WikiLeaks cable: New Zealand increases sanctions on Fiji
December 6, 2006 New Zealand increases sanctions on Fiji
date:2006-12-06T04:46:00 source:Embassy Wellington origin:06WELLINGTON966 destination:VZCZCXRO7273 OO RUEHMJ RUEHPB DE
RUEHWL #0966/01 3400446 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 060446Z DEC 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3574
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 4642 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 0152 RUEHMJ/AMEMBASSY MAJURO IMMEDIATE
0105 RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY IMMEDIATE 0626 RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA IMMEDIATE 0548 RUEHBN/AMCONSUL MELBOURNE
IMMEDIATE 0082 RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY IMMEDIATE 0485 RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU
HI IMMEDIATE RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
classification:CONFIDENTIAL reference:06CANBERRA1940|06WELLINGTON938|06WELLINGTON951|06WELLINGTON966 ?C O N F I D E N T
I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON 000966
STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EUR/RPM, AND EAP/ANP NSC FOR V... ?C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 WELLINGTON
STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EUR/RPM, AND EAP/ANP NSC FOR VICTOR CHA SECDEF FOR OSD/ISD JESSICA POWERS PACOM FOR
J01E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/06/2016 TAGS: ASEC, PGOV, PREL, FJ, NZ SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND INCREASES
SANCTIONS ON FIJI REF: A. CANBERRA 1940 B. WELLINGTON 951 C. WELLINGTON 938
Classified By: DCM David Keegan, for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)
1. (U) Summary: At 4:45 pm on December 6 local time, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Foreign Minister Winston Peters
announced stringent new sanctions "in response to the Fijian Military's unlawful seizure of power." In a public
statement, Clark and Peters said the Cabinet had approved the measures that morning. They also said, "These measures are
designed to reflect New Zealand's abhorrence of the actions taken by the Fijian military...They must cease their
disgraceful acts and restore the legitimately elected government, or suffer the consequences of their grossly illegal
2. (C) The measures announced are more extensive and stringent than those Deputy Foreign Secretary Alan Williams
outlined to us earlier and may reflect political pressure from the public to take significant action. Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Pacific Islands Director Heather Riddell told the Wellington diplomatic corps today
that the GNZ will continue to consider further measures. End Summary.
2. (U) Begin text of new measures:
-- Ministerial contact with any purported new government in Fiji will not take place, unless it is for dialogue and
-- Members of any purported new Fijian government will not be permitted to travel to New Zealand.
-- The ban announced yesterday on senior RFMF officers and their families traveling to New Zealand will be extended to
include all members of the RFMF and other individuals connected with supporting the coup.
-- Such individuals already legally in New Zealand will not be able to extend their permits.
-- Fiji's participation in the new Recognized Seasonal Employer scheme will be frozen with immediate effect. (Fiji is to
be excluded from this scheme which is designed to help Pacific Island Forum members gain better access to seasonal work
opportunities in New Zealand.)
-- No applications from Fijians for entry to New Zealand for seasonal work will be accepted from today.
-- The eligibility of Fiji's citizens to take part in future immigration ballots under the Pacific Access Quota has been
suspended. (This will not affect those who have been selected from previous ballots, provided they apply for residence
by 11 January 2007.)
-- All Fijian military officers currently in New Zealand, studying or training in New Zealand are being asked today to
leave. (They will have a reasonable period of time to do so.)
-- Fijian military officers currently training with the New Zealand military will not be able to participate in any
activities associated with that training, with immediate effect, pending their departure from New Zealand.
-- Fijian sports teams and Fijian sports people at all levels will be banned from coming to New Zealand for the purposes
of sport, unless international sporting and legal obligations require otherwise. (For example, where New Zealand is
hosting an international sports tournament where we are legally obliged to accept international participants, it will
not e legally possible to ban their entry, subject to them meeting other immigration requirements.)
-- Discussions will be held with New Zealand sporting organizations scheduled to attend international tournaments
WELLINGTON 00000966 002 OF 002 in Fiji, and the organizers of such tournaments (such as the 2007 Netball World Cup), to
assess the safety of participants and the scope for seeking alternative venues.
The Government has decided to:
-- Freeze any new development assistance initiatives which provide assistance to or partner with the government in Fiji,
and review current such activities.
-- Discontinue the awarding of new government managed scholarships and training.
-- Review and reconsider New Zealand's assistance to the Fiji Electoral Office.
-- Suspend the Fiji public sector's eligibility for training initiatives under regional governance programs.
-- Review planned support for people in squatter settlements, with a view to assessing the scope for providing such
assistance through NGOs and relevant regional agencies, rather than through the Fiji government.
New Zealand will work with the Pacific Islands Forum, Commonwealth, UN and like-minded countries to explore what further
steps can e taken in response to the coup. These include (but are not limited to):
-- Taking forward the discussion held among Forum Foreign Ministers, at their special meeting in Sydney, last Friday on
whether Fiji, under a military-led illegal government, can continue to hold the position of Forum Chair.
-- Reassessing the role the Fijian military has hitherto played in protecting peace and democracy abroad, given that
those same troops have removed their own government from power.
End text of new measures
3. (U) The new sanctions come on top of three measures announced yesterday: 1) imposing travel bans on senior RFMF
officials and their families; 2) discussing with Commonwealth Secretary Don McKinnon (a Kiwi and former NZ Foreign
SIPDIS Minister) the likelihood that if the coup was not stopped Fiji would be suspended from the Commonwealth; and 3)
suspending bilateral defense ties with the exception of maritime patrolling, disaster relief, and search and rescue
4. (U) Clark has also appeared on a number of media programs since Commodore Bainirama's December 5 press conference.
Minutes after the conference, she called Bainimarama "clearly deluded," and chastised him for claiming he was protecting
the law when he clearly was actually breaking it. On a TV interview on December 6, Clark said she had tried to phone and
text PM Qarase but could no longer get through. She also said there was no direct threat to New Zealanders, "but it's
the equivalent of a holiday in hell to go to a place where the military are strutting the streets and proclaiming a
coup." (New Zealand strengthened its travel advisory on Fiji on December 5.)
5. (C) Comment: The measures announced are more extensive and stringent than those Deputy Foreign Secretary Alan
Williams outlined in his December 5 DVC with EAP/ANP Director McGann. Williams also noted the Cabinet was urging Clark
to take the strongest possible measures, while Clark was hesitant not to be seen as implementing sanctions that would
declare Bainimarama the victor even as she continued to insist Qarase was still in charge. After the DVC MFAT contacts
observed it would be impossible for GNZ to resist political pressure from the public to take significant action. End