20 February 2009
Fijian netball team score New Zealand visas
Immigration New Zealand have finally granted the Fijian National Netball Under 21 team visas to travel to New Zealand.
The team has been waiting anxiously for the New Zealand visa approvals so that they could play pre-World Youth Championship matches against the Silver Ferns, and all bar one person has had the New Zealand visa application approved.
The New Zealand Government has strictly held regulations that any Fijian connected to the Fijian military would be barred from gaining a visa for New Zealand, because the military deposed the Fijian ruling government in 2006 and has not relinquished power since.
Senior Private Secretary to the New Zealand Government, James Funnell, confirmed the team's approval to travel New Zealand for their 10-day tour.
Over the past few months, several sports teams have encountered trouble gaining entry to or transit through New Zealand because of their connections with the military, including Fiji's under-20 touch football team and the national Under-20 football team.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.