Fiji flop

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 12th, 2016 - 26 comments
Categories: International, john key, Minister for International Embarrassment - Tags: , ,

Key’s visit to Fiji was a flop in every respect:

Key’s Fiji visit a ‘disaster’: Labour

At a state banquet, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama criticised the New Zealand media and defended his banning of some journalists from Fiji, claiming they dispensed with facts. John Key asked Mr Bainimarama to reconsider the ban during the visit, and said they would have to agree to disagree.

…Labour foreign affairs spokesperson, David Shearer, said the trip was a disaster. “It backfired completely,” he said.

“Frank Bainimarama used the opportunity of Key being there used the opportunity to lecture New Zealand on the way it treated Fiji. “He didn’t step back from the restrictions on media [or] the heavy-handedness within parliament. Mr Shearer said the government needed to keep pushing Fijian officials for a better democracy. …

On the attack on journalism, PMs ‘agree to disagree’ on journalism blacklist, no change. (Journalists are not impressed: TVNZ reporter, head of news hit back at Fijian Prime Minister over media blacklist.)

On diplomacy, PM asks Fiji to forgive and forget and back Helen Clark for UN job, didn’t happen.

Summing up, Tracy Watkins: Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama dashes John Key’s hopes of diplomatic wins, and Visit to Fiji lacked concrete gains.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Key’s diplomatic skills then.

26 comments on “Fiji flop”

  1. Kevin 1

    On one hand we have TVNZ bleating and whining about their reporter not being allowed in Fiji to report the news and on the other hand we have TVNZ doing everything they can to not report the news in this country.

    • Once Was Tim 1.1

      Ain’t that the truth Kevin. Whilst I have the utmost sympathy for Barbara, it demonstrates the culture of celeb that pervades ‘tha nues’ (going forwid).
      They’re still full of it aren’t they?
      Really (“Ultimately”) John and Frank should just get a room somewhere at Denaru where they can just compare the size of their balls….except maybe they’d get it on and we’d all be in a worse posishun goan forwid. I think I know who would lose.

    • mary_a 1.2

      + 100 Kevin (1)

  2. adam 2

    It always funny that the so called strong negotiator, fails pretty much every time he gets on the world stage.

    Wonder how the spin team will fix this one…

    • Mosa 2.1

      When u get right down to it Key is a flop and a failure.
      No one had their hand up his bum telling him what to say or do.
      This is the result and he has been in the job how long ? 100 years !
      Just another foreign junket at the tax payers exspence.
      Key has been talked up for so long as the Messiah that no one expects anything of substance from him.
      He is irrelevant too most kiwis and their lives and concerns.
      Hope the UN vote is not close and Helen has to rely on Fiji,s vote.
      Key has scuppered that one.

  3. srylands 3

    I thought Andrew told the team to stop chasing cars. Just more negativity. What are the changes that Shearer would make to the strategy on New Zealand Fiji relations? How would he do it? Why does he think his strategy is better? Who has he tested the strategy with?

    Otherwise he is just another car chaser.

    [Cease the straw man arguments, Srylands. The post is about Key’s embarrassing failure, not your fantasies about Shearer. TRP]

    • Stuart Munro 3.1

      Be fair sorrylands – it was yet another unmitigated failure.

      But NZ just can’t lecture Fiji anymore – we have a much more corrupt and useless government right here – Frank could maybe give us a few pointers on shifting it.

  4. tinfoilhat 4

    Interested to know what people think NZ’s position and strategy should be in relation to Fiji and for that matter what Fiji’s strategy should be in terms of international relations.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Frank is no worse than Qurase – NZ backed the wrong horse – time to normalise and apologise for ten years of ill-conceived paternalistic meddling.

    Fiji is a pro-UN power – they make bit of money from troop deployments. They should talk to everyone but avoid client state relations with self-styled great powers like the US, Russia, and China. They probably know it too.

    • red-blooded 5.1

      Hmmm… One could be forgiven for perceiving the overthrow of a democratically elected government as”paternalistic meddling” on the part of the military.

      The situation in Fiji is complex and I don’t recall the NZ government of the time claiming any special insight into the main issues (the balance of property rights, power and culture between the various indigenous Fijian tribal froups and other (mostly Indo-)Fijians. What they did do was uphold the idea that democratically elected governments should only be replaced through democratic means. That’s not exactly unreasonable.

      A report into the shifting balance of relationships in Fiji put it like this: “In the immediate aftermath of the coup, protests against
      the military take-over were firmly suppressed. Anyone
      openly expressing anti-government sentiments was
      detained, humiliated and tortured. A number of
      indigenous Fijians died from beatings and torture at the
      hands of the police and military. The immunity decreed
      by the government has meant that members of the
      security forces have not been held accountable for gross
      violations of the human rights of citizens yet again.”

    • Daveosaurus 5.2

      History is full of armed dictators who weren’t quite as bad as the regime they toppled. Fidel Castro is the most obvious example. So what is it that makes Bainimarama any better than Castro?

      • Stuart Munro 5.2.1

        Castro executed 15,000–17,000 people – what was Bainimarama’s butcher’s bill? The amnesty for previous coup participants was a fudge operation – it would be like not executing Roger Douglas.

        • Daveosaurus

          Bainimarama’s butcher’s bill is greater than zero. Even assuming that the figure you give for Castro’s fifty years in power is correct, it is less than the 20,000 figure for Batista’s previous seven years.

          • Stuart Munro

            Yes, I get that even one is wrong – but so too is letting original coup perpetrators off the hook. Putting Bainimarama in the same box as brutal military dictators doesn’t wash – his kill count is three orders of magnitude less because he simply wasn’t as brutal, and there was a substantial level of support for his position.

            My understanding is that the NZ position was influenced by the murders of in Fiji of New Zealand Red Cross worker John Scott and his partner Greg Scrivener – which were not a matter of state policy or action, though there is some suggestion of police inaction in resolving them.

            Fiji was and perhaps is a relatively conservative society, the privilege of forcing the pace of change does not belong to outsiders.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Key’s diplomatic skills then.

    He’s doesn’t actually have any.

    What he’s good at is Kissing Arse which really only applies to those countries/businesses that are richer/stronger than us. He knows exactly what to do in those cases – give them exactly what they’re demanding.

    Give him a nation that’s supposedly weaker/poorer than us and he’s lost. Obviously Kissing Arse doesn’t work because they don’t have anything that he wants which is someone richer and more powerful than him being nice to him. And considering that he just doesn’t give a shit about how badly Fiji is being governed by a petty dictator he’s not about to lower himself and make nice while making some demands on said dictator.

  7. Keith 7

    Frank, take some advice from the master and do what we do in the National Party:

    If you have an OIA, then neuter it and completely abuse the process
    Own the media
    Have stooges throughout the media in all positions
    Fund a smear campaign team and run it from your office
    Fund anything else money can buy
    Rely on the fact your public, dumbed down by a pathetic media, will struggle to concentrate for more than a sound bite.

    Net result…….no need for coups!

    • Macro 7.1

      Nah! no need for any of that! Just make sure there is no opposition, all press releases are run through the Ministry of Truth, and you have a standing army at your back to keep the peasants in line.

  8. Macro 8

    WTF was he doing there in the first place?
    Fiji is still a corrupt and dysfunctional state despite the so called election last year. There is no free speech as such and it is still in effect a military dictatorship. What has changed?
    Key’s visit would seem to offer some sort of legitimacy to the whole charade.

  9. M. Gray 9

    John key said in Fiji ”Healthy democracy is being challenged by both opposition and the media thats what makes democracy stronger” but we don’t even have fair media representation in our own country.

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