18 Sep 2009

NZ foreign minister says Fiji actions cannot be ignored

1:54 pm on 18 September 2009

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, has told the New Zealand Fiji Business Council that his Government cannot ignore the actions of the military regime in Fiji.

The Minister says he is periodically called on to ease the sanctions on Fiji but he says to do so would encourage other would be dictators.

He says if matters such as military coups, the sacking of judges, the abrogation of the constitution, the suspension of personal freedoms, the intimidation of church leaders and the media were ignored it would make the world a significantly more challenging place to live in.

He says New Zealand, as a small nation, more dependent than most upon strong, honest international organisations and clear principled rules of behaviour, would have the most to lose.

And Mr McCully says the small, vulnerable nations of the Pacific region would be the easiest targets for dictators in waiting, and those who would benefit from their actions.