6 Sep 2011

NZ PM indifferent to bid to support French Polynesia decolonisation

4:36 pm on 6 September 2011

The incoming chair of the Pacific Islands Forum has ignored a bid by French Polynesia to support its bid to be reinscribed on the UN decolonisation list.

Over the past seven years, the Forum has been repeatedly approached on the matter by the French Polynesian president Oscar Temaru, who last week called for an end to 170 years of colonisation.

France strongly objects to his stance.

John Key, who is the New Zealand prime minister, says the matter needs to be resolved between France and French Polynesia.

"While we have sympathy for that issue and while we obviously support countries having the right to vote for their governments and self-determination, we also think that is ultimately a matter that needs to be resolved between France and French Polynesia, and in that regard we would encourage those parties to continue to have that dialogue."

In the 1980s, France reinscribed New Caledonia on the UN list, which also features the New Zealand-administered territory of Tokelau