3 Oct 2005

Fiji based academic says Pacific Plan does not show Australian and NZ influence

6:31 am on 3 October 2005

A Fiji based academic says it is vital people do not lose sight of the potential benefits of closer regional links promised by the Pacific Plan.

Professor Robbie Robertson, the head of Development Studies at the USP ,ays the Pacific's major development difficulties can be addressed through the Plan.

Critics claim New Zealand and Australia have too much sway but Professor Robertson says that's not apparent in the document.

He uses labour mobility as an example.

"Certainly some of the statements from the Australian Government would suggest that it is not something that they would like to discuss but the Islands are saying, look, if you want liberaliisation there have to be certain benefits that offset the cost of that liberalisation and labour mobility is one of them."