Academic: Tahiti Forum Bid Could Trigger Domino Effect

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Spur other non-independent territories to try to join

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 3, 2015) – An academic says there could be a domino effect of non-independent territories seeking to join the Pacific Islands Forum if French Polynesia achieves membership.

The French territory, which currently has observer status at the Forum, is looking at increasing its involvement in the leading regional body.

A Forum mission has recently been in Tahiti to assess its membership bid.

The director of Massey University's Pasifika Centre, Malakai Koloamatangi, says while France is reluctant to entertain the idea of its territories becoming independent, it wants to engage more with the region and having Forum membership could help effect this.

"If it works out for the French territories, who knows, American territories might follow suit if it's shown that joining the Forum in a more meaningful way might be more beneficial for them."

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