26 Mar 2012

New Zealand opposition says Minister needs to be open about Forum criticism

7:45 am on 26 March 2012

New Zealand's opposition spokesperson for foreign affairs says the minister needs to be upfront about criticism of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

In a series of parliamentary questions, Phil Goff asked the minister, if he regards New Zealand funding of the SPC and the Forum as achieving value for money.

In his reply, Murray McCully said New Zealand, which is the current chair of the Forum, has had concerns about both organisations, and reviews are underway.

But Phil Goff says that answer is not good enough.

"To little is being done, and the golden opportunity that Murray McCully had, as chair of the Pacific Forum, seems to be wasted, as he flounders around with the restructuring proposals for the ministry of foreign affairs in New Zealand."

Phil Goff says the minister is not being frank and transparent.