28 Jan 2014

NZ sanctions remain despite top Fiji general's visit

6:11 pm on 28 January 2014

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, says travel sanctions on Fiji military personnel remain in place, although there is discretion to provide temporary exemptions for individuals.

Mr McCully's comment comes a day after the Fiji information ministry announced Suva was sending Brigadier-General Iowane Naivalurua to New Zealand this week on a study tour on public sector reform.

Mr McCully's office now says Brigadier-General Naivalurua arrived on Sunday for a four-day stay to meet officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the State Services Commission.

It says the visit was arranged at Fiji's request.

Brigadier-General Naivalurua was the land force commander when the Fiji military staged its last coup in 2006 but became the interim regime's prison commissioner and later the police commissioner.

Last week, he entered the diplomatic service as Fiji's ambassador at large.

Mr McCully says New Zealand has progressively eased sanctions in response to progress toward credible elections in Fiji in 2014.