16 Jun 2008

TI NZ chair calls for reopening of NZ-Fiji ties

3:01 pm on 16 June 2008

The chairperson of Transparency International New Zealand and former diplomat, Gerald McGhie, is calling on New Zealand to re-open diplomatic channels with the interim administration in Fiji.

Mr McGhie says if the United States can talk to North Korea, New Zealand should be able to bring itself to re-establish relations with a Pacific neighbour.

"What is needed, is some sort of established procedure whereby we are prepared to talk."

Mr McGhie also says the current policy of smart sanctions isn't working and fails to take into account the unique culture of the region.

Within Pacific Island cultures they have very, very well developed for dealings with tensions within themselves.

He says New Zealand needs to demonstrate that it understands how to get to grips with issues in a Pacific Way.

The Fiji interim regime expelled the New Zealand high commissioner, Michael Green, a year ago after claiming he had interfered in Fiji's domestic affairs.