30 Aug 2012

New Zealand leader says not for Pacific leaders to direct on abortion and STIs

6:13 pm on 30 August 2012

New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, says issues of sexually transmitted infections are something for Pacific leaders to discuss, but not the laws in individual countries.

A cross-party group of New Zealand MPs plans to promote decriminalising homosexuality and abortion law reform in the region, to help improve sexual and reproductive health.

John Key says it's a sensitive issue, and isn't discussed between leaders in that context.

"The issue of sexually transmitted diseases certainly does, and the health implications of that. So we actually dedicate quite a significant portion of our aid spending, on health spending on sexually transmitted diseases. So, yes it's of concern. What the laws are in those particular areas, is a matter for each individual country, we don't try to influence that."

New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key.

Several Pacific leaders refused to comment on the issue to Radio New Zealand International.