14 Nov 2008

New Zealand labels Fiji president's secretary a coup supporter

1:28 pm on 14 November 2008

The New Zealand Department of Labour says the son of the private secretary to Fiji's President has been refused a visa to study in New Zealand because his father is considered to be a supporter of the coup two years ago.

George Nacewa had been studying at New Zealand's Massey University but the Department refused at the end of last year to renew his student visa.

He has only recently been removed from the country and is finishing his study extramurally in Suva.

The department says his father, Rupeni Nacewa, the private secretary of Ratu Josefa Iloilo, has been placed on the list of those banned from entering New Zealand because he is a senior public servant in Fiji.

The ban also applies to all immediate family members.

It was imposed although on the day of the coup a statement from the President's Office said it didn't condone the military's actions.

George Nacewa has told media that continuing his studies in New Zealand would mean his father would have to quit his job.