21 November 2014

Recent developments in French Polynesia/Ma'ohi Nui - Nic Maclellan


As French president Francois Hollande visits the region for the G20 summit, Nic Maclellan looks at recent developments in French Polynesia.

Gaston Flosse, one of the Pacific’s longest serving politicians, has been removed from office as President of French Polynesia, after exhausting all avenues of appeal against his conviction for misappropriation of public funds.

But while Flosse is out of office, he’s not out of power. Today, Flosse’s Tahoeraa Huiraatira party still maintains significant control at all levels of government in French Polynesia. This ongoing influence means that French Polynesia is finding it difficult to develop new development paradigms to address long-standing economic challenges.

While defeated in 2013 elections for French Polynesia’s local Assembly, independence leader Oscar Manutahi Temaru has been successful in mobilising greater involvement by international organisations to monitor developments in French Polynesia. The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation, the Pacific Islands Forum and Pacific governments have all joined the debate over French Polynesia’s future political status.