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A new frontier for state interference - finger wagging on holiday destinations

Imagine you live in the Antipodes and fancy a jaunt to Fiji. Understandable, I would think.

However, Helen Clark, the NZ PM 'urged Kiwis not to be lured by discount holiday offers."The question is whether people want to take that bargain or look at some of the wider factors"'. Source.

The root of this is a long running diplomatic spat between Wellington and Suva, which has just seen the High Commissioner expelled. Meanwhile, the Fijian head of state is Commodore Frank Bainimarama, his title being owed to the awesome might of the Fijian navy - nine patrol boats.

Still, if the good people of New Zealand decide to do Ms Clark's bidding, it will doubtless be another dagger in the heart of the Fijian economy. They lost the right to hold the 2007 World Netball championship as a result of the December coup. Guess which Pacific island nation with a large number of sheep will be hosting it instead?

Previously Fiji has had it out with Oz, and I'm waiting to see if it will go the whole hog with the Anzac duo and take the Papua New Guinean 'nuclear' option of refusing aid.


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Anonymous Colin Wood said... 4:45 pm

Ah yes dear old PNG. Has it survived without aid? I read they're pretty permissive about cannibalism.  

Anonymous flashgordonnz said... 1:09 am

At last we kiwis can strut around like we are big and important. Because we ARE... in comparison to Fiji.

In fact, Fiji seem to have a more important relationship with the EU (an oddity designed to keep Chinese influence out?) than little old NZ. But watch what you say about our sheep: one of our 4 frigates (or are we up to 5 now) will hunt you down. Unless it is scheduled to be in dock for maintenance.  

Anonymous Nomad said... 7:42 am

Au contraire, Mr C, Frank B's status does not derive from the patrol boats but from the fact the he is from one of the major ruling families of Fiji. If he was not using the naval title he would be calling himself Ratu (which as I recall from my all too brief sojourn in the islands means Chief).

Much of the present trouble stems from the mid 1980s when a Fijian- Indian (politician/political party) gained power in a general election and a Fijian of Indian origin was appointed as Prime Minister. The ethnic Fijian nationalist fringe thought that this was going too far and staged a revolution - and the rest as they say is history. This was a great pity as Fiji was starting to make its mark in the south Pacific region. The immediate result of the first military coup was the flight of (mainly Indian owned)capital together with a large number of Indians who formed the well educated and industrious (a word one would never apply to ethnic Fijians in general!) managers, technicians and businessmen. The damage this, plus the usual imposition of sanctions from other countries, caused to the Fijian economy is something still not bridged even after some 20 years.

None of which of course should deter tourists from visiting this truly beautiful part of the world.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 8:16 am

Netball's a version of basketball with prurience. As lumbering about in divided skirts and aertex blouses is over, why not play basketball with the boys?

Or hockey; it's quite possible to do serious damage to the other side playing hockey.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:37 am

CW - Not sure I will be taking the risk of being butchered and sold as long pig.

FG - I hope that our Kiwi kin have fun with this.

Nomad - I stand corrected and indeed am now very much better informed on Fijian titles. Pacific islanders would give our Pictish neighbours a run for their money on men whose skirt wearing is only mocked at one's peril.  

Anonymous sir ratu s. rushdie said... 12:00 pm

Isn't netball fairer than basketball in that you don't have to be tall?

But then Orwell/ Eric Blair wd say what's fair play got to do with sport?  

Anonymous Nomad said... 12:55 pm

Mr C: Said Pictish neighbours usually get a good thumping from these pesky (but giant size!) islanders at that nasty rough rugby game!

En passant, my housegirl was captain of the local Suva netball team - and she was a real toughie! The "extra long pigs" in the NBA would have their work cut out against some of these island lassies. Definitely not a man's game....  

Anonymous dearieme said... 3:23 pm

Mock away, matey: as my daughter said with her first full sentence "Daddy's too fat for his kilt".  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 9:28 pm

There is a policy of reflecting cultural cuisine in many schools; extra long pig might be considered for a once a month serving.  

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