13 Aug 2013

Fiji can't change the geography, says NZ Foreign Minister

1:23 pm on 13 August 2013

New Zealand's Foreign Minister says Australia and New Zealand are part of the Pacific and important relatives to Pacific nations.

His comments come after Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said Fiji would not seek to rejoin the Pacific Islands Forum in its current structure.

At last week's inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum, Ratu Inoke said Australia and New Zealand were donors and as such they wield too much influence on the regional grouping.

Murray McCully, who is on a Melanesian tour, says greater harmony is needed between the countries and next year's election will be an important juncture.

"Every now and then he makes these speeches about the success of their Look North strategy and how successful Fiji's been without working with the Forum, but I respond to that by telling him that you can change a lot of things but you can't change geography. We are all interdependent in the Pacific region and I think one way or another we'll see the countries of the Pacific find a way of working in greater harmony."

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully.