25 Feb 2016

Tokelau receives new ferry from NZ govt

6:15 pm on 25 February 2016

The New Zealand government says a new ferry being handed over to Tokelau today will allow for easier travel between the territory's atolls and Samoa.

Tokelau’s new ferry ‘Mataliki’

Tokelau’s new ferry ‘Mataliki’ Photo: SUPPLIED

The MV Mataliki is a purpose-built vessel for Tokelau, to which New Zealand has contributed 8.5 million US dollars.

A replacement vessel for the MV Tokelau, the territory's only transport link with the outside world, has been sought for at least ten years.

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, who is in Apia to mark the handing over of the ferry, says the Mataliki is a big improvement on its predecessor.

"It's a modern vessel obviously, which is going to make the trip a bit faster than has been the case in the past. 60 passengers on board at capacity and significant freight capacity as well. It really does make the lifeline of Tokelau islands to Apia and the outside world much more modern, much safer, and a much more efficient operation."