29 Nov 2007

Forum delegates may have to limit numbers at next year's Niue summit

3:17 pm on 29 November 2007

Organisers of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit in Niue next year are considering limiting the size of the delegations.

A team of seven people, five of whom are from New Zealand and two who are from the Forum , are currently in Niue to assess what needs to be done.

They are looking at how to accommodate the numbers as well issues like catering and security.

Talks are underway with the Niue government about supplementing the police presence with officers from New Zealand.

The deputy director of the pacific division in New Zealand's ministry of foreign affairs and trade says the most pressing issue is finding enough accommodation.

Belinda Brown says they will most likely ask local people to open their homes to delegates as well as ask countries to send fewer people.

"We may have to limit the size of delegations for this Pacific Island Forum and we're thinking about that and writing to all the countries in the region and suggesting that they limit the numbers. At previous forums we've had between 350 and 400 people coming. That might be quite hard for Niue so we'd quite like to cut the numbers back."