Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 802

MELANESIA: (Western Pacific to Central (Fiji)

TOK PISIN:  (Papua NiuGini,Bougainville Islands,Solomon Islands & Vanuatu)

1a) Vanuatu rugby tim ikam long Australia

Updated 7 February 2013, 16:30 AEST
Sam Bolitho

Long makim 150 yar stat long taim blong ‘blackbirding’ Vanuatu Rugby League ibin nap long salim wanpela tim long stap insait long foapela game we ol bai igo lukluk long reginel Queensland.

Dispela yar i makim 150 yar stat long taim namba wan lain pipol blong Vanuatu Australia ibin igo kisim ol ikam long igo wok long Queensland suka plantation.

Dispela em hap blong dispela tingting em oli save long em olsem ‘Blackbirding’.

Long makim dispela annivesari, Vanuatu Rugby League ibin nap long salim wanpela tim long stap insait long foapela game we ol bai igo lukluk long reginel Queensland.

Ol playas blong tim em bai igat long en playas  blong as-ples Vanautu na ol dispela ikam istap long Australia long taim blong black birding, em oli save long ol nau olsem South Sea Islanders.

Namba wan pilai imas sapos long kamap tede long Bundaberg.

Hia man igo pas long dispela bung, Sandy Narago i tok oli bin larim pastaim dispela pilai long wanem long ol taim nogut antap long Bundaberg.

1b) New Caledonia FLNKS Office Opens At MSG Headquarters
FLNKS delegation members grateful for realization of goals

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 6, 2013) – Members of the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) Political Bureau of New Caledonia, the Kanak Community from Vanuatu and New Caledonia and the staff of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat witnessed the official Opening of the FLNKS Unit at the MSG Secretariat headquarters in Port Vila, Vanuatu by the Spokesperson of the FLNKS to the MSG, Mr. Victor Tutugoro and the Director General of the MSG Secretariat, Mr. Peter Forau last Tuesday.

Mr. Forau explained among other functions this Unit will allow the MSG Secretariat to provide policy advice on political developments in Kanaky/New Caledonia; monitor the implementation of the Noumea Accord; liaise with the FLNKS Political Bureau on MSG issues; coordinate and manage MSG constituent body meetings on FLNKS matters; manage high level technical and Ministerial Missions to New Caledonia; and network with member governments in developing work programs and other activities requiring participation by FLNKS officials.

It will also pave the way for some Kanaks to participate in the secondment program at the Secretariat and in member countries.

In response, the FLNKS representatives with great emotion expressed joy and happiness over the realization of the having a unit within the MSG Secretariat specifically to further work towards the full emancipation of the Kanak people.

Mr. Roch Wamytan, 1st Vice President of the Congress of New Caledonia who witnessed the unveiling of the new office at the MSG Secretariat stated that this gesture by the Leaders and the MSG Secretariat demonstrates the support by our MSG member countries and Secretariat.

“This is a test of our historical link and solidarity of our Melanesia and we thank the Leaders of the MSG and the Secretariat on behalf of the Kanak people,” said Mr. Wamytan.

MSG DG Forau hailed the opening of the FLNKS unit a proud moment for Leaders and the membership of the MSG as the grouping continues to show its continuous partnership with the FLNKS.

He said the history of FLNKS joining MSG began with the formation of the organization which was established for the sole purpose of helping the Kanaks in their quest for political emancipation.

Consequently, the FLNKS joined the MSG. The second major development for FLNKS was when the MSG Secretariat recruited two Kanaks to work at the Secretariat, Mr. Jimmy Naouna and Ms. Rose Wete.

The Unit is manned by the FLNKS Political Officer, Mr. Naouna and located within the Governance and Sustainable Development Division of the Secretariat.

The MSG DG said the third major development for the MSG membership and FLNKS was through the raising of the FLNKS flags at all MSG Capitals at all MSG Leaders’ Summit, Foreign Ministers Meetings (FMM) and Senior Officials Meetings (SOM).

He said this visibility by the members of the MSG reflects the determination and support the members have for the full emancipation of the Kanak people, adding the formal opening of the Unit follows a decision by the MSG Special Leaders’ Summit in August 2012 to formally establish the Unit which was set up immediately in September 2012.

The FLNKS Unit is fully funded by contributions from member countries including additional assistance by the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) currently being finalized by the Secretariat and the PNG Government. The assistance will include AU$300,000 [US$312,300] for the Unit as well as provision of scholarships for young Kanaks to study in PNG; job attachments for Kanaks in the PNG Public Service and training for Kanaks in the PNG Public Service and Mining Sector.

The immediate priority for the Unit is to organize a joint United Nations/MSG Officials Mission to New Caledonia in 2013 and through the Government of New Caledonia, facilitating a meeting with UN Regional agencies based in the region.

Vanuatu Daily Post:

2) No-Confidence Grace Period Extension Passes In PNG
‘Sabotage’ alleged when parliament experiences power outage

By Isaac Nicholas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 6, 2013) – The O’Neill-Dion government used its numerical strength to gag debate and swiftly move to pass by a record 90-14 votes the constitutional amendment needed to extend the vote of no-confidence grace period from 18 to 30 months in Papua New Guinea’s Parliament yesterday afternoon.

The vote was taken amid an alleged attempt to sabotage power and force Parliament to adjourn to today to avoid the vote.

All parliament officers were locked out for 45 minutes as Speaker Theo Zurenuoc personally called PNG Power chief executive officer to find out what was happening.

The power was restored just after 2 o’clock for the parliament to sit and pass the only business of the day.

Mr. Zurenuoc when contacted last night said he had ordered an investigation into the alleged power sabotage.

He said he had received a call from a senior Opposition MP that there are attempts to remove him as Speaker and that he adjourned parliament when there was no quorum in the first instance, but he refused to entertain the leaders request because he believed there was quorum.

Mr. Zurenouc said he would not mention names or make allegations as these could be a coincidence.

“It is still premature to say it is a planned thing,” he said.

When Parliament started at 2.20 pm, leader of Government Business James Marape suspended Standing Orders for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to move his motion for the second opportunity for debate and third reading.

Speaker Theo Zurenuoc allowed only Rabaul MP Dr. Allan Marat for debate and the government then moved to put the question and for the vote to be taken.

The government needed only 74 votes but had an overwhelming support, including a single vote from the Opposition in Lufa MP Jeffrey Kuare, who supported the motion and thereby went against his leader Belden Namah and his 14 members.

Prime Minister O’Neill when making his statement to the House said there was no need for speeches as it was obvious to everyone that the country needed stability.

“I do not need to tell the House why we need this (amendment). The obvious consequences of instability that we have had in the past was when governments had only managed numbers on this floor of Parliament and forgot about running the country on behalf of the people,” Mr. O’Neill said.

He said the consequences of instability included the run-down state of Parliament, schools, hospitals, infrastructure and law and order that have deteriorated over the years.

“That is why as we move into this new term of parliament it gives us a unique opportunity for us to put our country into the right path; the right path for the development (we) deserve,” the PM said.

