2 Nov 2010

Transport key issue on Tokelau fono agenda

7:30 am on 2 November 2010

Transport is a major issued to be raised by Tokelau's General Fono this week.

Tokelauans, who are New Zealand citizens, rely on a 20-year-old boat linking Samoa with their three atolls.

The General Manager of the Tokelau National Public Service, Jovilisi Suveinakama, says several options were put together by a panel in New Zealand to address Tokelau's ongoing transport concerns.

He says the recommendations include the possibility of an airstrip being built or a float plane being used.

But Mr Suveinakama says Tokelau's preference has always been, and still is, primarily for a replacement ferry.

"Our biggest barrier at the moment is to get a shipping service addressed and basically make sure that we have a ship that's actually reliable, and safe for our travelling community. That I think would be the biggest and the most clear of our priorities."