14 Nov 2011

Polynesian leaders to meet in Samoa for planned union

4:51 am on 14 November 2011

Polynesian leaders will meet in Apia this week for the first meeting of a Polynesian union.

The grouping was suggested by the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, at the Pacific Islands Forum in September.

Tuilaepa says the conference is for the Polynesian peoples to form a union, and leaders will this week appoint an Executive Committee.

The Niue High Commissioner to New Zealand, O'Love Jacobsen, is representing her country at the meeting, and says she expects a commitment that Polynesian leaders will reflect a united front.

"These are people of mana and prestige and they are our leaders. And if as a group of leaders, we can stand together, then that would be a force to be reckoned with."

O'Love Jacobsen says because the Polynesian peoples have similar cultures, it should be easy to find consensus within the group.