31 Mar 2005

New Zealand foreign minister meets French Polyensian president

11:45 am on 31 March 2005

The New Zealand foreign minister, Phil Goff, has met the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, in Papeete on his second leg of a week-long Pacific tour.

Mr Goff is heading a delegation of more than 70 in a bid to forge contacts between New Zealand and its neighbours.

Richard Pamatatau reports.

"Mr Goff says French Polynesia is culturally very close to New Zealand which is a sound reason for the relationship. Mr Temaru says he wants to open up the French Polynesian economy on the way to independence but that may take 15 years or more. He also talks of a Pacific passport which might work like a European Union passport. Mr Temaru says New Zealand is particularly important for French Polynesia."