Tokelauan self-determination referendum, 2007
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A referendum on self-determination was held in Tokelau on 20 October and on 22–24 October 2007, with the result being that self-governance was rejected. Had it been successful, the referendum would have changed Tokelau's status from an unincorporated New Zealand territory to a self-governing state in free association with Wellington, akin to the Cook Islands and Niue. However, the referendum required a two-thirds positive vote to pass, and the "yes" side fell short of the required total by 16 votes.
After the narrow failure of the first such referendum in 2006, it was decided that another referendum would be held late the following year. Tokelau's leaders believe that concerns among Tokelauan expatriates were a factor in the failure of the 2006 referendum, even though they were not eligible to vote, and assured them that they would not lose their rights to return to Tokelau if the 2007 referendum had passed. There were 23% more people eligible to vote in the 2007 referendum than in the previous years.
- 20 October: Apia, Samoa (overseas voting). 63 votes cast.
- 22 October: Fakaofo
- 23 October: Nukunonu
- 24 October: Atafu
Had the proposal succeeded, a date would have been set, most likely in mid-2008, for the "day of self government". However, the proposal failed again by an even smaller margin — 16 more "yes" votes would have been needed to approve it. It is possible that the issue will be voted on again in the future; the leader of the largest group of overseas Tokelauans (the Tokelauan community in the Hutt Valley in New Zealand) Henry Joseph called for another vote within two years, with the required approval being changed to a simple majority.
|Tokelauan self-determination referendum, 2007|
- Bulletin of the Tokelau Government, 19 October 2007
- "Decolonization United Nations success story, but task not yet complete, Fourth Committee told as debate begins" (Press release). United Nations. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
- "Atoll colony to vote on NZ rule". Herald Sun. 22 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- Angela Gregory (25 October 2007). "Tokelau votes to remain dependent territory of New Zealand". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- Register of people entitled to vote
- United Nations press release (23 October 2007). "Voting Under Way In Tokelau Self-Govt Ballot". Scoop. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- "Tokelau plans another referendum on self-determination". Radio New Zealand International. 5 June 2006.
- "Tokelau leaders confident of stronger backing for next referendum on self determination". Radio New Zealand International. 13 March 2007.
- Scoop: Tokelau One Percent Short of Self-Government
- Radio Australia - News - Tokelau leader seeks third self-determination vote
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