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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 19) – A decision by New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters to appoint a non-native as administrator of Tokelau has been described by the opposition as a vote of no confidence in Pacific people.

The career diplomat, David Payton, was this week appointed as Tokelau's new administrator, replacing Neil Walter.

New Zealand National Party spokesman, John Hayes, has told the Pacific News Service that there are many suitably qualified Tokelauans capable of carrying out this role, and one of them should have been chosen.

Mr Hayes says it is clear Mr Peters has no faith in the ability of Tokelauans to run their own affairs.

He says the minister's decision demonstrates that he thinks Tokelau's relationship with New Zealand is neither close nor important.

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