4 Aug 2014

Fiji's Bainimarama to visit Auckland

7:46 pm on 4 August 2014

The Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama will be in New Zealand this weekend to raise funds for his political party and meet members of Fiji's expatriate community.

It will be the leader's first trip to New Zealand since he seized power in the 2006 coup.

no caption

Photo: RNZ / Republika

Sally Round reports.

"It's understood security officials from Fiji are in the country to check out the South Auckland venue for what is being billed as a FijiFirst Festival featuring entertainment, food stalls and the chance to meet the former military commander. Rear Admiral Bainimarama has been campaigning for the September polls under the banner of his newly registered party, FijiFirst.

Other politicians from Fiji have also visited New Zealand in efforts to garner support from Fiji's diaspora, allowed to vote under new electoral rules if they hold Fijian passports. New Zealand's sanctions banning coup-makers from the country were lifted earlier this year as the government shifted to a policy of engagement with Fiji. There is no word yet on whether Rear Admiral Bainimaram will meet anyone from the New Zealand government during his stay."