide exactly just who has the right to vote, for example 18 years and over or 21. Questions of residence - how long do you have to be in Tokelau for."