30 Oct 2014

Former diplomat says Fiji's stance on PIF could mellow

1:51 pm on 30 October 2014

A former High Commissioner to Fiji says Fiji's stance over New Zealand and Australia's membership in the Pacific Islands Forum could mellow with time.

Fiji has been invited to rejoin the Forum after carrying out elections last month.

However the country appears to be in no hurry to return and has publicly called for New Zealand and Australia's role in the Forum to be reassessed.

But Michael Powles says Fiji could change its mind.

"It's a legacy of the ill-will which has developed over the years and which [Frank] Bainimarama has expressed quite strongly towards Australia and New Zealand. I wouldn't read too much into it actually. I mean, I don't necessarily think it is the last word on the subject."

Michael Powles says he doesn't believe the majority of Forum members want New Zealand and Australia out of the Forum and at this stage it still makes sense for the two countries to remain.

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Photo: RNZ