Sitiveni Rabuka campaigning in Aotearoa New Zealand

Sitiveni Rabuka is man infamous for making Fiji a republic after carrying out a bloody, military coup 35 years ago by overthrowing an Indo-Fijian dominated government to maintain Indigenous supremacy.

Rabuka has been the central figure in Fijian politics since 1987 - as the nation's first coup maker, a former prime minister, most recently the leader of opposition, and now a reformed Christian and politician, and the leader of the People's Alliance Party.

The former military strongman has positioned himself as the chief rival of the country's incumbent prime minister Frank Bainimarama - a former military commander and coup leader himself - as Fijians prepare to head to the polls at some stage later this year.

Rabuka, 73, is on a campaign trail in Aotearoa New Zealand on a mission; to share with the Fijian diaspora how "politics will affect their relatives" back at home and raise funds for his campaign to topple Bainimarama's FijiFirst government.

In an exclusive interview with RNZ Pacific's senior journalist Koroi Hawkins, he spoke about his vision for a better Fiji, raising the living standards of the Fijian people, and why he is the man to return the country back to "the way the world should be."

"I'm here to talk to the supporters who are here," Rabuka said.

"We do not have a branch in New Zealand so most of our supporters here have not formed themselves into a branch or into a chapter and I'm just out here to talk to them. They've been very supportive on this journey and that's why I'm here."