Meltdown with Fiji

December 16th, 2008 at 10:52 am by David Farrar

Commodore Bainimarama seems to be very misguided if he thinks he is in a position to demand NZ issue visas to various family members of Fijian officials.

Such a demand would guarantee the Government won’t issue a waiver. If he wants waivers, then you have to make concessions, not threats. Such as a firm timetable for elections.

The threat is very lame – expelling our Acting High Commissioner. So what? It hurts far more not having NZ diplomatic presence, than it does NZ.

And this morning, they have expelled TVNZ’s Barbara Dreaver. Again, the Commodore is getting bad advice if he thinks this upset the Government at all.

I’m open to persuasion that the Commodore has good motives – his planned reforms to get rid of race based voting are laduable. But the longer he remains the self-appointed ruler, without taking concrete steps towards elections, the longer sanctions will remain. The way ahead lies with him.

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60 Responses to “Meltdown with Fiji”

  1. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    It’s possible he thinks Helen is still in charge. She’d be pissed about it. She was always pissed he never did what she said.

    Unfortunately for Bananamarama, John Key’s government has more important things to attend to.

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  2. kiwiscouse (4 comments) says:

    Bananamarama does not possess political skills and is trying do deal with those who have. The big danger is that he will turn to China for support. They would love a deep sea port in Fiji. The Chinese are already well established in Raratonga, see the new police station there. Oz and Nz are being very short sighted.

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  3. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    I get a bit of a worried feeling in my tummy when journalists get expelled from somewhere.

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  4. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    Yawn

    The strife in Fiji is right at the top of my “don’t give a fuck” list.

    Stop any aide payments we make and leave it at that, Fiji is not our problem and nor should it be.

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  5. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Sigh just like Africa the Pacific islands werent ready for democracy and self governance and we see the evidence all around us.

    They are tribal soceities where the biggest strongest most powerful tribe rules and kills and terrorises the weaker.

    But stll the nutbars find ways to apologise for the inhumanity and the soft cocks wring their hands at the slaughter of teh innocents.

    Yet noone will take responsibility and take effective action . the pussyfooters stand around like the useless pieces of dog turds that they truly.

    Time for freedon fighters to stand up and demand these arseholes get a back bone for once and sort out the Bananaramas and Mugbes of the world.

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  6. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    big burv The Chinese are the reason why we musnt treat Fiji as a yawn Like in Africa and the Carribean they are making steady inroards with a view to long term resource acquistion and also to test Uncle Sam at every opportunity.

    The geo political situation is not benign.

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  7. MT_Tinman (2,792 comments) says:

    I’m with Frank.

    Anyone who ejects or imprisons slime can’t be all bad.

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  8. GPT1 (2,042 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull I get a bit of a worried feeling in my tummy when journalists get expelled from somewhere.
    Generally a fair call although in the case of Barbwa the Sanctimonious I would almost be prepared to make an exception – indeed they could have kept her incommunicado for a while. Do the public of NZ a favour! TV3 News for a while methinks – having Barbara Dreaver squawking about the latest outrage by the Commodore every night would be too much to bear.

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  9. big bruv (12,359 comments) says:

    I do find it hilarious that our press treat the expulsion of a journalist as a big news story, it lead the morning news on TV One and was delivered in the most serious tone by Paul Henry, it just proves that all media have a massively over inflated opinion of their value or importance to us.

    Mostly the general public could not give a toss if some silly little girl is given the boot from a country that does not want her there.

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  10. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Bananarama obviously hasn’t heard the election result, if he thinks the government still gives a fuck what tinpot dictators demand. If Key’s prepared to give china the middle finger about the meeting the Dalai Lama, what makes him think anyone cares what his bunch of clowns does.

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  11. peterwn (2,935 comments) says:

    Barbara had an anxious night. I am not surprised – the poor woman was probably scared stiff of being bashed up or worse by out of control cops or soldiers.

    big bruv – of course the media will treat it as a big news story. A major objective is to heap scorn on those who try and attack the freedom of the media.

    If people do not like her style – they can always watch TVNZ news. Her style is a minor issue compared with media freedom.

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  12. baxter (893 comments) says:

    In my view the new Goverment should extend a helping hand to Bananarama to overcome the obstacles he is facing in establishing a corruption free regime. Banning students or sportspeople because of who their relatives are is the hallmark of the previous NZ Regime and is in the interests of neither NZ or the Pacific. As others have stated the vacuum in the middle of the Pacific can easily be filled by our free trade partner Communist China.

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  13. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    If people do not like her style – they can always watch TVNZ news. Her style is a minor issue compared with media freedom.

    Barbara Dreaver is the TVNZ Pacific correspondent.

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  14. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    NZ SAS:

    Shoot Commodore Banana!!

    It would be a good practise run for going to get Mugabe.

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  15. glubbster (345 comments) says:

    Kiwiscouse I agree, the strategy is misguided. National should have reviewed the position ex-post Clark’s downfall. Let us not forget that Clark is one of the all time political grandstanders. When the strategic threat of an increased Chinese influence in the Pacific is as clear as day, it is folly to continue on this course with Fiji. Key and co need to look at the big picture as trading petty punishments only ensures the NZ/AUS relationship with Fiji continues to worsen. There is also little justification to effectively kick out Fijians from NZ simply because they are “associated” with the new Fijian “government”.
    Bananarama clearly will not be told what to do so negotiation is the only effective way to proceed.
    NZ has clearly denounced the Fijian coup as anti-democratic. A change in approach to pragmatism is now required.

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  16. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Her style is a minor issue compared with media freedom.

    Absolutely. “Silly little girl” (wtf?) or not, it’s very noteworthy when a country starts targetting journalists – though perhaps they already have done so, this is symbolic of the regime there.

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  17. Captain Crab (351 comments) says:

    Gee, heres an idea. Why dont we help them move forward to democracy. One of the things which needs doing in Fiji is an up to date census.
    NZ and Oz are nicely placed to provide impartial advisors to do such a thing.
    It would be a good start to stop the vote rigging and corruption.

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  18. freethinker (648 comments) says:

    I wonder how long Barmy Banana would last if NZ & Australia chose not to fly to Fiji – no tourist dollars and reduced export earnings usually = no pay for the soldiers & hungry soldiers are not loyal soldiers!

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  19. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    big burv The Chinese are the reason why we musnt treat Fiji as a yawn Like in Africa and the Carribean they are making steady inroards with a view to long term resource acquistion and also to test Uncle Sam at every opportunity.

    The geo political situation is not benign.

    You mean like the chinese buying electricity companies in NZ? Yawn. Big yawn. If we’re that bothered about the reds we shouldn’t be selling them our essential services. But we are, and we’re not. Fiji is several degrees of yawn away from NZ’s electricity. Perhaps you’re arguing for a massive defence budget increase and recruitment drive? That I could agree with.

