16 Aug 2005

Tokelau to ask Japan, the EU and others to contribute to its trust fund

7:38 pm on 16 August 2005

The New Zealand territory of Tokelau, which is about to become self governing, is about to approach international donors for contributions to its trust fund.

The fund, which has been in place now for five years, is intended as an independent source of revenue which can be used to improve the quality of life of Tokelauans.

It currently stand at just over 11 million US dollars but Falani Aukuso, the general manager of Tokelau's National Public Service, says they are looking for substantially more, but it is not yet clear how much is needed.

"What does it need for example to run an adequate, regular and safe shipping service? Should there be airstrips? Indeed if you look at it from the context of a self governing Tokelau, the capacity for Tokelau to participate in the region and, further, what type of infrastructure would it take for that capacity to be increased?"

Falani Aukuso says first up Tokelau will approach Japan and the EU, with the UNDP promising a pledging conference for the fund, probably in November.