27 Oct 2004

New Zealand Government concerned at growing tension in French Polynesia

6:32 pm on 27 October 2004

The New Zealand foreign Minister, Phil Goff, says the growing tension in French Polynesia is worrisome.

He says it is up to France and French Polynesia to sort through the divisions which have resulted in two rival groups claiming to lead the country.

Mr Goff says there are no signs of trouble at the present time and he hopes that the peace can be kept.

But he says there is a risk that frustration could grow in a situation where the constitutional process appears to be in a degree of chaos.

"Clearly Oscar Temaru will continue to use legal challenges and other, albeit peaceful, means of disruption to try to force the French Government to agree to a dissolution of the Assembly and new elections. Whichever way it goes it is going to be very hard for Gaston Flosse, with a majority of just one - a similar situation to what Oscar Temaru was in fact in - to maintain stable government"