NEWS ( Melanesian/Pacific ) 08 October 2012.

1) Ol PNG tisa ino save kisim bikpela luksave long wok blong ol

Updated 8 October 2012, 12:25 AEST-Radio Australia.

Teaching Commission Service blong Papua New Guinea i tok tru, ol tisa i stap long ‘frontline’ long wok blong ol, ol ino save kisim bikpela luksave long wok ol i save mekim long rurel na ol wok long taun.

image - childrens library PNG

Buk blong Pikinini long PNG i gat 9-pela Library na ol i plen long kamapim moa. (Buk blong Pikinini Photo)

Samson Wangihomie blong Teaching Commission Service i tok Papua New Guinea i gat 49,700 titsa raun long kantri, insait long ol rurel, longwe ples na insait long taun.

Em i tok ol i save hat wok tru tasol ol ino save kisim bikpela luksave long wok ol i mekim.

Jules Taria blong Buk blong Pikinini insait long PNG i tok ol pikinini, husait i save igo long ol senta blong ol, i save laikim tru long lukim ol stori buk na ridim ol buk.

Long dispela namel taim, ol i gat 9-pela senta na ol i plen long kamapim moa wantaim halvim i kam long ol bisnis haus na ol dona lain.

2) Fiji off PNG list

Nasik Swami
Saturday, October 06, 2012-Fiji Times

FIJI’S trade with Papua New Guinea could soon take a new turn following the removal of products listed on PNG’s negative list.

In a press conference yesterday, Attorney-General and Minister for Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Bainimarama government had been calling on all member nations to fully implement the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement.

“We are pleased that PNG has heeded our call as this will bring tangible benefits to Fijian exporters and will create jobs in Fiji. It will also benefit Papua New Guineans who will be able to enjoy quality Fijian products at competitive prices,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said it was a positive move by PNG which showed the true spirit of MSG and signalled to other Pacific Islands the commitment MSG countries had towards regional trade and economic integration.

“PNG is a lucrative and rapidly growing market in the region, with a total population of more than 7 million, and offers many exciting new prospects for Fijian businesses and new opportunities for job creation,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Fiji’s annual exports to PNG are about $7.6million the majority of which will now enter PNG duty free. Fiji imports about $4.2 million from PNG annually),

However, PNG has maintained tariffs only on mackerel, salt and sugar while the rest of about 400 items on their negative list have become duty free with the recent gazettal.

“The Ministry of Industry and Trade will work closely with the Fijian industries to enable them to fully understand the rules and requirements of the MSG Trade Agreement so that more trade can take place under the agreement.”

3) Indonesia lacks direction on Papua, says academic

Posted at 07:08 on 08 October, 2012 UTC

An academic who focuses on Papua says Indonesia’s government lacks a clear sense of direction in how it wants to deal with the ongoing security problem in troubled Papua region.

The comment from Richard Chauvel from the School of Social Sciences at Melbourne’s Victoria University comes as members of Indonesia’s House of Representatives voice support for any military offensive against Papuan separatists.

Dr Chauvel says there’s been little momentum achieved on the government’s stated aim late last year to have peaceful dialogue with Papuans.

He says the heavy presence of the military in Papua is complicating resolution of broader political, historical and human rights issues.

“Those types of restrictions of human rights people, journalists, academics, is clearly becoming less effective and one’s tempted to ask the question, whether from the Indonesian national point of view it’s really counter-productive.”

Dr Richard Chauvel

Radio New Zealand International

4) Aust ‘hides PNG cash’

