French Polynesia

Floating isle off Tahiti seeks Pacific residents

The company Blue Frontiers has released more details of its plan to build environmentally friendly floating platforms within the lagoon for people to live on and work on new technologies.

It's working with the French Polynesian government on the project which is expected to be a special economic zone at sea about the size of a soccer field, housing up to 250 people.

Majority of Society Islands living in poverty

The data is based on a 2015 survey on expenditure in Tahiti and Moorea.

55 percent of people in French Polynesia's most populous islands are earning less than $US1,150 a month while in France 16 percent are below the poverty mark.

A quarter of the population in Tahiti receives no more than $US600 a month.

The figures also show large disparities, with the most affluent households spending nine times more than the poorest ones.

In France, the richest band of households spent about four times more than the poorest.

French Polynesia election dates approved

Tentatively, the French High Commission has approved April 22 and May 6 as dates to elect a new 57-member territorial assembly for a five-year term.

The dates are expected to be officially confirmed in December.

Electoral lists have to be drawn up by late March, with campaging starting in April.

A list has to secure 12.5 per cent of votes in the first round to make it to the run-off in May.

In the last election in 2013, the Tahoeraa Huiraatira of Gaston Flosse won 38 of the 57 seats.

French Polynesia protest at Marquesas fishing project

This followed a government decision to allow large-scale fishing and the stationing of a tuna fishing fleet.

The public broadcaster said 600 people marched in Hiva Oa against the plans, presenting a petition signed by 500 people from the islands of Tahuata and Fatu Hiva who could not attend the rally.

The project, named Toa Hiva, was jointly launched by the local administrations in the Marquesas in the hope of creating 200 jobs.

It aims to base 24 tuna fishing vessels and catch about 3000 tonnes a year.

Turtle poachers caught in French Polynesia

Tahiti Nui TV reports that after a tip-off, plain clothes police went to Maupiti in the Society Islands where they searched and found almost 450 kilogrammes of turtle meat.

Five fishermen were reportedly detained for questioning and their boats seized.

The report says on the black market, a kilogramme of turtle meat can fetch up to $US100.

     

FFA seeks clarification on implication French territories membership

Concerns have been raised by some quarters that FFA strategic and confidential positions on the management and conservation of tuna have been compromised with the inclusion of France – through its Pacific territories -- into its membership. 

When questioned at a regional media workshop in Apia, Director General of Forum Fisheries Agency, James Movick said any new member of the Pacific Islands Forum qualifies to become a member of FFA.

No funding for Tahiti army base clean-up

In an interview with the La Depeche de Tahiti, Rene Bidal said the money at his disposal was for studies about future use of the bases but not for dealing with pollution.

The three-hectare site was ceded for a symbolic euro, with the local council in charge of its rehabilitation.

According to the paper, the cost to clean up after the military, such as removing asbestos and spilled fuel, had blown out from $US300,000 to $US1.2 million because of tightened environmental regulations.

Work on Chinese owned fish farm in French Polynesia set for Dec start

The public broadcaster reported the announcement just days after a delegation of the Chinese company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods arrived in Tahiti for further talks with French Polynesian leaders.

According to the report, 40 hectares will be initially developed which will create 250 jobs, with 95 percent of them going to locals.

It says the project is worth about $US380 million.

Two years ago, the company expected to be able to employ about 10,000 people, but the project had since been scaled back.

French Polynesia votes to become full member of Forum

The vote was 47 in favour, with ten members abstaining.

An extraordinary sitting of the assembly was called to advance the formal steps for the territory to join the Forum which needs to be coordinated with France as it represents French Polynesia internationally.

The pro-independence opposition, which declined to vote, expressed surprise that Paris authorises French Polynesia to join the Forum while never ceding to it powers in terms of foreign affairs and security.

French Polynesia takes further step towards Forum membership

Last year's Forum summit admitted French Polynesia and New Caledonia as full members but the documents for the proper accession have yet to be finalised.

Radio 1 reported that the assembly in Tahiti was now due to vote on the accession document after it was approved by the French foreign ministry earlier this year.

It also reported that a French version of the text then needed to be submitted to the Forum.