27 Aug 2012

Polynesian Group in Pacific Islands Forum still to decide where to site secretariat

3:29 pm on 27 August 2012

The newly formed Polynesian Leaders Group is discussing setting up a secretariat.

Comprising the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, American Samoa, French Polynesia and Tokelau, the Polynesian Leaders Group aims to co-operate at a sub regional level.

The Pacnews agency reports the incoming chair of the Group, the Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna, saying the location of a secretariat is the subject of on-going discussions.

Mr Puna says improved shipping arrangements between his country and

Samoa is one of the outcomes of this new grouping.

He says it is something it wants to strengthen in the future.

Challenges facing the Group include communication development and it is looking at the possibility of ICT links between Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says another immediate area of concern is renewable energy.

He says there are a host of problems, especially in dealing with funding of the technology involved.

Delegations from Rapa Nui and representatives of the 56 New Zealand Maori iwi have met with the Group's leaders and expressed interest in joining the new group.