2 Jun 2011

No plan to relax sanctions against Fiji for Rugby World Cup

10:48 am on 2 June 2011

The New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully says changes would have to take place in Fiji before members of its military could be allowed into New Zealand to take part in the Rugby World Cup.

He says there is no sign Fiji is moving towards democracy or a better record on human rights.

The International Rugby Board's chief executive Mike Miller is in New Zealand to mark 100 days to the tournament's kick-off and was briefed yesterday on the Fiji situation by Mr McCully.

The minister says New Zealand's long-standing travel ban on members of the regime will stay in place, although he has been keeping in touch with officials in Fiji.

"While I've tried to keep the door open, tried to keep engaged with Fijian colleagues, there's got to be give on the other side before there's going to be any shift in policy and there would also have to be acceptance by others, Australia, other forum members, the Commonwealth because we move in concert with them."