NZ Remains Open To Nauru Partnership

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Had suspended funding over civil rights abuses

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 24, 2016) – The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says the government has not closed its mind in terms of trying to re-establish a partnership with Nauru.

In September 2015, Mr McCully suspended the funding New Zealand provides to Nauru each year for its justice system because of ongoing concerns about civil rights abuses.

At the time, Mr McCully said several incidents had caused him concern, including the removal of senior members of the judiciary.He said there'll be an opportunity sometime soon to pick up that conversation.

"People who are interested in this area, the human rights area, are generally I think critical of the fact that we were funding the justice system at a time when some actions didn't really stack up. We accepted that was the case, and so we I think made the right decision then, but we've not closed our minds to ways of trying to re-establish a partnership with them."

Murray McCully said the government hasn't spent the funding for the Nauru justice system elsewhere.

Nauru is due to hold its elections mid-year, and Mr McCully said while he hasn't received a request to observe the elections, it's also too early for such a request to come through.

 

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