10 Aug 2009

Report due on replacement of ferry in Tokelau

3:47 pm on 10 August 2009

The New Zealand Government says it's keen to see progress on replacing an aging ferry in Tokelau. The sinking of the Princess Ashika in Tonga has drawn attention to other ferries operating in the Pacific.

Tokelau's people are New Zealand citizens and depend entirely on the existing boat, the MV Tokelau, for transport and supplies. Tokelau has no airstrip and the boat trip from Samoa takes about 30 hours.

A Radio New Zealand political reporter says it is widely acknowledged the MV Tokelau is well past its use-by-date, and presents a potential danger to all who travel on it.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he expects a report on the ferry replacement in the next few weeks.