Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 21:45 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 21:45 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: NZ-Fiji relations


Sam Roggeveen


22 January 2010 15:26

Paul Cotton responds to Jenny Hayward-Jones' post:

The only position for which a receiving country expects advance notice is that of Head of Mission (ie. Ambassador or High Commissioner). McCully statements last week made it clear that he and the Fijians had not spoken of the appointment at this time of an Acting High Commissioner. A counsellor position does not require advance notification or approval.

My interpretation of this appointment is that the Commodore has sent a trusted friend to take relations with New Zealand a further step ahead.

Still no comment or reaction from Canberra.

I'm no Pacific Islands expert, and nor would I comment on the diplomatic niceties. But it seems to me difficult to interpret Fiji's actions as anything but a provocation. As Jenny said, the nominee for the counsellor position is on New Zealand's no-fly list, so Wellington has only two choices: either cave in to Suva and remove him from the list, or stand their ground and reject the nominee.

Why would Bainimarama force New Zealand into such a choice if he wants to take relations with Wellington 'a further step ahead'?