10 Apr 2014

New Zealand union calls for NZ conditions on Fiji election

2:11 pm on 10 April 2014

A New Zealand trade union body says New Zealand should tell Fiji it will not recognise September's election unless it is free and fair.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully is making his first visit to Suva after New Zealand lifted sanctions on the regime last month as recognition for progress towards the polls.

The Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Peter Conway, says it is a gross exaggeration to say progress has been made.

He says New Zealand should play hard ball with the regime and place conditions now.

"That means that you cannot threaten media with going to prison, you cannot tell unions you cannot express a political view at all, you cannot make it so difficult for civil society organisations to be involved. Otherwise it looks like it is rigged."

Peter Conway says Mr McCully is making it easier for the regime in Suva to keep masquerading that the election is free and fair.