24 Oct 2007

Voters on Nukunonu in Tokelau vote today on becoming self governing

7:25 am on 24 October 2007

Nearly 100 per cent of voters turned out on Tokelau's atoll of Fakaofo to vote in the referendum on the nation's future.

Today, voters on Nukunonu have their turn to cast a ballot on becoming self governing in free association with New Zealand.

From Fakaofo, Philippa Tolley sent this report:

"As the men sang at the end of voting, one of the elders of Fakaofo spoke of his belief of better things to come for Tokelau after this referendum. Last February when the same question was put to voters and rejected, 177 took part. This time 195 voted., leaving only three who didn't cast a ballot, but one of those is expected to vote elsewhere. But only around half of the special votes that were sent out have been returned. The New Zealand administrator of Tokelau, David Payton, spoke of the people of NZ and Tokelau being bound together and said New Zealand would always be there for Tokelau."