30 Aug 2013

Cooks keen to invest in French Polynesia, says Flosse

1:21 pm on 30 August 2013

The French Polynesian government says it has been told by the Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, that there many private investors in his country keen to invest in French Polynesia.

A government statement says Mr Puna held long informal talks with the French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, in Auckland on the eve of today's Polynesian Leader Group's meeting.

It says Mr Flosse has also called for dialogue in the region and expressed his wish that countries don't interfere in what he calls choices made by the people.

The comment is a reference to last May's UN vote to return French Polynesia to the list of territories to be decolonised.

The move angered Mr Flosse's party, which formed a new government shortly after the UN decision.

As a result, the territorial assembly, which is dominated by his party, has formally asked France for an independence referendum as soon as possible, but Paris has largely ignored the request.