15 Sep 2008

New Zealand to call on Commonwealth and UN to support Pacific leaders stance on Fiji

4:09 pm on 15 September 2008

New Zealand's Trade Minister says he will be asking the Commonwealth and the UN to support the position of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders on Fiji, when he meets with foreign ministers in New York later this month.

Phil Goff is attending the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting as a representative of Helen Clark, who is now the acting Foreign Minister after Winston Peters stepped down because of an investigation into the financial affairs of his party.

He says he's not worried that New Zealand's stance on the Fiji interim Government has been undermined by the investigation.

"It would be wrong to characterise Winston Peters' stance on Fiji as being anything other than reflecting fully the position of the New Zealand government and the Pacific Island Forum. Neither Winston Peters nor anybody else in the Government is actually hostile to Fiji."

Phil Goff says the New Zealand government would like to see the forum, the Commonwealth and the United Nations work together to bring whatever pressure can be brought on the interim Government to restore democracy.