21 Mar 2006

Tokelau and the US talk about cooperation over Olohega atoll

8:47 pm on 21 March 2006

New Zealand's administrator to Tokelau, Neil Walter, says talks are underway to improve cooperation between the territory and Swains island.

Swains Island was Tokelau's fourth atoll Olohega, before it was annexed to the United States in 1925 and added to American Samoa.

Neil Walter says while Olohega remains a sensitive issue among Tokelauans the two countries are looking at ways to better share resources.

He says one way would be to create a better links to the outside world in some sort of shared shipping or trade arrangement.

"That I think is a real positive move by Tokelau to see what can be done to improve the lot of people in Olohega as well as people in Tokelau by putting their efforts jointly into such areas such as shipping, supplies, medical evacuations and so on."

New Zealand's administrator to Tokelau, Neil Walter