19 Oct 2006

New Zealand opposition says Tokelauans overlooked in choice of administrator

6:21 am on 19 October 2006

New Zealand's opposition National Party says the foreign minister, Winston Peters, has shown that he has no faith in Tokelauans by appointing a New Zealand diplomat, David Payton, as the territory's new administrator.

Tokelau will hold another referendum on self-government in November next year.

Last February, Tokelauans voted against self-government.

National's associate foreign affairs spokesman, John Hayes, says Mr Peters should have chosen a local.

"It's an affront ot the people of Tokelau not to have one of their own people in this position. Tokelauans are generally very well educated, smart people and there are plenty of them who could do this task very, very well."

John Hayes of the opposition National Party.

However, Winston Peters says the latest appointment was discussed with the leaders of Tokelau, all of whom agreed with it.

And, he says the Administrator's role is set down by law.