Dinner was in Herne Bay on Saturday night and what a multicultural occassion it was.
The restaurant, Villa de'Vine specialises in French and Italian cooking and it just happened to have a Spanish theme night on, complete with pretty flamenco dancers.
Among the friends gathered, seated at my table was an exotic looking guy of English, French Hugenot, Fijian, Tongan and Samoan ancestry.
Anyway, this guy was born in Fiji, in Levuka, the old capital, where I spent a few fine days many years ago.
This guy has spent many years in Fiji and has returned five times since coming to New Zealand. He now lives in Ponsonby, has a well paid job in Newton and the humble looking family home is now worth $1.5 million, I was told.
Naturally, the issue of Fiji came up, something he says he is quizzed about at least once or twice a week.
Apparantly, Helen Clark and Kevin Rudd don't know what they are talking about.
The Fijian peoples are happy with Col Banararama and they support him because of how he has defeated the endemic corruption of previous governments. Any criminals, I was told, soon get a good beating in the army barracks.
Part of Fiji's problem is that it is not a united country. There are the native or ethnic Fijians who are loyal to various chiefs. There are the Indians who are loyal to each other. There are the Tongan-Fijians and a group from the Ellice Islanders who arrived several decades ago when their islands sunk due to mining or something.
And the politicians would corruptly feather the nests of their own supporters or the part of Fiji they felt loyal to.
The United Nations, I was told, stood for United Nothing. Their aid would disappear rather than go to where it was needed the most.
Was there a corrupt link between the Fiji Liarbour Party and the NZ Liarbour Party? I asked.
My friend did not know but said it could not be ruled out.
But what about democracy? I asked.
The people want that, it will return, but for now people are happy to support the military for its work in rooting out corruption and Col Banarama is doing is best to bring stability and prosperity for all Fijians.
So that is what I was told over the slow cooked Parisian duck and the Sauvignon Blanc from Italy, which isn't a patch on the Marlborough variety.
Now, I won't say whether my friend is right, but those who have direct experience of a place probably have a better insight to those stuck in ivory towers.
And it is from talking to Fijians we come across in our everyday lives that helps give us a perspective that you don't always get from the mainstream media.
Adolf and Whale Oil don't support military dictators, even though they support Col Banaramama. They do support him though, because their links to people living in Fiji tell them that for now the military coup is truly in the long term interests of Fiji, even though putting democracy 'on hold' may not at all seem right.