10 Aug 2009

NZ and Australia against Pacific passport idea, says French Polynesia President

7:57 pm on 10 August 2009

French Polynesia's President says New Zealand and Australia are against plans to introduce a Pacific Passport.

Oscar Temaru has lobbied the Pacific Forum, of which his country is an associate member, for a region-wide travel document several times.

He says while the small countries support the idea, the two big countries, Australia and New Zealand, are against it.

"Free circulation for business and also for our students, to be able to...like in Europe, we have European passports, why don't we have a Pacific passport, Pacific people passport, so we'd be free to circulate in every country in the Pacific. Why not?"

Oscar Temaru says Pacific peoples' ancestors sailed the Pacific Ocean without barriers, but today, people set up barriers.