New Zealand Green MP suggests Nauru is descending into chaos
A New Zealand Green Party MP says she won't be apologising for a press release saying Nauru was descending into a state of chaos.
A New Zealand MP says she won't be apologising for a press release that said Nauru was descending into a state of chaos.
The release on Friday prompted the Nauru government to call for an apology from the Green Party MP, Jan Logie, saying the comments were irresponsible and unacceptable, and insulting to the people of Nauru.
Jamie Tahana reports.
On Friday, the opposition Green Party MP, Jan Logie, put out a press statement calling on the Prime Minister, John Key, to raise human rights issues surrounding the asylum seeker camps on Nauru when he met the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. She said Nauru was descending into a state of chaos and ignoring the rule of law as part of efforts to shut down criticism of the camps. She also criticised the controversial sacking and deportation of the country's only magistrate and the barring of its chief justice, as well as a recent decision to hike the cost of a journalist's' visa from $200 to $8000 Australian. The Nauru government took exception to the statement and on Saturday released one of its own, calling for The Green Party and Ms Logie to unreservedly apologise to the people of Nauru.
STATEMENT: Nauru is not in chaos, there are no constitutional issues and the rule of law is operating and respected. Those making claims to the contrary are fuelled by self-interest, are pushing their own agendas and should not be taken seriously. Ms Logie and her party are promoting a culture of international bullying, arrogance and racism by attempting to interfere in the sovereign right of Nauru to detemine who we appoint to key roles in our country.
But an opposition MP, Matthew Batsiua, says Nauru is very much in a state of chaos with the government interfering in a justice system that's supposed to be independent of the state.
MATTHEW BATSIUA: What we've seen over the past few weeks is the government totally disregarding and disrespecting the separation of powers enshrined in our constitution and they've done things that undermines the independence of judiciary and respect for the rule of law. They've dismissed people in the judiciary, senior officers, without any due process being undertaken.
However, Jan Logie says she didn't mean to offend the people of Nauru, but is standing by her statement and says she won't be apologising.
JAN LOGIE: I am never going to apologise for raising human rights issues but if there are other kinds of things in our statement that have offended the Nauruan government then I'm really happy to talk to them about that.
The President Baron Waqa, the Finance Minister David Adeang as well as the justice secretary are yet to respond to enquiries. Matthew Batsiua says New Zealand MPs have a right to speak out about such issues because a lot of New Zealand aid money is spent on Nauru.
MATTHEW BATSIUA: It just goes back to the core problem and that is the government of Nauru at this stage at this stage are not recognising and respecting the rule of law by interfering in the justice system and I can understand how people from New Zealand can be aggrieved because there's been quite a substantial amount of New Zealand aid brought into our justice sector to support and improve our justice sector.
The New Zealand government said last month it was reviewing its aid to the justice sector in Nauru. Jan Logie says she hasn't been contacted by anyone on Nauru.
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