20 Dec 2012

In seabed talks, Tahiti leaders push decolonisation bid

3:03 pm on 20 December 2012

French Polynesian leaders have been in talks with the International Seabed Authority as part of a bid to get seabed deposits recognised as belonging to the territory's indigenous Maohi population.

The president Oscar Temaru and Richard Tuheiava, who is a member of the French Senate, say to attain this, it is a necessary step to re-inscribe French Polynesia on the UN list of territories to be decolonised.

A statement by the presidency says during his visit in North America, which will end later this week, he will have more talks about the decolonisation issue.

It also says the French nuclear weapons test compensation law needs to be reformed to end the long hypocrisy surrounding the issue.

France is strongly opposed to French Polynesia's decolonisation, but Mr Temaru's campaign has the backing of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and reportedly of the Non-Aligned Movement.

However, Australia and New Zealand have sided with Paris and oppose Mr Temaru's decolonisation plan.