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Talks to lift travel ban

Tevita Vuibau
Sunday, February 16, 2014

FIJIANS may soon have the opportunity to visit New Zealand for seasonal work as the New Zealand Government continues to review it's trade and visa sanctions against Fiji.

Fiji was to be part of Immigration New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) policy but the New Zealand Government had put a freeze on employers sourcing seasonal labour from Fiji after the 2006 coup

"I would anticipate that sometime within the next financial year that's from July first we should have the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme expanded to include Fiji. Again it's something that we are talking about in New Zealand," Mr McCully said.

"I had a discussion with the relevant ministers on this last week, we think that it's one of the next steps that we should take already we have re-instituted our scholarship scheme here some time ago.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also said that Australian travel sanctions were under review as evidenced by previous visa approvals.

"I indicated that travel sanctions have been under review since we came into government and I also pointed out that there have been 56 applications that have all been granted bar 1 that was rejected on technical grounds."

She added that while Australia wanted to normalise relations with Fiji they would not make this conditional on the return of an Australia High Commissioner.

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