Tokelau is asking to join the Pacific Islands Forum so it can speak out on climate change.
Tokelau's bid to become an associate member of the forum will be decided today in Palau at the annual retreat for Pacific Island leaders.
Tokelau's leader, or ulu, Kuresa Nasau, hopes it will make the island group eligible to participate in talks on reducing global carbon emissions, and eligible for international climate-change funding.
He says New Zealand does its best to represent the territory's views.
"But it's a lot better for us to voice our own, people has to listen to us as a country. We understand more than New Zealand understands our problems, with due respect to New Zealand, and we have a very good relationship."
Kuresa Nasau says Tokelau is being damaged by rising seas.