Barbara Dreaver

Fijian Government defends improvements and denounces biased report from Amnesty International

Yesterday the Media party went all in on a shonky and shabby report from Amnesty International about Fiji.

Of course, it was Barbara Dreaver putting the slipper in while she enjoys staying in Suva, not at all grateful for her new freedoms.

A damning report from Amnesty International has found Fiji’s security forces are involved in an alarming level of torture, brutality and abuse cases.

Since the military coup of 2006 there have been five deaths in custody and other people have suffered serious injuries or been raped.

Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze says accountability for these cases are the exception rather than the rule.

“It’s quite extraordinary the level of violence that some of these cases are experiencing … what makes it different in Fiji I guess is that you have immunities under the constitution which make it very difficult to investigate these,” she said.

Ms Schuetze says another problem is that Police and Prisons Commissioners are both senior serving military offices which “blurs the line between these two institutions”.

Amnesty International say more accountability is needed and there needs to be an independent mechanism monitoring the security forces so they aren’t investigating themselves when cases come to light.

Read more »

Let there be no more whinging from media about Fiji after travel bans removed for ratbag journos

Fiji has removed the travel ban on two Kiwi ratbag journalists.

The Fiji Sun reports:

Foreign journalists who were previously banned from entering Fiji are now allowed to enter the country.

A Government statement said: ?The Government originally instituted these bans, because it believed that some journalists had crossed the line from journalism to political advocacy and had inserted themselves into the domestic political debate.

The three journalists who had been banned from entering Fiji were Barbara Dreaver, the Pacific Correspondent for One News,TVNZ, Sean Dorney, formerly an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC/Australian Network) Journalist, and Former Fairfax journalist Michael Field. ?? Read more »

Stop your whining Barbara, it is unbecoming and not working


Barbara Dreaver is putting on a weapons grade whine louder than an air raid siren because she isn’t getting her way.

What is truly funny is watching the Media party begging John Key to help out poor Barbara when they normally just want to kick him in?the?balls.

Well Key’s entreaties failed…predictably…and Barbara isn’t happy.

Fiji?s Prime Minister also said that according to New Zealand media what happened in Fiji somehow lacked legitimacy.

That?s because it did lack legitimacy. The bottom line is it was a military dictatorship which ejected the democratically elected government with weapons, sacked the judges, abolished the constitution, put military personnel in top public service positions, censored the media and introduced laws forbidding groups of people meeting.

However, as Frank Bainimarama points out, things have moved on. He was democratically elected by the people, his Government is now legitimate. ? Read more »

Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field, news story writing competition

Blacklisted TVNZ journalist Barbara Dreaver touches down in Fiji for first time in eight years. Image: From TVNZ One News video

Blacklisted TVNZ journalist Barbara Dreaver touches down in Fiji for first time in eight years. Image: From TVNZ One News video

“No one who reports on events in Fiji fairly and in a balanced manner is excluded. Any journalist is free to criticise my government or me in an opinion piece of report criticism by others in their news stories. But we cannot allow the wilful propagation of false information that damages our national interest and undermines our [Fijian] economy. And that is what has happened in the case of certain journalists and others from Australia.”

Bainimarama cited TVNZ footage of military tanks in the streets of Suva, even though Fiji had no tanks, and a claim that Fijian children were starving and eating grass.


Michael Field

Michael Field

Instead of being ashamed and apologetic for making up the news instead of reporting on it Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field are upset that they are no longer welcome in Fiji. To show our support for their special kind of journalism I invite you all in the comments to submit a 1-2 paragraph News report complete with accompanying photo.

*Remember that you do not need to let the truth get in the way of a good story. This is a Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field news story writing competition so we are not concerned about the facts, just a gripping tale.

To get your creative juices flowing I have submitted my own entry below.

Read more »

Key still tone deaf over Fiji relations

John Key is feeling the chill wind coming from Fiji over his recent ill-informed statements regarding Fiji, in particular his comments over democracy and also letting ratbag lying journalists return to visiting Fiji.

Prime Minister John Key says it’s time for New Zealand to “let bygones be bygones” and normalise the relationship with Fiji, despite ongoing concerns about the country’s transition to democracy.

It’ll be the first time a New Zealand Prime Minister has gone to Fiji in a decade. Then military leader Frank Bainimarama took power in a coup in 2006, the fourth since 1987 for the Pacific island nation.

“Those warm diplomatic relations were broken off by Helen Clark when they had the military coup and we followed up with all of that,” Mr Key told More FM this morning.

“But they’ve had elections now, and I sort of felt I guess as the bigger side of the relationship we should put our best foot forward and go up there.”

Yes you should, and it’s good to hear that you are accepting that the issue lies with New Zealand and not with Fiji.

Some Kiwi reporters are still banned from the country — a touchy subject Mr Key said he’d bring up, but doesn’t expect to be resolved immediately.

“People often don’t want to admit that they’re wrong or don’t want to change immediately.”

Sometimes I really wonder about John Key. He starts off well then ends up making a stupid statement like that, telling the Fijian’s they are wrong and he is right. ? Read more »

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?

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I tried, I really did, but couldn’t find a single road block, goon squad or government censor anywhere

The Grand Pacific Hotel, redeveloped and open for business

The Grand Pacific Hotel, redeveloped and open for business ? ? ? ? Photo/ CamSlater, Whaleoil Media

I have spent three days in Fiji, a short trip transiting onto my next destination.

