Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Tokelau One Percent Short of Self-Government

Tokelau One Percent Short of Becoming A Self Governing Nation

By Selwyn Manning, Reporting from Atafu Atoll, Tokelau.

Pacific Affairs: On United Nations Day Tokelau's people have decided against becoming a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand.

At the end of a four day voting process, Tokelau's people were just over one percent shy of becoming a self-governing nation.


Ulu o Tokelau, Faipule Kuresa Nasau, digests the result.

The final count was:

  • 692 valid votes cast
  • 446 votes supporting the proposal
  • 246 people voted against the referendum.
  • For Tokelau to become a self-governing nation it required 66 percent of voters to support the proposal. At the end of counting today, 64.4 percent voted in favour – 16 votes shy of the required 462 yes votes.

    The Ulu o Tokelau, Faipule Kuresa Nasau, who had predicted a decisive victory for self-government, appeared disappointed. The Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau – leaders who represent the people of Fakaofo, Nukunonu and Atafu atolls - were silent for some minutes after hearing the result.

    The Council indicated it will make a unified statement later in the evening.

    Yesterday, one family said it was too soon to become self-governing, that Tokelau's culture would change forever. The family said should Tokelau become self-governing, people would have to work for money instead of working for the common-good of the village. They said the pursuit of money would cause Tokelau's people to adopt societal ills that are "so common overseas".

    Another man on Nukunonu atoll said Tokelau had too small a population to become self-governing (currently at around 1500 people). He said Tokelau would need "at least 2000 people to govern itself".


    Officials Informed: Tokelau's Zak Patelesio, Administrator of Tokelau David Payton, and Ulu Kuresa Nasau are told of the referendum result.

    The administrator of Tokelau, David Payton, the New Zealand government's representative for Tokelau, said the people of Tokelau needed more time to work together to decide on a way forward for the small Pacific Island nation.

    Irrespective of the referendum result, New Zealand made it clear it would not abandon Tokelau. Indeed, Tokelau's people remain New Zealand citizens, hold New Zealand passports, and have full citizenship rights. The fact that it will remain a colony of New Zealand means the relationship between the two nations must embrace the challenges facing this tiny group of atolls, just a nudge down from the equator in the south-west Pacific.

    The ongoing priorities include:

  • Village Development
  • Health
  • Education
  • Transport
  • Communications and IT
  • Economic Development.
  • The government's stated priorities will focus particularly on:

  • Training and capacity building

  • Sustainability of resources

  • Good governance

  • Culture and language retention and development

  • Infrastructure development

  • Emergency management and disaster response capability.
  • Speaking from New Zealand, Prime Minister, Helen Clark said: “Tokelau can be assured of the New Zealand Government’s ongoing friendship and support. We will continue our joint efforts with Tokelau to strengthen and improve the public services in Tokelau. Major work on upgrading essential infrastructure is well underway, and Tokelau continues to make progress in ensuring that each atoll is able to operate as a vibrant, forward looking community.”

    Helen Clark said that at some time in the future Tokelau may wish to vote on its constitutional status again.

    “For now, those in Tokelau, and in the wider family of Tokelau outside the atolls, will want to reflect on this latest decision.

    “In doing so it is important that all concerned with the future of Tokelau and its people know that Tokelau will retain the full support of New Zealand,’’ Helen Clark said.

    The United Nations observers confirmed it was a transparent referendum.

    Voting began at Apia, Samoa on Sunday (New Zealand time). New Zealand and United Nations officials accompanied the ballot boxes to each of three atolls in the Tokelau group.

    Papua New Guinea's Robert Aisi, who led the UN observer delegation, said he looked forward to meeting Tokelau's leaders again at the UN in New York City in June 2008 where discussions would continue on the way forward for Tokelau.


    ENDS

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
     
     
    Top Scoops Headlines

     

    Stuart Littlewood: What More Horrors Are In Store For Gaza?

    I wonder what Hamas and Israeli leaders are thinking as they survey the devastation in Gaza and review the death-toll and casualty figures? Or course, neither has to live among the ruins and clamber over the devastation. More>>

    ALSO:

    Michael Hammerschlag: The Battle For Lysychansk; Ukr On The Move

    I reached my friend Andre Samobarona (self-defense militia from Maidan) at the front Sunday- where I didn't know he was till last call 5-6 days ago, “I'm in a battle- can't talk”. He was out of touch till today, when he was on R+R from the National ... More>>

    Shobha Shukla: Prevention Technologies For HIV And STIs At AIDS 2014

    Women of reproductive age have a need for prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and family planning methods. More importantly, women need prevention tools/methods that are under their control and do not leave them at the mercy of ... More>>

    Gary G. Kohls: The Hiroshima Myth And The Glorification Of American Militarism

    This coming Wednesday, August 6, 2014, is the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the whole truth of which has been heavily censored and mythologized ever since war-weary Americans celebrated V-J Day on August 15. More>>

    Ramzy Baroud: Gaza’s Resistance Will Not Be Crushed

    On the 13th day of Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge, stories of entire families collectively pulverized, women and children keenly targeted by Israeli soldiers saturate the media. Until now, 430 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Ian Anderson: Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Titanic? The Labour Party And MANA

    Early in July this year, Labour Party leader David Cunliffe made headlines by apologising for being a man. Stoked by capitalist media sensation, Prime Minister John Key responded that “not all men” abuse women. More>>

    Shobha Shukla: Break The Silos: Drug Use, HIV, HCV, TB, Laws And Funding

    Viet Nam is one of the countries in the world that has made remarkable progress over the last decade in not only making harm reduction and HIV services available and accessible for people who use drugs but also reforming laws for supportive health ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Fiona Gordon: Illegal Wildlife Trading: The Global Response

    At the closing session of the inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi last month, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “We need to act decisively to change humanity’s relationship with our planet.” More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
    TEDxAuckland
     
     
     
     
    Top Scoops
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news