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Thursday, November 5

Fiji envoys declared Persona Non Grata by NZ government

Fiji  Acting Head of Mission in Fiji, Kuliniasi Seru Savou had been declared Persona Non Grata by NZ government  and told to leave New Zealand , Foreign Minister Murray McCully confirmed today.


"As a result of the expulsion of Mr Todd Cleaver, New Zealand's Acting Head of Mission and the impact this has had on the New Zealand High Commission in Suva, the High Commission is closed today. It will remain closed while we assess its capability to continue to carry out its main functions.

"I absolutely refute allegations from Suva of any form of victimisation of Judge Wati, which has been used as justification for the expulsion of Mr Cleaver.

"I can confirm that her application for a visa to travel to New Zealand was dealt with by officials within two to three working days, and dispensation granting the visa was signed off by myself and Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman the same day we received the application.

"Furthermore, I can confirm that Judge Wati is currently in New Zealand, where her son is receiving the medical treatment he requires."

Mr McCully said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's travel advisory for New Zealanders visiting Fiji has been changed to reflect today's developments in Suva.

"New Zealanders travelling to Fiji should now be aware that the level of assistance the High Commission can provide to New Zealand citizens may be affected due to the depleted staff numbers," Mr McCully said.