3 Jul 2007

Fiji's interim administration not too concerned about NZ sanctions

7:01 am on 3 July 2007

Members of Fiji's interim administration are reported to be not too concerned about the latest tightening of sanctions by New Zealand.

New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark, announced the measures yesterday in response the expulsion of their high commissioner, Michael Green, last month.

They cover tightening travel restrictions on members of the Fiji interim administration, all government permanent secretaries, board members appointed to government companies and statutory bodies, and their families and relatives.

New Zealand has reduced its official aid by over 50% and the remainder is being diverted through NGOs.

Fiji's interim health minister, Dr Jona Senilagakali, says Helen Clark can make as much noise as she wants but good hearted Kiwis are in Fiji providing medical assistance.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says members of the military accepted sanctions when they started their clean-up campaign.

Major Leweni says the new sanctions don't really change much.

But the deposed prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told Fiji TV that New Zealand will relax the sanctions if there is a clear attempt by Fiji to hold early elections.