French Polynesia

Tahiti airport strike yet to end

Most grievances have been settled and outer island airports have resumed full services.

However, in Tahiti firefighters employed by the airport company are yet to agree to return to work.

This has affected the schedule of international flights.

The French High Commissioner Rene Bidal has expressed concern at the impasse and warned that firefighters ordered to maintain a basic service risk jail if they refuse to comply.

The five-day stoppage last week crippled domestic air travel to dozens of destinations and disrupted tourism.


Protocol reached to end crippling French Polynesia strike

After five days of disruptions, media reports say a deal has been reached between the authorities and publicly employed firefighters.

An agreement is yet to be concluded with all firefighters on the payroll of the private company running some of the dozens of airports across the archipelago.

Only a couple of islands had maintained links with Tahiti, throwing travel plans of several thousand people into disarray.

The stoppage also imperiled medical evacuations.

The partial settlement clears the way for a gradual resumption of services to the outer islands.

Three die in French Polynesia diving accident

The accident happened on Ahe atoll in the Tuamotus, killing a highly experienced diving instructor Gilles Demee.

He was accompanied by two Tahiti-based Russian academics, Alexey Zykin and Tatiana Makarova.

The circumstances of the accident are not clear and an investigation has been launched.

Reports say the three bodies have been located but are yet to be recovered.


Photo: SUPPLIED / Danica Stent, DOC Diving accident claims three lives in cave of Ahe atoll 


Combined total of 65 years jail for Tahiti drug dealers

They were found guilty of growing the drug on Tahiti Iti for sale across the Society Islands through a network of dealers from 2010 to 2014.

The head of the organisation Marvin Ah-Min was given a seven-year prison sentence and a $US90,000 fine.

He had already been in detention as part of an investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine.

The other defendants were given shorter prison sentences which combined add up to a total of 65 years.

According to the prosecution, it was the biggest drug ring of the past decade.

Two men detained after French Polynesia cocaine seizure

Reports said the yacht had run onto the reef at Faaite in the Tuamotus and was on fire when the two men were rescued and given medical care.

Tahiti-infos said the two yachties, who spoke no French, were then assisted to take the ferry to Tahiti.

When locals tried to clean up the debris of the burnt yacht, about 200 kilograms of cocaine was found amid signs that a huge quantity had been burnt.

The two yachties were subsequently taken into custody when they arrived in Tahiti.


Photo: AFP

Tahiti's dengue-2 spread halted

The health ministry said three cases of type-2 dengue were brought in from Vanuatu when Tahiti hosted the under-17 football world cup qualification games.

It said strict measures were adopted to contain the outbreak by checking the players' temperature and by spraying venues and accommodation used for the event.

It said a month later no secondary case has been registered and the alarm level has been lowered.

The ministry thanked the public for helping contain the outbreak.

Nuclear expert Barrillot dies in Tahiti

Last year, the government reinstated him - three years after the previous government, led by Gaston Flosse, had sacked him as the head of the territory's body concerned with the aftermath of the French nuclear weapons tests.

Mr Barrillot's duties included work on the rehabilitation of the former test-related military sites on Moruroa and Hao as well as assisting in efforts to amend the French nuclear testing compensation law.

France and French Polynesia sign development accord

This deal follows the French President's visit to French Polynesia last year and looks at co-operation between Paris and French Polynesia towards the territory's development.

Francois Hollande said it was above all a political accord which will place French Polynesia in the republic and something that can no longer be questioned, Edouard Fritch added that the text opens symbolically to the recognition of France's nuclear legacy and its consequences.

France tested nuclear atomic weapons from 1966 to 1996 in Mururoa and Fangataufa.

Obamas expected in French Polynesia

Tahiti Nui TV reported that several sources had confirmed that Mr Obama would initially stay at the Brando resort on Tetiaroa.

The French Polynesian presidency said it had been advised of Mr Obama's arrival but no details about his stay had been given.

The reports said during their visit, Mr and Mrs Obama would also spend time on Bora Bora.

They said there would be no formal welcome when the couple arrives in Tahiti.


Photo: AFP Former US President Barack Obama and his wide Michelle Obama, in Cuba last year. 

French Polynesia encourage to train fishermen in NZ

He has been leading a delegation to the French territory this week.

Views were exchanged on industrial fisheries and fish farming, with a focus on the cultivation of grouper and mackerel.

Mr Jones spoke of his desire for a partnership in the fisheries sector and in maritime training in which he says New Zealand has long-standing know-how.


Photo: supplied  Shane Jones led NZ delegation in French Polynesia