10 Jul 2006

NZ opposition backs Peters' possible Forum job

3:21 pm on 10 July 2006

The New Zealand opposition National Party says it is in favour of a possible candidacy of the foreign minister, Winston Peters, for the post of secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The possibility has been raised by the Dominion Post newspaper in Wellington whose information is based on unnamed diplomatic sources.

There has been no comment to the report from Mr Peters, who is in Germany, or his political party.

The National Party's Pacific affairs spokesperson, John Hayes, says there has been a disconnect between the bureaucrats and the leaders who are aloof to their plans.

Mr Hayes says a politician, like Mr Peters, should now be at the helm.

"Unless we have political buy-in across the region from the region's political leaders, we are not going to see a lot of traction on things like Helen Clark's initiative, the Pacific Plan."

John Hayes