6 Feb 2006

Preparations being finalised ahead of Tokelau's vote on self determination

8:12 am on 6 February 2006

Tokelauans are finalising preparations for next week's referendum on whether the territory should accept self determination in free association with New Zealand.

Tokelau with a population of about 1500 is New Zealand's last colony.

The New Zealand administrator for Tokelau, Neil Walter, says there have been more than 30 years of talks to get to this stage.

He says they have had discussions with people in Tokelau, as well as with Tokelauans now resident in New Zealand Australia, and Samoa.

"These have involved various groups in Tokelau as well as individual people up there. There has also been extensive consultation with Tokelau communities in Australia, New Zealand and Samoa."

Neil Walter says only those still residing on Tokelau are eligible to vote in the phased referendum, which ends late next week.