New Zealand backs Tahiti's Forum bid - report

12:20 pm on 3 May 2016

French Polynesia's public broadcaster says New Zealand supports the French territory's bid to become a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Polynesian Leaders Group in Tahiti

Edouard Fritch. Photo: Supplied

To date, Forum membership has only been open to independent nations.

French Polynesia, as well as New Caledonia, are on the United Nations list of territories to be decolonised, which also includes New Zealand-administered Tokelau.

The report says French Polynesia has the support of New Zealand's prime minister, John Key, who met French Polynesia's president, Edouard Fritch in Auckland in connection with the visit of the French prime minister, Manuel Valls.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, with Prime Minister John Key in Auckland.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, with Prime Minister John Key in Auckland. Photo: RNZ/Kim Baker Wilson

In 2003, the French President Jacques Chirac hosted Pacific leaders in Tahiti and urged them to integrate the two territories into the regional bodies, including as Forum members.

In 2006, the two became associate members.

Last year, President François Hollande restated the wish of the Paris for Forum integration.

Paris will organise an independence referendum in New Caledonia by 2018 but flatly refuses to engage in any moves to decolonise French Polynesia.

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