24 Jan 2012

Pacific caucus committee being set up

11:05 am on 24 January 2012

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Hekia Parata is setting up a new caucus committee to promote Pacific issues among Government MPs and the Cabinet.

The move is a first for National and comes amid criticism from Pacific communities of the appointment of a non-Pacific MP as minister.

Ms Parata says National's two Pacific MPs Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and Alfred Ngaro will be key members of the new Pacifica caucus committee.

She says the committee will get more National MPs involved with Pacific issues and a plan will be drawn up to show the Government's wider commitment to Pacific communities.

Ms Parata says she understands why Pacific communities are upset and it raises the bar for her to perform as minister.

Mr Lotu-Iiga says it will also help Pacific MPs across all parties collaborate on issues of common interest.