20 Oct 2016

Fiji PM sees good ties with NZ despite PIF rhetoric

3:24 pm on 20 October 2016

Fiji's Prime Minister is confident in his relationship with his New Zealand counterpart despite John Key suggesting he'd mouthed off about the Pacific Islands Forum, he says.

In a speech in Auckland today, Frank Bainimarama said he did not give Mr Key a hard time during his visit to Fiji in June, but expressed disappointment that New Zealand failed to understand his vision for Fiji.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimiarama has slammed New Zealand media for 'unrelenting, negative & unbalanced reports'.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimiarama has slammed New Zealand media for 'unrelenting, negative & unbalanced reports'. Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

He said he got on famously with John Key, despite Mr Key warning the Fiji government not to do anything "silly" when police arrested and detained six prominent Fijians last month for attending a meeting.

"It's true that I've had a couple of issues with him saying that I'd shot my mouth off about the Pacific Islands Forum, that he hoped we weren't going to be silly about enforcing the provisions of our public order, but it hasn't unduly affected the warmth of our relationship," he said.

"He knows that I'm Frank by name and frank by nature. And I know that he's a similarly plain-speaking Kiwi."

Mr Bainimarama also blamed the New Zealand media for what he described as negative and unbalanced reports.

* An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted Mr Bainimarama as saying "seeing as though I shot my mouth off".