31 Aug 2012

Pacific Islands Forum leaders hold annual leaders retreat today

9:15 am on 31 August 2012

The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders are now holding their retreat on Tapuae Tai island near Aituataki in the Cook Islands.

The leaders are discussing regional issues, including gender equality, fisheries, transport and climate change.

Megan Whelan reports from there.

"The leaders began their retreat with the traditional photo and then held a traditional tree planting ceremony. The local Minister, Teina Bishop joked with the leaders that they would have to return every year to care for their tree and should bring back at least 20 people with them. Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says the pristine island offers a lesson for leaders. He says if the international community doesn't do anything about sea level rise in the very near future, islands like Tapuae Tai will disappear. Later today New Zealand's prime minister, John Key, will announce support for Pacific Islands fisheries."