27 Aug 2012

NZ should avoid imposing its ideas on Forum countries - Labour party

9:57 am on 27 August 2012

The New Zealand opposition Labour Party says New Zealand needs to be very careful about imposing its ideas on the rest of the Pacific Islands Forum countries.

A draft copy of the New Zealand-funded review of the Forum Secretariat, says there is a perception among some member countries that particular staff of the Secretariat are not there to serve them, but to do bidding of two particular Forum countries.

The Labour party foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff, says it's hard to know what has come out of New Zealand's leadership, because the Foreign Minister is not saying anything.

"I've got no doubt that we need to look for efficiency, and effectiveness from the Forum. We put money up there, we want to know that that money is going to the people we really want to benefit. We don't want it to be top-heavy, we do want it to be effective, we do want it to be focussed. But the success of this review will depend on how it's been managed. And if it does look like it's big brother imposing something on every other country, then there won't be ownership of it, and it won't work."

The Labour party foreign affairs spokesman, Phil Goff

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully was unavailable to comment.