Key Points:

The Government has granted a special exemption from its sanctions against Fiji to allow that country's Education Minister to attend a meeting in Auckland.

Netani Sukanaivalu arrived yesterday for the Pacific Forum Education Ministers meeting.

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Mr Sukanaivalu had been allowed to visit NZ "because we very firmly believe that the regional work of the forum is of greater value to New Zealand than our bilateral sanctions against Fiji. This does not in any way signal any change in our policy towards the Fijian government."