23 Aug 2005

Tokelau calls for New Zealand to be more clear about long term aid after it adopts self rule

7:58 pm on 23 August 2005

Political leaders in Tokelau want New Zealand to detail its long-term aid should the territory become self-governing.

Tokelau is likely to hold a referendum on moving to free association with New Zealand later this year.

The General Fono, the main political body, is meeting this week, with discussion so far focussing on the draft of a Treaty of Association.

The General Manager of Tokelau's National Public Service, Falani Aukuso, says the Treaty covers funding, but only for the first three years, and the people want a clearer indication of what will happen in the long term.

"So what the Fono has been looking at, are some assurances that it is going to continue and that there are mechanisms for reviewing it on an ongoing basis. The other is for the need for it to be on an ongoing rolling basis of three years repeating on each other, so there is clarity for the support."

Falani Aukuso says another major issue is Tokelau's desire to have some say in foreign affairs.