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  20. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    goodgod The next battle will not be fought with guns. It will be an economic battle between those who control the resources and those who dont control the resources.

    If Herr Hitler had owned large chunks of property in London and Paris in 1939 IMHO he wouldnt have bombed the bejesus out of those cities. he would have used other means to achieve his ends

    Likewise the Chinese own large chunk sof property and other not easily transported assets around the globe including in NZ.

    They will use those resources and assets to their own advantage which might not necessarily be to the disadvantage of those who live where the assets and resources are located.

    Time will tell.

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  21. peterwn (2,935 comments) says:

    goodgod

    I think that NZ allowing the sale of its capital city electricity network to a Chinese company was not quite as bad as the UK Government allowing the London network to be sold to the French (along with the networks to the south, round to the nort-east.

    Interestingly the network run via Wellington Electric Lines Ltd who has no web site I can find and as I write this the Companies Office site is down so I cannot determine who the directors or CEO are.

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  22. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Did the screaming letie just call for the NZ military to carry out a political asasination in someone elses country?

    Well at least they’re consistant, it was their saint Fat Dave who tried to order the army to invade Fiji.

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  23. calendar girl (1,108 comments) says:

    In various ways I’m with Kiwiscouse, Baxter, Glubbster and Captain Crab on this one. For too long we’ve been indoctrinated on the Fiji situation by former PM Clark’s and former Foreign Minister Goff’s haughty rhetoric. It is time for the new Government to take stock and articulate its own, more enlightened policy on Fiji. That can be done without condoning the illegal coup that occerred, but recognising that Fiji now requires assistance – not santions or unproductive condemnation – to return to democratic rule of law.

    A good starting point for PM Key and Foreign Minister McCully might be for them to accept (even privately) that Commodore Bainimarama took over the government of Fiji pursuing several reasonable principles:

    1. Eradicating corruption in the then Fij Government.
    2. Opposing race-baced voting and distortion of landholding and constitutional arrangements.
    3. Opposing release from prison of George Speight, treasonous champion of more radical indigenous Fijians.

    Bainimarama’s own coup was also unusual in that it was carried out without subterfuge, and only after weeks of warning to the encumbents to mend their ways on the issues listed above. He even put attendance at a rugby match ahead of implementing his well-publicised coup plans!

    So the scene was set for NZ and Australia to condemn the use of force from the outset, but to then set out some basic principles and work positively with Bainimarama’s people on a new way ahead. Instead, the two countries heavied Fiji santimoniously from the start. We now deserve little other than growth of Chinese, Japanese or even North Korean influence in the South Pacific via Fiji if we keep to the same disastrous diplomatic course that we have followed under Clark and Goff. The change of government in NZ provides a timely, once-only opportunity to review our stance and to extend a tentative, less-prescriptive hand of friendship to the people of Fiji, both Fijians and those of Indian background. If we adopt rigid, bullying strategies this time, NZ has no entitlement to expect friendship and loyalty from Fiji in this generation.

    David, I note and welcome a perecptible mellowing of your own former attitude towards Bainimarama’s Fiji: “I’m open to persuasion that the Commodore has good motives – his planned reforms to get rid of race based voting are laduable.” This is no doubt a reflection of comments made by many of your contributors in response to some of your previous postings on Bainimarama, sanctions and the like. There is more than one side to this unfortunate Fiji situation, despite what we all deplore as the use of force to overthow a government, even a corrupt one. I hope that you and those whom you have the power to influence will look beyond the Rambo ramblings of our ertwhile Labour-led Government. While I don’t pretend to have the answers to Fiji’s problems, I’m convinced that goodwill and a constructive attitude from NZ will do more for the interests of both countries than the present standoff and shrill communications.

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  24. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Hmm, I wonder, if we let Bananamarama’s rellies come/pass through NZ could he take all those sods from TVNZ, TV3, Hori TV, and lock the bloody lot of them up in a Fiji government holiday camp for twelve months.
    And a couple of bloggers who come to mind as well :-)

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  25. Jack5 (4,223 comments) says:

    I’m with Grumpyoldhori on this one. Damn you Bananaman for not keeping Dreaver in your paradise for the next five years. I guess she got on Bananaman’s nerves too.

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  26. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    People may have focused a lot on George Bush’s lacklustre foreign policy-too bad noone pays attention to New Zealand’s stupidity and arrogance. Mistake #1- Australia follows the US in flexing its global muscle. Meanwhile their stooge the Kiwis feel left out, so they pick on Fiji. The problem with Helen Clark’s decision to try and pressure Fiji is that Fiji has in abundance something that other island nations don’t- tonnes of pride and a much more established financial and trade sector thanks in large to the Indian population, no shortage of big thinking brains. It has long been a strong view in Fiji that in order for Fiji to get past the trans tasman slavery, it needs to deal more with emerging nations like China and India, and distance itself from the aussies and kiwis. That sentiment has never been stronger, and we have Helen Clark to thank for that. Fiji is learning a huge lesson and is going through the transition towards eliminating the idea of tasman aid, in return for the end to aus/nz political domination. This is historical, because as I recall, NZ was very vocal towards French nuclear testing in the pacific. However, Helen Clark’s dubious ways might have just opened the doors to China and India into the south pacific for good. Mistake #2- The new New Zealand PM could have listened to trade representatives in NZ and started fresh with Fiji. Instead, he chose to go along with Clark. Now I don’t know if the NZ foreign minister shitted in his pants going up face to face with Bainimarama, but this is the hour to change the course of Fiji’s history, and the best way to do that would be in smashing style, by permanently booting out everything New Zealand from Fiji. Heck I just burned my old Grant Fox All Blacks jersey from the 1980′s ! The hatred for New Zealand in Fiji is exponential, and make no mistake about it, it includes those who’d rather see democracy. We are all one, when we’re up against bullies, especially bullies who we can do without, and we actually do not need in our lives. The heart attack rate for one will get better in fiji if relations ended and fiji stopped importing third grade mutton. BTW, there were some posts here regarding military attack on Fiji or the assasination of the PM. Why don’t you come to Suva and tell us to our face what you’d like to do to our PM, if you have enough kiwiballs. Fiji’s no pushover, it would be a mistake to put us in the same category as other pacific nations. Remember, you need us more than we need you, heck you’d hardly get anywhere if you didn’t have Fijian rugby players in the NZ sides.
    Meli
    Nadroga
    Fiji

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  27. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Its interesting to see all these kiwi posts here. Nearly all of you use “aus/nz”- hardly ever is NZ used on its own. You’re really like that remora stuck to the belly of a reef shark I caught last week. Are you kiwis ever going to break free from the kangaroo umbilical cord ? I have this image of a child doing mischief and keeps looking up at his mom to see if she approves. That’s how NZ sees australia, as that big mom staring down, and that mom keeps supporting (often times reluctantly) the pup. NZ is a sad case. In Fiji we believe in independent thinking. We’ll take on both you bullies head on. We may go down in a hail of gunfire, but we’re not bowing to you ever. That’s Fijian pride. Leave Fiji alone, spend your time enjoying the largest per capita brothels in the free world-in NZ instead !
    Meli
    Nadroga
    Fiji

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  28. pdm (842 comments) says:

    Calendar Girl – an excellent post.

