Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Cannibal Islands

Adolf and The Cook returned a week or so ago from their annual winter sojourn in Fiji.

Some impressions of the countryside and people of Nadi and its surrounds.

  • Ordinary people are very happy with the administration of the military regime. For them, democracy equates with Qarase, corruption and bad roads.
  • The roads are vastly improved compared with just a year ago.
  • Saw a mechanical cane harvester at work which I have not seen in previous years.
  • Denarau golf course was almost deserted. (Adolf played above himself!)
  • Plantation Resort and Musket Cove were near full capacity - outside school holidays
  • The big flash joints at Denarau appeared to be struggling.
  • Out walking early I met school kids in uniform off to their School Cadets day. In Fiji people respect the military while in NZ we are taught by our masters to denigrate the military.
  • The only people unhappy about the 'lack of democracy' in Fiji are a few beltway boofheads and journos in Wellington and Canberra. The rest of the world has passed them by.
All in all, I have the distinct impression Fiji is getting on reasonably well thank you, in spite of NZ and Australia's clumsy bullying. Money is pouring in from China and India while our influence in Fiji and the rest of the Pacific has been substantially diminished.

Fiji will have an election one day. When Fiji is ready and not before. It's called Fiji Time which is something Wellington simply doesn't understand.

New Zealand's handling of Fiji by both Labour and National ranks as one of our most spectacular foreign policy failures ever. We failed to make any difference to the end result and in the process of failure, suffered a massive reversal of influence and goodwill in our own back yard.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Woops. Got my musket confused with muscat.

Lucia Maria said...

Totally agree with you, Adolf.

(I'm married into a part-Fijian family, so maybe I'm biased.)

Anonymous said...

This was my impression when I went to Fiji earlier this year. What an improvement on earlier years.

You are right the Fijians really don't care about democracy as Suva is a long way away and aside from not enough money for the kids education (which they really care about) the government has minimal influence on their lives.

Seamonkey Madness said...

Sweet as.
So Fiji is turning into the Pacific's version of China?

Have to agree with you on one point though - NZ and Aus really cocked up.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of another Adolf who used to rant and rail against democracy...

Do spell out Adolf, how Fiji being bribed by India and China is good for Fijians long-term? Like when the Chinese/Indian bribes aren't needed to secure them raw materials from overseas.

Anonymous said...

The Commodore sends the shivvers up the likes of Key and Clark, people of principle usually do.
The man deserves a beer just for showing our rat Peters the door after 'the shortest meeting he ever had'

Fiji is much the better for his decisive action.

Seamonkey Madness said...

...until the whole house of cards falls down - and the Chinese come to collect their "debt".

Canterbury Atheists said...

Irrespective of who runs Fiji – it is a basket-case.

The 3rd world on our door-step that perpetually depends on international welfare to survive.

Some of this welfare comes in the form of the maligned New Zealanders taxpayer.

If the Chinese tax-payer feels more inclined to prop-up Fiji’s economy – great by me!

That will leave more money to fund our own infra-structure.

Perhaps having the Chinese in control of Fiji will get the native population to put in a half decent days work and mean that finally tourists will get an eatable cheap meal in an island resort served in under an hour?

See ya.