Outgoing Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand says New Zealand will need to step in to help when the military regime in Fiji eventually fails.
Sir Anand Satyanand's parents emigrated from Fiji before he was born.
He told Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning programme that New Zealand needs to stand by Fiji as a neighbour and friend.
"There will come a time when the assistance of friends and neighbours will be sought, because, one way or another, Fiji will want to move to a stage beyond where they are at the moment."
Sir Anand Satyanand's term as Governor-General ends on Tuesday.