29 Aug 2011

NZ government turns down visa request from Fiji rugby chief

1:45 pm on 29 August 2011

The New Zealand government has turned down a request by Fiji's Lieutenant Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga to attend the Rugby World Cup.

Colonel Tikoitoga who's also Chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union has been farewelling the Fiji team on its departure this morning still waiting to hear about his own visa.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the visa application was immediately declined when it was received last week under a ban on allowing Fiji regime members into New Zealand.

He says another rugby official with links to the regime has also had his application refused.

"I regret that we haven't been able to see some movement on things in Fiji which would have enabled us to make more progress in the way in which we deal with these things but the sanctions are there for a reason and banned means banned."

Mr McCully says the visa refusal should have been communicated to Colonel Tikoitoga before now.