29 Oct 2007

New Zealand MP applauds Tokelau referendum result

11:29 am on 29 October 2007

The associate foreign affairs spokesman for New Zealand's opposition National Party, John Hayes, says Tokelauans in New Zealand and in Tokelau did the right thing by not giving into foreign pressure.

Last week a referendum in Tokelau failed to get the numbers to support a proposal for self government in free association with New Zealand.

Mr Hayes says the issue of self-government didn't make sense and had been driven by New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade or MFAT and the United Nations.

He also says the move was the brainchild of MFAT's lawyers and designed to remove New Zealand from attention by the UN's Decolonisation Committee.

"It's totally illogical because 1,153 people living way out in the middle of the Pacific do not have the surplus money from their economy to pay for self-government."

John Hayes says the time has come for the prime minister, Helen Clark to invite the UN Decolonisation Committee to develop some common sense and pursue its interests elsewhere.

He also says it is time to appoint a Tokelaun to the position of 'Tokelau Administrator'