14 Nov 2007

Tahitian royal descendants moot union of regional chiefs idea

8:50 pm on 14 November 2007

Descendants of Tahiti's royal families say they would like to create a union of traditional leaders across the Pacific by including chiefs in Melanesia and Micronesia.

One of the organisers of the recent gathering of Polynesian royals in Raiatea, Joinville Pomare, says a delegation will be in New Caledonia this week as the next step in fostering such ties.

Mr Pomare says France should encourage these chiefdoms as they would allow France to keep the culture of the colonised people alive.

He has told the Tahitipresse news agency that the royal families could look at sensitive issues, like land ownership.

Mr Pomare says in French Polynesia, the land question has become a pressure cooker that will explode.

He says the 1842 and 1880 treaties signed by the Tahitians with France didn't allow for land to be sold