18 Jul 2005

French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru hoping for full Forum Membership

1:01 pm on 18 July 2005

The President of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, says full membership into the Pacific Islands Forum will push the country's plans for self determination along a lot quicker.

Mr Temaru is currently in New Zealand with a 24 strong trade delegation for meetings this week with government officials and the business sector.

They'll be discussing how New Zealand can help French Polynesia to develop tourism, education, and trade.

Mr Temaru says if their membership is approved at the Forum Leaders summit in Papua New Guinea in October, the move towards independence will come sooner rather than later.

"We have to develop our country and we'll see in five year's time, what is the, let's say, the economical situation of our country. And, we will see with our people. What I can tell you is the sooner we get it, the better."

Mr Temaru will also discuss how the trade imbalance can be closed up.

New Zealand currently exports around 135 million U.S dollars worth of products into Tahiti while imports sit at around 2 million dollars.