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The distinct regions of Papeete are not called neighborhoods but rather are called communes, reflecting the historical link the area has with the French socio-political system.
Additional information about the history of the area can be learned by visiting
and interested travelers can gain further information by checking out the reading list at
There are seven different communes in Papeete, of which Papeete commune is the center of the government. This is where travelers will find that the official offices of the government are located and this is where many of the celebrations associated with official holidays take place.
Although Papeete commune is the central neighborhood, the modern day president of all of French Polynesia, Oscar Temaru, actually lives in Faa’a. This suburb commune of Papeete is also the area which is most populated, having grown steadily since the 1980’s. Travelers often spend time in this area because it is the location of the Faa’a International Airport as well as home to the University of French Polynesia. Many performing arts events of interest to travelers take place at the latter location.
Faa’a is located just southwest of Papeete commune. Also south of the area are the communes of Punaauia and Arue. To the northeast of Papeete lie the additional communes of Mahina, Pirae and Paea.