20 Mar 2006

French Polynesian group threatens occupation of Tupai atoll

10:24 am on 20 March 2006

A group of French Polynesian families has vowed to occupy Tupai

atoll before the end of the month as part of a long-running land

dispute with the territorial government.

Tupai, which is near Bora Bora, was bought by the previous

government in 1998 and the former President, Gaston Flosse, then

developed part of it as a private retreat at the taxpayers'


33 families claim to be the rightful owners of parts of the atoll

and say they will travel to Tupai in 110 motorised canoes at an

unspecified day before the end of March.

A year ago, the new government led by Oscar Temaru said it would

return the land to its legitimate owners but the process has


A representative for the families says they will set up camp on

Tupai and then get the government to negotiate.