While multiple inquiries are still underway into Tokelau's controversial helicopter purchases it has been revealed the aircraft were cleared to land at American Samoa's Swains Island.
Writing in the Asia Pacific Report, Mackenzie Smith suggests this would have made trips from Tokelau to Samoa's capital, Apia, feasible because the chopper could refuel.
New Zealand's foreign Minister Murray McCully was scathingly critical of the purchase and initiated the inquiries.
The current Ulu o Tokelau, Siopili Perez, has also poured cold water on the buy, saying attempts are being made to sell the choppers.
One of the strongest criticisms of the purchase was that the aircraft would have had difficulty covering the distance from Tokelau to Apia, so a stop at Swains, which is about halfway between them, would be ideal.
The Representative for Swains, Alex Jennings, told Don Wiseman he was very happy to be approached by Tokelau.