22 Sep 2016

NZ looking to restore suspended Nauru aid

7:54 am on 22 September 2016

New Zealand is considering whether to restore its aid spending to Nauru.

Last year New Zealand suspended aid support to the Nauru justice sector in protest at the treatment of judicial officials and over human rights concerns.

It came soon after the resident magistrate was deported and the chief justice was stopped from returning.

In addition five opposition MPs had been suspended from parliament for more than a year and were facing difficulties getting appropriate legal access.

180714. Photo RNZ. Foreign Minister Murray McCully talking with media about the Mayalsia Airlines MH17 flight.

In 2015 NZ's Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced the suspension in aid to Nauru. Photo: RNZ

One of the MPs, Roland Kun, whose passport had been seized, was later spirited out of the country, travelling on a New Zealand passport.

The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key met with Nauru President Baron Waqa during the recent Pacific Islands Forum summit in Pohnpei.

Mr Waqa said Mr Key indicated New Zealand would look to restore some of the $US878,000 in aid that had been suspended.

An official with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they were exploring whether the unspent justice funding could be redirected to other projects in Nauru.

But he said discussions were at an early stage and no decisions had been taken.

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