21 Jul 2014

Fiji PM should not be granted visa - NZ Sodelpa

2:50 pm on 21 July 2014

The New Zealand arm of Fiji's Sodelpa Party says the Prime Minister Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama should be refused a visa to campaign in Auckland next month.

The Fiji Sun says he will spend four days in Auckland, but the New Zealand government will not say whether the visit will go ahead.

In March, Wellington lifted travel sanctions on those who carried out the 2006 military coup.

Sodelpa New Zealand's interim president, Sai Lealea, says people from Fiji in New Zealand are already voicing their objections, and will protest if his planned trip goes ahead.

"His eight years of rule in Fiji has proved that he has no regard whatsoever for human rights and has trashed many institutions and practices in government without consultation. I see no reason why New Zealand should grant him a visa to come to New Zealand."

Sai Lealea says if Rear Admiral Bainimarama is granted a visa, Sodelpa members would like to meet him to discuss their concerns.

But Mr Lealea says it is unlikely the Prime Minister will meet any of his opposition, saying he has a history of running away from hard questions and avoiding debate.