Television New Zealand's current affairs programme, Q and A, tackled Associate Foreign Affairs Minister, Tim Groser, about New Zealand's relationship with Fiji, during an interview on trade, on Sunday. The exchange was short but message was clear.
Guyon Espiner: Just before we leave it, you are Associate Foreign Minister also, and we should touch on Fiji because the Foreign Minister is possible going to hold talks with Commodore Bainimarama in the coming days. Now he said in parliament recently that there could be changes to the sanction regime at some point in the future if progress is made on other issues. Under what grounds would we consider, what does Fiji need to do, for New Zealand to lift the travel sanctions on that country.
Tim Groser: Well I leave the talking on this to Mr McCully basically, but that statement has got a lot of conditionality to it. Clearly we want in the long term to be in the right space with Fiji, we don't want this impasse to go on, but fundamentally it's a question of them committing to full restoration of democratic process and that's what the object of our government is.
Guyon Espiner: Would it require that before sanctions were lifted?
Tim Groser: I'm not going to speculate on the precise process. That's the general statement of intent.
Guyon Espiner: Alright we'll leavon it there, thank you very much for joining us this morning Minister, we appreciate your time.