19 Aug 2011

New Zealand suspends travel ban for Fiji rugby player

6:30 pm on 19 August 2011

The New Zealand government is granting a Fiji Rugby World Cup contender and former soldier a temporary exemption from travel sanctions against members of that country's military.

In a statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully, says Leone Nakarawa has resigned and been discharged from Fiji's armed forces.

He says the exemption allows Mr Nakarawa to travel to New Zealand and compete in the Rugby World Cup.

Mr McCully says the government would normally take a little longer to exempt or lift the sanction against someone resigning from Fiji's military but given the nature of the request in this case it agreed to act more quickly.