31 Oct 2014

Backing expected on Fiji Forum stand

7:58 am on 31 October 2014

A Pacific consultant says some other Pacific Islands Forum members may well agree with Fiji's stance on Australia and New Zealand taking a backseat in the Forum.

A former Solomon Islands Central Bank governor, Tony Hughes, produced a report on regional cooperation in 2005 which said the confrontational style of Australia and New Zealand had intruded on the Pacific Islands Forum.

Nine years after his report was released, Mr Hughes says there is likely to still be underlying tension about the role the two countries play in the Forum.

"There have sometimes been reservations by the Pacific Islanders about, you know, should Australia and NZ really be in here at this table - this is after all the Pacific Islands Forum and they are not Pacific islands. However they are very useful and most of the time we get on well so we would like them to be involved - but involved as full members - that is a different matter."

Tony Hughes says other Forum members may agree with Fiji's stance but prefer Fiji to take action on the matter.