30 Mar 2006

New Zealand opposition questions decolonisation outcomes

3:28 pm on 30 March 2006

The New Zealand opposition National Party says those seeking decolonisation of Pacific territories should look very hard of what the economic and social consequences will be.

This comes after the opposition Green Party backed the French Polynesian president's call for the territory to go through the UN decolonisation process similar to the one applied to Tokelau last month.

The New Zealand government has declined comment but the National Party's associate foreign affairs spokesman, John Hayes, is critical of the New Zealand example as the Cook Islands and Niue have been left with depleted populations.

Mr Hayes says while the French administration has ensured that most indigenous people stay, they should be the ones to decide how they want to run their country.

"The people of French Polynesia should be running their own affairs but if that's the choice they decide they want to take but they should take that choice not on the basis of instant and superficial following a cause but after a good hard look at the policies they are thinking about and what the likely outcomes of those police are going to be."