15 Aug 2005

NZ uni hockey teams cancel tour to Fiji amid security concerns

11:00 am on 15 August 2005

The New Zealand university men's and women's hockey teams have cancelled their forthcoming tour of Fiji over security concerns arising from the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Fiji TV reports that the teams were to have played five matches in Fiji from later this month.

The Fiji Hockey Association had completed all preparations for the matches when they received news of the cancellation.

The Fiji association's spokesman, Kevin Fraser, says the NZ decision was prompted by New Zealand media coverage of the Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

Mr Fraser says the Fiji association is bitterly disappointed by the cancellation which comes after the New Zealand Maori team cancelled its tour earlier this year.

Fiji's foreign affairs minister, Kaliopate Tavola, says he was not aware of the New Zealand decision, but points out that the Indian national soccer team is currently touring Fiji.