27 Apr 2018

NZ and Tokelau need to talk about air services - academic

7:08 am on 27 April 2018

The director of Massey University's Pasifika Centre says the New Zealand Government needs to talk with Tokelau about air services to the atolls.

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Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Dr Malakai Koloamatangi's comments come as court action is still underway over the island's purchase of two helicopters as part of an interim air service.

The previous government had expressed strong opposition to the helicopter buy prompting two inquiries and the helicopters are being re-sold.

Two staffers have been blamed and they are seeking legal redress.

But Dr Koloamatangi said the important factor is that Tokelau cannot, in the 21st century, be left isolated as a result of its geography.

"And I think there is a responsibility for New Zealand as the power that's administering Tokelau.

"So it has to be - it's not a political matter at all, it's a practical one and one that New Zealand and Tokelau need to sit down properly and talk this over, and hopefully at some stage in the near future will be able to resolve getting some air service to service Tokelau."

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