19 Sep 2009

Shipping protest in French Polynesia ends

10:02 am on 19 September 2009

Shipping across French Polynesia has resumed after shipowners said they would end their indefinite suspension of services after one day.

Shipowners took the sudden action in protest at the government giving a licence to a foreign-owned company to use the King Tamatoa fast ferry for a service to the Leeward Islands.

They said they wanted the King Tamatoa deal to be scrapped but the President, Oscar Temaru, told the assembly that his decision stood.

The sudden stop to the services caused major disruptions and left hundreds of people usually travelling between Tahiti and Moorea stranded.

The new fast ferry is to arrive next year and is expected to provide a cheaper and faster service.