22 Aug 2003

Academic calls for more talanoa talks in Pacific

8:48 am on 22 August 2003

There's a call for talanoa, or the seeking of a consensus on a issue through discussion, to be made more use of in the Pacific.

Noted Tongan academic, Sitiveni Halapua, has established the talanoa talks involving Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

They have held discussions on contentious issues such as land and the constitution.

Mr Halapua says there is a wider role for talanoa in the region because it allows discussion outside of a confrontational environment.

He says it could complement western style type parliamentary systems and lead to a greater inclusiveness because people would get to have their say on an issue.

"And this process of talanoa has built up that common understanding that when a decision is made, and people whose idea probably not part of the decision,they feel they understand why the decision was made in such and such a manner, it's still a human feeling, and I think it is an inclusive process."