18 Oct 2013

New Zealand again justifies easing Fiji sanctions

4:38 pm on 18 October 2013

The New Zealand foreign minister says Wellington's sanctions against Fiji were eased last month not to please Suva but because it was the right thing to do.

However, Murray McCully says Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth remains, now four years since the Fiji regime reneged on its promise to return the country to democracy.

He says for the elections to succeed, Fiji needs outside help.

"We've got to find ways of encouraging progress and recognising that assistance is going be needed if elections are going to be successful there. So I think we need to understand that there are some things that best wait until the elections have been held and other things that can best be undertaken now because they contribute to freer and fairer elections."

Murray McCully says New Zealand electoral officials have been helping Fiji to prepare for the first election since 2006.