8 Jun 2004

Lobby group accuses New Zealand and Australia of recolonising Pacific nations

10:35 am on 8 June 2004

There are claims that New Zealand and Australia are recolonising Pacific Islands nations through organisations such as the Pacific Islands Forum.

In Rotorua yesterday, a group called ARENA, the Action Research and Education Network of Aotearoa, staged what it called a forum on past and present practices of colonisation.

It came as Forum Economic Ministers gather in Rotorua for discussions that will include the organisation's plans for greater regional co-operation.

The Forum says this is vital if the region is to weather the impacts of globalisation.

But ARENA spokesman Robert Reid says the colonisation that began with the arrival of the Spanish in the Pacific is being continued through the Forum's activities.

"..though it might be through countries acting as deputy sheriffs to the United States, nonetheless the Australia and New Zealand Governments are pushing their agenda and a colonising agenda through institutions such as the South Pacific Forum"