| Oscar Temaru
1983 – present|
Faaa (also Faaa) is a commune in the suburbs of Papeete in French Polynesia, an overseas country of France in the Pacific Ocean. Faaa is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, themselves part of the Society Islands. Faaa has a population of 29,851, making it the largest commune in Tahiti and French Polynesia. Faaa has many mountains inland that can reach 1,500 m (5,000 ft). Mount Marau is an extinct volcano in the inland limits and can be seen from nearby Moorea. The area of Faaa is 9 m (30 ft) above mean sea level on average.
Faaa has a long history. Captain James Cook came to Tahiti on his expedition. The commune is the political stronghold of independence leader Oscar Temaru who has served three times as president.
Faaa is located in northwestern Tahiti. Just 6 kilometers (4 mi) south of the town center of Papeete, the runway for Faaa International Airport is built on coral reef since there is limited flat land. There is a slight bay south of the airport where the roads and freeways move inland. Downtown Faaa is about 6 m (20 ft) above mean sea level. Faaa is in northwestern French Polynesia. The Papenoo River is not too far away. Faaa extends inland about 15 km (9 mi). Mount Orohena is in the mountains of Faaa. The mountain is the highest point in French Polynesia at 2,200 m (7,300 ft). Tahiti Iti is just to the southeast of the commune. Moorea, which is Tahitis sister island, is located just 15 km (9.3 mi) across the Pacific Ocean. Many people can see Mount Tohivea which is the tallest mountain on Moorea at nearly 1,200 m (4,000 ft). Los Angeles, California is located 6,616 km (4,111 mi) northeast, Santiago, Chile is 3,400 km (2,100 mi) east, and Sydney, Australia is located 3,200 km (2,000 mi) west. Easter Island is not too far east of Faaa. There are some viewpoints in Faaa to see Moorea. Moorea appears as a gray mound with mountains across the Pacific Ocean. The Faaa Nature Park is a major park in the mountains. New Caledonia is located not too far to the west of Faaa.
The area of Faaa was first settled by travelers from Asia that arrived on canoes at the year of 700. At that time, the settlers from Asia had made small houses from grass and wood. Faaa had only 400 residents. They fished from the beach and from their canoes. The settlers made spears from the charcoal on the beach. Pretty soon, many more settlers came from Asia making the population to grow to 700 by the year 1220. Some of the people feed on breadfruit and bananas from banana trees. The settlers kept walking inland from the beach. They looked across the ocean and saw Moorea which has also been settled. Some of the settlers on Tahiti paddled on their canoes and visited Moorea. By 1300, Faaa had about 1,000 residents. Faaa had many grass houses along the beach which some were so close to each other. Some of the residents left open spaces to let their kids play. Some of the early Tahitians made small fires from leaves to stay warm during winter. 1,300 residents have settled in Faaa during the 1330s. Most of the settlers moved their houses inland from the coastal beaches since they were flooded during cyclones and high tides. The Tahitians had moved into the small valleys close to Mount Orohena. Many of the early Polynesians had canoed to Moorea and back a bunch of times. They had been careful of the many stonefish in the water.
Air Tahiti has its head office on the airport property in Faaa. There are many supermarkets in Faaa. The supermarkets mainly sell bread, milk, fruits, and ice cream. There is also one of the largest malls in French Polynesia in downtown Faaa. It has a clothing store a market, and a souvenir shop. The now defunct Air Moorea had its head office in Faaa. Many people that work in other communes such as Papeete or Teahupoo live in Faaa. There are businesses like McDonalds that are close to the public beach. The port of Papeete has many workers that live in Faaa. Many other people that work in Papeete or Teahupoo live in Faaa. McDonalds is a popular restaurant in Faaa that is close to the beach, just off Tahitis west coast freeway. The port of Papeete has many workers who live in Faaa. There is a Carrefour market in the commune.