    Those of us that have lived in Fiji (3 years for me 1974 to 1977) can see that Bainimarama must be doing something right when he has the support of a very large proportion of the Indian population. That is something that would not have happened when I was there though a few tried.

    The leading political figures in my time were Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau (Governer General) Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (Prime Minister) – they were respected but not many in the Indian poulace would vote for Ratu Mara’s party. The voting system was such that Fijians had two votes and the rest one. As I recall there was one election while we were there and the leaders of the opposition paries were Choudary who was the PM Rabuka led his coup agaianst and a Fijian named Butadroka who was a bit of a rebel.

    The only way to get on side with Bainimarama is to get alongside him and help get the changes he wants. He and most Fijians of his ilk and standing are too proud to be seen to back down to the strong arm tactics of Australia and New Zealand. There must be people in the wider National/Act group who have experience similar to myself, Adolf and Whale Oil who can point Key and McCully in the right direction.

    No way should they be listening to Goff, Clark and co – they haven’t a clue.

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  29. pdm (842 comments) says:

    Ni sa Bula Meli

    Well said, though I don’t think you will see any NZ bullets heading your way.

    As you say the new Foreign Affairs Minister had the opportunity to introduce a new approach from NZ when he visited Suva last week. It is a shame he did not.

    As I said above those of us New Zealanders who have lived in Fiji, albeit some years ago, know that the Fijian pride is too strong to back down to the tactics New Zealand are using. Hopefully things will change.

    Ni sa moce.

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  30. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    I have a few mates who have lived in musket cove for a while now who all believe Bainimarama is the best thing that could have happened there.

    A bit late to ask McCully to wake up and smell the coffee I suppose?

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  31. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    My appologies for my outburst, it wasn’t meant to offend anyone ! If you’ve ever visited Fiji, you’d know that the average Fijian isn’t mean spirited. But we are a very frustrated bunch right now, and are stuck right between our love for New Zealanders and our dislike for New Zealand’s foreign policy. For those who have a difficult time putting 2 and 2 together, let me di-sect the situation. Fiji has had enormous racism problems and the voting system is conducted via racial lines, to the extend that most indo-Fijians and poverty stuck native Fijians are seen as second class citizens. Bainimarama took action to eliminate racism, and his view is that unless you eliminate a bigoted system, democracy will always be threatened, so let’s fix things and make all Fijians equal, and then democracy can take its course. Remember, Fiji cannot change this democratically because racism is instilled within the constitution, and the constitutional amendment won’t happen. He is not a powerhungry person, as he’s portrayed, just someone who stepped in to fix an enormous problem in his country. On the outside, he is seen as a dictator, but to most Fijians, he is nothing less than a messiah. Suddenly, the ordinary person has some value in Fiji. What’s frustrating with New Zealand is that if Helen Clark used her brains the right way, she would have helped in a positive way. New Zealand could have been credited with helping Fiji return to true democracy like never before and hailed the champion of the pacific. Instead Clark took a hardline approach. This is a mirror image of how the US decided to deal with “rogue nations”, such as Iran. As I’ve mentioned earlier, NZ is learning this from Australia, which is originally learning from the US. Its a chain, and Barack Obama’s election signals that those methods are outdated, they do not work. Hardline efforts add distrust, frustration and build fences when there should be bridges. Its shameful that the strong bond that both New Zealand and Fiji share is on the verge of succumbing to horribly misguided foreign policy. I do feel sorry for the new NZ PM. I really believe the PM and the foreign minister are good people, and hardly have Helen Clark’s arrogance. But alas, they didn’t introduce their own strategy. They walked right into the trap that Helen created—Helen’s actions were the single biggest fuel driving the cause of the few hardline bigots all over Fiji. More dangerously, Fijians have assumed a parallel exists between democracy and racism. To change policy now would make New Zealand foolish, which is why I call it a trap.

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  32. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    Fiji is a foreign policy mess inherited from Helen Clark’s overly personalised approach to the ostensible “problem commodore”. If anything, constructive engagement on NZ’s part is the way forward.

    Ms Drever is receipted and filed as a Tulbach Browne stirrer whose contributions and reporting are always anything but helpful. The Fijians should give her and her ilk the airport arrivals quick-smart turnabout.

    Personally I think Fiji’s importance lies somewhere between saving the snails and wondering what to buy Aunt Edith for Xmas.

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  33. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    bananarama isnt silly. if he has expelled dreaver he knows its a move in the game.

    lets hope that fuckwit winston isnt giving advice in the background. where are the SIS when you need them.

    i do hope new zealand finally shows some leadership in helping resolve the woes of our sth pacific family instead of wanking on at the UN.

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  34. pdm (842 comments) says:

    Ni sa Bula Meli

    You summarise the situation very well in your last post.

    If Key and McCully act quickly to change tack the will not do themselves any harm. John Key is a very intelligent man and as you say has a human touch completely absent in Clark and her lot. It is not too late to get alongside Bainimarama and assist in getting the voting system sorted out on a one person one vate for the whole of Fiji.

    Turning Dreaver round at the border was a good move – she will contribute nothing to stabilising and overcoming the present impasse.

    Ni sa moce.

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  35. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Flashman, I don’t think the New Zealand government draws any parallels between saving snails and the possibility of losing the nucleus of its pacific base in Fiji. Losing the Suva embassy is equivalent to losing the south pacific. By the way, please pay attention to the fact that New Zealand’s pacific commerce segment has raised the alarm that $1/3 billion dollars of NZ revenue is at stake, this excludes NZ’s access to other island markets. I think you’d pay closer attention to aunt edith’s x-mas wishlist if she demanded luxury to the extent of those numbers. Fiji’s population is roughly 1/3 of New Zealand’s, over a million people. Now compare that to the few million that Fiji gets from NZ foreign aid. Who’s the snail really ?

    BULA PDM ! i enjoyed reading your comments. Its very obvious that John Key is a classy guy. Its too bad, he walked right into Helen Clark’s mess. But clearly, he will bring back a lot of positive vibes to New Zealand and the region. Despite the current problems, he is the perfect Prime Minister in the south pacific. The world needs leaders like him, young, articulate…like Obama, and the younger Tony Blair. That humanity is very much a part of John Key-you can see it.

