by Alan Ah Mu
APIA: THURSDAY 25 JULY 2013: Tokelau’s Parliament is in the midst of a three-day discussion of the 2013/14 budget which began yesterday.
The New Zealand-administered territory is working towards greater self-government.
In a release Apia-based Tokelau Affairs says the Council for the Ongoing Government or Cabinet met Sunday to set the agenda for a series of meetings scheduled throughout this week.
At the meeting the representative of the Government of New Zealand, Mr Roger Cornforth, said the relationship between Tokelau and New Zealand was in a healthy state but not without challenges, the release says.
The Ulu o Tokelau, Faipule Salesio Lui, said “we are at cross-roads and the strength of our unity as leaders will define our legacy on these unchartered waters.”
One of the meetings held this week was by the Tokelau Constitution Committee to discuss the Constitution Consultation Report arising from community discussions in May 2013.
Most of the issues discussed by the committee dealt with the structure of Government.
“Tokelau continues to have discussion around a system of government that they can relate to and likewise engage the contemporary landscape and challenges,” said Joe Suveinakama, the General Manager, National.
On Tuesday the Tokelau Budget Committee discussed the challenges of the 2012/13 financial year and the 2013/14 budget.
Tokelau has a 20 member Parliament with a minimal of 3 seats reserved for women representatives.
Tokelau is the first nation in the world where all its electricity needs is provided by solar.