23 Mar 2005

New Zealand group wants Pacific Plan delayed

3:29 pm on 23 March 2005

A New Zealand NGO advocate says the Pacific Plan for closer co-operation should be delayed a year to allow the people to become more fully informed.

A draft of the Plan is being circulated for comment and is due to be presented to Pacific leaders in August for immediate implementation.

But Loudeen Parson of Anglican Social Services says the people in the region need to be informed or their participation will be token.

She says the submission process should be delayed until the people are informed.

Ms Parson also called for the urgent establishment of a reference group of independent advisors to help this communication process.

"Their role we see would be to provide quality information to Pacific communities, Pacific civil society and non government organisations in Aotearoa and in each one of the Pacific nations to enable our collective, well informed participation in the Pacific Plan."

Loudeen Parson