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  36. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    NZ_outtaFIJI

    I agree.

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  37. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “In Fiji we believe in independent thinking. We’ll take on both you bullies head on. We may go down in a hail of gunfire, but we’re not bowing to you ever. ”

    Well boo. Fiji, being the pimple on the ass of the South Pacific that it is, is the critical first step in New Zealands plan to take over every tiny, tin-pot, bumfuck nation that shares our side of the planet.

    “On the outside, he is seen as a dictator, but to most Fijians, he is nothing less than a messiah. ”

    And that isnt part of the problem at all.

    “Its shameful that the strong bond that both New Zealand and Fiji share is on the verge of succumbing to horribly misguided foreign policy.”

    So we aren’t BFF’s anymore? Pardon me while my nation sheds a tear.

    “Remember, you need us more than we need you, heck you’d hardly get anywhere if you didn’t have Fijian rugby players in the NZ sides.”

    And rugby is the most important thing in the world to every New Zealand born man, woman, and child. Wait a second, no, rugby is a fast disappearing diversion for a small proportion of the NZ population. So we dont need you at all. In fact, the world wouldn’t notice if Fiji completely isolated itself for the next ten generations.

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  38. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    NZ_outtaFIJI, if the dictator really is so into doing what you say, then why hasn’t he done it already? All these wonderful constitutional changes you speak of have been in his power from the moment he seized power using force of arms. If he just did it, then the problem would be solved.

    To talk of bullying from NZ is, quite frankly, misguided. There is no parallel between the way NZ treats Fiji and the way the US treats Iran. NZ does not threaten dropping nuclear weapons on Fiji. NZ does not invade neighboring countries, killing hundreds of thousands of people. NZ does not support coups against the democratically elected government, nor do we even support coups against the currently unelected dictatorship. NZ has held friendly relations with Fiji for years and is obviously upset when the government is overthrown, and tries to do what it can to inspire the dictator to do the right thing and give up their power. It will have the same line whether Labour or National is in power. You are dreaming if you think National is going to treat the expulsion of NZ diplomats and reporters as an incentive to change it’s position on whether a dictator who seized power should be simply ignored.

    If you can’t see that your leader is simply constructing an enemy for you to feel hatred against, in a cynical exploitation of national pride, then you know nothing of the history of dictators. That he has chosen a particularly weak and conciliatory enemy like NZ is no accident, since it carries very little real threat, much like picking on racial minorities does. You can talk up NZ as the source of Fiji’s problems all you like, but the truth is that your problems are self-made and internal.

    NZ will always be a friend of Fiji, no matter how much hate your current leadership manages to drum up. I count native Fijians as amongst my very best friends, and I’m surrounded by them where I live. They are very happy about this situation, and the slightest reflection amongst people currently living there would show that you have far more to gain from friendly relations than you have to gain from unfriendly relations.

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  39. riki (234 comments) says:

    I’ve never understood NZ’s situation with Fiji.

    No one else cares, why should NZ.

    All I see is the socialists driven Fiji to China and creating a bigger Chinese presence in the pacific.

    Creating a furor over Fiji was a sily as having all the socialists shaven off their moustaches.

    will someone on the govt bench grow a moustach plse!

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  40. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Ben Wilson, you are severly misled in your assumptions. Since the coup occured in Fiji, one would expect uniform condemnation globally. And that has been true for the most part—the exception being New Zealand. Why is it that people in my town talk of New Zealand and only New Zealand with such disdain ? This didn’t just occur by accident, you’d be a fool to ignore that reality. NOONE in Fiji believes for a second that at this point in time Fiji wouldn’t have returned back to normalcy, if it wasn’t for Helen Clark’s unequivocal support of a bigotted regime. Every time that progress was being made to redraft the constitution and the electorate, and people moved into that direction, in would walk Helen Clark and smear any progress that was being made. THAT IS THE PRIMARY BASIS FOR THE HATRED TOWARDS NEW ZEALAND—interference in our political struggles. This is not something that the Aussies or anyone else was doing. This “smart sanctions” is nothing short of primary school tit for tat, and is very much in line with what the Mafia does—”if you hurt me, I shall hurt your family sort of mentality”. Fiji feels absolutely no effect from the sanctions, in fact Frank has told the NZ government that he would understand if the sanctions were imposed on him or any other member of military personnel. That is fine, but to stop kids from going to school, prevent soccer players from transiting, etc, that is childish beyond belief. When you start doing acts like that, you lose your cause and the enemy you create is the very people whom you were trying to bring democracy to, just as the US is told that it can’t expect to make friends in the middle east by dropping bombs. We may have an unelected government but we’d rather have that than the likes of a stupid government that has no clue how to conduct foreign policy in NZ—one would wonder how New Zealand would deal with a real threat such as China’s immergence in the pacific. If you can’t get it right with Fiji, you have no chance with the true dangers of the world. Now let’s correct a few misguided information you have —1)the US never said it would drop nuclear bombs on Iran. 2) I never said National will use the expulsion threat as an incentive to change its stance. We all know that neither Fiji, nor NZ will budge, which is fine from a Fijian standpoint. We’d rather have full relations or none or as we say in fijian “half-assed”. Many here including myself would throw a lovo (hangi) if New Zealand embassy was shut down and we didn’t have to deal with New Zealand diplomatically at all, although everyday new zealanders would still be treated like family..3) you can call Frank a dictator, we call him a messiah, and if he were to return Fiji back to democracy right now without making changes, Fiji as nation would be doomed. Democracy is not always the right answer, although it is the best answer. Democracy gave the world the likes of Helen Clark and George Bush. Yes, that bad US government that kills people and was the only one ever to drop atomic weapons on this earth was democratically elected !!!! what a coincidence, mate !!!! 4) Our problems are not self made, it was created by the Brits prior to independence. We have to solve it now. NZ didn’t create it, but NZ is adding fuel to the fire. 5) On the topic on racial minorities. Amazing, Frank is Fijian, yet for the purpose of equality for all he is going up against hardline Fijians in order to provide equality for Indians. Those 50,000 plus indo-fijians in NZ would have never left if they were treated equally. If things are normal in Fiji, only a total idiot would want to leave the best place on earth.

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  41. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Kimble, oh how we all wish NZ didn’t see Fiji as that important. BTW, my Fijian 10 cents says the chance of a moled new zealand getting wiped out by a major earthquake running from the 90 mile beach to stewart island is higher than the pimpled fiji’s life expectancy. Remember, pimples are benign, moles can cause all sorts of problems…Nope islolation should be limited to NZ, we have no beef with the rest of the world…on the issue of “bumfuck”, aren’t you the one with the largest per capita list of whore houses in the southern hemisphere :)

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  42. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    NZ_outtaFIJI

    That you hate democracy is obvious. That you think Bainimarama is a messiah is obvious. That you think someone else is to blame for your troubles is obvious. That you are wrong on every score is also obvious.

