17 Dec 2008

Cooks politician deplores Fiji deportation of NZ journalist

4:01 pm on 17 December 2008

The Cook Islands deputy prime minister Sir Terepai Maoate says he's very disappointed by the deportation of Television New Zealand journalist Barbara Dreaver from Fiji.

Sir Terepai says her deportation goes against the Pacific way.

He says Ms Dreaver, who has worked in the Cook Islands, was only trying to do her job as Pacific affairs reporter for TVNZ.

She was detained on arrival in Nadi on Monday and flown back to Auckland yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Freedom Forum has described her detention as a shameful indictment of fear and insecurity by the current military regime.

It says implicating her in a secret watch list when she already had clearance from the Ministry of Information to do her job is undermining the credibility of the regime.

However, Fiji's interim attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has said that foreign journalists need to seek the concurrence of the permanent secretary of information.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says without having clearance, she was obviously told to go back to New Zealand.