17 Jul 2006

NZ foreign minister not interested in Forum top job

1:43 pm on 17 July 2006

The office of the New Zealand foreign minister, Winston Peters, says he has no desire to become the next secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Domestic media reports have touted Mr Peters as a replacement for the former Australian diplomat, Greg Urwin, with regional leaders due to name a successor later this year.

The opposition National Party's Pacific affairs spokesperson, John Hayes, has said there is a disconnect between the bureaucrats and the region's political leaders over matters such as the Pacific Plan.

He says with someone like Mr Peters, at the helm of the Forum, there would be political buy-in across the region.

But an official in Mr Peters' office says the Foreign Minister is not interested and will not be putting his name forward.