By TODAGIA KELOLA

AUSTRALIA has been described as “Cayman islands” for Papua New Guineans stashing away public funds and monies stolen or obtained through corrupt means within the country.
PNG’s Task Force Sweep chairman Sam Koim made the revelation when addressing a conference in Australia recently.
He was invited by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) which organised a one-day conference in Sydney where he addressed major Australian reporters, including banks and other financial institutions in Australia.
AUSTRAC is an organisation that regulates money laundering and related issues in Australia.
Mr Koim explained in his opening remarks that his comments were prompted by the significant portion of funds corruptly obtained in Papua New Guinea that end up in Australian bank accounts and Australian real estate.
He was very frank in his address. “One needs only check the Cairns North Registrar of Titles to ascertain how many properties are owned by Papua New Guineans, including politicians and top bureaucrats.
“A few months ago it was reported in a Cairns newspaper that PNG residents are the largest investors in the far north, according to the latest figures from the Registrar of Titles. It is also understood six known politicians (named) have invested in million dollar properties up north and central Cairns to a tune of $A11.55 million (K24.5 million).
“It was also recently reported that PNGs investment in Australia reached US$1.2 billion according to Asian Development Bank country economist Aaron Batten.
“Not all these investments can possibly be derived from legitimate funds. So is the banking industry in Australia doing business with dirty money?” Mr Koim asked.
He said for those who think that Australian authorities would prevent money that was “not clean”, or at the very least seized it and return the money, they were in for a surprise because Australia has never repatriated any proceeds of corruption back to Papua New Guinea.
Mr Koim urged Australian institutions to conduct due diligence checks on individual Papua New Guineans by conducting some form of tests.
“I believe that you won’t go wrong if you do one on every Papua New Guinea transaction either in a Western Union Money transfer chartered accountants, law firms, financial investment companies and other cash dealers like heavy equipment dealers and real estate agents that appear to be commonly used,” he said.http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20121008/mohome.htm

5) PNG Commits To Fight Corruption In Australia Aid Program
Two government to take ‘zero tolerance’ to impropriety

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 5, 2012) – Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to step up efforts to fight fraud and corruption in Australia’s aid programme to PNG.

The two governments yesterday signed an agreement to take a “zero tolerance” approach to impropriety.

The agreement was signed in Port Moresby yesterday by National Planning Minister Charles Abel and AusAID director-general Peter Baxter.

This year, AusAID will spend nearly half-a-billion Australian dollars in PNG.

The countries recognised that fraud and corruption in Australia’s aid programme in PNG was a significant impediment to development economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.

In a joint statement, the Australian government welcomed the PNG government’s strong public commitment to fight corruption, acknowledging efforts in areas such as the procurement and distribution of medical supplies, and within the Department of National Planning and Monitoring.

It was agreed that prosecution has to take place where fraud is uncovered and the PNG government also agreed to investigate any allegation of fraud in the aid programme vigorously.

“Fraud of development grants is like taking away every toea from the little people. It had the potential to undermine the credibility and relevance of the programme in the eyes of the Australian public, and stakeholders and beneficiaries in PNG,” Baxter said.

Australia welcomed the strong political commitment of the PNG government to take action against fraud and corruption especially through formulation of the country’s first anti-corruption strategy.

It was also agreed that the PNG government will establish a regular forum to review cases of fraud in the aid programme, and where issues relating to the reporting, investigation and prosecution of cases can be raised and resolved and PNG’s investigative bodies will provide progress updates to this forum on investigations.

In an effort to make aid delivery more effective, Australia greed to use PNG government systems and procedures where these processes are suitably robust to minimise the risk of Australian aid funding being lost to fraud or corruption; and where there is a demonstrated development benefit for PNG.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

6) Ten Senior Officers In Vanuatu Police Force Sacked
Minister of Internal Affairs orders firings

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 8, 2012) – The upheaval within Vanuatu’s police force continues with the sacking of ten senior officers. The former police commissioner, Joshua Bong, said the suspensions were ordered by the minister of internal affairs, George Wells, on the recommendation of the acting commissioner, Arthur Caulton.

Mr Bong himself was handed a termination letter on Friday morning, six days after he issued mutiny charges against his deputy, Mr Caulton.

Mr Caulton had served as police commissioner for several months while Mr Bong was on suspension, and a row had erupted as to who should stay in the post.

Mr Bong said this weekend’s sacking had effectively dismantled the investigation into the allegations of mutiny.

Included in those dismissed are the six members of the Tactical Response Group and Aru Maralau, commander of the paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force.

Mr Caulton, who was appointed as acting commissioner last Friday by the country’s president Iolou Johnson Abbil, confirmed the suspensions.

He refused to elaborate on why he recommended the move to Mr Wells, but denied a connection to his recent arrest.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Vincent Lunapeck has struck out the mutiny case against Mr Caulton, the former chairman of Police Service Commissioner, and four other senior officers.

