22 Oct 2012

New institute planned to help develop democracy in Pacific

8:25 am on 22 October 2012

Pacific Island countries could soon have a special team of experts to turn to for advice on developing their democracies.

The Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at New Zealand's Canterbury University hopes to have a new institute set up in the new year to offer island nations research and practical help.

The centre's Acting Director Malakai Koloamatangi, who has just hosted a conference on democracy, says most of the countries are searching for their own variations.

"From this conference I get the sense that they actually would like some assistance in helping them to navigate the way forward. For example, the Speaker of the parliament of Kiribati, told me that in Kiribati, people are grappling with the idea of grounding democracy in culture"

Dr Koloamatangi says donor countries will be tapped for funding for the institute.