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December 14, 1999
PINA Nius Online


PAPEETE, FRENCH POLYNESIA (December 14, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---A seminar held by the Pacific Community (PC) this week in Papeete is updating quarantine officials on the regional procedures for pest-free fruit imports, RFO-radio reported.

The seminar has already been given in the neighboring Pacific countries of Tonga, the Cook Islands and Samoa. It is aimed at developing import and control procedures on a regional level, as well as protecting the territory against the potential risk of introduced pests, such as the fruit fly.

"(The) fruit fly has a serious impact (on) our country's environment," said French Polynesia’s Agriculture Minister Patrick Bordet. "This seminar is to further prevent the introduction of any new parasite. As soon as a new set of rules is drawn up for the whole Pacific and presented by the Pacific Community, French Polynesia will follow and take steps through appropriate regulations and legislation for their enforcement in French Polynesia."

The seminar, which is jointly organized by the PC and the World Trade Organization (WTO), is being held at French Polynesia's IRD (French Research Institute for Development).

"(This set of rules) is here to give the regional countries a common approach to reacting to a risk due to a particular insect," Bordet said.




PAPEETE, French Polynesia (December 14, 1999-PINA Nius Online)---Minister Louise Peltzer has proclaimed 2000 the "Year of the Reo Maohi" (Tahitian language), the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reported.

The celebrations are to culminate on "Reo Maohi Day" when the "President's Prize" will be awarded to the best writer in the indigenous language.

The initiative was discussed during the last cabinet meeting and introduced by French Polynesian President Gaston Flosse.

Flosse wants the event to be made permanent each Reo Maohi Day, but this is yet to be determined. The date could coincide with the anniversary of the first book published in the indigenous language, which occurred in October 1810. It could also be associated with the anniversaries when French authorities decided to allow Reo Maohi to be taught in primary schools and to instate it as a teaching language at the university level.

Reo Maohi (Tahitian) is one of French Polynesia's two official languages, the other one being French.

Special events will also be planned throughout next year to mark the celebration.

A seminar of 100 participants will be formed to help plan the event. A steering committee will select the best projects and develop a schedule.



PAPEETE, French Polynesia (December 14, 1999-PINA Nius Online)---Top officials from Australia and French Polynesia met last week to review relations between Australia and the French territory, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reported.

Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Assistant Secretary Joe Thwaites and Noumea-based Australian Consul Kirsty Mitchell were in the territory last week to take part in the Pacific Community's annual conference. They also met French Polynesian Economy Minister Georges Puchon to discuss trade issues, including the political and institutional evolution of French Polynesia. Thwaites welcomed development opportunities for French Polynesia in the process of its constitutional evolution.

The French Congress (a joint gathering of the National Assembly and Senate) will meet January 24 to endorse a constitutional amendment, which would turn French Polynesia from an "overseas territory" to an "overseas country."

Thwaites said the economic development of the territory should integrate with the development of the region as a whole. He welcomed a further strengthening of the links between his department and the French Polynesian Ministry for Economy.

Last year, French Polynesia exported some 240 million French Pacific Francs (about US$ 2.4 million) to Australia, most of which were black pearls (231 million CFP).

During the same period, Australia exported 7.6 billion CFP worth of goods to French Polynesia, more than half being fuel.

Under an AusAid (Australian Agency for International Development)-South Pacific Trade Commission exchange program, French Polynesia sends two students to Australia each year to do practical research and market studies.

This bulletin was produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Editor: Patrick Antoine Decloitre E-mail: 

For more information, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA Administrator, at 

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Damodar Centre, 1st Floor 46 Gordon Street Suva, Republic of the Fiji Islands Tel: (679) 303 623 Fax : (679) 303 943 Postal Address: PINA, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji Islands Website: 

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