3 Oct 2005

Use of Kanaky name upsets meeting in French Polynesia

6:40 am on 3 October 2005

A meeting in Tahiti between the chambers of commerce of French Polynesia and New Caledonia has been overshadowed by a walkout by the delegation from Noumea.

The meeting was interrupted after the new French Polynesian minister for small and medium enterprises, Hiro Tefaarere, addressed the visitors as being from Kanaky.

They objected to the term used by the pro-independence movements to describe New Caledonia and said they had not arrived in Tahiti to get involved in poltics.

The meeting resumed and came to a successful conclusion.

Mr Tefaarere, who was made a minister two weeks ago, says there was no political message in the use of the term Kanaky.

He says French Polynesia is also being called Te Ao Maohi.

Both the former and current president have repeatedly chosen to call the territory Tahiti Nui.