19 Aug 2013

Fiji's Foreign Minister fires back at NZ's McCully

7:31 am on 19 August 2013

Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has fired back at his New Zealand counterpart after comments about the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr McCully told Radio New Zealand International last week, while on his annual Pacific Mission, that Ratu Inoke could not change the geography and that New Zealand and Australia were part of the Pacific.

Mr McCully was responding to comments from Ratu Inoke that Fiji would only rejoin the Pacific Islands Forum if it significantly changes, and that Australia and New Zealand needed to decide to either be donors or members, but not both.

Pacnews reports Mr Kubuabola as saying it is not the geography but the bond and the trust that the Pacific shares that matters the most.

He says Australia and New Zealand do not share the development aspirations of the Pacific, and are using the coincidence of geography to influence Pacific countries.