14 Nov 2011

Polynesian union success depends on stance towards MSG

7:23 am on 14 November 2011

A Pacific academic says a grouping of Polynesian countries will be successful, as long as it isn't used as leverage against the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Leaders will meet in Apia this week for the first meeting of a Polynesian union, first suggested by the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, at the Pacific Islands Forum in September.

Auckland University's Dr Steven Ratuva says most of the Pacific's economic power is concentrated in Melanesia.

He says a political grouping will reinforce the Polynesian cultural world.

"As long as it isn't used as leverage against the MSG. As long as it is not used in a way which will be divisive. It has to be used in a positive way, for regional solidarity, rather than in a negative way."

Dr Steven Ratuva says the Melanesian countries will not see the new group as a threat, and the two should be able to work together.