“Frank by name and frank by nature”

Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama continues his official visit to NZ by poking borax at media, who I?might add thoroughly deserve it.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has used his first official visit to New Zealand to downplay past tensions between the countries.

But he didn’t hold back in criticising New Zealand’s media during a speech in Auckland today, labelling its reporting as unrelenting, negative and unbalanced.

Bainimarama said reports of his criticism of John Key during the New Zealand Prime Minister’s visit to Fiji in June were a media beat-up.

He said he got on “famously” with Key despite the Kiwi PM failing to see his “vision for Fiji”.

“It’s true that I’ve had a couple of issues with him saying that I’d shot my mouth off about the Pacific Islands Forum, that he hoped we weren’t going to be silly about enforcing the provisions of our public order, but it hasn’t unduly affected the warmth of our relationship,” he said.

Key had warned the Fiji government not to do anything “silly” following the arrest of six prominent Fijians last month. He also said Bainimarama had mouthed off about the forum.

“He knows that I’m Frank by name and frank by nature. And I know that he’s a similarly plain-speaking Kiwi,” Bainimarama said.

Our Media party beat up almost everything about Fiji and often wrongly lay blame at Bainimarama’s feet. The arrest of opposition politicians is a case in point. Thankfully, that has been resolved, but it had nothing at all to do with the government.

It’s ?shame that David Shearer doesn’t get it.

He said he welcomed the Fijian PM’s visit and was ready for “positive engagement” and “constructive conversation”.

Labour foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer wants the Government to keep pushing Fijian officials for a better democracy.

Bainimarama’s visit coincides with the Bledisloe Cup match this weekend.

He attended the Fiji Trade and Investment Symposium at Auckland’s Stamford Plaza Hotel this morning.

Bainimarama smiled and appeared at ease as he met children at a Fijian kindergarten, Bula Kindergarten, in Mangere this morning.

He then visited Moana Pacific Fisheries in Mt Wellington accompanied by Shane Jones, ambassador for Pacific Economic Development.

David Shearer is concerned about democracy in Fiji? He doesn’t share those same concerns about Gaza though does he? If he had seen how election operations were conducted in Fiji in 2014 then he would be ashamed of his comments. At least in Fiji breaches of electoral law are prosecuted unlike here.

 

– NZ Herald

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