30 Dec 2008

Fiji interim minister says New Zealand travel advisory baseless

4:29 pm on 30 December 2008

Fiji's interim Tourism Minister says New Zealand's travel advisory for Fiji is baseless, claiming his country is safer for tourists than some parts of South Auckland.

His comments came after the advisory was updated on Christmas Eve.

Philippa Tolley has more:

"The interim Tourism Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has issued a response to the updating of the travel advisory which says it has become apparent to him that the update is not based on facts. Mr Sayed-Kahiyum said the advisory was based on conjecture and political posturing by the New Zealand Government. The travel warning was changed after New Zealand's acting High Commissioner was forced to return home. The advisory leaves the security warning at some risk, but says the expulsion of the New Zealand diplomat could lead to increased tensions. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the travel advisory appeared to try to undermine Fiji's tourism sector and economy. A spokesman for New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, said he would not comment on such responses from Fiji's interim government."