    Clark supported the elected government. Clark refused to support the armed overthrow of that. Clark would have supported another government if it were elected BUT IT NEVER WAS. This is also the position of Key. You seem to expect the government and the people of NZ to support someone whose only way of getting power is to seize it at gunpoint. Well sorry buddy THAT is what the Mafia do, not ‘refuse to trade with them’. We have no evidence of his universal support because any opponents are too scared to speak out, and independent media are now being kicked out too, and there have been no elections with him as a candidate.

    ARE YOU BLIND? Or a crony? You sound like a crony.

    Hating NZ will not solve anything at all for you or your country. Except that it might consolidate the power of your glorious leader, who is presiding over the catastrophic destruction of your economy, wielding power with a gun, and teaching you to love it. Wake up man.

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  43. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Ben Wilson, I had high expectaions from you, but you are way deranged, bloke. The only thing that’s obvious is your shortage of reasonable thought process. You’re putting words in my mouth, and your arguments are baseless because they are full of lies and are inconsistent. For instance, can you prove that the US wanted to nuke Iran ? Where ? Show me. I love democracy, but I proved to you that democracy has been behind the world’s worst attrocity, and you have had no defence for that. I don’t hate NZ. I want NZ out of Fiji and I want all contact between the 2 countries to end- huge difference. That would be good for both countries. I don’t want to look to the south of us, I want to look ahead. I think you’ve been sniffing too much of the same stuff helen’s been prescribed. If i’m a crony, I must be the first crony graduate of Harvard Law School :)…as a lawyer, I’ll tell you, when your opponent can’t prove his case, the case is closed.
    Some of the stuff you wrote with respect to the behavior of the military in fiji is nothing short of mythical. there is an article on this same blog regarding how radio new zealand issued lies against the fiji military and was found to be at fault. there is reality and then there’s hollywood. wake up mate !!! get off that pipe.

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  44. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “Since the coup occured in Fiji, one would expect uniform condemnation globally.”

    Not really. Fiji is the South Pacific equivalent of those central African nations that nobody has ever heard of, and who no one really cares about, that swings between civil war and coup every few years. It isnt affecting everyone else in the world so nobody cares.

    Only its neighbours bother to deal with them. Hello.

    “THAT IS THE PRIMARY BASIS FOR THE HATRED TOWARDS NEW ZEALAND—interference in our political struggles.”

    Durrr… it is called foreign policy. Where do you think the “pol” part of the word comes from?

    If dear old Franky-Wanky is going to make everything better then he better get a hurry on, because the longer he waits the harder it will be to restore democracy.

    Given what he has done so far, and the similarity of that to what other dictators have done, I think reasonable people can expect him to act like them. They held onto power until it was ripped from their dying grasp, and they caused more suffering for their people than could ever be blamed on “colonialism”.

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  45. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “I want NZ out of Fiji and I want all contact between the 2 countries to end- huge difference.”

    I want that too. Life is too short to waste on pathetic little wannabe nations, their dictatorial leaders, and the moronic delusional accolytes they surround themselves with.

    “If i’m a crony, I must be the first crony graduate of Harvard Law School :)…”

    No, you would be, like, the millionth.

    “If things are normal in Fiji, only a total idiot would want to leave the best place on earth.”

    How could the best place on earth possibley contain a fetid hole like Nadi?

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  46. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Kimble, i think you ough to step out of the land of round mushroom cloud someday:) I was in Canada earlier this year and went to the under 20 soccer world cup. New Zealand was playing and the folks around me didn’t know where new zealand was located. They all knew Fiji, which was no surprise. Who would care if a coup occured in NZ ? the queen, definately australia, but none else. I think you have to get off this false sense that a cowherding island with no vast natural resources that continuously struggles with its high unemployment, inflation and low currency value is of enormous value to the world.

    You’re right about the second argument. which is why Frank called a radio station in auckland and fired up the fijian ex pat base prior to your recent election.

    And yes surprise surprise i partially agree with the last phrase also. helen had the power taken from her and she sure looks like she’s about to croak any minute. And she never really got that bad teeth fixed did she ? Deranged lady-walks into a whorehouse called the “whitehouse” in aucklands queen street and thought she was meeting with the president hehehe.

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  47. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Nadi as the fetid hole ? I don’t think you’ve hung around the backroads of karangahape road at night. want to walk into a aids needle late night, auckland’s your joint.

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  48. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “They all knew Fiji, which was no surprise.”

    Of course people had heard of Fiji, given the decades iof good press it has received. It is a tropical island! New Zealand is a stodgy, cold place. The ignorance of Canadians when it comes to geography doesnt make your case.

    The question is, did they give a crap that democracy has been flushed down the toilet in Fiji? Did they know? Were you proud to tell them?

    “Who would care if a coup occured in NZ?”

    A coup isnt very likely in NZ. We have a grown-up political system. But I doubt many people would care. Again, you dont score any points with this argument. Get it? Your argument is pointless.

    “I think you have to get off this false sense that a cowherding island with no vast natural resources that continuously struggles with its high unemployment, inflation and low currency value is of enormous value to the world.”

    I never said that it was. You lose again.

    Oh, and it is sheep herding, there are plentiful natural resources, unemployment is low, inflation is low, currency is irrelvant.

    But if you REALLY want some interesting facts:

    1) Infant mortailty – Fiji 1.19%, NZ 0.50%
    2) Life expectancy – Fiji 70.4 years, NZ 80.2 years
    3) expected years education – Fiji 13 years, NZ 19 years
    4) GDP per capita – Fiji $3900, NZ $27200
    5) Unemployment – Fiji 7.6%, NZ 3.6%

    Some of these need to be updated, but they wont change enough to make Fiji look better than NZ.

    Oh, one more

    6) democratically elected government – Fiji 0, NZ 1

    Kava or the internet, NZ_outtaFIJI, you should use only one at a time.

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  49. pdm (842 comments) says:

    Kimble your posts are inane and show no understanding whatsoever of Fiji or the psche of the Fiji people – Fijians in particular. It is probably best you stay out ofd something you know nothing about. Fijian people do not take kindly to insults such as your last line.

    Ben Wilson – in what I think was your first post you ask why it is taking so long to have things ready for democratic elections if Bainimaram is genuine in what he says. There are I think two main issues with this:

    1 The geography – Fiji consists of 322 islands of which 106 are inhabited. Consultation and getting information is therefore time consuming and difficult even in 2008.

