9 Jun 2004

Rotorua Pacific Forum meet gets underway

2:55 pm on 9 June 2004

Concerns about good governance, moves towards institutional reform and regional co-operation are on the agenda at a meeting of Pacific Island Forum economic ministers in Rotorua.

The two-day discussion, chaired by the New Zealand Finance Minister Michael Cullen got under way this morning.

Don Wiseman reports from Rotorua.

"The ministers will be shown two case studies by Auckland University Development Studies Professor Alan Jackson. These show there are significant benefits but some drawbacks in the reforms being called for by agencies such as the International Monetary Fund. The ministers are to be updated on an ongoing Australian government study which is looking into what needs to be done to improve air and sealinks in the region. The international anti-corruption group Transparency International is reporting back on a survey it conducted in four pacific countries - Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Samoa. The survey confirmed there is widespread abuse of public office in the Pacific. The ministers are expected to further discuss the Pacific Plan calling for significant reforms at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The ministers are not expected to make any significant decisions but the results of their discussions will feed into the Forum leaders meeting in Apia in two months time. In Rotorua, Don Wiseman."