Polynesian Leaders Group

Room for more PLG members says Samoa PM

The French territory is now the ninth member of the PLG since the group was formed six years ago in Apia.

It was accepted with open arms during the PLG’s annual meeting in Apia on the eve of opening the 48th annual Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting.

PM Malielegaoi reminded the group to expect more new members, with Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand Maoris in waiting.

The three potential members have formally approached the Polynesian group and PM Malielegaoi has moved for PLG to consider the three applications.

Polynesia Leaders Group now biggest within Forum

He told media this means more cooperation in all areas of development between Polynesian countries.

Other members of the PLG are French Polynesia, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa and Tokelau, while Easter Island and Hawai'i attend as observers.

One area where countries will start cooperating is the proposed regional submarine cable, Manatua, which is being driven by Samoa.

RNZI reports the cable aims to position Polynesia as a key player in the digital economy with fast and reliable connectivity.

Samoa to host Secretariat of Polynesian Leaders Group

This was endorsed at the 7th meeting of group in Apia yesterday.

Wallis and Futuna was also welcomed as the newest member of the Polynesian bloc on Monday.

Also discussed was a Samoa initiative for a new submarine cable network Manatua which would connect Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Tonga.

RNZI reports French Polynesia President Edouard Fritch also floated the idea of a Polynesian airline to be owned by governments of member countries of the group.

Mr Fritch explained the concept of a Polynesian airline.

Polynesian leaders in Apia for 7th annual meeting

In his opening remarks, Tonga interim Prime Minister and chair of the 7th PLG, ‘Akilisi Pohiva reminded the meeting to pursue firm and action-oriented decisions and platforms for partnerships.

Pohiva said Polynesia is the smallest in development yet the largest in the world in the oceans they occupy.

“In our annual meeting we are reminded to pursue the uniqueness of Polynesia’s sustained heritage, culture, traditional knowledge and information of which we have the privilege of diversity and continuity in maintaining our sovereign states.”

Samoa leader wants a bigger Polynesian Leaders Group

In his weekly radio show he said Fijians from the Lau group are mostly Polynesians so it made sense to invite Fiji to be a member of the group or PLG.

Tuilaepa, who takes over as chair of the Forum next week, says there is room in the PLG constitution to allow Fiji to join.

He also wants to include Polynesians in Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.

Some hapu (Māori subtribe) in New Zealand had made attempts to join the group in the past and Tuilaepa says he hopes the PLG will address these approaches as well.

“People of the canoe” issue new climate declaration

“The Pacific Ocean is a vital regulator of climate for the whole world and needs a voice.  We, the Polynesian Leaders Group, are the voice for the Pacific Ocean, and wish to carry our strategic vision to deal with the adverse effects of climate change by limiting global warming below 1.5 (degrees Celsius) and having access to tools and means to adapt to the adverse impacts caused by climate change.”