31 Jan 2007

Tokelauans abroad advised about self-government vote

2:46 pm on 31 January 2007

The Tokelau government has begun assuring expatriate Tokelauan communities around the Pacific that the outcome of a vote on self-government will not affect their rights.

Tokelau is a colony of New Zealand but a vote last year on self-government failed narrowly with the people choosing the status quo.

A second vote is to be conducted in November this year.

The Ulu o Tokelau, Kolouei O'Brien, as the head of the Council for the Ongoing Government, has so far spoken with Tokelauans in Hawaii and American Samoa, and will shortly visit New Zealand.

He says every Tokelauan has a right to know what is going to happen in the atolls.

"It doesn't matter whether they are American citizens or whatever, we have to go and tell them what our plan is. Their right to come to Tokelau is always there - you can't stop them from being a Tokelauan."

Kolouei O'Brien