Mr. O’Neill said the confidence of the people and investors are there but they will only continue to have confidence in government if there is stability in parliament.

“People forget that it is not about the Prime Minister; it is not about one person holding onto this government. This Parliament will continue to hold any Prime Minister or Minister accountable. Parliament through its wisdom has all those accountabilities in place. It is not about one individual person; it is about our people and our country. Leaders who want to become Prime Minister or Minister must get the mandate from the people,” the PM said.

PNG Post-Courier:

3) Stop firearms use: PM O’Neill

By Online Editor
1:18 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has put an immediate stop to the use of high-powered firearms by police on a daily basis.

O’Neill prefers the use of firearms to be restricted to special circumstances such as when the police are being called out by the government to perform national security and emergency operations.

That preference and other uses of high-powered arms will be regulated and administered under an enabling legislation and administrative guidelines, he said.

“The use of these firearms has become regular and sometimes quite unnecessary. This has notably become a growing concern for the public and communities at large,” he said.

On Tuesday, he wrote to Police Minister Nixon Duban to immediately order the return of all high-powered firearms to police armories which must be stored securely.

“When securely stored at armories, no high-powered firearm should be issued without proper authorisation,” he said.

He directed Duban to review the use of the firearms policy as part of a holistic restructure of the police force.

“As for the normal day-to-day policing, side arms can be carried preferably by senior officers.  I know there will be concerns raised about the safety of police officers, particularly when high-powered arms are being used by criminals.

“In such situations, special exemptions can be granted by the police commissioner,” O’Neill said.

He said the offices of the police minister and the attorney general would create an enabling administrative and legislative framework for the controlled use of high-powered firearms.


4) PNG firm named as a global sustainability leader
By Online Editor
09:49 am GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s biggest palm oil producer has been named as the world’s leading sustainable agricultural company by a London-based independent assessment organisation.

The Forest Footprint Disclosure Project ranked 100 companies from every region of the world, including Colgate-Palmolive, Gucci and Heinz, in its 2012 assessment.

Backed by $US 13 trillion in invested capital, the FFD Project engages with smallholders, and works with them to improve yields and reduce the area of land that needs to be farmed.

It rates agricultural companies highly if they have independently verified sustainable certification of their products.

The FFD Project also rates the timber industry, oil and gas, cattle producers and many others.

New Britain Palm Oil, which has farms in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, was ranked number one among agricultural companies.

The FFD Projects director James Hulse says it was the only company to score well in all categories.

“In terms of all of those, it is certified, it is engaging with its suppliers and it is working with the community and within the community to really try and improve best practice as to how it goes about its plantations,” he said.

“New Britain Palm Oil are one of the few companies to have a fully integrated, segregated, supply chain that I believe is almost entirely RSPO certified.”

New Britain Palm Oil was a foundation member of the industry certification body, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, but it has found the process is expensive.

“I think there are financial advantage to becoming RSPO certified,” Hulse said.

“There have been a number of studies done that show, yes, there has been an investment but, yes, there has been a return in terms of improved yields and lower input costs.”

Hulse says companies need to be aware of the risks of being associated with deforestation.

“There are big reputational risks for companies. There are also legislation risks we are starting to see with logging around the world Europe the US and obviously Australia is now working on its own illegal logging laws, and we’ve also got operational risk.

“These are food commodities that are operating under increased supply constraints and increased demands, from population growth, from changing diet and also from climate change and it is causing a massive squeeze – you know the world missed the credit crunch but I don’t think it is going to miss the commodity crunch.

“It is a well understood theme among investors. So really a lot of what we are doing is about supply chain management for companies. It is about risk management within the context of feeding the world and not expanding into deforested lands.”

Oil palm plantations are one of the biggest threats to tropical rainforests.

Deforestation accounts for 15 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and takes a toll on biodiversity.
Big companies and their investors are increasingly seeing it as a risk to their reputation.

In June 2012 the FFD Project merged with the Carbon Disclosure Project create the world’s largest natural capital disclosure system covering the carbon, water and forests.

Hulse says it is important that the issues are understood separately, and that with deforestation there are global supply chains.

“A lot of companies aren’t actually aware of what is going on within their supply chains,” he said.

“What we would like to do is bring them together to look a little bit more realistically at how companies use natural capital and how they impact on the environment more generally.

“And the Carbon Disclosure Project obviously gives us some huge reach – it has been backed by more than half the world’s investable capital. There are 4,000 companies around the world that are reporting to it. The scale of the CDP is going to be hugely important for us to get the message across.”.


5) Vodafone to operate in PNG, Solomon Islands
By Online Editor
1:14 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

The national government has secured a deal to bring Vodafone into the Papua New Guinea market – with the Independent Public Business Corporation owning 51% shareholding.

The deal was reached Thursday after two days of negotiations in Australia between repre¬sentatives of the IPBC, Asian Development Bank, the PNG superfunds, Fiji National Provident Fund and Vodafone Fiji.

The negotiations were directed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Public Enterprises Minister Ben Micah.

Vodafone is one of the world’s premier mobile phone operators with revenues of K130 billion (US$61.8 billion), 405 million subscribers, 70 ope¬rating companies and partner networks worldwide.

Industry sources said the deal also ensured that Vodafone would also enter the Solomon Islands market.

As previously announced by O’Neill, the deal means that the government and people of PNG, through the IPBC, will invest capital and increase its share in both bemobile PNG and Solomon Islands.

IPBC will become the majori¬ty shareholder with 51%.

The FNPF, representing the workers of Fiji, will invest capital to take a 41% stake.

Existing shareholders inclu¬ding Nasfund, Nambawan Super and PNGSDP will hold the remaining 8%.

It is understood that a total of K550 million (US$261 million) of new investment will be injected into bemobile as a result of the deal, positioning bemobile as the largest future mobile telecommunications investor in PNG and Solomon Islands.

Vodafone Fiji will manage the companies under a management contract.

“This is an exciting development for the people of PNG and the Solomon Islands,” an industry source said.

“It will bring much-needed new investment into the telecom sector, stimulate competition in the market, and deliver to the people of PNG and Solomon Islands the benefits of the world’s premier mobile phone brand.

“The government should be congratulated for its wisdom and full commitment to this deal.”.


6) Autonomous Bougainville News:


By Aloysius Laukai

A New Zealand volunteer serving on Bougainville under the Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)ROWAN JO ANNE MIHI DE AO TANGATA was airlifted this morning to Cairns in Australia to seek medical attention.

The Plane CARE FLIGHT GROUP QUEENSLAND arrived in Buka at 9 30 this morning from Port Moresby where it stayed for the night after their failed attempt to land at the Buka airport last night.

The Medivac was to have picked up the volunteer ROWAN JO ANN from Buka but have to divert to Port Moresby after the pilot made five attempts to land due to poor visibility of the runway.

The Captain BORDISS DEAN ANTHONY told New Dawn FM that he was confused by the car lights on the tarmac and could not land.

He said if the aircraft was low on fuel it would still try until it landed but because it had enough fuel to fly all the way to Port Moresby he decided to opt for that option.

