6 Apr 2011

MSG does not pose a threat to role of Forum says NZ's foreign minister

7:26 am on 6 April 2011

New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully, says a strong Melanesian Spearhead Group does not pose a particular threat to the role of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Fiji's interim Prime Minister says that the onus is on him and other Melanesian leaders to provide new visionary leadership for the Pacific region.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama told the MSG meeting in Suva that his government will direct all assistance possible to ensure greater trade and economic cohesion between the MSG countries

Mr McCully says there will occasionally be assertions made about the respective roles of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia, and it's not a debate New Zealand needs to be involved in.

"The discussions I've had with MSG personnel, they've tended to go to some lengths to emphasise the fact that an active sub-regional grouping in Melanesia should in no way threaten the Pacific Forum as a wider regional grouping. And I strongly support that view."

Murray McCully.