Kayleen Tavoa, the Public Prosecutor, said that the case could not proceed because there were no statements to support the allegations against them.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

7) Fiji Landowners Want Strict Investment Procedures
Resource extraction must benefit local people

By Luke Rawalai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 8, 2012) – The Soqosoqo Vakamarama Bua wants strict procedures set down for investors who apply for mining extraction or exploration of raw material on their land or traditional fishing grounds.

Group representative Lanieta Ranavono said traditional owners should be informed first of any interest by foreign investors to develop their land or qoliqoli.

“An environment impact assessment and a social impact assessment should be undertaken before other negotiations are made as a condition for mineral extraction licensing,

“A formal approval should be sought after a positive report of the two assessment reports is received and clarifications of financial disbursements and schedule are made to landowners.

Landowners should be given the choice to become shareholders in the investment,” Ms Ranavono said.

Ms Ranavono said negotiations at all levels between the landowners and the iTaukei Land Trust Board should be made in the presence of landowners or their chosen representatives from their mataqali (land-owning unit).

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

8) Scholarship for all

Salaseini Vosamana
Monday, October 08, 2012-Fiji Times.

THE new constitution should ensure that there is no discrimination in the education field.

This is the view of reigning Vodafone Festival of the Friendly North 2012 King, John Prasad as he raised his concerns on the different names of scholarships available in the country for tertiary education.

In his two-page submission in Labasa on Thursday, Mr Prasad said the constitution must ensure that a fair system was put in place to provide equal opportunities for all students to have access to tertiary studies.

“Having separate scholarship schemes only promotes division and racial discrimination. The current system not only discriminates races but also suppresses students from fulfilling their potential,” he said. Mr Prasad said a government department offered scholarships on a racial basis which was an example of racial discrimination.

He also submitted that scrapped external examinations at primary and secondary school level should be restored.

“Students will always remain students and they need to study. And in order to move Fiji forward, we need intelligent people.

9) Tonga Government survives no confidence vote

By Online Editor
6:03 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2012, TongaThe Tongan Government has won a vote of no confidence that has been debated for months.

MP Akilisi Pohiva, leader of the opposition, initially introduced the vote of no confidence. But the vote was 13-11 in favour of the Government.

The motion had been backed by three Government ministers who resigned earlier this year, sparking rumours that Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano’s hold on power could soon be over.

The opposition has accused the Government of misappropriating funds and not doing its job.

But most of all it wants a commoner Prime Minister elected.

Justice Minister Clive Edwards has previously told ONE News the situation is a stalemate and whoever wins will have an unstable government.

“Whenever one disgruntled Member of Parliament wants to change sides, it changes the government,” he said at the time.

Observers have said democracy is still new in Tonga and needs to be worked through.

SOURCE: TVNZ/PACNEWS

10) Niue to access PEC funds

The remote island nation of Niue will access $US4,000,000 from the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund for a significant national solar power initiative.
The Government of Niue’s project for the “Design, Manufacture and Installation of Solar Power Grid Connected Generators and Battery Backed Power Stabilizer” anticipates annual savings of $NZ137,000 and a reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by approximately 329 tonnes per annum.
“I would like to congratulate the Government of Niue for their successful application to the PEC Fund and commend them for their commitment to pursuing renewable energy avenues, as outlined in the Niue Environmental Declaration 2007,” said the Officer-In-Charge of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr Su’a Kevin Thomsen.
The Government of Niue will administer the project with technical assistance from the Niue Power Corporation and installation assistance from the Niue private sector.
“Our project will complement ongoing efforts to increase renewable energy supply through a target of supplying 65% of the peak load, which will result in a 15.4% contribution to Niue’s total electricity supply from solar power,” explained Mr Paul Johnson, Niue’s Coordinator for the project.
Renewable energy currently accounts for 10.6% of the nation’s peak load, 2% of the total electricity production, 2% reduction in fuel consumption and a reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 48.6 tons per year. “A 200 kWp solar photovoltaic system (PV) will be installed directly to Niue’s national electricity grid, at Tuila” said Mr Johnson. “We will also install a battery bank to ensure an uninterrupted power supply that will stabilise the grid and allow for the installation of additional solar generators for the future.”
The Niue Environmental Declaration 2007 commits to pursuing a 100% renewable energy economy.
“I wish the Government of Niue the very best in their endeavours to successfully implement their PEC Fund project,” said Mr Thomsen.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan to provide ¥6.8billion (approximately US$66 million) to Forum Island Countries to tackle environmental issues.
Each FIC is provided with an indicative allocation of USD$4million to support projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and seawater desalination plants or a combination of both. The fund is administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
To date, the Governments of Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati and now Niue have successfully accessed the PEC Fund for national renewable energy and seawater desalination projects.

