2 Sep 2013

Pacific Islands Forum chair says democracy a 'standard' to uphold

8:47 am on 2 September 2013

The outgoing chair of the Pacific Islands Forum says democracy is a standard to uphold in the Pacific.

Before the Pacific Islands Forum in the Marshall Islands this week, the Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna was speaking in Auckland at the Polynesian Leaders Group meeting on Friday.

Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola earlier said Fiji would re-enter the Forum only if Australia and New Zealand reviewed their role as both donors and members, and they had too much influence over Pacific countries.

Henry Puna says he is not concerned about Fiji's new Pacific Islands Development Forum, unless it duplicates the work done by other regional agencies.

He says he doesn't think New Zealand and Australia wield too much power in the region.

"We have certain standards, I mean we all believe in democracy and we certainly don't allow New Zealand and Australia speak for us on issues to do with democracy."

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna.