18 Aug 2006

Academic says it is wrong to blame aid donors for instability in Melanesia

1:39 pm on 18 August 2006

A New Zealand academic says instability in Pacific countries cannot be blamed on foreign aid donors.

Earlier this week the New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters singled Taiwan out for practising cheque book diplomacy and that this aid was a factor in the recent riots in Solomon Islands.

Political scientist Dr John Henderson from Canterbury University says there is some indication of Taiwanese involvement, but he says the key issue is none of the instability can be attributed to Taiwan or any other country.

He says they are essentially internal issues.

"And I think that is the point he overlooks and grossly simplifies. That the causes of instability, not just in the Solomons, but indeed much of Melanesia, comes from within, not without."