NZ Minister Calls For Nauru To Ease Media Restrictions Prior To Hosting Forum

High non-refundable visa application fee has effectively banned journalists

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 6, 2017) – New Zealand's minister of foreign affairs Gerry Brownlee has called on Nauru to lift restrictions on journalists ahead of its hosting of the Pacific Islands Forum next year.

Journalists seeking entry into Nauru are required to pay a non-refundable $US6089 visa application fee, a move that effectively bans journalists from the island.

The visa requirement was put in place after the Nauru government took exception to reports in international media about the Australian run detention camps for asylum seekers there.

Next year Nauru hosts leaders from all over the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand for the 49th Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting.

Mr Brownlee said Nauru's media restrictions were not in the spirit of the Forum.

"Trying to contain the media or shut the media down is not acceptable. If a New Zealand prime minister goes there and who knows who that might be after the election, hopefully it will be Bill English, then he would be taking, or the New Zealand prime minister would be taking journalists with them.

"And we would expect them to be freely received into the country so that they can report from the Forum."

Radio New Zealand International
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