Post Courier-PNG.

11) Budget constraints will force CNMI schools to cut English language programme

Posted at 07:07 on 08 October, 2012 UTC

The failure to restore 45 full time teachers who were supposed to ease the burden on the Public School System for the coming fiscal year in the Northern Marianas, will mean overcrowding and double sessions in many classes.

The Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan says the budget passed by the Legislature for this school year, which ends in July next year, means that the English as a second language programme, will also be suspended.

The Public School System was allocated just 30 million US dollars under the new budget law passed in July, 3 million short of what the PSS asked for and was “promised” by lawmakers during budget hearings and meetings.

Radio New Zealand International

12) Call for urgency in relocating Pacific climate change refugees

By Online Editor
5:53 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2012, New ZealandThe Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is urging the New Zealand Government to establish relocation strategies with the governments of Pacific island nations in danger of disappearing as a result of climate change.

A recommendation for the Church to advocate for climate change refugees was accepted with unanimous support at the Church’s biennial General Assembly in Rotorua Saturday.

The Church’s new Moderator, the Right Rev Ray Coster, says the New Zealand Government needs to recognise the crisis being faced by our small vulnerable nation neighbours and act before it is too late.

“A major disaster is happening in our backyard. As the sea level continues to rise, more low-lying atolls will be underwater. Every Pacific nation is affected in some way and people living on these islands face a bleak future unless there are plans for their resettlement. It is only a question of time. The Presbyterian Church has close links with our sister churches in the Pacific and they tell us of the devastating impact of climate change on their nations’ peoples.”

The Rev Asora Amosa, the Clerk of the Church’s Pacific Island Synod, said, “New Zealand has a close relationship with the Pacific and it is about time the NZ Government made a formal agreement to accept people displaced by rising sea levels due to climate change. The people of Tuvalu and Kiribati will be the first of the islands in need of relocation.”

“While there is much more awareness now of the issue of global warming and climate change and its effects in the Pacific than ever before, the needed changes are simply not happening fast enough. We need to take strong and active steps to protect and provide for Pacific nations being affected.”

“The New Zealand Government’s focus is on providing a range of assistance to support Pacific nations but not about offering relocation to those affected by climate change. This needs to change.

“Rising sea levels, an influx of drought leading to a greater propensity for flooding and more frequent storms, mean that the best hope for these nations lies in resettlement, said Asora.

He said there is now an urgency for governments to act as an increasing number of people’s lives are affected; weather-related disasters rose 65-fold, an increase from 270,000 during the 1980s to 1.2 million in the 1990s.

Ray Coster said the Presbyterian Church is deeply committed to advocating for its Pacific island neighbours and caring for Creation.

Last year the Church called on the New Zealand Government to give Tuvaluans NZ citizenship so it could accept Tuvalu people displaced by rising sea levels due to climate change.

And as a member of the Council for World Mission Pacific region the Church criticised the NZ government for making changes to New Zealand’s aid that could have devastating consequences for poor economically depressed island nations.

The Church’s 2004 General Assembly saw caring for Creation adopted as part of the Church’s mission statement, and at General Assembly 2008, the Church endorsed a declaration on climate change which has seen many of its churches commit to becoming ‘greener’

SOURCE: VOXY.CO.NZ/PACNEWS

13) The end of Great Barrier Reef?

A study has shown that more than half of the Great Barrier Reef has disappeared over the past 27 years.
The study found that coral had covered 28% of the reef in 1985 but is now down to just 13.8%.
It also predicted a decline of between five and 10% by 2022.
The new research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville says cyclones caused 48% of the coral loss, the crown of thorns starfish caused 42% and coral bleaching 10%.
The more frequent outbreaks of crown of thorns are blamed on the run-off of soils, fertilisers and pesticides.
These revelations were met with dismay, surprise and a sense of urgency that something must be done 
quickly.c/- post courier png.

