23 Aug 2008

New Zealand PM promises action on bulk fuel purchases for Pacific nations

9:43 am on 23 August 2008

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark says there is a need for traction on some elements of the Pacific Plan, including the bulk procurement of fuel.

A number of leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Niue complained about the lack of progress on some issues and have called for more action and less talk.

On the matter of bulk fuel procurement the New Zealand Government is to assist the countries to hopefully come up with a set of recommendations by October.

It is funding the meeting of experts on the issue over the next few weeks.

Miss Clark says the Forum has been adrift a little following the months of illness suffered by the former secretary general Greg Urwin.

Mr Urwin died earlier this month.

"We are now looking to pick up some traction on things that are practical. The key thing about the Pacific Plan is it does have a lot of practical focus. So, we know the actions that have to be taken, but sometimes you have to pick up something and shake it hard and move it ahead. And that is what we are doing by forcing the pace on the bulk petroleum initiative."