Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Images: Vote For Tokelau's Independence Begins

Vote For Tokelau's Independence Begins


By Selwyn Manning – reporting from Tokelau's Fakaofo Atoll


Click for big version
The tiny Pacific island nation of Tokelau

The people of Tokelau, one of the Pacific's most remote atoll groups, are to decide whether to become an independent nation in free association with New Zealand.

Tokelau is currently a colony of New Zealand and its people have full New Zealand citizenship.

Voting began at Apia, Samoa on Sunday (New Zealand time). New Zealand and United Nations officials are in attendance and will accompany the ballot boxes over the next three days to each of three atolls in the Tokelau group.

The largest atoll is Nukunonu at 4.7 sq. km. Fakaofo and Atafu are 4 sq. km and 3.5 sq. km respectively. The total population of Tokelau is approximately 1500.

Tokelau is tucked neatly below the equator and is surrounded by the deepest blue sea that the Pacific can muster. Think exotic, think tropical, coral reefs and palm trees growing above the highest land point of 3.5 meters.

Tokelau is so remote, few people venture this far north of Samoa. We got here on board the ferry Lady Naomi and once near Tokelau's coral reef were shuttled onto Fakaofo by aluminium dingy.

At one end of the atoll live Fakaofo's people. At the other are pigs, which are unique for having developed diving skills and live off reef fish that abound in these waters.

Back in Samoa while the first votes were being made, Tokelau's Ulu (titular head of Tokelau) Faipule Kuresa Nasau said he expected a near 100 percent turn out for the referendum with a Yes vote of around 85 to 90 percent.


Click for big version

Voting at Apia, Samoa


Click for big version

Voting booth at Apia, Samoa


Click for big version

Ulu of Tokelau (titular head of Tokelau - Faipule Kurea Nasau

Here the people are focused on the referendum, the UN officials are here to observe the vote, and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affair's David Payton, officially titled The Administrator of Toekelau, is here to assure the people that New Zealand will not abandon them should the vote be in favour of the proposal:

"That Tokelau become a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand on the basis of the Constitution and the Treaty."

( To be continued…)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Saudi Oil Refinery Crisis

So the US and the Saudis claim to have credible evidence that those Weapons of Oil Destruction came from Iran, their current bogey now that Saddam Hussein is no longer available. Evidently, the world has learned nothing from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when dodgy US intel was wheeled out to justify the invasion of Iraq, thereby giving birth to ISIS and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. More>>

ALSO:

Veronika Meduna on The Dig: Kaitiakitanga - Seeing Nature As Your Elder

The intricate interconnections between climate change and biodiversity loss, and how this disruption impacts Māori in particular. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On China And Hong Kong (And Boris)

In the circumstances, yesterday’s move by Lam to scrap – rather than merely suspend – the hated extradition law that first triggered the protests three months ago, seems like the least she can do. It may also be too little, too late. More>>

ALSO:

Dave Hansford on The Dig: Whose Biodiversity Is It Anyway?

The DOC-led draft Biodiversity Strategy seeks a “shared vision.” But there are more values and views around wildlife than there are species. How can we hope to agree on the shape of Aotearoa’s future biota? More>>

ALSO: