30 Sep 2008

Sir Paul Reeves calls for New Zealand and Fiji to talk

5:12 pm on 30 September 2008

The Commonwealth Secretary General's Special Envoy to Fiji, former New Zealand Governor General, Sir Paul Reeves, says New Zealand and the Fiji interim government need to sit down and talk.

Sir Paul's comments came during a Melanesia symposium being held in Wellington to try improve this country's understanding of the Melanesian countries.

He says he believes Fiji values its Commonwealth links highly and this may be the best means for reaching a resolution.

Sir Paul says New Zealand may need to rethink the impact of the travel sanctions and also consider the impact on Fijians living here of the continuing stalemate.

He says both countries cannot continue to talk past each other.

"At the end of the day we have got to sit down together, breathe each other's breath, look each other in the eyeballs and say what needs to be said and test the nature of our relationship, one with the other. Until they get in that sort of environment I think that the Pacific way will not really materialise."