31 Aug 2011

Fiji's Mara again applies for NZ visa

1:33 pm on 31 August 2011

The former Fiji army colonel, Ratu Tevita Mara, has applied for a visa to travel to New Zealand during the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit.

Ratu Tevita, who fled Fiji facing sedition charges, must apply for a special visa because he is banned as a former member of the military regime.

Fiji has applied to New Zealand for his extradition.

He says he wants to meet individual leaders, particularly from the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries.

"It seems that they're not fully aware of what's happening in Fiji, given their continued support to the military junta. I can only guess that the agenda has already been made, and it is not forcing our way into the Forum proper, it's trying to meet the leaders individually, and explaining and talking to them on the real situation in Fiji."

Ratu Tevita Mara.

A spokesperson for New Zealand's foreign minister, Murray McCully declined to comment on the visa application and the extradition request.