Dr. Elizabeth Thompson who came with the plane quickly checked the patient before letting her hop on the plan for a two hour direct flight to Cairns, Australia.(New Dawn Fm)

060213Buka normal

by Aloysius Laukai
Buka remained Business as usual despite the Tsunami alert for the Pacific this morning.
The sea at the beach was normal although at the Buka passage the tide was pretty high.
Disaster cordinator for Bougainville FRanklyn lacey this afternoon called on the people on the beach to go to higher grounds until further notice.
The tsunami warning comes after a huge earthquake
measuring 8.0 on the ricter scale.
Alot of people panicked when the message was received in Buka town but New Dawn FM continued to keep the people updated on the situation.(DawnFm)

By Aloysius Laukai

The former ABG minister for LLG under the first ABG House, the LATE JONATHAN NGATI was laid to rest yesterday after the ABG officially handed the body to the family and relatives on Saturday.

The late JONATHAN NGATI died at his village on Thursday morning.

The ABG assisted with the funeral arrangements as he was one of the pioneer ABG leaders.

ABG members present at the funeral service included the ABG President, DR. JOHN MOMIS, ABG Speaker, ANDREW MIRIKI, ABG PARLIAMENT CLEARK, ROBERT TAPI,the ABG Minister for Finance and Planing and Treasury and local member for Motuna Huyono Tokunutui,ALBERT PUNGHAU, the member for RAMU constituency THOMAS PATAAKU and the member for KOPI. PHILIP KUHENA.

Former combatants headed by the former BRA Commander, ISHMAEL TOROAMA also paid their last respect to their former colleague.

By Aloysius Laukai

The Productive Partnership in Agriculture Project which is a World Bank project aimed to increase cocoa Production in East New Britain and Bougainville is seeking graduates to apply for recruitment.

A service message on New Dawn FM says that successful applicants will be required to conduct Mini baseline surveys and Quarterly Data collections.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified Agricultural Graduates with a minimum qualification of a Diploma in Tropical Agriculture with at least three years experience and sound knowledge on cocoa farming.

Previous experience in surveys or census would be an extra bonus.

Applications must be sent to the DEPUTY PROJECT MANAGER, PPAP COCOA COMPONENT,

Email at

By Aloysius Laukai

The CEO for the HEALTH DIVISION on Bougainville DOCTOR ANTHONY PUMPARA said that the Minister for Health and VICE PRESIDENT, PATRICK NISIRA wanted a long term Health Plan instead of annual Heath Reports which forced the division to seek help to work on a Health Plan.

DR. PUMPARA said since then the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION conducted two assessments on developing a Health Plan of which AUSAID finally came in to assist with the Master Plan starting with the RAPID Assessment.

DR. PUMPARA made these remarks at the launching of the Bougainville Health Master Plan on Sohano island last Friday.

He said committees engaged by AUSAID then approached all the Bougainville communities to gauge their views on Health developments in the region.

The Doctor also called on the people of Bougainville to support the division in implementing the plan.

 7) 6 Reported Dead After Pacific Tsunami Hits Solomon Islands
100 homes destroyed as utilities are down in Santa Cruz

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 7, 2013) – Police in the Solomon Islands say at least six people have been killed after an earthquake and tsunami struck the Pacific nation on Wednesday.

The 8.0-magnitude quake has caused major damage to villages in the Santa Cruz islands and triggered a small tsunami that sparked warnings in several Pacific countries.

International aid agency World Vision says the communities of Venga and Nela in the Solomon Islands province of Temotu have been almost entirely wiped out by a one meter tsunami.

There are unconfirmed reports that some people and fishing boats may have been swept out to sea by the surge.

Three people have been injured but the full extent of the disaster is still unknown, with access to some areas made difficult by debris and high water levels.

[PIR editor’s note: Disaster authorities in the Solomons have additionally reported that up to 3,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and an airstrip that would otherwise be used to bring in aid and supplies has been covered by logs washed in by the tsunami.]

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says Australia stands ready to assist the Solomon Islands.

World Vision says least 100 homes have been destroyed, while water and electricity remain down in the hardest hit regions.

Solomon Islands police spokesman Godfrey Abia told Radio Australia it is unclear at this stage how many people have been affected.

“Some of the villages close to the coastal area have been totally wiped out by the waves and it kind of travelled further inland, some 500 meters,” he said.

“Those communities and those places are very remote. We cannot really confirm how many people live in any of those villages.”

Mr. Abia says temporary accommodation is being provided for some of those who need it.

“Our officers down there have already set up some temporary shelter and campsites further up into the jungle and on higher ground. They are organizing and distributing food and water for the people at the moment.”

The quake struck just after midday Honiara local time near the Santa Cruz islands, about 300 kilometers east of the Solomons, the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

A 90-centimetre tsunami hit Lata in remote Temotu province, said the centre, which later cancelled warnings for other South Pacific islands, as well as for Australia and New Zealand.

An 11-centimetre wave hit Vanuatu, while a tsunami of around 50 centimeters reportedly hit New Caledonia. A wave was also expected to hit Papua New Guinea and Japan, but it will not be destructive.

The Australian Government’s detention centre on Manus Island was evacuated, with staff and asylum seekers moved to higher ground as a precaution.

The US Geological Survey recorded more than 20 quakes near the Santa Cruz Islands today; some registering 6.6 and 6.4.

Solomon Islands Police Commissioner John Lansley says the worst hit area is around Lata.

“We understand a part of the airstrip has been damaged, which is going to cause some issues in respect to getting relief aid out there, but that is being assessed at this moment,” he said.

Casualties confirmed

Earlier, the director of nursing at Lata Hospital, Augustine Pilve, told Television New Zealand the victims included a boy aged about 10 years and four elderly people.

He says the hospital is treating others with injuries and more casualties are expected.

Mr. Pilve says he believes hundreds of people around Lata may have been affected by the tsunami.

“According to the information I have there are three villages close to Lata,” he said. “But it’s more likely that other villages along the coast of Santa Cruz may be affected. In one of the villages, I think it’s about 600 or 700 people living in that one village.”

Luke Taula, a fisheries officer in Lata, said the tsunami arrived in small tidal surges rather than as one large wave.

“We have small waves come in, then go out again, then come back in. The waves reached the airport terminal,” he said.

The worst damage would be to villages on the western side of a point that protects the main township, he added.

About 5,000 people live in and around the town, but the area was deserted as people fled to higher ground, Mr. Taula said.

Fears for missing

Solomon Islands Police Commissioner John Lansley says several people are still missing.

“We understand a surge wave did affect three or four villages,” Mr. Lansley told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“We have some people missing and there is believed to be a few casualties. I’m hoping they will be a minimal number.”

Helicopters from the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) are helping to assess the damage, with emergency workers expected to arrive there on Thursday.

The warning caused chaos across the Solomons, with people trying to move to higher ground.

There were major traffic jams in the capital Honiara, while boats and ships moved to open water to avoid any potential waves.

Boats and ships were also moved to open water, with an ocean liner departing from the Kingdom of Tonga an hour early to avoid any potential waves.

