25 Mar 2013

NZ foreign minister defends spending on Fiji constitutional commission

11:34 am on 25 March 2013

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, has defended giving Fiji hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund a Constitution Commission, whose work was dumped by the regime.

In January, the Fiji president rejected its draft constitution, saying Fiji had to break with its past and ensure that unelected people no longer make decisions for the general public.

All printed copies were confiscated and the galley proofs burnt in front of the head of the Commission.

Mr McCully says this doesn't amount to misspending money.

"I don't think it's money down the drain. I think that the constitutional commission process had an unfortunate end to it in the way in which the report was dealt with. But the exercise which involved a lot of community consultation was a good one."

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully