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New Tokelau Administrator named

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

17 October 2006

New Tokelau Administrator named

Career diplomat David Payton has been appointed Administrator of Tokelau, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

Mr Payton has replaced Neil Walter, who has finished his term as Administrator, and will visit Tokelau for the first time next month.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Tokelau is a very close and special one, based both on New Zealand’s responsibility as administering power, and the shared links between both countries’ people,” Mr Peters said.

"Tokelau is currently considering the nature of its relationship with New Zealand. Earlier this year a referendum on entering into self-government in free association with New Zealand just failed to attract the two-thirds majority required for change.

"A second referendum to determine Tokelau's future constitutional status will be held in November 2007.

"Whatever the outcome of that vote, Tokelau can be assured of New Zealand’s continuing friendship and support,” Mr Peters said.

Mr Payton, who is based at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington, was most recently Ambassador to the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. He was previously director of the Ministry's environment division, and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Mr Peters said he wanted to pay tribute to Mr Walter and his long-term commitment to the relationship between Tokelau and New Zealand.


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