Authorities in the Solomons, Fiji, Guam and elsewhere had urged residents to higher ground before the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled its alerts.

“The earthquake would have to be quite a bit bigger to make a much more sizeable tsunami,” said Brian Shiro, geophysicist for the centre.

“The good news for the folks in the region is that the tsunami appears to be constrained to the areas we’ve listed in our bulletins and it’s not going to be an oceanwide threat.”

In 2007 a tsunami following an 8.0 quake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless.

The quake was so powerful that it lifted an island and pushed out its shoreline by dozens of meters.

The Solomons are part of the so-called ring of fire, a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific Ocean that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says it expects a 20 centimeter tsunami to reach the country around 6pm AEST, but it did not merit a tsunami warning and people were not being asked to leave coastal areas.

Radio Australia:

8) Solomon Islands NDMO verifying reports from tsunami ravaged provinces
By Online Editor
5:01 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is collating and verifying all information received from the affected provinces of Temotu, Makira-Ulawa and Malaita, to get a full extent of the destruction caused by Wednesday’s tsunami.

NDMO director, Loti Yates told PACNEWS from Honiara, the Solomon Islands Government will not make any declaration of a disaster area, until all information received are verified.

“We have our own teams in the provinces that are sending us reports of casualties, damage to public infrastructure, schools, villages and food gardens etc. We need to verify them before we make any declaration and seek assistance from local and international donors, said Yates.

One of the update reports from the NDMO office to the media today said nine people have lost their lives in Lata, confirmed by the local hospital there.

However, Yates said these are still unconfirmed reports, until government teams arrive on the island to verify all the information getting through to Honiara. Most of these reports to the media are from individuals living in these affected areas.

According to the NDMO report, the most affected are the coastal areas of Temotu, Makira-Ulawa and Malaita provinces.

In Temotu, the terminal building at the local airport at Lata was damaged by huge waves scattering large logs and other debris on the runway.

“Three casualties have been reported and all houses have been destroyed in Nela village. One casualty has been reported in Luava Village and 16 homes destroyed. In Birmbe, a child was swept away by the waves and is still missing.

“In Venga, one person died, while Malo Village on Neo Island, three people are missing and one person confirmed dead, said the NDMO update report.

In Makira-Ulawa and Malaita provinces, villagers reported unusually high swells but people and their belongings were moved to higher grounds early, especially hospital patients at the Kirakira hospital.

“It is too early to have a clear picture of the damage caused. The high number of aftershocks and the difficulties inherent in accessing Temotu makes gathering swift accurate information a challenge. The concern is for the more remote areas of Temotu where no reports have been forthcoming thus far, said the NDMO update.

Yates said emergency teams are preparing to leave on two government vessels from Honiara today with supplies to the affected areas.


9) Solomons disaster officials say up to 3,000 people displaced

Posted at 00:39 on 07 February, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Office says up to 3,000 people have been displaced from their homes by the magnitude 8.0 earthquake and tsunami yesterday.

The police say at least six people are dead and three others injured following the earthquake and tsunami.

A spokesman for the office, Sipuru Rove, says people have gone to higher ground to try and find shelter.

He says the landing strip at the airport is covered in logs brought in by the tsunami and heavy machinery will be needed to clear it before it can be used to fly in assistance.

He says a patrol boat with supplies and medical personnel will leave for Temotu Province from Honiara later this morning.

“From our recent information from the field there is an estimate of around 431 households or houses been destroyed by either damage or destroyed by the tsunami. And we have reports of six people dead and four still missing.”

Sipuru Rove says one child and two elderly people are among the dead.

The acting permanent secretary responsible for National Disaster, Channel Iroi, confirms the deaths are from Nela, Luova, Bimbir,Venga and Malo villages on Santa Cruz.

The police commander John Lansley says because Temotu province is quite isolated it could take a couple of days before they fully understand the extent of the damage.

“It is a significant distance from where the resources are kept, we do have preparatory resources already on the islands because this type of situation has been predicted as a possibility in the past but the major response will take some time.”

The 8.0 magnitude undersea earthquake off Solomon’s sparked a tsunami warning for several Pacific island nations which was later cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the tsunami.

SIBC reports Mr Lilo has also assured those in Temotu that emergency supplies will be swiftly flown to the affected areas.

The prime minister says once the urgent response to those affected by the disaster are addressed, the government will then look at the damage to infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the Honiara based director of the aid agency, World Vision, Andrew Catford, says the island is vulnerable to natural disasters including tsunamis and cyclones.

“The most accurate I heard was 91 centimetres sort of coming into this area which I should point out is very, very low lying, so a metre makes a big difference in that area, the runway is not much above that. These coastal communities are right on the beach so they can easily be affected.”

Andrew Catford says the immediate needs of people on the island should be better known today once aid workers survey the damage.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key says the Government here is working with authorities in the Solomon Islands to see what assistance it can provide

Mr Key says the New Zealand Government has not been directly asked for any assistance as yet.

“Well New Zealand is in touch with the Solomon Islands government and working them. My understanding is there has been a number of deaths up there as a result of the tsunami, six I think is the number that we have been informed of as this point, so obiviously we will be working with them on what support we can offer.”

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands says government representatives of the two countries are meeting today to discuss aid and assistance following the earthquake and tsunami in Temotu Province.

Mark Ramsden says the province is remote and planes are unable to land due to the damaged airstrip.

He says Honiara’s warning system and response to the earthquake was rapid but the people of Lata didn’t have much time to avoid the impact of the tsunami due to the closeness of the quake’s epicentre.

He says the donor meeting will clarify what is help is needed but there are still assessments going on.

“New Zealand always stands ready to assist Pacific neighbours recover from natural disasters we’ve got a long and proud history of that..7”

Mark Ramsden New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Solomon Islands appeals for aid after tsunami

Updated 7 February 2013, 21:27 AEST

New Zealand Correspondent Dominique Schwartz, and staff

Authorities in the Solomon Islands which was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami are appealing for urgent aid from the Australian Government.

Authorities in the Solomon Islands which was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami are appealing for urgent aid from the Australian Government.

The 8.0-magnitude quake struck near the Santa Cruz islands on Wednesday, and triggered a one metre high tsunami that travelled half a kilometre inland.

A spokesperson from the Disaster Management Office in the Solomon Islands says nine people have died and two are missing.

World Vision estimates that 700 houses have been damaged or destroyed, and more than 3,500 people have been affected.

The Premier of Temotu Province, Charles Brown Beu, says assessment teams have reported that six villages have virtually been wiped out.

He says basic aid is desperately needed.

“Everything they own has been lost,” he told the Australia Network.

“Clothes, pots and plates and everything else, household goods, even money that was kept in the houses. No chance to retrieve these things. So it’s clothing, it’s cooking utensils, it’s water, and it’s food.”

The Governor-General of the Solomon Islands says Queen Elizabeth is saddened to hear of the death and destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

His Excellency Sir Frank Kabui says Queen Elizabeth’s prayers and thoughts are with all those affected.

