8 Aug 2015

NZ's suspension of Fiji imports labelled 'extreme'

7:21 pm on 8 August 2015

Fiji's government says New Zealand's decision to suspend eggplant, mango, breadfruit and papaya imports from Fiji is unjustified and extreme.

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries made the decision to suspend imports after a shipment of eggplant was rejected due to an anomaly in operational measures taken by Fiji.

But in a statement, Fiji's public enterprises minister, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, says the ban is unjustified in light of Fiji's strong commitment to biosecurity and ublemished record in exporting agricultural products.

He says New Zealand authorities raised no concerns about any specific biosecurity risks, saying he finds it highly irregular to suspend all imports instead of rejecting a single consignment.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says ministry officials have requested to meet with New Zealand authorities, saying the Fijian government will not rest until the issue is resolved and normal exports resume.

He says the Fiji government is also conducting an audit of its procedures and facilities.