16 Mar 2004

New Zealand's Prime Minister says she expects a Forum review to be approved by Pacific leaders

7:14 am on 16 March 2004

The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, says she would be surprised if a plan for a major review of the Pacific Islands Forum is not given a good reception by Pacific leaders.

Ms Clark, the chair of the Forum, says a mini summit of Pacific leaders, to consider the review, is tentatively set for the first week of April .. with a retreat most likely in Auckland.

She says the region's leaders are motivated to ensure that the Pacific does not drift in the 21st century.

"You have several possible futures. The Pacific could become a ghetto of poverty and conflict or it could become something so much better and that's where some of the ideas about sharing resources, capabilties and training resources, best practice legislation, bigger focus on governance, all those issues come to the fore."

Ms Clark says the report has been researched and carried out in a way that is respectful of the Pacific, and she thinks it will be well regarded.