2 Nov 2010

NZ Defence White Paper sees fragility in Pacific

4:54 pm on 2 November 2010

A New Zealand Defence Force White Paper released today says the outlook for the Pacific over the next 25 years is one of fragility.

The document says it is in New Zealand's interest to play a leadership role in the South Pacific as an unstable region would pose criminal and reputational risks to New Zealand.

Christine Gounder reports.

"The White Paper also discusses New Zealand's responsibilities in the South Pacific, saying it will continue to contribute to stability, capacity strengthening and economic development, surveillance, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and disaster relief when required. It finds that the outlook for the region is fragile, with many Pacific islands facing chronic social, economic, environmental and governance stresses, while few can claim to have mastered the difficult challenges of globalisation. The report says it will remain in New Zealand's interests for Pacific Island states to view it as a trusted member and friend of the Pacific community."