The NGO Oxfam says the smaller Pacific Island countries showed at last week's Forum summit that they will not be pushed around on key issues like climate change.
The leaders agreed to disgree on what position the region should take to the COP21 meeting in Paris later this year.
Most Pacific states want a 1.5 degrees temperature limit but New Zealand and Australian would not budge from the 2 degree cap endorsed by many other countries.
Oxfam New Zealand policy advisor, Luke Roughton, says the smaller countries know that climate change is an issue of survival for them.
"And the fact that they weren't willing to bow to Australian and New Zealand pressure to water down a statement on climate change, I think is a positive signal for the Pacific. What we should be worried about, I think, is that New Zealand and Australia aren't willing to create climate targets that are strong enough to ensure the Pacific's survival."