A new research programme focusing on Pacific development, investment and foreign policy issues is being launched in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research is a collaboration between the Universtiy of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology and the University of Otago.
Over the next five years the three universities' research on Pacific development will include looking at donor contributions in the Pacific and their impact on the region.
It will also analyse Pacific labour markets and the skills needed for economic development, as well as study private sector investment in the region.
The NZIPR director, Associate Professor Damon Salesa, said the programe is a groundbreaking initiative to develop research and understanding about the Pacific, and its opportunities and challenges.
New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it is investing $US5 million over five years to establish the institute and develop the initial programme of research.