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Hawaii, Rapa Nui and New Zealand joins Polynesian Leaders Group

Hawaii, Rapa Nui and New Zealand joins Polynesian Leaders Group

For many Polynesia is the most remote area on earth. Spanning from Ecuador to Asia, and Australia the region made up of mostly island nations is huge. There will be three new members at the next Polynesian Leaders Group scheduled for Pago Pago, American Samoa. New Zealand, Hawaii and Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, have been admitted as members of the Polynesian Leaders Group.

The Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) is an international governmental cooperation group bringing together t independent or self-governing countries or territories in Polynesia.

The idea of a ‘Polynesian Alliance’ in order to address social and economic issues within the Pacific has been discussed since the between the 1870s and 1890s when King Kamehameha V of Hawaii, King Pomare V of Tahiti, King Malietoa Laupepa of Samoa and King George Tupou II of Tonga agreed to establish a confederation of Polynesian states, of which did not eventuate.

The three add to the group’s existing nine members: Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa, French Polynesia, Tokelau and Wallis and Futuna.

The decision was made this past week at the 8th Polynesian Leaders’ Group summit in Tuvalu.

According to the Group’s chairman, Tuvalu’s prime minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga, there was strong support for adding more Polynesian countries and communities to the fold.

He said it was important for all Polynesian peoples to come together because they face common issues which require a collective response.

The group, which was established in 2011, consists of independent or self-governing countries or territories within the geographical region of Polynesia.

“There is a strong consensus that we should welcome our brothers Hawaii, Rapanui and Maori as members of the Polynesian Leaders’ Group,” Mr Sopaga said.

“In accordance with the MOU which we signed, we welcome other Polynesian communities in other places and locations to join the PLG as brothers.”

Representatives of all the group’s members attended this summit except for the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia.


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