12 Sep 2013

NZ set to lift 'smart sanctions' against Fiji and provide election help

3:25 pm on 12 September 2013

The New Zealand Foreign Minister has announced the further easing of so-called smart sanctions against Fiji that were used to punish those involved in the 2006 coup.

Travel bans will remain in place for Fijians that are directly involved in the military or the regime, but the minister, Murray McCully, says he is formalising the lifting of sporting sanctions, which have been loosely applied since 2006.

Mr McCully says New Zealand will offer further assistance to Fiji in recognition for the progress made towards elections which Fiji has promised for next year.

He says he doesn't think the assistance given to last year's dumped constitution was a waste.

"The Fijian side would say that that was part of a process and it's got to a point now where there is a constitution. There are some different views about elements of it but fundamentally we're moving towards an election there sometime next year and we think that's the big picture and it needs to be remembered. It won't happen without some support and we should be prepared to provide it."

Murray McCully.