8 Nov 2004

American Samoa congressman to start dialogue towards Polynesian confederation

4:32 pm on 8 November 2004

American Samoa's Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says he will encourage dialogue towards establishing a Polynesian confederation.

Re-elected last week as the territory's representative in the US congress, Faleomavaega has been calling for a confederation that would serve the common interests of Polynesian states.

He envisages a grouping that would include Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia, Hawai'i and perhaps New Zealand Maori.

Faleomavaega says he wants leaders from these countries to revisit the idea of a confederation first touted by Hawai'i's King David Kalakaua in 1887.

The Congressman says examples of such regional groupings as the Melanesian Spearhead and the Micronesian Group have shown how common interests in politics, trade, culture and language can be met.

"They're getting together, they're meeting and they're holding councils, and seminars. It's just a matter of comparing notes, so to speak, and see that their common interests among the different entities and see how they can approach problems and resolve them."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin