NEWS FROM FRENCH POLYNESIA

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August 11, 1999

PINA NIUS ONLINE

NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVES IN FRENCH POLYNESIA ON THURSDAY

PAPE‘ETE---New Zealand Foreign Minister Don McKinnon is to arrive on Thursday in French Polynesia, where he will lead a 40-strong all-party delegation for a two-day stopover, French Polynesia's Presidency said Wednesday.

McKinnon will have talks with French Polynesian President Gaston Flosse, who will introduce the 16 members of his government to the head of the New Zealand diplomacy.

The New Zealand minister will also meet French Polynesian Assembly President Justin Arapari, French government's representative in the Territory, High Commissioner Jean Aribaud, as well as marine resources and culture Ministers, Llewelyn Temahotoa and Louis Peltzer.

He is also to visit the museums of the pearl and the Tahiti and her islands, and the fisheries port in the French Polynesian capital.

McKinnon's visit is part of a Polynesian tour this week, which includes the Cook islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

The tour aims at "strengthening good relations New Zealand enjoys with its closest South Pacific neighbors," the New Zealand's foreign ministry said earlier in a statement.

In each visited country, economic, environmental, social and political issues, as well as reform programs currently implemented in some of the host island states, are on the agenda with top officials.

Last June, New Zealand Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys received red carpet honors as he paid a visit to French Polynesia, where he stayed five days, thus responding to a personal invitation from French President Jacques Chirac.

Similarly, last week Sir Michael was in one of France's other South Pacific overseas territories, New Caledonia.

AIR TAHITI NUI INTRODUCES CHARTERS TO NAGOYA, JAPAN

PAPE‘ETE---French Polynesia's young Air Tahiti Nui introduced charter flights between Nagoya (Japan) and Pape‘ete this week, daily newspaper Les Nouvelles de Tahiti reports.

The flights, which come in addition to the scheduled weekly connection to Tokyo, are made with Air Tahiti Nui's Airbus A 340, chartered by Japanese tour operator ST World Inc.

The first connection under the new agreement landed in the French Territory's capital earlier this week, with 188 passengers onboard, including ST World Inc marketing manager Takuya Katagiri.

Air Tahiti Nui management in a traditional Tahitian ceremony welcomed the first load of passengers.

This bulletin is produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)/ Association des Medias des les du Pacifique (PINA)

Editor: Patrick Antoine DECLOITRE

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