5 Jun 2007

NZ foreign minister criticised for not meeting pro-demo MPs in Tonga visit

5:42 pm on 5 June 2007

New Zealand Green Party MP Keith Locke has criticised the foreign minister Winston Peters for not meeting with pro-democracy MPs in his visit to Tonga this week.

The Greens' foreign affairs spokesman says it's difficult for New Zealand to help speed up political reform in Tonga if íts foreign minister doesn't converse with the politicians leading that change.

Mr Locke also adds that it's unfortunate that since last November's riots, New Zealand's High Commissioner has refused to meet the leading pro-democracy MP, Akilisi Pohiva.

He says the best way to avoid another breakdown of law and order is to encourage dialogue between the leading pro-democracy MPs and the Tongan government.