13 Apr 2012

Australia's Marles rejects Tahiti decolonisation bid

1:34 pm on 13 April 2012

Australia's parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs has rejected calls by French Polyensia's government to support its decolonisation bid.

The ruling Tavini Huraatira Party has sought Richard Marles' backing for a UN-backed process on self-determination after he recently praised the path chosen in New Caledonia in managing its sovereignty issues.

Mr Marles says in New Caledonia, they are working on a consensus about the future with the support of France.

New Caledonia became France's only territory on the UN decolonisation list in 1986 following serious unrest.

He says in French Polynesia, the right to self-determination of some people doesn't imply a right across the whole of the territory.

"We take our lead from France as to where French Polynesia is at about its development about a process of this kind playing out. And France have made it clear that at this point in time they don't see a benefit in this process occurring."

Richard Marles