10 Mar 2012

No lift on Fiji sanctions yet - McCully

5:53 am on 10 March 2012

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand will not be lifting sanctions on Fiji just because it has announced there will a consultation process on its constitution.

Fiji's military ruler Frank Bainimarama announced on Thursday that the consultations between the Constitutional Commission and the people of Fiji would take place between July and September.

Mr McCully says it is an important step toward holding elections in Fiji.

He told Checkpoint on Friday that although New Zealand will need to respond quickly to the moves Fiji is making, it does not mean it will immediately lift sanctions on the country, such as the travel ban.

Mr McCully says New Zealand needs to help Fiji put in place free and fair elections by assisting with public education programmes.

Fiji's new constitution is expected to be adopted in March 2013.