31 Oct 2014

Academic says Forum needs Australia and NZ

7:58 am on 31 October 2014

A Fijian academic says Australia and New Zealand should remain in the Pacific Islands Forum despite what she calls Fiji's bullying tactics.

Fiji has been invited to rejoin the Forum after carrying out elections last month but says it won't until New Zealand and Australia's role in the Forum is reassessed.

Alumita Durutalo of Otago University says Fiji is flexing its muscles and it needs to learn to negotiate.

Dr Durutalo says New Zealand and Australia have a valid role to play in the Forum.

"We need some strong people within the organisation or some strong powers to say that coups are wrong. If not, it will be just like the MSG, the Melanesian Spearhead Group, they really can't stand up to Fiji I think."

Alumita Durutalo says New Zealand and Australia are both part of the Pacific.