Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke has expressed surprise at reports that our High Commission in Suva had tried to stop 10 Fijian boy-scouts from entering the country to attend a Scout Jamboree in Christchurch.
New Zealand Government sanctions ban members of Fiji’s military Government and their families from entering the country.
Mr Locke says the government should “act with more common sense in its application of the ban”.
“While the Green Party supports the travel restrictions on members of the military government, I don’t think it was envisaged they would penalise kids as young as 10, in a larger scout group, not travelling with their parents.
“There is already a waver system embodied in the sanctions. Last month the Fijian Education Minister Netani Sukanaivalu was recently granted a waiver to attend a Pacific education conference in Auckland.
“Surely the young scouts are much more deserving of consideration that a Minister in the military Government. It seems small-minded to suggest that young school children should be held responsible for the actions of their parents.
“I suggest the Government apply a bit more fairness, and in the spirit of Christmas let the children come here and take part in the jamboree.”