25 Feb 2005

New Zealand NGOs to discuss Pacific Plan consultations

8:36 am on 25 February 2005

Non-governmental organisations in New Zealand will meet throughout next month to discuss the draft Pacific Plan which outlines ways in which the region could work more closely together.

The draft has been distributed through the region and Pacific Islands Forum member countries are expected to encourage public submissions.

The New Zealand Council for International Development's Rae Julian, says around 30 agencies operating in the Pacific have been invited to comment.

She says they can do this directly or attend a series of meetings with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials who've been involved with compiling the draft.

"We think that is a pretty good process. We also have some concerns about the document. There are some areas in it that don't really fit with the sort of policies that the New Zealand civil society groups have endorsed on areas such as trade, so we are hopeful that we will be able to suggest changes and bring about changes."