18 Aug 2003

NZ prime minister says good resourcing vital for an effective Pacific Forum

10:58 am on 18 August 2003

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says Pacific Island nations need to beef up resources to the Pacific Island secretariat to ensure it can adequately anticipate problems in the region.

Ms Clark says Forum members want it to be a Pacific Island version of the Commonwealth Secretary General and Secretariat, which pushes for swift action where it thinks it is needed.

"They don't sit and wait to be asked and told by Forum leaders through a long process what to do, rather they get on the front foot and say we think someting needs to be initiated here."