Home » Uncategorized » Australia and New Zealand are an obvious source of support – they know a lot about elections; and it is clearly a priority to their governments that the elections proceed smoothly,”

Australia and New Zealand are an obvious source of support – they know a lot about elections; and it is clearly a priority to their governments that the elections proceed smoothly,”

Thaw ‘good for poll’

February 4, 2014 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by:


A Fijian academic says the thawing of relations between Fiji and Australia is a good sign as the country heads to the general elections later this year. Dr Sandra Tarte says the improving of relations is a good sign because it will mean more much-needed aid for the general election. The Associate Professor in the School of Government, Development and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific says Fiji will need all the support it can get to prepare for credible elections. With a little over seven months to when elections must be held, monetary and technical assistance has been welcomed by the Fijian Government. From Australia and New Zealand, their support has been an ongoing one. Australia for instance has been providing technical assistance at the Elections Office over the past two years.

Assistance Dr Tarte said Fiji would need a lot of assistance and support as it prepared for the elections. “Australia and New Zealand are an obvious source of support – they know a lot about elections; and it is clearly a priority to their governments that the elections proceed smoothly,” she said. “But it is going to be up to the Fiji Government to decide what assistance to solicit and from which sources. Obviously the sooner this is done, the better.” Australia’s support continues, despite the sanctions that are still in place.

Sanctions Following the 2006 military take-over, Australia has prohibited: n Individuals travelling to or transiting Australia, who are members of, or associated with, the Fiji military or senior members of the Fijian Government; n The supply, sale or transfer to Fiji of arms and related material; n The provision of technical advice or a financial service related to military activities; or n Any activity involving the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance or use of an export sanctioned good for Fiji.

Flexible But Australia has begun to be more flexible with its travel sanctions by approving some Fijian Government members visas. This was highlighted last week during Australia Day celebrations by the Acting Australian head of mission, Glenn Miles. His invitation to the Prime Minister and senior Government officials to be part of last week’s celebrations also signals a significant step by Australia in trying to move towards restoring relations between the two countries. Dr Tarte said: “These invitations are a tangible signs that Australia is moving closer to normalisation. The fact that so many ministers and senior officials accepted the invitations (although not the Prime Minister) is indicative that the process is being welcomed by Fiji.”

Pessimistic However, Dr Tarte was pessimistic about Fiji and Australia enjoying the pre- December 2006 relations they once enjoyed. “It is unlikely that full normalisation will take place until the elections are held; but it will be a step by step process. “This is the case for other relationships as well, including with the Pacific Islands Forum. But normalisation does not necessarily mean a return to business as usual (pre-December 2006).” She said the political relationship will probably never be the same. “Although it has certainly survived difficult times in the past, the recent shifts in Fiji’s foreign policy are likely to be more long-term and mean that the Australia-Fiji partnership is less dominant than it used to be.” Dr Tarte also predicted some Australian sanctions that remain, especially relating to military and defence ties, will not change until an election is held.

Australia’s acting head of mission, Glenn Miles, greets President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau at the year’s Australia Day celebration at the Australian High Commission on Tuesday night. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI


6 thoughts on “Australia and New Zealand are an obvious source of support – they know a lot about elections; and it is clearly a priority to their governments that the elections proceed smoothly,”

  1. Well wasn’t that just the one of most useless news articles I have ever read. Any reason why Tarte would waste time chipping in from the cheap seats? Oh wait! Got it now, shes from the USP.

  2. I’m inclined to agree with Anon. Tell us something new Mz Tarte. All these academic pronouncements & predictions have been hashed and rehashed before and it sounds like alot of it is being inflated by QorVice sorts.

    If the warming relations were as positive as they’d like us to think, the Baiyums would have visited Canberra already.

    Where the temperamental illegal & treasonous regime is concerned, it can all come asunder in a heartbeat.

  3. Did the acting Australian High Commissioner and the illegal Fijian President exchange shirts after shaking hands in true Fijian friendship fashion?

  4. Keith Gregory of Darwin Australia presently parked in Rakiraki Fiji – temporarily I suspect – makes a disparaging attack on Australia’s “sad tradition … when it comes to its Pacific neighbours” in his one -sided letter to the Fiji Times (5/2)
    If it’s all bad and “sad” as Keith would like us to believe what are Australian election experts doing in Fiji currently?
    Does Fiji give foreign aid to Australia?
    Or, has Fiji still been getting foreign aid from Australia 4 decades after Independence?
    Who comes to the aid of its Pacific neighbours in their hour of desperate need during times of natural disasters?
    I don’t know what Keith is trying to prove but he certainly sounds rather idiotic.

  5. Australia and New Zealand are an obvious source of support but that’s not obvious to Keith Gregory because he is cock-eyed.

  6. Well , living in Aboriginal communities where the entire system is a sham (organisations like land councils are arm of the cth govt ) literacy rates of 80 percent and life expectancies of 47 or so does give me a very good perspective of Australias attempts to pull the speck out of others eyes whilst ignoring the plank in its own …Living in a place where it took 2 years to get water connected as the system failed and the govt simply wasn’t interested gives me a great idea of the Aust govts priorities esp as they staged the super cars and Darwin 7s whilst we were knocking heads in the govt for water …

    My letters are from a wide range of experiences from Bougainville in the 70sto my time in Fiji (96-2000) and in Aboriginal communities in the NT seeing the way Aussie is actually killing its Aboriginals via the welfare genocide in Australia ..A position backed up by experts and lawyers and judges alike (google Justice Dennis Baritt Alice Springs or maybe Morling J to share a few names ..)the debate is not what Aussie has given Fiji but whether or not Aussie has a high moral vantage point to be talking democracy in the Pacific

    Australia cant run elections in its remote areas , It cant provide services in its remote communities ..and please don’t tell me about your friend of a friend in a place , or the destroyed house in Taree or Lajamnanu because ive heard this over and over ad infinitum ad nauseum and its a load of benu . Australian school leavers cant spell or read or even add up . what have they got to lecture Fiji about .?

    I write from my EXPERIENCE , not merely from my OPINION which is based both on EXPERIENCE and RESEARCH ..its very interesting that there is a lot of positive feedback to what I write ..people often say I write well ..

    So, Unless the knockers out there have the EXPERIENCE in the things I write about or can do the RESEARCH needed as so they can come to an objective and sadly truthfull OPINION , then quite frankly im not really interested in their offerings at all …

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