Strong aftershocks

Meanwhile, the US Geological Survey says a series of aftershocks have rattled the Solomon Islands since Wednesday’s 8.0-magnitude quake.

Irene Scott, an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development in Honiara, says many people in Temotu province are choosing to stay on higher ground.

“Last night the count was up to 30 or 40 aftershocks,” she said.

“There was one at 5.15 this morning that was still 4.9 so for them, it’s not yet stable ground in Temotu.

“I think a lot of people are choosing to stay on high ground and maybe wait until that’s calmed down before they come down from the hills and assess what might have happened to them.”

Australian assistance

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Australia stands ready to help with the relief effort.

“We’re ready to offer assistance which would include emergency food and shelter, medical supplies and help with reconstruction,” he said.

Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, says an Australian hercules aircraft has flown over the devastated area.

“This is the better part of 700 nautical miles from Honiara itself. It’s actually closer to Vanuatu than it is to Honiara,” Mr Marles said.

“And there are going to be remote villages there, that it’s going to take some time to get to, and until we get to them we’re not actually going to know what the full extent of injury and loss of life is.

“We’re working very closely with the Solomon Islands, we’re trying as best we can to get the information, as indeed they are. s soon as we’re in that position we’ll be providing that assistance.”

World Vision says the full extent of the damage is yet to be assessed with debris and high water levels cutting off access to some areas.

Emergency response

The Provincial Disaster Officer on Santa Cruz island, Frank Menoia, says the runway on the island has now been cleared.

He says a plane carrying emergency teams and supplies is scheduled to arrive early Friday morning.

A boat has left the capital Honiara on Thursday to take emergency supplies to Lata, and is expected to reach the disaster zone on Saturday.

The Solomons National Disaster Management Office says an aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force has been deployed to provide an aerial survey of the damage.

World Vision says the full extent of the damage is yet to be assessed with debris and high water levels cutting off access to some areas.

Solomon Islands director, Andrew Catford, says the immediate health concern is the spread of disease.

“There’s quite a bit of livestock, chicken and pigs and fish are sort of strewn, particularly in these five communities,” he said.

“So obviously you don’t want to leave that there for too long given health issues so that’s one of the immediate tasks this morning to clear that up.”

11) Illegal Logging Ship Detained In Solomon Islands Waters
Parent company warned repeatedly to stop logging unlawfully

By Denver Newter

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 6, 2013) – Solomon Islands authorities have detained a log ship trying to ship out logs illegally cut down in the Western Province.

The vessel was being detained at Noro international port.

A source from the Ministry of Forestry said forestry officials, customs and police worked together to detained the vessel.

The ship was brought in by an Asian logging company operating at Petani in Roviana,

This was despite the company being issued with an order to stop its operation early this year.

The source said the ship was already loaded with logs when it was seized.

He added the company was operating illegally.

The source said the ministry had written to the company several times to cease its operation last year but they continue to ignore the letters.

“They were also warned against shipping out any of the logs they cut but without our knowledge, they brought in a ship and started filling it up with logs.

“They were still doing that when officials from the ministry, customs and police boarded the ship and ordered it to go to Noro where it was detained,” the source said.

Chief forestry officer Munda, Philip Zekele when contacted yesterday said the ship was still at Noro awaiting a court order.

Solomon Star

12) Mixed New Caledonia response to tsunami alert

Posted at 03:20 on 07 February, 2013 UTC

The French High Commission in New Caledonia says there was a quick response to yesterday’s tsunami warning after the earthquake in Solomon Islands and firefighters report that they were all alerted to the threat.

However, the local newspaper says several sirens appeared to have failed in places like Poindimie, Yate, Canala and Lifou.

It says in Lifou, the siren went off an hour before the quake as the system was tested as it is every first Wednesday of the month.

However, the siren wasn’t triggered when the alarm was raised.

One official is quoted as saying people often don’t know why the sirens go off.

Radio New Zealand International

13) Fiji Greens asked to join broader group

Posted at 23:51 on 06 February, 2013 UTC

The leader of the Green Party in Fiji, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, says she has been approached by a number of parties to consider joining a united political group.

She won’t name the parties, but says they have been discussing the possibility of combining, so they can meet the conditions of the interim government’s Political Parties Decree.

She says the group could consist of parties pooling their members and establishing joint offices.

Mrs Rounds Ganilau says the Green Party joining a united group is a possibility, but nothing will happen until after the deadline for re registration passes next week.

“At the moment there is no such thing as a formal united front. We’ve all talked about it, we’ve all thought it was a good thing, as long as we didn’t lose our identity.”

The leader of the Fiji Green Party, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau.

Radio New Zealand International

14) World Bank agrees to Fiji Development Bank request
By Online Editor
09:47 am GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Fiji

The  World Bank has decided to extend the commitment period for its guarantee facility under the Sustainability Energy Financing Project (SEFP) to June 30, 2017 despite the expiry date on August 17 last year.

The decision was available only to Fiji following a request from the Fiji Development Bank to extend the commitment period by another four years.

World Bank senior country officer for the Pacific Islands, Robert Jauncey said it had been supporting commercial banks in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji to provide finance to small businesses and households wanting to install new renewable energy facilities.

“The bank has been guaranteeing such loans, with financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF),” he said.

“As part of this project, the World Bank has agreed to extend the period for offering guarantees to commercial banks in Fiji, which had the strongest demand for the facility, to provide further financing for renewable energy.

“The bank has been pleased with the way that commercial banks, small businesses, and households in Fiji have taken up the opportunities offered under this program.”

In a statement, FDB said other regional countries participating in the program had been excluded because of the low uptake of the project guarantee over the five-year period that it had been in effect.

“The guarantee provides not only a level of comfort to financiers such as ourselves but it also reduces the security requirement on the part of the borrower as an inducement to take on renewable and sustainable energy projects,” said FDB chief executive officer Deve Toganivalu.

“Those projects will not only help reduce our high fuel import bill but also help reduce our carbon footprint.

“I would encourage businesses that are interested in pursuing renewable and sustainable energy projects to consider putting applications early because there is a limited time period to the guarantee and to apply early means you have a longer period to effect repayments until the guarantee expires.”

FDB signed on as a participating financial institution for the World Bank’s SEFP on July 6, 2011 and has since approved financing for 14 projects valued at $3.4million (US$1.9 million).

The 50 per cent guarantee under WB’s risk sharing fund covers loans approved for the use of solar, hydro, coconut oil fuel and energy saver equipment, FDB said.

“Through the SEFP initiative, FDB offers a sustainable energy financing facility (SEFF) that allows eligible farmers and businesses to borrow at concessional interest rates through the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s import substitution and export finance facility (ISEFF).

Loan applications for ISEFF are subject to RBF conditions while SEFF is available under normal lending conditions,” FDB said.


15) Fiji National Alliance Party Announces Disbanding
NAP joins other groups closing over new party requirements

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 6, 2013) – The founder of Fiji’s National Alliance Party (NAP), Ratu Epeli Ganilau, says the party will not be re-registering.

