1 Sep 2005

Tokelau referendum on self government likely within months after Fono accepts draft treaty

7:32 pm on 1 September 2005

Tokelauans are likely to vote in a referendum on self government in free association with New Zealand before the end of this year.

The General Fono, the territory's main political body, has reached agreement on a draft treaty which now needs to be endorsed by the New Zealand Cabinet.

The general manager of the Tokelau government administration, Falani Aukuso, says the draft includes a referendum in which all Tokelauans 18 and over, who normally reside in the atolls, will answer this simple question:

"Do you agree to an act of self determination in which Tokelau becomes a state in free association with New Zealand on the basis of the constitution and the draft treaty. so you choose I agree or I reject - simple as that."

Falani Aukuso.

The referendum will require a two thirds majority for self determination to proceed.