11 Apr 2014

Good quality progress in Fiji seen by NZ

10:02 am on 11 April 2014

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says he continues to see good quality progress in Fiji towards elections in September.

Mr McCully is on his first visit to Suva since New Zealand lifted sanctions on the Fiji regime last month in recognition of progress towards the polls.

Unions and political parties have complained of growing restrictions on the media, unions and civil society and of the regime leader Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama ignoring the law and campaigning before registering his party.

But Mr McCully said he does not want to critique the way electoral rules are being enforced.

"We're seeing a six month process towards elections in which the machinery is working, political parties are being formed, which is a big step forward from where we were and I believe that the improvements will continue if New Zealand stays engaged in the process."

Mr McCully described the political atmosphere in Fiji as pretty competitive and said he does not agree with those that say the election is a done deal.