Fiji’s sixteen political parties have until next Thursday to re register under new rules or face stiff penalties.

Ratu Epeli, who resigned from his ministerial post with the interim government two years ago, says the Alliance Party has not been functional for at least six years.

“The requirements in the decree are quite specific and for a small party, especially the Alliance Party, being a small and new party, it’s quite daunting to try and fulfill all the requirements within the 28 days time frame.”

Ratu Epeli says he has not given any more thought to forming a new party after the deadline but he has not ruled out joining another political party, although he says he is resigned to staying out of politics for the time being.

The former military commander and chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs says if he is asked to join the Constituent Assembly which is to debate the new constitution, he would give it some thought.

The National Alliance Party joins the SDL and United People’s parties in winding up, although the SDL is to reform under a new name.

Radio New Zealand International:

16) Further Delays To Constitutional Process Reported In Fiji
Constituent assembly will supposedly have re-draft in March

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 6, 2013) – Fiji’s public broadcaster is reporting a further delay in the constitution process although the Fiji regime says its legal team is on track with drafting a new constitution.

According to FBC News, the draft will be now given to the Constituent Assembly next month to replace the draft which was dumped last month.

The Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has reportedly said the Solicitor General’s Office will hand its draft to the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.

The President will then hand-over the new constitution to the Constituent Assembly next month.

This contrasts with the televised announcement by the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, four weeks ago that the new draft would be ready by the end of January.

There has been no explanation what has caused the delay.

According to Commodore Bainimarama, the constitution will also be ready next month.

However, the Constituent Assembly, which is to debate the document and was to begin sitting four weeks ago, is yet to be named and convened.

Radio New Zealand International:

17) TB study in Fiji reveals concern
By Online Editor
09:56 am GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Fiji

Diabetes patients are three times more likely to have tuberculosis (TB) and also experience worse treatment outcomes than patients without diabetes.

They also experience an increased risk of death and recurrent disease.

This was revealed during the TB operational research workshop at the Fiji School of Medicine (FSM) .

A review was conducted of all TB patients registered in Fiji in 2011 to assess routine practices of screening for diabetes.

Dr Shakti Goundar of the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) said there were 221 TB patients, of whom 138 (62 per cent) had their diabetes status recorded.

Dr Goundar said 18 (13 per cent) had a known history of diabetes.

“The main observation was a significantly higher rate of diabetes in Fijians of Indian descent compared with indigenous Fijians and the fact that the diabetes rate approached 50 per cent in adults aged more than 55 years.”

He said diabetes was a growing problem in Fiji as about 16 per cent of the population suffered from the disease.

But he said many cases were not diagnosed or treated.

“Although Fiji is classified as a low TB burden country, this has become a matter of concern for the NTP as DM may lead to an increase in TB case burden and hamper current TB control efforts,” he said.

He said when TB patients were registered in Fiji, they should be asked whether they had diabetes.


POLYNESIA: Central Pacific,Hawaii (North) and Maori NZ ( South) 

18) Tonga MP not concerned about falling remittances
By Online Editor
4:42 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Tonga

An MP in Tonga, who is a former secretary of finance, says foreign aid is filling the gap caused by a big decline in remittances.

Remittances from Tongans overseas have fallen by half in the past five years to US$63 million.

The National Reserve Bank governor, Joyce Mafi, last week told business leaders that higher tourism receipts are not enough to offset falls in exports and remittances, while other sectors were struggling.

MP Aisake Eke said  while there are some economic implications in the reduced income, the social effects are not great.

“To me even though there are some effects they are not really that serious because people are still having food to eat to keep them going daily. At the same time there is some revenue – even though remittances coming in [has fallen] but also the programmes that New Zealand and Australia provide in partnership with Tonga – employment schemes – pick up some of the slack.”.


19) Tonga Receives Praise, Criticism Over Human Rights Progress
UN group lauds political reforms, slams lack of women’s rights

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Feb. 6, 2013) – A United Nations review conducted on the state of human rights in Tonga was completed on 25 January 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland, when Tonga’s Minister for Internal Affairs, Lord Vaea was questioned over women’s rights, police violence, establishing a national human rights institution, the living conditions of persons with disabilities and the reasons for Tonga’s failure to accede to numerous core international human rights instruments.

The review was administered under the UN’s Human Rights Council’s “Universal Periodic Review Working Group (Working Group).”

The process involved member states reviewing and questioning the national reports.

Tonga’s national report on Human Rights was presented before the Working Group by Minister for Internal Affairs, Lord Vaea, with delegates Solicitor General ‘Aminiasi Kefu, and the Charge d’Affaires, Tonga High Commission (London), Sonata Tupou.

According to a draft report from the Working Group, Lord Vaea greeted the Universal Periodic Review as an opportunity for Tonga “to showcase the fundamental human rights enshrined in the 1875 Tongan Constitution” and its aspirations to ratify new human rights conventions.

Questions frequently addressed to Lord Vaea concerned gender issues, women’s rights, police violence, establishing human rights institutions and the living conditions of persons with disabilities, and anti-corruption measures.

In response to questions about Tonga’s consideration of the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution, encouraged by Great Britain and Northern Ireland, he said Tonga was unable to establish such a human rights institute, due to a lack of resources but understood its importance and hoped that donor partners would consider providing assistance for this initiative.

In relation to establishing safeguards against police violence, Lord Vaea said that while “the use of police intimidation tactics is a regular occurrence, but police violence against suspects is rare.” Training would be conducted under the new Tonga Police Act 2010, that provided modern police standards that respect human rights.

Women’s rights

In response to questions about women’s rights and gender equality, he said that Tonga had taken steps at national and international levels to improve gender quality. He mentioned the number of women working in public and private institutions, and the prosecution of family violence without exception.

However, he said that the right of women to own land was still being considered because of Tongan Culture and the current land tenure system. He said that a Royal Commission of Inquiry made recommendations to amend the land laws to allow women more access to land.

Despite this, states including Italy, Slovenia and Mexico were critical of Tonga for not ratifying an international convention that advocated gender equality, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women).

Graft in public sector

Many other issues were also brought into the discussion including same-sex marriage, living standards of disabled persons, the death penalty, torture, abortion and corruption.

Canada in noting Tonga’s progress in combating corruption, asked what specific steps Tonga had taken to improve governance and what further steps are planned in this respect, and to eventually eliminate graft in the public sector. Canada welcomed the reforms introduced in 2010, which should be consolidated to eventually lead Tonga to become a fully representative democracy. They remained concerned that freedom of speech and the press are not always protected in practice in Tonga, and made recommendations.

Tongan response

A media release from the Office of the Minister of Internal Affairs, stated that there were difficult human rights issues that Tonga still needed to carefully consider against certain factors, “such as traditional cultural values, fundamental Christian beliefs, Government policy and the limited resources available to implement such human rights”.

Lord Vaea said it was important that Tonga was able to explain the situation and circumstances it was facing in advancing human rights, and that the states “appreciate that Tonga needs time and technical assistance to fulfil its human rights obligations.”Most of the human rights recommendations presented by states during the interactive dialogue were acceptable to Tonga, as they were currently pursued or already achieved by Government. These amounted to 56 recommendations. However, there were 28 recommendations that were sensitive to Tonga’s circumstances, and they needed further and careful consideration.


