Prime Minister John Key is likely to make his first official visit to Fiji early next year after getting an invite from Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama in their first official meeting.
Mr Key and Mr Bainimarama held their first meeting on neutral territory at the United Nations in New York - a meeting Mr Key later said was 'warm and friendly' after nine years of chill.
"Certainly he's been very warm and friendly. If there were any lingering concerns it wasn't evident today and it hasn't been in the last few occasions we've met.
It's time to put that behind us really and move forward. I think New Zealand is important to Fiji and actually Fiji is important to New Zealand."
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He said New Zealand had accepted that Fiji's elections were free and fair "and on that basis we are not critiquing that. That's good enough."
Asked if he had raised concerns about ongoing human rights or freedom of speech issues, he said had not seen recent reports that were worrying. It was also likely Fiji would re-enter the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme for Pacific workers to work in horticulture in New Zealand.
Relations with Fiji have been strained since the 2006 coup led by Frank Bainimarama. New Zealand had imposed travel sanctions on members of the Bainimarama regime and Fiji was suspended from international groups including the Pacific Islands Forum and Commonwealth. Those remained in place until elections last year in which Mr Bainimarama was elected Prime Minister.
In return, Bainimarama had accused Australia and New Zealand of bullying tactics and Fiji turned to China for aid. Despite boycotting the recent Pacific Island Leaders' Forum in protest against Australia and New Zealand, Mr Bainimarama greeted Mr Key warmly when they met. The pair chatted about Fiji's upcoming game against Wales in the Rugby World Cup which Mr Bainimarama will travel to watch. Mr Key said any lingering bitterness was not evident. "
Mr Bainimarama appeared to give Mr Key a bonecrusher handshake - but Mr Key said later his hand was fine.