8 Jun 2016

Key's Fiji visit seen as mostly symbolic

7:00 pm on 8 June 2016
Prime Minister John Key at a media standup following the release of Budget 2016.

New Zealand prime minister John Key. Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

This week's meeting between the prime ministers of Fiji and New Zealand is hugely symbolic and significant according to an academic specialising in regional security.

John Key flies to Suva on Thursday, the first visit by a New Zealand prime minister since the 2006 coup.

Mr Key said the time was right for a visit two years after the coup leader Frank Bainimarama was democratically elected.

A senior lecturer in Security Studies at Massey University Anna Powles said the two leaders haven't always seen eye to eye and the meeting was all about resetting the relationship..

"I'm sure that there are issues that Key will bring to the table: business, private sector investment, but I think that Key will be mindful of not putting too many demands on the table because that could potentially set the relationship back."