10 May 2018

France returns army land to Tahiti

11:01 am on 10 May 2018

The French government has returned two more plots of land held by the military in French Polynesia to local governments.

Perimeter fence of the French military base in Tahiti.

Perimeter fence of the French military base in Tahiti. Photo: RNZI/ Walter Zweifel

The French High Commission in Papeete said the transfer concerned lots on Tahiti.

One is just over half a hectare in Faaa and the other is five hectares in Mahina which was used by the Atomic Energy Commission.

A statement said given the shortage of land on Tahiti, the deal was an exceptional opportunity for the territory.

France has said in total it will give the communes and the territorial government 22 hectares, worth about $US43 million, to set up businesses and build houses.

The return of the land was first announced in 2008 by the then French defence minister Herve Morin when he confirmed further defence cuts after the end of nuclear weapons tests in 1996.

France annexed Tahiti and its islands in 1880 but later excised Moruroa and Fangataufa for the atomic testing programme.

The two atolls remain French no-go zones.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs