Story: Armed forces

Air New Zealand hijacking in Fiji, 1987

During the 1987 Fijian coup, an Air New Zealand plane was hijacked at Nadi airport. In response, New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange directed the armed forces to send a team of Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers to Fiji. Defence leadership considered this order problematic during a coup and delayed sending the force. The hijacking was resolved before the soldiers left for Fiji, but feelings of distrust between the prime minster and defence leadership lingered.

Using this item

TVNZ Television New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jim Rolfe, 'Armed forces - Non-military tasks', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/35736/air-new-zealand-hijacking-in-fiji-1987 (accessed 4 December 2021)

Story by Jim Rolfe, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Apr 2020