4 Nov 2004

Tokelau leaders arrive for New Zealand talks

2:23 pm on 4 November 2004

Tokelau's six-member Council for Ongoing Government has arrived in Auckland for a two week visit, which includes discussions on the atoll group's future political status and its relationship with New Zealand.

Tokelau, the last and smallest of New Zealand's dependent territories, is formally administered by New Zealand which also supplies more than three-quarters of its budget.

Tokelau's parliament, the General Fono, decided unanimously last year to explore the option of self-government in free association with New Zealand.

It already has its own legislative body, executive council and judicial system and runs its own budget.

New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, who will host the talks, says a move to self-government would be more a formal affirmation of the current situation than a major change.