10 Jun 2004

Research makes case for reform to Pacific economic ministers

10:19 am on 10 June 2004

Case studies on institutional reform presented to Pacific Forum economic ministers show there is merit in the change.

Auckland University development studies professor Alan Jackson and Tongan graduate student Ofa Ketu'u presented the case studies in a briefing paper to the ministers in Rotorua yesterday.

Professor Jackson says the call for competition and tight budgets is to be encouraged but the reforms cannot become an end in themselves.

He says there's a need to balance the modern with the traditional and to get the widest buy-in.

Professor Jackson says the call for land reform, so that it can be used to obtain loans through the banking system, is the wrong solution to that problem.

"What is the question here? It's not that you need to reconstruct the whole of your land tenure system, but that you need some form of getting the loan recognised. That's a relatively small issue, there must be ways of handling that, that don't necessarily mean you have the rewrite the whole of your land systems and land holding systems in a Western style."