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New Zealand Too Timid Over Fiji Sanctions

United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling for tougher New Zealand sanctions against Fiji, until democratic government is restored.

"Our present reliance on so-called 'smart sanctions' is far too timid, and will just be ignored."

"The coup leaders will be laughing at our virtually non-existent response to their outrage, and Indo-Fijian refugees in New Zealand will be rightly appalled we are doing so little, apart from talking tough," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says New Zealand should be adopting tougher sanctions, including a trade and tourism blockade to bring to bring the new regime in Fiji to its knees.

He says this blockade could be developed in consultation with Australia and other Pacific nations.

"We should not be showing any tolerance or sympathy for this assault on democracy, and should be determined to back up our words with strong action," he says.

Mr Dunne also wants New Zealand to do more to assist Fijian refugees, either already in New Zealand or wishing to come here.

"We should be adopting a far more flexible approach to family reunification situations, and we should be fast-tracking where possible professional qualifications recognition to enable people to settle here and resume the normal thread of their lives," he says.

Mr Dunne says that, handled properly, this could be a win-win solution.

"It would obviously be a win for the Fijian refugees, but could also be a win for New Zealand, which would gain the benefit of their skills to assist our own long term growth and development," he says.

ENDS

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