23 Jan 2014

NZ government says rule of law must be preserved in Nauru

2:21 pm on 23 January 2014

The New Zealand government says it would consider withholding funding in Nauru if it finds the government was acting outside the rule of law in deporting its only magistrate and barring its chief justice from returning.

Both men have called on New Zealand to get involved as its aid programe is the Nauru justice system's main donor.

The Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says he is working to find out more details but does not want to inflame the situation by commenting prematurely.

But he says everyone in the region has a large stake in the rule of law operating successfully in the Pacific.

"The operation of good institutions are important to us all in the Pacific and whenever we see something like this happen, we obviously look into it very carefully and urge the parties to try and find a way through the differences that preserves the institutions and processes that we all depend upon."

Murray McCully says if it finds out New Zealand taxpayer funds are not meeting their objectives in Nauru, it would take the matter very seriously.