Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Goff Welcomes Fiji Election Announcement

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

20 March 2001


Foreign Minister Phil Goff welcomed the announcement by the caretaker government in Fiji that elections will take place by 7 September 2001.

"I have been advised by faxed letter from the caretaker Prime Minister Mr Qarase today that the elections will be held from 28 August to 7 September. He has also assured me that Fiji will by this date be returned to a full constitutional democracy under the 1997 Constitution.

"I welcome this assurance and the announcement of a specific date for the election. The holding of a fair and free election under the constitution will meet New Zealand's long-standing demand that democratic government be restored in Fiji.

"The restoration of a freely elected government will open the way for normalisation of relations between New Zealand and Fiji. It will allow for the removal of the sanctions currently imposed against Fiji with the exception of smart sanctions against individuals clearly identified with the coup of May 19 last year.

"New Zealand is disappointed that the parliament elected in May 1999 has not been reconvened as per the Court of Appeal ruling.

"We believe that the opportunity this would have opened up for the formation of a government dedicated to reconciliation between the different communities has sadly been lost.

"Reappointment of the former interim administration created a cynicism about whether Fiji would respect the Court's ruling.

"That being said, the nomination of a firm date for fresh elections at least creates the expectation of a full restoration of democracy within six months.

"It remains important to ensure that law and order is maintained and an election campaign free from intimidation can be conducted. It is also important that genuine efforts are made to heal the wounds opened up by the coup and that reconciliation and tolerance replace the extremism which has blighted Fiji since May last year," Mr Goff said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>


89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>


Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>


Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>





InfoPages News Channels