11 Apr 2013

Tokelau, Niue and Cooks want to be consulted in NZ constitution review

8:44 am on 11 April 2013

Cook Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans in Auckland want special status for their countries and people if New Zealand adopts a written constitution.

The three countries are part of the Realm of New Zealand, and their people are automatically New Zealand citizens.

A Tokelauan member of the Auckland group, Salapima Everdina Fuli says citizenship hasn't conferred the benefits their elders were promised by New Zealand.

"In terms of health, education, social welfare, justice, we are at the bottom of the pile, and this is one of the key as to why the realm countries came together was that citizenship, what has it actually done? Well it actually hasn't uplifted by people, it's actually kept them lower."

Salapima Everdina Fuli says Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands should also be consulted about the constitutional review.