23 Feb 2006

Tokelau desperately needs its own ship and New Zealand is expected to soon oblige

7:34 pm on 23 February 2006

Tokelau's director of transport and shipping says getting a new boat is an urgent priority.

Currently the only way to travel to Tokelau is from Samoa fortnightly on a ship that takes more than 24 hours to reach the isolated atolls.

Zak Patelesio says shipping is the best way to meet Tokelau's passenger and cargo needs, as any air service would be too expensive.

Mr Patelesio says Tokelau has been holding talks with the New Zealand government on either purchase a boat, or having one purpose built.

"I think shipping is the way to go, and we're talking about a ship with very good accomodation, a bit faster than the current boats so our people don't have to spend much time on a boat."

Tokelau's director of transport and shipping Zak Patelesio