9 Sep 2011

Pacific Forum chair says leaders interested in increasing role of civil society

8:40 am on 9 September 2011

The Pacific Islands Forum Chair, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, says leaders are interested in increasing the role of civil society in the region.

Civil society groups have said the New Zealand government is neglecting the voices of the needy in the Pacific by denying them access to regional leaders at this weeks Pacific Islands Forum summit in Auckland.

Mr Key says civil society could have high-level meetings in the same way the private sector has had this week.

"We received quite a lot of communication from civil society, and from those who advocate strongly for those values. I think it's an area where leaders were interested, and think that is eminently possible, and that sort of thing that could come for a future meeting, maybe in Rarotonga"

John Key.