    2. Seldom are matters of such importance rushed in Fiji. When I lived in Suva there was a saying that things were done in `Fiji time’ and I have no doubt this applies at the moment.

    As I said in an earlier post Fiji is a proud nation. They do not take kindly to being pushed around and given deadlines by people who think they know what is best for them – the typical nanny state of the past Labour Government. However get alongside them, encourage and assist and most times they will resond.

    Unfortunately Clark, Goff, Peters and co have probably taken things past the point of no return. It will be a real test of John Keys people skills to get them back onside. The rancour in the posts of NZ_outtaFiji are clear evidence of this.

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  50. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    I’m loving this. A true kiwi clony, wow ! Of yes, BTW, canadians did know that democracy doesn’t exist in fiji. They really don’t care. They are a smart bunch. They know that you can’t label people based on political structure. In fact, interestingly in that country, which has a system similar to yours, a coalition of minority parties are forming together to overthrow the minority government and they call it a coup. It can happen in your government too, its the same system. your argument going south.

    Each of your list above is amusing but those numbers were there before fiji’s first coup-so your argument is full of you know what.
    #’s 1, 2 and 3, we’re working on fixing, and in regards to #2, 3rd grade NZ lamb chops has been a factor. would you kindly tell me where you got the fiji stats from, whats your source ? That matters gravely. Now as for #4 GDP is irrelevant. Your cost of living is way higher. How much does rent cost in a decent place in wellington, in fiji, its $200 a month approx, $50 a week. That number 27k is way low for a supposed european settled colonial country. I know you’re really full of it when you claim the 3.6% unemployment rate for NZ, because unemployent rate by defn includes people who are not able to work, such as the elderly, so 3.6 suggest a 0% unemployment rate in reality- B/S ! In fiji, its customary for most women to not work outside of the house. that 7.6 is hardly shocking.

    plentiful natural resources ? we have proven reserves of oil in fiji waters, and we have gold mines. what do you have ? the worms of waitomo caves ?

    Here’s some things about fiji
    1) Fiji has Vijay Singh, world’s #2 golfer behind tiger woods (generally speaking) and among one of the wealthiest sports fiqures in the world.

    2) 300 islands- most uninhabited, and we don’t have to freeze our asses when we take a dip.

    3) The largest garment industry in the southern hemisphere

    4) Among the best brains in the south pacific. That includes some of your mp’s. why don’t you pick 10 of new zealand best 12th grade students and have them write an exam in a classroom with 10 of fiji’s best. lets see who scores best.

    5) We don’t harrass our native chiefs unlike the police raids at gunpoint on the hapless maori.

    I’m loving this, i really am, but i am going fishing the whole day tommorrow, but would love to fire away when i return. chat with you day after tommorrow, mate.

    oh yes, i prefer white zinfendel as supposed to kava, thanks for asking :)

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  51. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    pdm, please don’t mind mine and kimble’s battles, we’re mates having fun !

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  52. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    NZ_outtaFIJI

    It doesn’t matter what I can prove about US intentions in this argument, nor did I say that the US intends to use them. I suggested that they threaten to use them. Only a fool will quibble with this obvious point. The mere having of nuclear weapons is a threat to use them.

    You say you love democracy, but then you run it down as being the system of mass murderers. Which is it? You must choose. Or do you just choose to love democracy so long as you DON’T have it?

    You want NZ out of Fiji. But NZ is not in Fiji. NZ merely has policy towards Fiji, as it does to pretty much every nation on the planet that it recognizes. Our current policy is to not condone dictatorship, and to not trade so freely. This is OUR right. It is not something Fiji has a right to, it is something they earned, and have now lost, and can earn back if they want. And they DO want it, I don’t care how much you reckon they don’t.

    As Kimble says, being a Harvard Law graduate doesn’t make you any less capable of being a crony. If it is true, which I doubt, since you can’t argue worth a damn. But even if it is true, you would surely be aware that most high up cronies are people of education.

    I’m curious what you think I wrote about the military that is mythical. Please quote me on it. Go on, law boy, find some evidence. So far as I can see, I said the military seized power. Which is not even denied by your boss. And it certainly tallies strongly with the eye witness testimony given by my friends who were living in Fiji right at the time it happened. Yes, it was a bloodless coup, because it was the military doing it. Who in their right mind would fight the army? Sure, that’s more civilized than a bloodbath, but it’s still less civilized than waiting until the next election, which is what democracy actually MEANS. Holding a gun to someone’s head is still a crime, even if you don’t pull the trigger.

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  53. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    NZ_outtaFIJI, this much I will give you. Sanctions don’t seem to work. There are some isolated cases, where sanctions probably had a big impact, like South Africa. But in most cases they just seem to consolidate the power of the leadership, like in Iraq.

    South Africa at least had some semblance of democracy at the time, and when enough white people started hurting, that might have led to political change. Also, the situation in South Africa was clearly very bad, as everyone could see. Furthermore, they were most likely not far off from all-out civil war and a colossal bloodbath, if things didn’t change.

    In Iraq, the sanctions just forced people to rely on Saddam Hussein all the more. They did a huge amount of humanitarian damage to the people of Iraq, and did not topple the government. In the end, they served no good purpose.

    I have a feeling that things are going this way in Fiji. Sanctions are a tempting action, because they give the impression that we are doing something to help out a worthy cause (democracy in Fiji). But I don’t think they really are helping, they are just hurting Fijians.

    You may bluster all you like about how you don’t need NZ, and sure, you don’t. I don’t need a whole lot of things I’ve got either, but I like to have them, and I want to have them. Fiji is considerably poorer for the sanctions it is receiving, that is a simple fact, an obvious fact.

    But unfortunately Fiji is the kind of place where a powerful man like the Commodore can cynically exploit the sanctions to create patriotism, and consolidate his position. He is doing exactly that. He can probably do it indefinitely. Given that he has the entire military behind him, there is no chance of any kind of revolt. Only a foreign invasion could oust him, and that definitely is not a good idea.

    Ultimately the problem is that Fiji isn’t well suited to democracy. I think most people there would like it, but they’re not really prepared to fight for it. And those against it are prepared to fight – they joined the army. I think even the army likes the idea of democracy, probably because they see so many rich nations that have it. They just don’t like the practicality. Which is why the place has had coup after coup after coup. It’s not that the democracy is especially rotten, it’s just that any sign of rot is seen as an instant signal that it’s time for a coup.

    To that end, you are right in saying NZ is meddling. We could just leave Fiji to be a dictatorship for as long as the Commodore likes. Maybe he’ll give it up after a while and allow elections to his liking. Maybe he’ll just die of a heart attack from too many lamb chops. Who knows? I find it strange that you love the guy who took your liberty and caused your poverty, but then I come from somewhere with a long history of democracy, so maybe that’s just my failure to embrace your way of seeing things.

