Overseas country lost in the middle of the Pacific, French Polynesia changed its president last Friday – the independence party took power – and a new government was formed three days ago. Just named, the new Minister of Sports, the young and dynamic 32-year-old entrepreneur Nahema Temarii, went to Teahupoo on Tuesday afternoon accompanied by her colleagues Jordy Chan (Minister of Major Works and Equipment) and Minarii Galenon Taupua (Minister of Solidarity and Housing) in order to meet the population following the recent floods but also to attend the progress of the works at the end of the road to the end of the world – a new footbridge being in particular under construction at the level of the roundabout – , 14 months from the organization of the surfing event at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
During this courtesy visit, Nahema Temarii made a surprising and disconcerting outing when it came to the momentum that this new governance intends to give to the organization of this first Olympic event on Polynesian soil. ” We have two options in front of usshe announced confidently on the small footbridge that spans the Fauoro River, as if the Games were not over yet. The first option: we go all the way, making sure that this test of the Games goes as well as possible for everyone. Paris 2024 has this sensitivity of this mutual respect and of taking the population into consideration. The first who came to meet the population, moreover, was not the government of the time but Tony Estanguet. »
” It is not too late. Another city in Metropolitan France could then take our place. We are emerging from a health crisis that has led to an economic crisis. And this organization will inevitably have a financial impact.
After greeting the visit to Teahupoo last August of the President of the OCOGTemarii unsheathed another rather grotesque possibility at first sight, the possibility of a dismissal… The second option is that, due to our fragile economic situation, French Polynesia revokes the organization of this Olympic competition. It is not too late. Another city in Metropolitan France could then take our place. We are emerging from a health crisis that has led to an economic crisis. And this organization will inevitably have a financial impact. »
The minister nevertheless insisted on the fact that the independence party did not want to rush headlong towards the path of dismissal. ” It is indeed not our wish, the president said it well, it is not possible. It is now up to me to provide him with reliable information and the feelings of the population to enable him to make the best decision. Recently, we have seen the denaturalization of sites, not to mention that there have been claims related to flooding in recent days. All of this will have to be studied. Personally, I trust. We’ve fallen behind (in the works) but we still have a small margin. »
The OCOG wants to be reuring
If, on the side of Paris 2024, we are not worried, Barbara Martins, the manager of the Tahiti site for the OCOG, had to work after that to step up to ease the tensions: “ So far the signals have been very positiveshe told us from her headquarters in the capital Papeete. I think it’s a communication strategy to tell local residents that the file has been taken in hand, that the country will follow and that there will be major budgetary issues. It is also a way of subsequently justifying certain financing to which the country has committed. We are on tripartite contracts (the French State, Polynesia and Paris 2024), in which everyone has their own roadmap. All commitments have been signed on both sides. I’m sticking to that and I’m not going to go into each other’s communication strategies. »
For the OCOG representative in Polynesia, dismissal is not an eventuality on the agenda: “ Legally, the country (Polynesia) is committed. Now, is revocation possible? I want to tell you that anything is possible. But I don’t think that’s the will of the government. (Polynesian) and in his interest. It’s totally irrational, but above all it’s a desire to mark one’s territory. I call for calm because the success of the Games will be to guarantee the influence of Polynesia and to create a legacy in terms of infrastructure and know-how. »