14) Le projet des ‘villes sûres’ en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée

Posté à 8 October 2012, 9:32 AEST-Radio Australia.

Pierre Riant

Ce projet sur 5 ans cible avant tous les marchés des centres urbains.

Ce ‘Safe Cities Project‘ est le résultat d’une étude conduite en 2011 et qui a mis à jour l’incroyable violence perpétrée à l’encontre des femmes sur les places de marché à travers l’ensemble du pays.

Nous avons parlé de ce projet avec Alethia Jimeniz de ONU-Femmes, l’entité des Nations Unies pour l’égalité des sexes.

Et  tout d’abord de quel type de violence est-il question. Est-ce ces femmes sont frappées pour être ensuite volées après avoir vendu leurs produits sur la place du marché ou s’agit-il de violence sexuelle quand elles dorment le soir sur ces places de marché ?

JIMENIZ : « Ce sont toutes les formes de violence. Tout le monde sait que les marchés de Port Moresby sont les endroits publics les plus dangereux de la ville. Vous voyez de tout ; des menaces, des vols, des bagarres ethniques, des viols, du harcèlement sexuel, l’exploitation sexuelle des enfants, des transactions sexuelles.
Ces endroits sont si dangereux qu’ils restreignent la circulation de l’argent liquide de l’économie parallèle. Ce n’est pas que la violence contre les femmes, c’est l’insécurité généralisée et la violence sexuelle contre les femmes et les filles. 
»

En ce moment aux îles Salomon, un centre d’hébergement pour les vendeuses des marchés est à l’essai pour que ces femmes ne soient pas seules et vulnérables quand elles doivent passer la nuit sur la place du marché avant de pouvoir repartir chez elles en milieu rural. Est-ce que ce type d’infrastructures est envisageable en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée?

JIMENIZ : « Pas de logement est effectivement un problème que nous partageons aussi parce que les vendeuses du marché doivent retourner chez elles à l’extérieur, en zone rurale, et il faut trouver des logements à proximité du marché.
Mais chez nous le problème est un peu différent. Ce n’est pas seulement les femmes qui vendent des légumes au marché, ce sont aussi d’autres gens qui squattent le marché et qui créent d’autres problèmes.
Certains vivent sur le marché et nous avons vu des hommes qui dirigeaient des r
éseaux de prostitution la nuit. Les problèmes sont donc un peu différents de par la nature de cette ville qui doit faire face à l’arrivée de migrants ruraux qui viennent s’installer dans les centres urbains.
Donc pas de logements pour l’instant, mais plutôt des consignes où les vendeuses pourraient stocker leurs produits et les laisser sans crainte d’être agressées ou volées.
 »

Mais ce projet de « villes sûres » que prévoit-il  exactement?

JIMENIZ : « Nous avons 5 secteurs de travail : renforcer la capacité d’intervention des détenteurs de la fonction publique : police, autorités municipales, chefs de service etc.  Autre secteur : changer la dynamique entre les utilisateurs du marché, instaurer le respect entre ces utilisateurs. Nous travaillons aussi sur les infrastructures ; comment la planification urbaine et la gestion de l’espace public peuvent avoir un impact sur la sécurité, notamment des femmes et des filles? Nous allons développer aussi une collaboration avec les médias pour que la violence sexuelle et les harcèlements sexuels des femmes et des filles soient proprement rapportés et disséminés avec des conseils sur ce qu’il faut faire en cas de violence sexuelle. Voilà nos principaux secteurs de travail.
»

15) Fiji wins Asian women rugby championship

By Online Editor
5:45 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2012, FijiStrongly-built Fiji women were too tough to handle for the defending champion China as the Pacific nation annexed the Asian Women Rugby Sevens championship with a commanding show at the Balewadi Sports Complex stadium Sunday.

Asinate Ufia Savu, Rusila Nagasau and Lavenia Tinai scored five goals apiece as Fiji blanked China 15-0 to with the title in their first appearance in Asia’s continental championship.

For the third place, Japan overcame last year’s runner-up Kazakhstan 17-7. For Japan, Yume Okuroda scored 12 and Yoko Suzuki made 5 after both teams had tied 7-7 at the half-time. For Kazakhstan Sherer Lyudmila (5) and Irina Radzevil (2) were the scorers.

