TOKELAU ASKS NEW ZEALAND FOR NEW VESSEL

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‘Unfit’ cargo ship is country’s supply lifeline

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 12, 2009) – The tiny Pacific territory of Tokelau has renewed its plea for a new boat, saying it represents a lifeline to the three atolls, whose residents are New Zealand citizens.

The M.V. Tokelau was purchased in the 1970s and is now at least a decade past its use-by-date.

Tokelau lies several hundred kilometers north of Samoa and is totally reliant on the boat for transport and essential supplies.

However, Tokelau’s leader, Foua Toloa, says the vessel is dangerous and unfit for the regular trip across the ocean.

During his visit to the Pacific, the Prime minister John Key was told that not only are lives at risk, but Tokelau’s future depends on safe transportation.

He says the government’s aware of the problem and officials are working on a solution.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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