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Commercial Flights May Be Used To Evacuate Fiji

AGENDA NEWS STORY
See Full Agenda Transcript: Agenda Transcript: Phil Goff & Phil O'Reilly

Commercial Flights May Be Used To Evacuate Fiji

Defence Minister Phil Goff says commercial flights could be used to evacuate New Zealanders from Fiji in a worst case scenario.

Tensions are high in the Pacific nation, as the threat of a military coup looms.

Speaking on TVOne’s Agenda programme, Mr Goff said : “The situation is really on hold there at the moment, but from a defence point of view, we have to be prepared for the worst possible contingency plan … if we had to evacuate people, we would do it commercially through the airport and using commercial airlines.”

New Zealand would likely work in partnership with Australia in any evacuation, but Mr Goff stressed that a military coup was very unlikely.

“If the situation were to turn violent, then we need to be ready for an evacuation in extremis. I’m working personally with my colleague, the Australian Minister of Defence, Brendan Nelson, so that the two countries would have a co-ordinated approach.

“But I have to stress that is not the most likely scenario … I don’t think we’ll get to that.”

ENDS

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