Saturday, February 11, 2006

The sun sets on New Zealand's Pacific empire

Today, exactly 80 years after control was handed to New Zealand by the UK, Tokelau will begin a formal act of self-determination to choose between remaining part of New Zealand, or becoming self-governing in free association as the Cook Islands and Niue are. In practice, they're already self-governing - via village councils and a General Fono to handle national issues - and a vote for the latter will mostly confirm that reality. Tokelauans will retain New Zealand citizenship, and we will continue to provide aid and assistance. They will however have a new flag, and be politically independent. The sun will finally have set on New Zealand's Pacific empire.


All of the benefits of independance with none of the costs eh?

Still I guess we will count it as part of our obligation to foreign aid and it gives the south pacific one more vote in the UN etc.

Posted by Genius : 2/12/2006 10:16:00 AM

Yeah, independance in name only. IIRC, it's only largess from N.Z. taxpayers that is keeping Niue afloat.

It's just plain cheeky to demand political independance from N.Z. while remaining completely economically dependant on us.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 2/13/2006 01:54:00 PM

Duncan: to be fair, the Tokelauns aren't exactly demanding it. The vote has come after pressure from the UN, not from within Tokelau.

At the same time, we have an obligation to Tokelau, just as we do to the Cooks and Niue. As the formal colonial power, we were supposed to place these societies on the path to economic as well as political independence. We haven't. I think its entirely appropriate that we continue then to support them.

And on the third hand, a vote for self-government in Tokelau changes little - because they're already effectively self-governing. I thought that that was something Libertarians would be in favour of?

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/13/2006 02:01:00 PM

It would seem that there is no potential for economic independance.

the pacific island states seem to grow slower than the african ones despite their aid and the money they send home to the islands and things are only going to get worse as transport costs go up etc.

Posted by Genius : 2/13/2006 07:26:00 PM