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It actively recruited immigrant island labour as required by the New Zealand economy, and repeatedly assured both the Pacific people and the world of its good intentions and of the benefits which would accrue to the populations concerned from adherence to the New Zealand State.” New Zealand’s empire building aspirations, according to Dame Quentin-Baxter, may have started with Governor George Grey first term in 1845; and turned to reality by Premier Richard Seddon some 50-years later.
In May 1900, “Seddon and a party of family, friends, and officials embarked on the Government despatch-boat S. Tutanekai for a voyage to Tonga, Fiji, Niue, and the Cook Islands.
An audience that range from the ordinary Kiwi to academia, well-learned professionals to leaders including New Zealand members of parliament, international agencies and aid donors; and perhaps, a number of Tokelauans themselves.
In hindsight, the confusion and lack of understanding is not a surprise when one considers the findings of a 2000 research, ‘Pacific People’s Constitution Report’ by Dame Alison Quentin-Baxter.
An inquiry to the tz mailing list revealed that the Posix standard has probably always been wrong about Tokelau.
Before it jumped across the International Date Line, it was observing UTC-11, but most sources said it was on UTC-10.
It energetically sought the encompassing of the territories and populations by New Zealand governance.
This lack of understanding is made more so by the confusion that can exist between what is meant by self-government as compared to what is meant by self-determination.
READ MORE The 9th parliament of Tokelau will begin its three-year electoral cycle on Monday, 6 March 2017.
It also draws open the curtain to exciting times as the 21 members, three of them women, prepare for their first General Fono (legislative assembly) that has certain international audiences interested.
A time where they take the helm of the three-atoll group’s journey for self-government and self-determination that in 2017, has its new Public Service Commissioner mechanism in place, will allow them to paddle an approach based on ‘learning by doing’.