30 Jan 2015

Time to stop punishing Fiji, says Brownlee

2:51 pm on 30 January 2015

New Zealand's Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee, says it's time to stop punishing Fiji for events in the past.

Gerry Brownlee.

Gerry Brownlee. Photo: RNZ

New Zealand has resumed defence ties with Fiji that were suspended after the coup led by then-Commodore Frank Bainimarama in 2006.

Other sanctions were lifted after Fiji's election in September.

Mr Brownlee says two Fijian officers are now training at New Zealand officer training schools, and fisheries surveillance from Fiji has also started up again.

"We are resuming military and diplomatic relations with a country that has a democratically-elected government, and we respect the democratic right of the Fijian people to, at the ballot box, choose their leader. They've chosen Frank Bainimarama and we recognise that."

New Zealand's Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee.