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Hayes' Tokelau contradiction a joke, says Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

18 October 2006

Hayes' Tokelau contradiction a joke, says Peters

National MP John Hayes is a walking contradiction who betrays his foreign affairs background with cheap political shots that keep missing the mark, says Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

"Mr Hayes' criticism that the newly-appointed Administrator of Tokelau is not from Tokelau is the latest in a bizarre, and frankly embarrassing, series of attempts to get himself in the news," Mr Peters said.

"His latest outburst is a complete turn-around from his previous misguided attack, when he criticised New Zealand for holding a referendum offering Tokelau greater self-government – a referendum we were required to conduct under our United Nations obligations.

"At that time Mr Hayes had utter contempt for Tokelau's ability to self-govern; now he's apparently outraged that the new Administrator is not from Tokelau.

"The reality is that much of the responsibility for day-to-day management of the affairs of Tokelau now rests with Tokelau's own government, and through it, with Tokelauan officials on each of the three atolls.

"Far from having no faith that Tokelauans are able to run their own affairs, the whole thrust of recent efforts has been to empower the people of Tokelau to do just that.

"The Administrator's role is set down by law. The latest appointment was discussed with the leaders of Tokelau, all of whom agreed with it," Mr Peters said.

END

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