13 Apr 2007

Tokelau referendum to be organised without outside help

4:02 pm on 13 April 2007

A New Zealand lawyer advising the Ongoing Government of Tokelau says locals are taking on the responsibility to plan the next referendum vote on self-government without outside help.

Tokelau is preparing to vote on independence in free association with New Zealand at the end of the year, on a date yet to be determined.

Victoria University law Professor Tony Angelo says before last year's referendum, there were lots of consultations with experts and advisors from New Zealand.

"I was often there, and a number of other advisers were there, MFAT was there, and the Administrator took a great interest in the matter. But the start this time has been different. It has been purely local. And instead of having round the island seminars involving outsiders, the communication this time about the revote has been a local effort."

Professor Tony Angelo says Tokelauan leaders and public servants appear confident to organise and plan this year's referendum vote themselves.