23 Mar 2006

French minister Baroin due in Tahiti next week

1:43 pm on 23 March 2006

The French minister in charge of overseas territories, Francois Baroin, is to make his first ministerial visit to French Polynesia from the end of next week.

Press reports in Tahiti say Mr Baroin will stay for four days before continuing his tour with a visit to New Zealand - a month after his visit to Australia and New Caledonia.

The reports say the itinerary is likely to cover several island groups, including the Marquesas in the north.

Mr Baroin met the French Polynesian leadership in Paris in June shortly after being made a minister to replace Brigitte Girardin.

She lost the portfolio shortly after she stunned French Polynesian politicians with a proposed organic French law designed to claw back powers granted to the territory in the 2004 autonomy statute.