Key to go see Bainimarama. Will John turn around a decade of foreign policy failure?

John Key is finally going to show some common courtesy and visit Fiji.

John Key will travel to Fiji to meet with the island’s leader Frank Bainimarama in what will be the first trip there by a New Zealand Prime Minister in a decade.

He made the announcement this afternoon and will jet off to Suva for two days next week.

Mr Key says the visit is part of the “steady renewal of political and diplomatic links” with Fiji since its general election in 2014.

The election was the Pacific island’s first democratic elections since Mr Bainimarama took over in a military coup in 2006.

His Fiji First party won 59 percent of the vote, taking 32 of the 50 seats in parliament.

Mr Key says New Zealand’s concerns about the country following the coup are now “ancient history”.

“I think the Prime Minister of the day Helen Clark took the right steps and we endorsed the position New Zealand adopted. But we always said once they got to the point where they had free and fair elections we’d normalise the relationship,” he said as his post-Cabinet news conference today.

John Key continued the wonky jihad against Fiji on gaining office in 2008. Instead of assisting Fiji we turned our backs on them. We could have assisted them in returning to democracy sooner, but we turned away. That won’t be forgotten.

Fijians remember that. Frank Bainimarama also remembers and he set about forging new links around the world and turning northwards rather than have to rely on the fickle and disingenuous governments of New Zealand and Australia.

Bainimarama will be grinning from ear to ear as he forces the mountain to come to Mohammed.

The way that successive governments have meddled in the affairs of my country of birth disgusts me, and I thought John Key might have been a breath of fresh air. Instead he just continued Clark’s reign of hostility.

New Zealand thought they could bully Fiji into cowing before us. They showed us they no longer needed our assistance.

On election night in 2014 as I sat in Suva around the kava bowl, I asked a few politicians what was the best thing to come out of the coup in 2006. They all told me that the best thing was weaning themselves off of foreign aid from NZ and Australia and distancing themselves from the colonial attitude of those two countries.

All our foreign policy did back then was drive Fiji into the waiting arms of China and India. Well done Helen Clark and John Key.

Their attitudes permanently changed the way Fijians think about New Zealand. That cannot be recovered.


– Newshub


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  • Agreed. New Zealand has a lot to learn from Fiji about how to create harmony in our own country. We could start by copying Fiji’s constitution which treats citizens equally without distinction for different racial backgrounds.

    • JustanObserver

      That would be Racist here in NZ.

  • XCIA

    But, did not we end up taking a flood of Muslim Fijian refugees. Surely that has helped them.

  • axeman

    I recall at the time speaking to my sister who lives in Fiji, and her opinion was that Frank was loved and had the support of most and put an end to a lot of corruption that was taking place prior. Clark & Key just didn’t listen to what the people were saying

  • KGB

    I will attempt to word this very carefully … I don’t care.
    Though I agknowledge we used our Pacific neighbours in the 50’s & 60’s when NZ was in desperate need of labour, this was exchanged by ‘win win’ rewards of immigration quotas and financial support.
    Our Pacific neighbours have long been an expensive charity. Those that live here are an enormous strain on our health & welfare. I think we should remove funding to all Pacific neighbours.
    Fiji’s political landscape is of their own making and I agree we should not interfere. Removal of funding was punitive but not in my opinion unwarranted. Did we not punish Apathied South Africa in a similar way, no trade. Exclusion from sporting events.
    It is not NZ responsibility to support Samoa, Tonga, or Fiji, in my opinion. As good neighbours we send relief in times of natural disasters. We do more than our share.
    I cringe at the thought of the Fijian Government thinking they’ve somehow won due to JK’s visit.

  • Ross

    Maybe the wait was a bit long, but I have no issues with NZ not immediately supporting a guy who gained his position by military coup. Either way, I think it’s a good thing JK is developing diplomacy between the two country’s, even though it’s probably a few years late.

  • niggly

    I wouldn’t be surprised that it was MFAT’s stance that prevented the early restoration of NZ-Fiji’s relationship.

    It’s not as if the PM is a dictator and personally decided NZ wouldn’t do so. Rightly so the PM leaves these things to his officials.

    Anyway good to see this visit happening – should be good for the two PM’s to get together in Fiji itself and rebuild that relationship!

  • JohnO

    McCully has been the prime mover in NZs disastrous foreign policy towards Fiji. He is a disaster for NZ in the pacific and in the middle east where he wasted $12 million dollars in a useless bribe to an unsuccessful Saudi Sheik and , where he is very negative towards Israel in an effort to pander to the psychotic Iranian ruling clique.
    National needs to ditch the incompetent McCully and replace him with some talent.

  • TM

    Agree, and it is childish for both countries to maintain this stand off – we should re-establish relations and work with them where we can. Fiji is naive if it thinks that other countries such as India and China have their interests at heart!

  • Dave of the West Bank

    I thought the scummiest thing New Zealand did after Frank’s coup was to target the kids of Fiji’s servicemen in banning them access to NZ for Scout Jamborees and sporting events, etc. Those kids won’t forget in a hurry.

    The Fiji coups taught me about the mendaciousness of the media, the lily-liveredness of new Zealand’s diplomatic mob in Suva, and the ineptness of Helen Clarke’s lot, and that a change of Government (to National in this case) won’t necessarily mean a change in policy.

    Those of us in Fiji at the time waited with bated breathe for John Key to biff Helen’s Fiji file into the rubbish bin and start some sensible dialogue with Fiji, but we were stunned when he just continued where Helen left off. And continued the vile exclusion of little children on their school trips to New Zealand.

    I can attest to the fact that, if you weren’t in Fiji during and after the 2006 coup, and you’d gained all your knowledge of events that took place there, and of the people involved, from the New Zealand media, then I submit that you are not in a position to pontificate on the rights and wrongs of what took place. For you were all lied to.

    Blatant lies and propaganda were the order of the day. And you all sucked it up as gospel, as I would have before my epiphany – when I realised that even the New Zealand MSM couldn’t be trusted.