Some progress on Fiji

It looks like Murray McCully is finally making some headway into resolving the impasse with Fiji over the silly and ineffective sanctions that we have maintained since the Clark era.

New Zealand may drop sporting sanctions against Fiji after a meeting aimed at thawing diplomatic relations in Sydney today.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully confirmed after a meeting with his Australian and Fijian counterparts that there New Zealand would reappoint a High Commissioner to Fiji and relax travel sanctions affecting members of the Fiji government.

He would also be asking Cabinet to consider dropping the long standing sporting sanctions.

Mr McCully said the meeting built on the positive momentum generated by the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group (MCG) visit to Fiji recently, attended by Mr McCully, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr and hosted by Fiji’s Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

Fiji has committed to democratic elections in 2014.

Mr McCully said the change to travel sanctions would see a more flexible regime put in place.

“They have consistently pointed to the fact that the travel sanctions are a major obstacle to them getting some able people to serve in the government as permanent secretaries or minister yet those are desirable developments to take place in the context of their step toward elections. So we’ve said we will have a more flexible approach to the sanctions regime but we wont be actually changing the sanctions themselves, just give more room for exemptions.”

 About time….sanctions have never been successful anywhere in the world and isolating Fiji hasn’t worked. In fact it has had a negative effect form new Zealand’s stand point, allowing China to gain a large foothold in the Pacific.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.