Tahiti's Temaru denounces French policies

6:23 am on 12 November 2015

French Polynesia's opposition pro-independence leader, Oscar Temaru, has sharply criticised France, saying it was raping the Maohi people's rights to sovereignty.

Mr Temaru lashed out at Paris for retaining the rights to the territory's seabed and continental shelves, which are believed to be rich in rare earths.

His comment comes as the President of the territorial assembly, who belongs to the anti-independence party, tabled a resolution, which asks France to cede these rights to French Polynesia.

Mr Temaru says the rival camp's move and support is belated and hypocritical because its politicians had been collaborators with France and allowed Paris to seize these rights.

His party colleague, Antony Geros, says France keeps refusing to recognise the decolonisation process approved by the United Nations two years ago.

He says whenever the Tahiti question is raised at the UN, France walks out to have a smoke.

Oscar Temaru

Oscar Temaru Photo: RNZI