    The Fijians I know did feel quite raw about the what happened, despite being pretty blase before the coup. They didn’t really care if there was a coup – until afterward. Then they lost a hell of a lot of money as the Fijian dollar plummeted, driven mostly by massive international disapproval. Then they lost their jobs, because the business was foreign owned. Very easy to place the blame on the disapproval rather than what caused the disapproval. Especially easy to place the blame on Fiji’s most important friend for all the disapproval. It’s a very easy story to sell, and you’ve bought it.

    NZ’s problem is that we’d like to help. It is very, very hard to accept that we actually can’t. Especially when the person telling us is the dictator, rather than the people. Any time the people are asked, of course they want democracy. And they don’t want sanctions. The dictator even tells us he wants democracy, just not the democracy chosen by the people. When it is pointed out that this is an obviously contradictory position, we are told we simply don’t understand. Which is true. We don’t.

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  54. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    ben Wilson, firstly i love that word clony, so to appease you, lets just say, i am one of the many clonies from my alma mater. Happy ? Ok, moving on…I won’t walk away from the US nuclear issue because i spend 2/3 of my 12 months there. Possessing nuclear weapons does not necessarily mean threat. I honestly believe you are the quibble, you’re so full of it, its becoming a bore. I said the US dropped a nuclear bomb on japan the only one on the planet to do so, under a democratic banner…now what part about that is fictitious ? My point being—democracy is the best system, but it has been known to carry out attrocities, in fact it is more likely to happen under a democracy because the exact assumption is that of all places that is where is will not. So when you suggest that since the US poccesses nuclear weapons and is irritated with Iran, it has to be presumed that it is ready to nuke Iran ! Wow, ben wilson…my my…let me ask you this, suppose the US didn’t drop the atomic bomb, what flag do you think you’d be waiving right about now ? I highly doubt it would be either the kiwi or the union jack. So pay attention, for the umthinth time, 1)democracy is the best system 2)there is good democracy and bad democracy 3) bad democracy has been known to carry out attrocities, venezuela and bolivia being some examples. 4)i am sure you have good democracy in NZ. Clear enough ?
    On NZ out of Fiji—specifically I mean the NZ embassy. I would like all sorts of trade to end and relations to end. Now, we are equally at fault in Fiji. There has been a long connection between the 2 countries. There are relatives and families on both sides, it won’t be easy to break that chain, but it has to be done. This is more about Fiji and less about NZ, i agree. Fiji needs to (and we already are) form a stong relationship with China and India. India, the world’s largest democracy has stated that there won’t be any sanctions against Fiji, because, nearly 1/2 of fiji is made up of indians, and they are more than willing to help. China is about to begin mass infrastructure aid in fiji. that’s what we need, we need the presence of these 2 in the south pacific, and not leave it to aus/nz playground. This, Mr wilson is what i call dumb diplomacy on the part of NZ- they are willing to irritate fiji enough to allow a permanent presence of 2 huge powers in the south pacific. that has to be bad news for you and the aussies. Is it really worth it ? I guess future NZ governments will find out. There has been diplomatic contact with Cuba. This is huge, a tiny south pacific island is slowly coming to age.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt about the military, but I also said to read a prior blog, about how radio NZ lied and invented stories regarding the Fiji military, and they were caught doing so ! In NZ ! You have your friends eye accounts. What you don’t have is the eye accounts of your friends on the treatment of minorities in fiji prior to the coup. Of course you won’t see that because there’s no big bad military in uniform holding ak47′s and grenades. Those are things that catch media attention, not the hidden elements that hurt and dehumanize everyday people. Forget about me for a second. Go talk to one of your fellow new zealanders who migrated from fiji and there will tell you about NZ media and political bias. They will tell you that when attrocities happened to minorities in 1987 coup, NZ was hardly as tough with sanctions as it is now dealing with a coup that tries to end bigotry. Of course, its up to NZ in regards to who they see as the bigger culprit and adjust foreign policy accordingly, but in Fiji, the view that’s created is that the New Zealand government is racist, and when we see the treatment of maoris, when law enforcement in nz go into maori areas armed and ready to kill, in further increases that distrust. You are not immune, and are not exactly treating your people on a golden platter, lets be clear about that. Its laughable that you think the government is getting people emotions fired up. Its quite the contrary. People are disappointed that the government has been too patient with NZ’s nuisance.

    Currency value says something about a country’s buying power and strength. Do a research on the worth of the fiji dollar just prior to the 1987 coup. It was higher than the american greenback. It is very well known in fiji. and nz’s was nowhere to be seen. bottomline, we are well equipped to reach the skies, much more than many of our neighbours including NZ, but first we have this difficult task of getting rid of bigotry, passing legislation that treats all as equals and when we do have true democracy, move forward with the emerging world minus the sopac 2 !

    going fish for barracuda’s…will chat later, ben. have a nice day ! moce.

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  55. Lee (627 comments) says:

    Ben,

    “There is no parallel between the way NZ treats Fiji and the way the US treats Iran.”

    Thats true. Fiji is no threat to anybody. Iran is a terrorist sponsoring Islamo-fascist state that has repeatedly threatened to annihilate Israel and is seeking the nuclear means to do so.

    The reason why Helen Clark and Goff were so hard on Fiji was because they thought it made them look tough. Of course when a REAL dictator had to be dealt with (Saddam) they were exposed as mincing limp- wristed cowards.

    Beating up on Fiji was just for done solely for domestic propaganda purposes.

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  56. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    NZ_outtaFIJI, I don’t want to talk any more about the US and nukes, it really has nothing to do with Fiji, and I don’t know why you brought it up, other than as a pet subject.

    As for the geopolitical designs you have of encouraging an Indian and Chinese presence in the South Pacific, I can’t see why that necessitates breaking off friendly relations with NZ, or why you think NZ would be particularly afraid of it. We have friendly relations with both those countries.

    What you don’t have is the eye accounts of your friends on the treatment of minorities in fiji prior to the coup.

    You don’t know what I have. Amongst the friends who have lived in Fiji are:
    1. Native Fijians
    2. Fijian Indians (who are ethnically Indian)
    3. Half-caste Fijians (who are ethnically both Fijian and Indian)
    4. White NZers who lived in Fiji, married to natives

    Conversations with them have given me a picture of quite a lot of the place. I have no illusions that this particular coup was done in about as civilized a way as any coup could be. But it doesn’t matter how civilized you are when you take someone’s rights, the act is still what it is.

