28 Dec 2007

New Zealand Cabinet Minister says Fiji interim Government worker allowed in because wife ill

2:37 pm on 28 December 2007

The New Zealand government says a key figure in the office of Fiji's interim Prime Minister was granted entry to New Zealand under special circumstances.

The permanent secretary to Frank Bainimarama, Parmesh Chand has been allowed into New Zealand to be with his wife who is undergoing medical treatment.

Just last week 10 Fiji children were refused visas to come to a scout jamboree in New Zealand, because their parents had links to the Fiji military.

New Zealand's duty minister, Parekura Horomia, says New Zealand takes a firm line to anyone affiliated with the Fiji military, but Mr Chand's situation is different to the scouts.

"Well his wife is undergoing medical treatment for a critical condition and he has been allowed to leave on compassionate leave and humanitarian grounds and that's one thing we do recognise, and I do accept that there are the limits that have been placed on anybody that is associated with the regime."

Parekura Horomia says he's asked the Immigration Ministry to look into the situation.