27 Jun 2012

Tahiti land tribunal plan to get fresh French boost

12:43 pm on 27 June 2012

Reports from Paris say the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, has assured the visiting French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, that a special effort will be made to set up a land tribunal in Tahiti.

A statement issued by the presidency says Paris and Papeete will coordinate work to establish such a tribunal while also modifying the civil code to find a comprehensive solution.

This follows claims by the Indigenous Customary Council in Tahiti that the 1880 treaty with France laying out land matters has not been abrogated.

The Council says while the treaty has given the indigenous people French nationality, it has not deprived them of their status as natives while also given them the French state's guarantee to respect their rights.

The Paris meeting also raised French Polynesian concerns that only mainland French companies can bid for the contract to build a new prison in Tahiti.

Mr Temaru has also drawn the minister's attention to the delays in concluding court cases linked to French Polynesia.

The comment is believed to be linked to the appeals by his political rival Gaston Flosse for convictions in a range of cases, some of them dating back to events in the late 20th century.