Wah wah wah, banned from Fiji and still whinging about it

Barbara Dreaver is having a great big sook because she, along with another dishonest journalist, Michael Field, remain banned from Fiji.

So once again, instead of Fiji, or the PM, or what can be achieved, the media makes the story about themselves. Petulant, whinging arseholes.

According to Prime Minister John Key the 2006 Fiji coup is ancient history and the time is right for his official visit this week.

But it still isn’t right for everyone.

Remnants of the military dictatorship still remain – and some journalists who specialise in the Pacific, including myself as TVNZ’s Pacific Correspondent, are still banned.

Why? What on earth are they afraid of?

Fiji held its democratic elections in 2014, the country made its choice, and is now intent on letting the world know it is free and fair.

Yet it persists in maintaining some undemocratic actions.

Restricting, banning and persecuting media is in every military dictator’s handbook – I get that.

But has or has not Fiji moved on from this?

No, they clearly haven’t. And why should they? After a series of inherently dishonest stories her and Michael Field were given the arse card. It’s their country and their rules. They most certainly aren’t afraid of idiot journalists like Barbara Dreaver…they just don’t want her in their country.

Being locked up in a detention centre for the night, being threatened and having the Geneva Convention breached when a New Zealand Government representative was denied access to me was unpleasant.

But that was in 2008 – eight years ago.

From a personal perspective I was born, went to school, worked and lived in the pacific – and I have close family in Fiji, as I do many Pacific countries.

I am half I-Kiribati, which means I cannot travel home unless I travel with the Air Force as commercial flights are through Fiji.

From a professional perspective, the ban means it’s not just Fiji I can’t report from, but also Kiribati and Tuvalu which both count on flights from Fiji.

I have strong professional relationships with both the governments of Kiribati and Tuvalu – both of which face huge challenges with rising sea levels and isolation – and want their stories told.

Neither country is impressed that I am restrained from travelled there.

I don’t think Fiji cares too much what any other country thinks or feels. I fail to see how she can claim the Geneva Convention was breached…there wasn’t a war on so it is impossible for that to even hold true.

The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of war. The singular term Geneva Convention usually denotes the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939–45), which updated the terms of the first three treaties (1864, 1906, 1929), and added a fourth. The Geneva Conventions extensively defined the basic rights of wartime prisoners (civilians and military personnel); established protections for the wounded and sick; and established protections for the civilians in and around a war-zone. The treaties of 1949 were ratified, in whole or with reservations, by 196 countries.

Basically she lied again. No wonder such a dishonest person isn’t allowed into Fiji. It is a travesty she is even called a journalist with shameful lies like that.

As part of a Ministerial delegation this week I went to those countries, and was granted “special permission” to transit for one hour through Nadi Airport.

The people of Fiji deserve to have their stories told no matter who they are or who they vote for.

Journalists should not be banned in any democratic country.

The fact that the New Zealand delegation headed by the Prime Minister cannot include the national broadcaster’s Pacific Correspondent is a disgrace.

TVNZ could have sent any other journalists, just not her. What makes her think that because she is a “journalist” she has a right to enter any country she likes, roam the countryside and cause havoc?

It is their country and their rules, but she has to make the story all about herself.

I’d say that, far from shaming Fiji into allowing her back into the country, that she has reinforced their view that she is a troublemaker and best left back in NZ.

TVNZ is a member of OMSA, Barbara Dreaver has deliberately and maliciously claimed that she was detained in breach of the Geneva Convention, a claim which is false. The Geneva Convention only applies to in times of war. The fact that TVNZ has let her personal tirade through online when it contains a spurious claims such as that really does merit a complaint.



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