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Monday, September 05, 2011

Pacific Islands Forum: France

France is a colonial power in the South Pacific and is supported by the NZ government in the same way that the South African regime supported the Portuguese and Rhodesian governments to control Southern Africa. Helen Clark herself welcomed the French presence in the Pacific - in the same way she also said at the time that East Timor was unquestionably and definitively part of Indonesia. MFAT would make the same claim about West Papua now.

NZ once again - being a remnant colony - is on the wrong side of history. And our regime continues to make the same mistakes and provides diplomatic cover for the subjection of others because it honours an imperialist past. Self-determination of the indigenous people remains a conceptual and ideological threat to Wellington because the NZ government itself denies the internal application of the very Treaty that founds the nation - being one that guarantees autonomy for the constituent indigenous polities and people.

Wellington supports the continuing manipulation and dragging of the colonial shackles over New Caledonia, regardless of massacres and exploitation. Tahiti - 'French Polynesia' - is slightly different however and their to and fro between conservative metropolitan forces and radical independent forces within that jurisdiction has given enough contestability for Wellington to claim that popular support for France does exist. That is changing and the NZ government will have to change too.

NZ Herald:

Mr Temaru said he was seeking a resolution of support from the forum.

"We also know that the French Government is fooling around trying to put pressure on those countries not to support that issue.

"We need the United Nations to be in the middle as a referee for every important issue that we have to talk to the French Government [about]. He said he was optimistic for the first time that the forum would back him.

The French government should be expelled from the forum on principle - that colonial powers unwilling to decolonise should be opposed and isolated. The French send in their representatives to these types of fora to run interference. White Frenchmen under the banner of France turning up to talk on behalf of Polynesians? It is unacceptable. It's like the Portuguese and British turning up to the African Union. And here is the NZ government welcoming and supporting them.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully told the Herald last night that he would listen attentively to any messages the French Polynesians wanted to give.

"But at the end of the day, the practical reality is that resolving this long-standing issue is going to require dialogue between Polynesia and Paris and we would be encouraging them to conduct that dialogue."

Mr Temaru is seeking a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in Auckland this week.

He said he was not seeking a meeting with French Foreign Minister and former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe, who is also due to arrive later in the week.

Mr Temaru already has the support of three forum leaders, Papua New Guinea's Peter O'Neill, the Solomon Islands' Danny Philip and Tuvalu's Willy Telavi who signed up to a communique in Fiji last week on eight issues, one of them backing the reinscription of French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation committee's list.

The French territory was on the list until 1947 when it was removed.


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