7 Sep 2005

French Polynesia offers GIP to help with Katrina clean-up

2:33 pm on 7 September 2005

Reports from French Polynesia say the government plans to send about 100 members of the GIP intervention force to the United States to help with the clean-up after Cyclone Katrina.

President Oscar Temaru has confirmed to a Tahiti newspaper that help is being offered but that for protocol reasons any deployment needs to be approved by Paris.

The newspaper says Washington has welcomed the gesture.

It says the team could be led by its former boss, Rere Puputauki, who this year led three GIP rebellions against the Temaru government.

The GIP has assisted Tonga and Niue after they were hit by cyclones.