29 Sep 2005

French Polynesia's controversial GIP to be restructured

8:28 pm on 29 September 2005

The French Polynesian government has announced that it will restructure the GIP intervention force which was set up in the 1990's as a disaster relief unit.

It says the 13-hundred strong group will be reduced to a core unit of 610 and change its name to To'a Arai.

More than 300 jobs with fixed contracts will be created elsewhere, while the remaining staff will be given jobs in various agencies.

The changes are to take effect from the beginning of next year.

The GIP rebelled against President Oscar Temaru three times in six months by shutting down the Papeete port and its industrial zone.

The second rebellion in April was resolved when the review was launched in a deal backed by the French state.