New Zealand as the forerunner?

As stated in the introduction, the underlying motive for  this policy work is to enhance the possibilities of the New Zealand government  in a tightening of the PIF, utilizing already beneficial proven institutional  building blocks from the EU.

As the second largest economy in the region, New Zealand is  showing signs of preparing to take an active role in leading the region. New  Zealand has just finished it’s role as host of the 42nd PIF in 2011 in Auckland[1].  Prime Minister John Key stated in the extension of the press release following  the meeting that “The Pacific Islands Forum is the key regional body for leaders to discuss the political, economic and developmental issues facing the region[2]
Involvement in the PIF is not new to New Zealand. The government has before
sought to improve the living standards of its neighbouring islands states. For
instance, the establishment of a Ombudsman function in Niue and with the diplomatic intervention to facilitate a truce among warring leaders in Bougainville, a secessionist province of Papua New Guinea in the mid 90’s. Furthermore, New Zealand was in line with the adoption of European like policies in the PIF when it strongly supported its
2009 suspension of Fiji as a result of its failure to conduct public elections[3].
The overall message following the Pacific Island Forum 42nd  assembly in Auckland New Zealand was, according to John Key, that the forum is sure to have economic focus. Furthermore New Zealand is to chair the Forum for the coming year[4], which means that an increased part of the resources in the public administration will be put into pacific development policies. This notion as well as the fact that the New Zealand Government is depending on the support from the Island States in the region to vote for its countries candidature for a seating in the UNSC for the term 2015-2016[5],  is displaying a strong Kiwi incentive to make the regional cooperation a top priority during the coming year.

As a result of this, a “window of opportunity” for Pacific region policies will be imminent throughout the coming year

 

[1]New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade “Pacific Islands Forum 2011”  http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Foreign-Relations/Pacific/PIF-2011/0-pif-2011-index.php
accessed on the 26th of October

[2]    New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade “New Zealand to host 2011
Pacific Islands Forum”  http://www.nzembassy.com/australia/news/new-zealand-to-host-2011-pacific-islands-forum accessed on the 26th of October

[3]    BBC News “Fiji suspended from Pacific Forum”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8030266.stm accessed on the 26th of October

[4]    National “Incoming Chair’s Opening Statement”  http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=37007accessed on the 26th of October

[5]    Scoop World “Pacific Islands Forum Communique – 42nd PIF” http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1109/S00193/pacific-islands-forum-communique-42nd-pif.htm accessed on the 26th of October