#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: No NZ and Aust high commissioners for Fiji

Friday, February 5, 2010

No NZ and Aust high commissioners for Fiji

New Zealand and Australia do not intend to replace their high commissioners in Fiji until they get some reassurance they will not be turfed out any time there is a disagreement between the countries.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully had talks on Thursday in Canberra with his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith and Fiji's Foreign Minister Inoke Kubuabola.

Those talks lasted about 1-1/2 hours and Mr McCully and the Fiji minister then met for the same period again in the evening.

Relations between New Zealand and Fiji have been fraught since the 2006 coup in Fiji and further deteriorated last year with the tit-for-tat expulsion of senior diplomats, which followed interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama's repeated rejection of international deadlines for elections.

Efforts to re-staff high commissions hit another hurdle when Fiji provocatively put up Permanent Secretary for Information and military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni for the position of counsellor in Wellington.

New Zealand has a travel ban on members of the military-led regime and Lt Col Leweni played a central role in the coup, was responsible for censoring local media, deporting journalists and curbing free speech, all moves that have met with criticism from the Australian and New Zealand governments.

McCully told NZPA that he had got Australia involved in the talks after an initial meeting in Nadi in January where he and Kubuabola discussed lower level appointments to commissions.

High Commissioner appointments were not discussed. "In that respect New Zealand and Australia were in identical positions and we were not going to get involved in topics that affected Australia or set precedents for Australia without Australia being in the room," McCully told NZPA.

At New Zealand's High Commission in Suva staff from New Zealand were down to
seven: one policy officer, two support staff, two NZAID staff, and two
immigration officials. Since the coup three senior diplomats have been expelled,
while the trade representative, who was married to one of the expelled
diplomats, was also expelled, and the defence and police liaison positions were
unfilled because Fiji would not agree on roll-overs for the positions.

Fiji was down to a single non-local staff.

McCully said one goal of the talks had been achieved.

"The first objective is to be able to conduct a good civilised diplomatic
conversation because it's fair to say that New Zealand and Fiji, and Australia
and Fiji, have not had a good track record on being able to agree to

The ministers were working on establishing a base for diplomatic

"Hopefully that leads into upgrading the machinery by which we have
diplomatic dialogue which means lifting the capacity of our missions. But in
terms of... high commission appointments both Steven Smith and I have made the
point that there's no point in us appointing high commissioners who are going to
be sent home the first time there's a disagreement between New Zealand and Fiji
and we are not yet at that point."

McCully said while no solid understanding had been reached, a framework for
future discussions was in place.

"So it's just a question of moving this thing forward deliberately and

McCully said the mood had been "constructive and professional".

He had talks later in the evening with his Fijian counterpart to continue
discussing the issue.

Kubuabola was "someone who is trying to do his best in difficult
McCully said removing the travel ban was not on New Zealand's immediate

Fiji was suspended from the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum in May last year and from the Commonwealth in September over Cdre Bainimarama's broken promises to hold elections by March 2009 - NZPA


mark manning said...

Good to see decency and common sense prevailed, perhaps a memorandum of understanding has been reached and now people will see that it's time for Frank Bainimarama to go.

Anonymous said...


I only wish somebody in Fiji has the gumption to remove that fool calling himself the PM!

Anonymous said...

Mark - what drugs are you on??

Liu Muri said...

Yes, for Frank to go, so that the thieving politicians and Chiefs can once again get hold of Fiji by its reproductive organ under guise of democracy and plunder it, with their hands deep in the till, with racially divisive politics of hate, while Aust and NZ will go back to slumber with the satisfaction that another mere election would have solved Fiji's problems.
How naive can you be?

Anonymous said...

@ m&m.

Go where is the real Q - problem?
Rest assure these people won't go anywhere without some sort of guaranteed indemnity.

Ask yourself - would you?

joe said...

Think outside the box Mark. Oz&NZ go to the polls soon. They are trying to establish some form of ties with Fiji to please ex Fijians (the silent majority that support Frank) in these 2 countries. My prediction is travel bans will be lifted before the election campaign is launched in OZ.

Anonymous said...

Liumuri you idiot. Frank is the man whose got his hands in the till. He is plundering state money in the guise of gud governance et al.

Anonymous said...

Liu Muri. Brush your teeth. You have been eating the stinking broth cooked by Vore.
Stop spilling it to sensible people who read this site.
It is about time you start using your brain, not other organs, when you comment.

radiolucas said...

@ Liu Muri

Ah yes. Bring the race card back into play: the great "bogey man" of public conscience.

Race plays a part of all politics, including those of Australia and NZ - the key is that most people refuse to heed the stupidity of racist divisiveness because people (even very stupid people) understand that the reality of what they think about their neighbours is very different from the statements of bigots.

The question is not "is the Dictatorship doing a good job" (it plainly isn't) but rather "does NZ / Aust have a solution"?

Well, without the choice, that is without giving us the chance to CHOOSE a government that most of us like, that most of us agree with, noone will be happy.

The military and its cronies stole our government, our tax money and the choice about where our country is headed from us. Fiji is now a pariah state in the South Pacific, run by what could only be described as an inept group of thugs who will hang onto power until grim death.

They didn't, despite their inane contradictary statements about the "good of the nation", do it for Fiji. They did it for themselves and no amount of pretty rhetoric and empty words will convince the majority otherwise.

So when you start saying things like a "mere" election won't solve the problem - I agree, it won't solve all the problems of Fiji.

So what is your plan?

Lie back and hope for the best?

Your plan of waiting while the idiots with the guns steal our future is not an alternative.

Perhaps you want to waste your life, then again perhaps you have an alterior motive, like working for the military?

Whatever excuse you have for your cretinous statement, it only applies to you because you do not have any other answer other than the vague idea that "the military government has a good plan".

Anonymous said...

@Lui Muri
settle down boy - you'll choke on your roti!!

Anonymous said...

@ Liu Muri

This is the problem besetting Fiji at the moment. It's people like Liu Muri who refuse to look at the real picture as it is but rather through a tainted glass.

The glass shows him what Frank wants people like him to see and they are falling heads over heels in believing in Frank and the great looting and thieving he is doing to the Nation's coffers.

I pity the later generation of Fiji if their future isa left to people like Liu Muri and his likes!

Anonymous said...

The name depicts the person very well. He has got it back to front, in other words his maimuri is leading him instead of the grey matter between his ears.

Anonymous said...

@ radiolucas.

Suggest you get a copy of Tuimaciliai(Deryck Scarr)& read it carefully? Then get back - we'll talk about race? (its place in all this).