19 Oct 2006

NZ foreign minister critices opposition MP over Tokelau comment

2:33 pm on 19 October 2006

The New Zealand foreign minister, Winston Peters, has criticised the opposition National Party for its reaction that it won't be a Tokelauan who will be the territory's new administrator.

National MP John Hayes said by choosing a New Zealand diplomat for the job, Mr Peters showed he had no faith in Tokelauans to do the job.

Mr Peters says Mr Hayes is a walking contradiction, describing the MP's comments as bizarre and embarrassing.

Mr Peters says by opposing a referendum Mr Hayes had contempt for Tokelau's ability to self-govern while now being apparently outraged that the new administrator is not from Tokelau.

The territory will hold another referendum on self-government in November 2007 after voting against it last February.