23 Jan 2013

Temaru's dog reference riles French Polynesia opposition

12:25 pm on 23 January 2013

French Polynesia's opposition has expressed outrage at last week's speech of the territory's president Oscar Temaru at a UN meeting in New York when he sought support for his decolonisation bid.

He likened French Polynesia to a dog which France has given some slack on its leash by granting it autonomy.

The To Tatou Aia Party has decried the comment as an absolute shame because it was not made in anger but written, weighed-up and premeditated to be thrown into the face of delegates at the UN.

By doing this, the party says Mr Temaru has overstepped the limit of what is acceptable and needs to apologise.

Mr Temaru addressed the Non-Aligned Movement in an effort to get the UN General Assembly's backing for his campaign to re-inscribe French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

There is moderate regional support for Mr Temaru's initiative, with Australia and New Zealand siding with Paris in opposing it.

Territories on the UN list include New Caledonia and Tokelau.