After my interview with Frank Bainimarama I received emails, threats, and comments that basically said that I didn’t know what I was talking about. That Suva wasn’t safe, that there were government goon squads roaming the city setting dogs onto people and breaking up groups of 5 ?or more, and that the media were muzzled by government censors, not to mention the road blocks and general intimidation and subjugation of the general population at the point of a gun. In fact I never saw a gun, at all, and trust me as someone who is interested in such things I was looking.

Well, I can tell you that despite asking and looking for all of these things that we have been told exists by the disaffected and the complicit media in New Zealand, I could find none of those things.

I went to several press conferences where media turned up, asked questions, received answers all without any Police or Army people present. ? Read more »

Will Fiji’s elections be free & fair?


Supervisor of Elections at Fiji Elections Office, Mohammed Saneem Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

I am in Suva at the moment investigating Fiji’s path to democracy.

Today I visited the Fiji Elections Office, their Electoral Commission, and had an in-depth discussion with the Supervisor of Elections,?Mohammed Saneem.

My questions and discussion focused on whether or not Fiji would be having free and fair elections on September 17.

In past elections there have been several incidences of vote tampering, ballot box stacking and in one particular example more votes cast than registered electors in a constituency.

Despite international observers in the past declaring elections free and fair it is obvious to all that Fiji’s past elections have been far from that.

Independence of Fiji Elections Office

The Fiji Elections Office is independent, just like New Zealand’s Electoral Commission. They are charged with overseeing the election and electoral law, which at present is by decree, but it is the law nonetheless.

I spent quite a bit of time understanding their voting processes and there are some quite innovative techniques they are utilising to combat voter fraud and vote rigging.

Voter Registration

The first step has been a comprehensive voter education and registration process that has been running for two years. Registered voters have a voter id card, this is not at all like the Easy Vote card that is so easily rorted in NZ. ?The Fijian voter registration card is a photo id, it also contains biometric data (fingerprints) which require a match of at least 8 points.

The Fijian registered voters carry these cards everywhere. When I asked my cab diver last night, when I arrived in Suva, if he was registered to vote, he reached into his pocket and flourished it with obvious pride. Everyone eligible and registered to vote has one of these and a random sample on the streets shows that everyone without fail carries it. What this means is that only registered voters will be able to vote, and they require the photo and biometric identification in order to vote. This is a significant advancement over our voter registration processes in NZ. I should know as I have just watched my 18 year old son register to vote in NZ and our processes are farcical to say the least compared to what Fiji has initiated. ?? Read more »

Blessed with a special kind of stupid

Don’t you just love Twitter. People say things in the clear they really shouldn’t and we get to see it all.

Take all the media people celebrating that there are no ads on TV for Good Friday and thinking this would be a good permanent state of affairs.

How do they think their big fat salaries are paid for? I’m not sure their employers will enjoy seeing that on their branded Twitter accounts.? Read more »

Law Society censoring recruitment of lawyers

The Law Society is now censoring recruitment advertisements in Law Talk. The Fiji of Directorate of Public Prosecutions wanted to advertise for qualified New Zealand?lawyers?for positions they have available. This would of course been a good thing with New Zealand qualified lawyers able to impart their knowledge and belief on the Fijian legal profession.

Instead the Law Society has banned the adverts essentially wanting to censor the advertising of jobs in Fiji.

Christopher Pryde, the Director of Public prosecutions says:

An email to the Office of the DPP this morning (3.2.12), said ?The New Zealand?Law Society Board has decided unanimously that the NZLS will not accept?advertisements for legal positions in Fiji under the current interim military regime?.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Christopher Pryde, said it was unfortunate?that the NZLS was involving itself in politics and preventing New Zealand lawyers?from hearing about job vacancies in Fiji.

?It is unfortunate that New Zealand lawyers are being denied the opportunity to?decide for themselves whether they wish to take up legal positions in Fiji. By?refusing to allow us the right to advertise, the NZLS is effectively censoring what?New Zealand lawyers know about Fiji.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in an independent office and the?Director of Public Prosecutions has the sole responsibility for criminal prosecutions?in Fiji. This is without recourse to any Government minister, including the Attorney-General. The Office in that regard is non-political.

This is the bizarre part of the Law Society’s action. They think that this is a “smart sanction”. In fact it is highly dumb.

What shall we do with people charged with rape or robbery or murder? Send them to?New Zealand?? he said.

Mr Pryde said he remains concerned that the NZLS continue to have an inaccurate?picture of the Fijian situation, in particular of the judiciary and the courts.

?My invitation to the NZLS still stands. They are welcome to visit Fiji and meet and?talk to anyone without restriction so that they can obtain for themselves a first-hand?appraisal of things in Fiji. In the meantime, we would appreciate the NZLS allowing?lawyers to decide things for themselves and allow us the right to advertise? he said. the Law Society has acted based on the inane drivel published by Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field, both of whom haven’t been in Fiji for some years and they also haven’t haven’t bothered to go anf find out for themselves the situation in Fiji.

Actions like this are stupid and hardly contribute to enabling Fiji to return to democracy. in point of fact they hinder the path to?democracy?by allowing the impression that?independent?bodies such as the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to be?maligned?as political corrupt.

One thing the Law Society has done though, by dabbling in foreign politics, is opened themselves up to a challenge for whatever status they enjoy with the Charities Commission.