8 Jan 2015

NZ's relationship with Fiji 'thawing'

10:35 am on 8 January 2015

An academic who specialises in Fijian relations with New Zealand says an increase in trade, investment and economic ties between the two countries shows the relationship is thawing.

New Zealand's sanctions on Fiji were lifted last year when it was announced the country would have its first democratic election in eight years.

Auckland University's Steven Ratuva said bilateral relations were beginning to improve.

"There has been an increase economically, there has been an increase in the number of tourists going to Fiji, Air New Zealand has surmounted several more flights.

"And there has been an increase in the number of New Zealand investors coming to Fiji to invest, now that the climate for investment has improved tremendously," he said.

Dr Ratuva said New Zealand had opened its seasonal worker scheme to Fiji, and there would be more fluidity with skilled and unskilled workers moving between the two countries.

He said it would also mean more Fijian students were able to come here to study.

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