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Fiji Travel Advisory

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' alteration to the travel advisory for Fiji reflects an improvement in the security situation there, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today.

"The New Zealand government has been monitoring the situation in Fiji closely. We have decided to downgrade the earlier travel advisory against all travel to Fiji.

"This is in accord with the decisions of the US, UK and Australian Governments, which have now downgraded their travel advisories in a similar manner.

"George Speight and his closest supporters have been charged with treason and are safely behind bars pending the court hearing of those charges. Speight's support is waning considerably with some of even his closest backers pledging their loyalty to the President.

"Since the crackdown by the Fiji Military Forces, law and order has been restored to most areas. The overall security situation has improved and life in most parts of the main island of Viti Levu is returning to normal.

"In the Western side of Viti Levu, Nadi, the offshore island resorts and the Coral Coast the situation is calm.

"However, there remains the possibility of isolated incidents, some of which could be directed against visitors, and New Zealanders visiting these areas are still advised to maintain a high level of caution and security awareness.

"New Zealanders are advised against holiday and non-essential travel to Suva, the Central Division of Viti Levu (the eastern side), and on the island of Vanua Levu. The security situation there remains potentially volatile. A military curfew remains in effect in Suva, and a state of emergency is still in place.

"The Government will continue to monitor the situation and should there be any significant turn for the worse which threatened the safety and security of New Zealanders in Fiji there might be a need to review the downgrading of the advisory.

"Visitors to Fiji should monitor the local media for current information.

ENDS

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