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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 31) – The Republic High Commissioner and representative of France in French Polynesia since October 2001, Michel Mathieu left Tahiti on Saturday morning. His next assignment is New Caledonia.

Friday night, during his last official ceremony, at his residency in Papeete, he said goodbye to Polynesia and took stock of his actions.

Rather discreet and reserved, with the press particularly, the High Co. dealt with several delicate situations: the hunt for the missing Fetia Api leaders (autonomist opposition) in May 2002, Tahiti Nui IV shipwreck at the end of 2003, or all the local political changes since May 2004. "What counts is not what one says, it is what one does" he commented.

In his speech he also clarified the High Co.'s actions and French State role in Polynesia: "French Republic is modern, fraternal and supporting, it is aware of Polynesian identity and in favor of its autonomy; is it not the only guarantor of a thorough dialogue between our cultures able to combine unity and diversity and to make a better future for everyone?"

The State is "guarantor of respect for the Law"

Then Michel Mathieu went on listing some of the State main missions as parts of Polynesia autonomy; "The State is in charge of the main points, the last resort if needs be, it is always respectful of transferred powers", "The State is impartial, guarantor of respect for the Law, of the Institutions", or "The State continuously guarantees individual freedom."

Secretary of the Treasury, Emile Vanfasse was the government representative at the ceremony as Polynesia President Oscar Temaru is in Vanuatu for the independence 25th anniversary.

On Saturday morning Michel Mathieu left for France and after a few days off he will fly to New Caledonia where he will be the next High Co. He started his career there from 1974 to 1977, first as High Co. official representative and as East administrative subdivision Head.

Anne Boquet, Polynesia new High Co. is expected in Papeete at the beginning of September. She already held the post in Tahiti in the past. Secretary General, Jacques Michaut will stand for her as France representative until her arrival.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005


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