There is a call for non government organisations working in the Pacific to rethink the way they operate.
The governing council of the Pacific Islands Assocation of NGOs, or PIANGO, meets next week and just ahead of that the organisation has met with Polynesian NGOs.
PIANGO's executive director, Emele Duituturaga, said new research shows that NGOs typically undermine traditional values and spirituality and this is increasingly upsetting communities.
"I think the model we have been forced to embrace, with a cash economy coming into the Pacific and now basically with the macroeconomics models that we are having, it is all about cash," she said.
"The measure of poverty is if you don't have $US1 a day you are assessed to be below the poverty line. Pacific people are saying 'is that what we mean by poverty."