The four recommendations that were not accepted “were against Government policy and priorities.”

The four recommendations that were rejected required that Tonga quickly ratify CEDAW. (made by Italy, The Maldives, Slovenia, Estonia, Uruguay, and Mexico).

Tonga received a mixture of concern and support from the various states. According to the Draft Report of the Working Group, France was dissatisfied that “very few” international human rights instruments had been ratified and that “no progress had been made”. This was in contrast to China who “appreciated Tonga’s efforts to promote and protect human rights.”

Japan welcomed Tonga’s enactment of constitutional and electoral reform legislation and of the freedom of information policy. It welcomed the campaign to combat domestic violence and efforts made towards the ratification of the CEDAW. Japan noted that Tonga had not submitted its first report to CRC and hoped it would do so as soon as possible. It recommended that Tonga continue its efforts for the ratification of CEDAW and ratify the Convention at the earliest possible date.

The United States of America was concerned about Tonga’s failure to adequately combat domestic violence and discrimination against women. It commended the Police Force and Justice Ministry for adopting a “no drop” policy. Conversely, it was concerned that children born in wedlock cannot be legally and fully adopted and that consensual sex between same-gender adults is criminalized.

New Zealand noted that, despite Government efforts, there was not equal participation between men and women in various areas of contemporary life. It welcomed measures taken and progress made in drafting legislation to protect women from violence and remained committed to supporting Tonga in that area. It made recommendations that Tonga prioritize gender equality initiatives within its Tonga Strategic Development Framework and intensify its efforts to increase women’s participation at all formal decision-making levels.

Australia commended Tonga’s reforms since 2010. It considered that Tonga needed to extend its efforts to fully achieve Millennium Development Goal 3, despite its progress to meet gender equality in education. Australia commended Tonga’s efforts to promote gender equality and for progressing work on a Family Protection Bill. Nevertheless, rates of domestic violence remained high.

While noting Tonga’s de facto moratorium on executions since 1982, several states called on Tonga to abolish the death penalty, including Australia, Chile, France, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, and Spain.

Matangi Tonga Magazine:

20) Samoa fashion label MENA keen to mentor others

Posted at 22:31 on 06 February, 2013 UTC

The Samoan inspired fashion design label MENA is looking to contribute back to the community by mentoring others to turn their artistic endeavors into viable businesses.

The family run business has evolved from a successful clothing label to selling other items, and they have opened a new gifts store in town.

A director for MENA in Apia, Jackie Loheni, says they also aim to increase their export markets further this year.

Jackie Loheni says with Samoa’s new Arts Council, she hopes it can provide a new avenue to help support others, while also ensuring local artists become more economically viable.

“The arts in Samoa, it has evolved a lot over the past 10 years, and before wasn’t seen as a form of income here. And now people are becoming more involved in art, could be photo art or creative art, but they are finding that they can make an income from their art.”

MENA’s director in Apia, Jackie Loheni.

Radio New Zealand International

21) Cook Islands Negotiating Extension To Marine Boundaries
Expansion could lead to huge revenues from seabed mining rights

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 6, 2013) – The Cook Islands has sent a delegation to the United Nations in New York to negotiate an extension of the country’s continental shelf, which would give it seabed mining rights potentially worth millions.

The delegation headed by Foreign Affairs secretary Jim Gosselin will present the application to the UN authority on seabed exploration this week.

The Foreign Minister, Tom Marsters, says the Cook Islands first presented its case in 2009 and this will be the third visit to the authority.

If successful, it will add over 400,000 square kilometers of continental shelf, which could eventually be mined.

“Basically what we’re looking at is the future possibility of prospecting for deep sea minerals where at the moment we are basically asking for an extension of the continental shelf which extends beyond our exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”

Tom Masters says they don’t expect any challenges to their application and is hopeful it will be the last time they have to present their case to the authority.

Radio New Zealand International:

MICRONESIA: North to Central Pacific(Kiribati)

22) Village drive to plant more trees and food crops underway in Abaiang
By Online Editor
4:52 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Kiribati

Kiribati’s Department of Agriculture has congratulated the people of Ewena in Abaiang for their gardening programme, organised to honor the 90th anniversary of the local mwaneaba.

Kaboua John told Radio Kiribati the community effort resulted in the planting of 1,845 various trees, including banana, coconut, pawpaw, kumala, tapioca and pandanus.

The Agricultural Department has urged other villages on Abaiang and all outer islands to follow Ewena’s example and utilise their land to grow more food crops that will benefit them in the future.

The Agricultural Officer from Abaiang said the village drive to plant more trees and footcrops will continue in 2014.


23) Kiribati Technical College completes cross credit arrangement with the Australian Pacific Technical College
By Online Editor
4:50 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Kiribati

A group of students from Kiribati Technical College are among the first to complete their carpentry certificate in Fiji, after completing some courses in Kiribati.

The students, who left Kiribati last week, have completed some core units in Tarawa and will pursue their certificate III at the Australian Pacific Technical College in Fiji.

The Secretary of Kiribati’s Ministry of Labor, Iotaake Timeon has welcomed the cross credit arrangement between the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC).

A report from the Ministry of Labor says the group will spend less time in Fiji completing their certificate III course at APTC as they have completed some of the course units at KIT when doing their certificate II in carpentry.

Timeon said the credit arrangement has begun with carpentry. The ministry will now target other courses such as community services, automotive and metal fabrication.

KIT and APTC signed a 2nd Letter of Agreement in August 2012 and will be developing an expanded cooperation partnership in 2013. KIT is a key partner in the Technical Vocational Education and Training Sector Strengthening Program (TVETSSP) – a Government of Kiribati program with financial support of over AUD$20M from the Government of Australia.


24) Efforts Underway To Find Missing Kiribati Fishing Crew
Local authorities remind boaters to keep emergency gear

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 6, 2013) – A search and rescue operation is underway in Kiribati as another report of a lost fishing crew was made on Tuesday.

The fishing crew set out Monday morning from Tarawa Atoll and headed towards the atoll of Maiana, to the south, and were due back by sunset.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand has been notified and is assisting with the mission, coordinated from Marine Search and Rescue in Tarawa.

Director of Marine Captain Ruoikabuti Tioon says aircraft are searching for the crew. He says he is trying to send a message to the public about marine safety, after repeated incidents of missing crews.

“Should they have any problems when they go and fish, we know that they can be still found if they use these flares and all those things. I encourage the public to have these sorts of equipment for now, even though it’s not under the law yet. But the problem is most people do not consider their lives important before they go out fishing.”

Captain Ruoikabuti Tioon says there will be a review of marine laws to include safety standards for small boats.

Radio New Zealand International:

25) CNMI farmers look at ensuring food security in communities

Posted at 22:31 on 06 February, 2013 UTC

Farmers in the Northern Marianas are learning how to organise and sustain their own cooperative this month, after getting federally funded training.

