30 Aug 2011

Tahiti claims Pacific church support in decolonisation bid

2:25 pm on 30 August 2011

The French Polynesian government says the leaders of the Pacific Conference of Churches unanimously endorse French Polynesia's bid for the territory to be reinscribed on the UN decolonisation list.

In a statement issued during the Conference's 50th anniversary meeting in Samoa, the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says the churches will also support his bid at the United Nations in New York.

French Polynesia is seeking the Pacific Islands Forum's support next week while the opposition in Tahiti is lobbying New Zealand, as Forum host, to withhold any backing.

Mr Temaru says the territory has to stop living with a perpetual Stockholm Syndrome, adding that nobody in the Pacific will be fooled into believing that reinscription means independence.

He says that question will be asked neither at the Forum nor at the UN but put to a referendum when the time has come.