6 Sep 2013

French Polynesia government defends hiring French staff

6:47 am on 6 September 2013

French Polynesia's ruling party has defended hiring French people for top positions after being accused of bypassing locals.

The Tahoeraa Huiraatira says it has made the choice to hire competent people, who are known in France and have the networks to add to French Polynesia's credibility.

The opposition criticised the employment of several French personalities, such as a former overseas territories minister, Brigitte Girardin, who has been made the territory's representative in Paris.

The new government has also hired a Frenchman to run Tahiti Nui TV and plans to employ a former French High Commissioner to run the territory's domestic airline.

The opposition has noted that they include supporters of Dominique de Villepin, the former French prime minister who has been a bitter rival of Nicolas Sarkozy, who in turn has shunned the Tahoeraa.