25 Jan 2006

New Zealand vows to foster Tokelau culture

4:59 pm on 25 January 2006

New Zealand's administrator for Tokelau, Neil Walter, says a team has been commissioned to work out a cultural programme to advance Tokelauan culture within New Zealand.

Next month Tokelau will hold a vote on whether to opt for self-determination in free association with New Zealand.

A draft treaty outlines the responsibilities of both countries should Tokelau choose this path and Mr Walter says this includes a requirement that New Zealand help preserve Tokelauan culture in New Zealand.

"Some of the elements you can kind of predict I think as oral history is one of them, documents, archives and preservation of those historical bits and pieces and language and educational syllabus obviously is part of it and we'll focus on what is done in Tokelau to strengthen and preserve culture and language, and here in New Zealand."

Neil Walter says it is important that the Tokelauan culture is maintained and preserved for future generations living in New Zealand.