20 Apr 2010

PNG's Somare says media needs to understand Fiji regime

1:19 pm on 20 April 2010

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, who has just begun a three-day New Zealand visit, says there is a need for media to show more understanding toward the Fiji interim government.

Sir Michael says he's not sympathetic towards the regime but it's possible that the Fiji leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is looking at issues in a different way to how the west would view them.

He says New Zealand's appointment of an acting head of mission to return to the High Commission in Suva is a move in the right direction because it will help broaden understanding.

"I am hoping that Bainimarama will change his mind. Not sympathetic with him but we need to get him to know that it's important for the majority of people as far as democracy is concerned in our countries. He was a suspended member of our Forum and a suspended member of the Commonwealth and I think if he wants to come back into this fold there's some serious thinking needs to be made by him, himself."

Sir Michael is to spend most of today at Parliament, before a function in Wellington with the local PNG community.