    I can fully understand that Fijians have a strange view of NZ politics. Maori are certainly poorly represented in all the same statistics that native Fijians seem to be. There is racism here, for sure. And our government does entrench power based on race, by giving seats specifically to Maori. And there were raids on Maori who were talking of attacks on politicians (which have led to no prosecutions and all concerned walked free only a few weeks later). But none of that excuses seizing power in Fiji. As a lawyer (if you really are a lawyer) you must know that you can’t prove innocence by showing the guilt of others on another matter.

    Not sure what your point with currency is. Fiji is currently quite a poor country in terms of wealth. I’m sure it is rich in it’s own way, as is NZ. NZ is also poor compared to many countries, but it is a lot richer than Fiji. There are not too many people who would say none of this matters. Having wealth is something everyone can see the point of, especially poor people. You can’t say that the shocking loss of wealth that your dictator has caused is of no consequence.

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  57. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Ben, Ben, Ben…too bad you’re not here, otherwise we would have chatted this out over a couple of stubbies and the fish i caught today…and she was a mean 60 kg headache just like helen clark.

    Anyways, I won’t talk about the US/Iran issue anymore. I was trying to show that you don’t have your facts right, but enough of that already…

    Moving on, let’s say you walk into Iraq (for instance) and ask the blokes there who you think are the culprits. If its the Shi’tes, they’ll say the sunis, the sunis will point blame at the shi’ites and the kurds will point the finger at the sunis. The point being, in any part of the world where there is conflict, if you talk to one group on who’s to blame, they are more likely to point the finger at the other…same story in the balkins, between the albanians, croatians and serbs. The same applies to Fiji. The point being, a new zealander living in fiji married to an indo-fijian will not agree with a new zealander living in christchurch married to a native fijian.

    Why a bring up the control issue ? In domestic violence situations men sometimes abuse women, whereas women abuse children. Why? The offending group feels superior to the victim. Now would one necessarily act the same way if it didn’t feel superior, but was equally irritated or even more so with another group ? probably not. In this instance, as Lee stated above, NZ picked on Fiji for its own internal gain. This quarrel really has nothing to do with Fiji. It has more to do with NZ’s internal power struggle. Mr Key is naiive and doesn’t see this, but the “hag” Clark played it like the ace of spades. The worst thing that Fiji will do is cut off all ties, and Clark knows this. But wait a minute, Fiji is hardly the place of major global attrocities. Why doesn’t NZ get vocal about the mass killings in Darfur, or has ever voiced anything against the biggest global threat, islamic radicalism ? because they are not easy going islanders, they will put NZ on the same list as australians and then anything NZ won’t be safe from terrorists. Why pick on a real world threat when you can pick on a little south pacific island that would never even think about causing you any harm, has and always will open its doors for normal/civilian new zealaners, but is on the other hand, a perfect scape goat and cover for clarks failures in NZ ? Who is really creating the monster ? NZ and clark, without a doubt ! How very convenient, mate !!!

    Let me tell you a secret. Aus and NZ is scared twits about China’s presence in the south pacific. Why ? The vast space, the uninhabitedness, and more than anything else, china’s hunger to get resources to fuel its exponential growth. The arctic is their mission, diamond, oil, natural gas etc are among their goals. Fiji would be a convenient step in that direction. A complete devastation for NZ’s environmentalist record. And NZ has already proven to be a sis, as i said it picks on weaker nations—meaning, it won’t even have the balls to verbally stop china. NZ is just as addicted to cheaper chinese goods than the rest of the world.

    On the matter of law, I do not practice in Fiji, only in the states, where the law is “innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”, although criminal cases aren’t my specialty. The burden of proof is upon the prosecution. The laws in fiji and NZ of course are quite different, but i have some understanding of it, but only as a normal civilian, i’m no expert. In the US system, court hearing in individual states can have a complete effect based on a similar case at the federal level. Again, I am not familiar with the “colonial” laws, but the point being, if 2 issues are identical, they should certainly be relevant. In this case, its even more relevant because if NZ makes a big deal about Fiji’s problems then it needs a reality check that things are not all honky dorry in NZ, and I know underneath the surface, there is a lot of resentment in Fiji…I guess I’m saying to NZ—”look who’s talking”.

    On wealth. I talked about 1987, the first time in fiji’s history that a multicultural government took office. The result was immediate prosperity. That was Fiji at its best and then the right wing bigots couldn’t stand it, and in walked rabuka with a coup (this was racist/pro bigot coup and they have all been as such except this one). BTW, this is the only coup that i agreed with, just in case you were wondering. If there is loss of wealth right now, it is fine. If we have to suffer temporarily to set us up for a good future, then so be it. As I have said before, prosperity is no issue for Fiji. We can diversify in many ways, whereas other islands depend on foreign aid and tourism.

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  58. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    Ben. Second to last paragraph, at the bottom…i meant “resentment In NZ”, not “resentment in fiji”…sorry !

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  59. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    It is too bad, the kind of fish I catch are pretty lame, although to be honest, I only fish for sport, I actually don’t much like to eat them. I give what I catch away. But catching a 60kg fish is always going to be a lot of fun.

    NZ does get bitter about the many atrocities around the world, but the difference with Fiji is the perception that we could actually do something about it. NZ has a lot of influence over Fiji.

    Certainly some NZers are scared of the ‘yellow peril’ of China, but I think it’s a minority. Personally, I actually like having lots of Chinese people and Chinese goods here, and have no objections to more. Same goes for Fijians.

    On wealth, you are extremely trusting that Fiji’s poor recent fortunes will be easy to reverse. I don’t know where you get such confidence. So far there is no progress towards democracy, just deteriorating relations with Fiji’s major trading partners. A bailout by China or India will not come free – it will come with every bit as much colonial meddling as you would expect from Europeans. I would be amazed if native Fijians did well out of it.

    The blame for this is not on Fijians. It is not on Fiji being a crappy place. That is not my opinion, do not confuse my views with those of other commentators. The blame is on the coup, and the solution begins with the restoration of democracy. Perhaps you needed a coup, but what you need now is for the dictatorship to end, and good relations with your neighbors to be restored.

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  60. NZ_outtaFIJI (33 comments) says:

    ben, we’re gonna go on and on and disagree, so we’re not getting anywhere with that. Therefore, I will end this topic on a brighter note.

    The fish i caught was the sort of rock cod that’s quite a delicacy, but i didn’t really earn it, just by luck it caught the trolley at the end. Pure luck. I don’t think I would have been able to pull it in if I was handling a rod at the other hand.

    If I’m not wrong, then i thought i saw somewhere that you were expecting a baby soon. Congratulations ! My wife is 7 months pregnant with twins as well. I enjoyed the argument, and I’ll pick on you next time on another topic. Until then, take care, mate ! Oh yes, I think it was the women and internet sex blog…now you see why I go fishing-there’s no action at home for a while :)

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