5 May 2005

Call for customary senate for Tahiti

3:51 pm on 5 May 2005

A spokesman for the descendants of French Polynesia's royal families say he wants a new statute that provides for a customary senate.

Joinville Pomare has told Tahitipresse news agency that the aim is not to restore the monarchy but to find a way for the royal families to be respected.

He says 163 years ago, a treaty was signed but France has not respected their rights.

Mr Pomare says the families don't want to have a say in the territorial assembly because they have representation there through other royal descendants.

He says they'll ask President Oscar Temaru and the assembly to allow for such a senate to be set up.

In March, Mr Pomare said they would like to form a body similar to New Caledonia's Kanak customary council to ensure that what was state land now wouldn't be sold off.