With top three finishers from the championship here assured of berths in the 2013 World Cup in Moscow— Fiji, China and Japan — qualified.

Fiji was allowed to participate in the Asian championship as a kind of ‘wildcard’ entry by the International Rugby Board as from the Oceania region Australia and New Zealand had already qualified for the Moscow World Cup.

“Fiji, China and Japan have qualified from the championship,” confirmed Aga Hussain, Vice-President of Indian Football and Rugby Union (IFRU).

In the semifinals, Fiji had defeated Japan 31-7, while China overcame a stiff resistance from Kazakhstan to win 17-12.

Results:

Cup, Final: Fiji 15 (Asinate Ufia SAVU 5, Rusila NAGASAU 5, Lavenia TINAI 5) beat China 0.
Third-place: Japan 17 beat Kazakshtan 7.
Semifinals: Fiji 31 beat Japan 7. China 17 beat Kazakhstan 12.
Quarterfinals: Japan 12 beat Thailand 5. Fiji 47 beat Singapore 0. China 31 beat Hong Kong 0. Kazakhstan 34 beat Chinese Taipei 0.

SOURCE: IBNS/PACNEWS

16) Tonga to host Pacific leg of Pacific Rugby Cup 2012

By Online Editor
5:43 pm GMT+12, 08/10/2012, TongaTonga has been chosen to host the Pacific Leg of the Pacific Rugby Cup 2012, an official International Rugby Board (IRB) tournament to be held 11-19 October 2012, putting Tonga and the Tonga Rugby Union back on the international rugby circuit.

An official strategic partnership with the TRU and Digicel Tonga for the Pacific Leg of the Pacific Rugby Cup 2012 was announced today, with four matches to be played here.

“This collaboration enhances our current sponsorship of grass roots rugby in the Kingdom via the annual competition, Digicel Cup, which now includes coverage in all of the four islands, Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Vava’u,” Digicel stated.

Digicel will be providing all logistics for the tournament on behalf of the TRU and the IRB. Included in this alliance will be event management, ticket sales, broadcasting and hosting of players and officials.
Tonga will be hosting the “A” Teams from Fiji, Western Samoa and a Crown Prince Team.

“The success of the new IRB Pacific Rugby Cup format, which was welcomed by the island teams and supported by the Australia and New Zealand franchises, means once again we can provide high level competition to bridge the gap between domestic and international competitions for the best up and coming players in the islands,” stated William Glenwright IRB Regional General Manager for Oceania.

Tickets for the tournament go on sale tomorrow, October 6, at Digicel Stores and merchants for all four games and Digicel are also providing a range of prizes with $22,000 cash up for grabs and a weekend package for the Wellington 7’s with $5,000 pa’anga spending money.

“We want to show the IRB that Tonga has the ability to host international tournaments, and our engagement of the local telecommunications provider, Digicel, allows us to have access to the latest technology and expertise that will keep us abreast with other overseas Rugby Unions and present us as serious contenders both on and off the field,” said ‘Epeli Taione, President of the Tonga Rugby Union.

“Digicel looks forward to working with Tonga Rugby Union and the IRB on making this tournament a success, so that it sets a precedent for the future of Tonga and its ability to host and stage international events of this magnitude” said Stephen Bannon, Chief Executive Officer Digicel Tonga.

The Pacific Rugby Cup is an annual rugby union development competition, which was first held in 2006, and featured representative teams from the three Pacific rugby union unions – Fiji, Western Samoa and Tonga. With funding from the IRB, the key development competition proved to be a hit in 2011 as the best locally-based players from the islands had the opportunity to pit themselves against the next generation of Super Rugby stars in Australia and New Zealand in a new-look tournament.

IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2012 started on Thursday 9 February 2012 where teams participate in a three leg series, the first two featuring games against Super Rugby academy teams and the third featuring games between each other. The successful three-leg format is retained with the first hosted in Australia, the second in New Zealand and the third is now being held in Tonga. The winner is the team with the most competition points after ten games where the tournament can only be won by Fiji Warriors, Samoa A or Tonga A as they are the core teams, with the title decided following the final series.

SOURCE: MATANGI TONGA/PACNEWS

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