5 Jun 2007

New Zealand and Australia say lifting of emergency regulations will affect travel advisories

8:45 am on 5 June 2007

New Zealand and Australia say they will take the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations into account when reviewing their travel advisories on Fiji.

The Fiji Sun reports that this has been confirmed by the New Zealand and Australian High Commissions in Suva following a call from the Prime Minister's Office for a lifting of the advisories.

The New Zealand High Commissioner, Michael Green, is quoted as saying their advisory has already been reviewed to remove references to the Public Emergency Regulations.

Mr Green says the advisory remains in place because the emergency regulations were not the only reason for issuing them.

He says the advisory mentions military intervention in police matters affecting the interests of New Zealanders because a New Zealander was allegedly assaulted by soldiers over a matter that had nothing to do with the military.

Mr Green says the current travel advisory on Fiji is the lowest of the three warning levels possible under the country's advisory system.

He says when the next formal review of the advisory takes place, the removal of the emergency regulations will be one of the developments taken into account in reaching an overall assessment of security and safety.

A spokesman for the Australian High Commission in Suva has made similar comments saying Australia's travel advice is an assessment of the security situation as it affects their citizens and is not just a description of the legal framework governing security.

He says the travel advice is kept under constant review.