7 May 2009

NZ foundation backs Fiji/Maori dialogue

3:40 pm on 7 May 2009

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation in New Zealand is backing suggestions for a delegation from New Zealand's Maori Party to travel to Fiji to try and resolve the crisis.

The Maori Party is to make a decision in the next few days as to whether a delegation will travel to Suva to try and break the deadlock between New Zealand and the Fiji military led regime.

Fiji expelled New Zealand's last top diplomat last year and last weekend, Fiji was suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum - in a move which the Fiji interim regime in part blames on Wellington.

The PCF chief executive, Meg Poutasi, says the NGO aims to promote a greater understanding of the Pacific in New Zealand and favours open dialogue as a way of advancing issues.

Ms Poutasi says the planned visit by Maori can be viewed as an exploration of community linkage that all Pacific peoples can contribute to, but at the end of the day the solutions to this crisis must come from the people of Fiji.