KIWI CONSULTANT: AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND MUST SUPPORT FIJI

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People’s Charter is ‘a way forward’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 21, 2009) – A consultant to Fiji’s interim Government says it’s not too late for New Zealand and Australian leaders to engage with Fiji but they need to look at the reality of the situation in the country.

John Samy, who heads the team supporting the National Council for a Better Fiji, says Wellington and Canberra have been obsessed with pushing Fiji to hold elections when it may not have the capacity or institutions in place to hold a poll yet.

Mr Samy says New Zealand has been cynical about the People’s Charter, which he helped formulate, but it could offer a way forward.

"I feel that you already have a framework within which all of this can be done. Now if our government in New Zealand can see its way to extending support for that, I’m personally confident that people like interim Prime Minister Bainimarama will recognise that."

John Samy says 40 percent of Fiji’s population live in poverty and the sanctions imposed by New Zealand are hurting them most.

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