3 Oct 2016

NZ/ Aust called on to give Pacific visa free access

From , 6:05 am on 3 October 2016

The Vanuatu opposition is calling on Australia and New Zealand to offer Vanuatu passport holders visa-free access.

This follows New Caledonia and French Polynesia granting visa-free entry, while most of the Pacific, including Vanuatu, has also been given the same access to the European Union.

In a statement, the opposition has expressed its gratitude to France and called on New Zealand and Australia to follow suit.

It says if Australia and New Zealand want closer economic relations, then they need to open their borders to grant visa exemptions to Vanuatu citizens.

The head of the Institute for Pacific Research at Auckland University, Damon Salesa, says much of the Pacific has been pushing for easier access to the two metropolitan countries for years.

Don Wiseman asked him why Australia and New Zealand are opposed.

Pacific Historian Damon Salesa

Pacific Historian Damon Salesa Photo: Supplied