19 Oct 2006

NZ opposition warns of Tokelau's perpetual dependence on aid

5:26 pm on 19 October 2006

New Zealand's opposition National Party says if Tokelau chooses self-government it will end up being aid dependent.

Tokelau will hold another referendum on self-government in November next year after voting last February to reject change.

National's associate foreign affairs spokesman, John Hayes, says Tokelau is too small to sustain self-government.

"There is no way in the wide world that you can expect 1,500 people on three atolls 300 miles from Apia living a subsistence life-style to have the disposable money, the surplus to pay for self-government in free association. These people, if you go down this road, are going to be consigned to aid dependence for ever."

John Hayes of the opposition National Party.