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Government At "Sixes And Sevens" Over Fijian Rugby

Government At "Sixes And Sevens" Over Fijian Rugby Visit

Green MP Keith Locke says "the chickens are coming home to roost" over the Government's decision to give visas to the Fiji sevens rugby team.

"Trevor Mallard and Phil Goff are at sixes and sevens over what to do with the Fiji rugby team when it comes here next week," said Mr Locke, the party's foreign affairs spokesperson.

"It's the chickens coming home to roost after the government's unprincipled decision to let the Fiji team into the country.

"Sports Minister Trevor Mallard has suffered the humiliation of cancelling a parliamentary reception for the sevens teams, when it sunk in that the presence of the Fiji team would be a major political embarrassment.

"Phil Goff's advice to MPs is somewhat laughable. He says they can go to the tournament, but avert their eyes when the Fiji team plays.

Mr Locke will be participating in a protest outside the ground protesting the presence of the Fiji team, and calling for a restoration of democracy in that country.

"I invite all MPs, including Mr Goff and Mr Mallard, to join me.

"It is absurd to have a sporting boycott of Fiji, and to let in their only top flight sports team - the one they get international mana from. It is silly to say we forbid bilateral sports contacts, but allow Fijian teams to play here in tournaments. Rugby sevens are only played in a tournament format.

"The Government should have had the guts of the Australia government, which withheld visas from the Fiji sevens team, even though it meant they lost the hosting of the tournament. It's a small price to pay to help get democracy back into Fiji," said Mr Locke.

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