Diplomacy

NZ PM to discuss banned journalists with Bainimarama

New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. John Key will use the first official visit to Fiji to press the case for journalists who remain on the Fiji government’s banned list. PM Key arrives in the country tomorrow and will receive a ceremonial welcome before talks with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. According to New Zealand Herald, Key said […]

Salote Qalubau

June 8, 2016 8:30 am

New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. John Key will use the first official visit to Fiji to press the case for journalists who remain on the Fiji government’s banned list.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama earlier this year. (Radio NZ)
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama earlier this year. (Radio NZ)

PM Key arrives in the country tomorrow and will receive a ceremonial welcome before talks with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

According to New Zealand Herald, Key said that he will raise the issue of some Pacific correspondents who have been in Fiji’s blacklist.

They include TVNZ reporter, Barbara Dreaver, former Fairfax reporter Michael Field and Australian journalist Sean Dorney were all banned in 2009 and are still subject to the ban.

Ms Dreaver described the ban as “a disgrace” on the One News website this week.

DREAVER: “Journalists should not be banned in any democratic country. The fact that the New Zealand delegation headed by the Prime Minister cannot include the national broadcaster’s Pacific Correspondent is a disgrace.”

Prime Minister Key said if the issue had not been resolved he would raise it with PM Bainimarama.

KEY: “There were restrictions on certain people but all of that has sort of come and gone now. We believe absolutely and passionately in the freedom of the press and that the press should be free to travel. If it hasn’t been dealt with, we will look at that issue, yes.”

Key said he will talk with PM Bainimarama as it is time for Fiji to park those issues up and move on.

The New Zealand Prime Minister is also expected to visit the students of Naiyala Secondary School in Tailevu on Friday.

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