Frank Bainimarama says no disrespect intended with comments to John Key

By Christina Campbell

Fiji's Prime Minister is labelling claims he criticised John Key during a speech in June as a media beat-up.

Frank Bainimarama is in New Zealand on his first official visit and attended the Fiji Trade and Investment Symposium at Auckland's Stamford Plaza Hotel this morning.

At a dinner in Suva in June, he lashed out at New Zealand for not understanding what his political party was trying to achieve.

He said today it's unfortunate that the media interpreted this as him giving Key a hard time.

Bainimarama said Key understood what he was saying, and that no disrespect was intended.

He said the only indignation came from some of the New Zealand media who chose their own interpretation.

Bainimarama also reiterated the lifting of Fiji's ban on foreign journalists, and invited New Zealand journalists to visit the island nation.

Bainimarama also visited a Fijian kindergarten, Bula Kindergarten, in Mangere this morning.

He then visited Moana Pacific Fisheries in Mt Wellington accompanied by Shane Jones, ambassador for Pacific Economic Development.

- Newstalk ZB

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