14 Dec 2010

Public sector in some Pacific countries 'disproportionate'

9:08 am on 14 December 2010

A Parliamentary committee has raised concerns about the size of the public service in some Pacific Islands.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee has released the findings of its four-year inquiry into New Zealand's relationships with South Pacific countries.

The report says the public sector in some countries has grown disproportionately at the expense of the private sector, particularly in Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands.

The Green Party MP, Keith Locke, who sits on the committee, says he supports the recommendation of trying to improve health and education in the islands but is wary of New Zealand being seen as a big brother state, throwing its weight around.