16 Feb 2012

Temaru explains absence during French minister's Tahiti visit

8:10 pm on 16 February 2012

French Polynesia's president has justified his absence from Tahiti during last week's French ministerial visit, describing his trip to Australia as a choice for the future.

Oscar Temaru met a Queensland billionaire, Clive Palmer, who is said to be planning to offer some of his staff holidays in Bora Bora.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Mr Temaru says Marie-Luce Penchard's visit followed the same old protocol, with the Marseillaise for the school children and the pro-French groups lining up for the head mistress. He says he used his trip to tell the Australian and New Zealand authorities about his astonishment that they have failed to consider French Polynesia's bid to be re-inscribed on the UN decolonisation list. Mr Temaru says these two countries backed New Caledonia's FLNKS movement, which never had a majority, unlike French Polynesia where most assembly members and the government want to be back on the UN list. Last year, Tahitipresse reported that Wellington's stance means France will support New Zealand's campaign for a UN Security Council seat in 2015."