18 Jul 2007

Call on New Zealand to improve ties with Fiji military regime

1:19 pm on 18 July 2007

The New Zealand-based Coalition for Democracy in Fiji says the time is right for New Zealand to try and improve relations with the interim government.

The Coalition, which has been strongly opposed to the military coup, says there is a need for meaningful dialogue, and an easing of sanctions would help this process.

Its spokesperson Nik Naidu says despite the tensions of the past six months there is goodwill on both sides.

He says he believes that Fiji would want to negotiate a resolution but New Zealand should take the lead by relaxing sanctions, such as those applying to the immigration quota and seasonal work.

"Which affect ordinary citizens who have by default become victims of the sanctions and those are, I think, a good starting point because it will also be goodwill in terms of New Zealand's commitment to the ordinary Fijian regardless of the military."

Nik Naidu