11 Apr 2005

French Polynesia wants representation in New Zealand and Australia

3:59 pm on 11 April 2005

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says he plans to structure links with the Pacific neighbours, with a view of setting up a mission in New Zealand and possibly Australia.

Mr Temaru made the comment on return from Auckland where he spent several days on a private visit.

He says letters would have to be sent to the relevant governments, including the French government, to look at ways to have with projects in the area of education and training.

Mr Temaru says the idea would be to expand the presence of institutions like the tourism office and the Air Tahiti Nui office to set up a mission as it has been done in Paris.

The proposal echoes last year's moves by the government led by Gaston Flosse after the territory was given a new autonomy statute, allowing for French Polynesia to have non-diplomatic representation in other countries.