5 Jul 2012

Economic ministers agree to taskforce on Waiheke Declaration

6:22 am on 5 July 2012

Pacific economic ministers have agreed to set up a taskforce to ensure the implementation of the Waiheke Declaration on Sustainable Development.

The Declaration was the centrepiece of the Forum leaders' summit last year and included a pledge to grow the fisheries, tourism and agriculture sectors.

But there has been little progress so ministers at this week's Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers meeting in Kiribati set up a taskforce to ensure commitment to the Declaration.

New Zealand's representative at the meeting was parliamentary private secretary for Foreign Affairs, John Hayes.

"What each of our countries has to do is to drive economic growth, look at the quality of managing public finances, and sorting out budgets that require all of a government's agencies to work together on particular issues. Because, really, the most important thing is if we are going to advance this part of the world we have got to do so through economic growth."