6 Nov 2007

Further fall-out over Tokelau vote outcome

4:20 pm on 6 November 2007

Tokelau's leader, Kuresa Nasau, has attracted criticism over his blaming of one atoll for the rejection of greater self determination.

He said in a New Zealand radio interview that the atoll of Fakaofo failed to support the proposal in a recent referendum.

But the Fakaofo Faipule, or local leader, believes the problem was on the Ulu's home atoll of Atafu where the community is split over the return of a church minister.

The pastor was granted forgiveness by the local leaders after earlier confessing to sexually abusing his step daughter.

Tokelau's New Zealand Administrator, David Payton, says further discussions with Tokelau's leadership will now be held in Samoa this weekend .

"You can be certain that the issue on Atafu, which is dividing the population there, is something I and my predecessor have been working very very closely with the leadership. But at the end of the day the authority to deal with this has been left in the hands of Tokelau because that is the way authority has shifted."

But Mr Payton says he expects the issue with the Pastor will be discussed at the meeting in Apia.