25 Oct 2007

Tokelau vote will bring little change, says advisor

3:44 pm on 25 October 2007

Tokelau's Ulu, or leader, Kuresa Nasau, has commended the village councils for all they have done to make the nation's referendum a success.

The last round of voting was held on the atoll of Atafu today and counting should be completed within the next hours.

A yes-vote in the referendum on self government is being described as, in some ways, a vote for the status quo.

Tokelau's Constitutional Legal Advisor, Tony Angelo, says the country has been effectively running itself with financial backing from New Zealand for some years.

He says if the outcome of the referendum is to support the move, practically speaking, little would change.

"There's been this progression to a point of significant self government, what would really happen is that degree of autonomy is confirmed, but still within the broader frame of what I think people are calling the family of New Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue, New Zealand and Tokelau."

Tokelau's Constitutional Legal Advisor, Tony Angelo.

In a vote last year, Tokelauans were in favour of retaining the status quo.