19 Jul 2014

New Zealand mum about Bainimarama visit

3:01 pm on 19 July 2014

The New Zealand government has declined to confirm that the Fiji regime leader, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, will visit Auckland next month.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reports that Rear Admiral Bainimarama will spend four days in New Zealand to campaign on behalf of his Fiji First Party.

The paper earlier reported that the Fiji prime minister will visit Australia on August the 8th as part of his election campaign.

He has not visited either of the two countries since he staged the 2006 military coup which removed the Laisenia Qarase-led government and brought him to power.

Travel sanctions against Fiji coup makers, military personnel and other officials were lifted in March, but neither the New Zealand mission in Suva nor the foreign minister would say if the visit will go ahead.

Murray McCully's office says if a visit is confirmed, it will be announced in the usual way.