The Saipan Tribune paper reports the aim is to strengthen efforts to sustain crop and livestock production and ensure food security in communities.

Farmers from Tinian and Rota also will have the opportunity to undergo the free training via teleconferencing.

The 45,000 US dollar training grant is part of a 1 million dollar technical assistance grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs.

Radio New Zealand International


26) NZ PM Key wants four-year term for Parliament
By Online Editor
1:17 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key wants to extend the parliamentary term to a fixed four-year period as part of the Government’s constitutional review.

One hundred and 73 years after the constitutional foundation of New Zealand was laid, the constitutional landscape was again the topic of discussion at Waitangi yesterday.

“My view is that there should be a four-year fixed date of Parliament.

“I think it makes a lot more sense to know when the date is fixed and I think it makes a lot more sense to have it for four years,” PM Key said.

Any change would require the support of 75 per cent of MPs or public support in a referendum. The proposal had failed twice before, in 1967 and 1990.

But the prime minister appears to have the support of his political opponents and allies.

Opposition leader David Shearer agreed that three years was not enough.

“It is too long in opposition. “But it may be too short in government,” he said.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said three years was enough time only to get going and then there was another election.

Maori are also determined on running their own constitutional review at the same time as the Government has undertaken one but Mr Key said any constitutional changes had to have the mandate of all New Zealanders.

“They asked when they present this [review] report, will the Government consider it.

“We said we will certainly consider it but any change must be with the consensus of all New Zealand,” he said.

The iwi-led review was in response to a lack of constitutional security for Maori in New Zealand, review chairwoman Professor Margaret Mutu said.

Maori have proposed a single written constitution that entrenches tikanga Maori (Maori culture) and the Treaty of Waitangi in the document.

PM Key said he was “not a fan” of a written constitution and he believed our constitutional framework allowed Parliament to function with freedom.

The Maori electorates will not be a victim of any constitutional change because of the Government’s arrangement with the Maori Party, despite National’s pre-election policy to remove them.“I’ve made the commitment to the Maori Party in good faith and as long as I am leader we will be keeping that view,” Key said.

However, he said the Maori seats were likely to be phased out because Maori were sufficiently represented on the general roll.

Maori leaders are concerned about the two reviews running separately.

“It’s a bit of a worry because both processes are working quite independently of each other,” Ngapuhi elder Haami Piripi said.

“It seems they need to merge their thinking,” he said.

Maori leaders were concerned the Government’s review would lead to changes that reduced the presence of Maori in New Zealand, Piripi said.

“We are not interested in any constitutional change that would diminish our influence or ability to participate.”.



27) New Australian-led forum for increasing women in Pacific parliaments

Posted at 06:49 on 07 February, 2013 UTC

Women politicians from around the Pacific are meeting their Australian counterparts in Sydney this weekend to work on how to lift the number of women in the region’s parliaments.

The Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships Forum, the first step in a new AusAID-funded project, has been organised by a cross-party group of Australian women MPs.

One of the organisers, Lisa Baker, says the primary aim of the forum is decide how best to spend the project’s five-year allocation of almost four million US dollars.

The Western Australian MP says it is critical that the Australian women involved shed any expectations of what needs to be done.

“Don’t inflict your own expectations over what should be the case on someone else. So, find out, is it too sensitive, how do we work on the ground with the men and the women in the community and in the parliament.”

The chairperson of Women in the Commonwealth or w.comm, Lisa Baker.

Radio New Zealand International

FRANIS: For our Kanaky,Vanuatu,Tahiti and Willis & Futuna readers:

28) Iles Salomon: l’heure du douloureux bilan

Mis à jour 7 February 2013, 14:58 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Le tsunami a fait 6 morts et 3000 déplacés hier après un puissant tremblement de terre de magnitude 8 sur l’échelle de Richter.

Deux vagues de 1.50 mètre ont frappé des villages à l’ouest des îles Santa Cruz, dans la province de Temotu, directement au nord du Vanuatu. Ali Kiko est un travailleur humanitaire employé par l’ONG World Vision à Lata, une bourgade de 5000 habitants, qui a été la plus touchée par le tsunami :

«Quand la première vague est arrivée, soit environ 10 minutes après le tremblement de terre, les gens ont commencé à courir un peu dans tous les sens, à la recherche de leur famille. Tout le monde s’est précipité en hauteur, sur le point le plus élevé de Lata, dans une grande confusion.»

De son côté, Andrew Catford, le directeur de World Vision basé à Honiara, la capitale, revoit à la hausse les bilans qui nous sont parvenus jusque là:

«5 villages autour de Lata ont été très détruits par le tsunami. D’après nos informations, ils totalisent une population de 781 habitants. Et près d’une centaine de maisons ont été soit très endommagées, soit complètement détruites. Plusieurs point d’eau ont été contaminés et couverts de débris. Et selon nos informations il y a 6 à 8 morts. Et aujourd’hui on en est encore à faire le bilan des destructions et de possibles blessés, on devrait avoir plus de détails aujourd’hui.»

Andrew Catford au micro de Simon Santow sur l’ABC. Une école et la piste d’atterrissage de Lata, ont aussi été détruites par le tsunami.

Bob Carr, le Ministre australien des Affaires étrangères a aussitôt offert l’aide de l’Australie hier après-midi :

«Nous travaillerons avec le gouvernement salomonais pour envoyer toute l’aide que nous pouvons. Parce que nous avons une très bonne relation avec ce pays et ses habitants.»

29) Australie: ces “rivières d’alcool” qui s’abattent sur les communautés aborigènes

Mis à jour 7 February 2013, 15:02 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Hier, la Première ministre a fait son discours annuel sur la réduction des inégalités entre la communauté aborigène et le reste de l’Australie.

Julia Gillard s’en est prise à l’assouplissement des lois anti-alcool dans le Queensland et dans le Territoire du Nord:

«Je crains vraiment que des rivières d’alcool recommencent à couler et détruisent les communautés aborigènes. Le gouvernement prendra des mesures pour contrer tout changement de politique irresponsable qui menacerait d’annuler un mieux-être obtenu de haute lutte.»

La Première ministre travailliste s’oppose particulièrement à la suppression de la liste rouge des buveurs invétérés dans le Territoire du Nord. C’était l’une des premières mesures du gouvernement de l’Etat libéral élu en août 2012.

Tous les consommateurs devaient systématiquement présenter une pièce d’identité. Et parmi eux, les 2600 personnes inscrites sur la liste rouge, n’avaient pas le droit d’acheter de l’alcool. Elles devaient en outre se faire traiter pour leur addiction.

Julia Gillard a dénoncé le choix du gouvernement du Territoire du Nord, qui privilégie selon elle l’industrie de l’alcool au détriment des petits Aborigènes. Un commentaire que le Ministre des Politiques relatives à l’Alcool, Dave Tollner, a qualifié de «folie».

Pourtant le système de la liste rouge des buveurs invétérés permettait bel et bien de freiner la consommation d’alcool. John Paterson est le directeur des services de santé contrôlés par les Aborigènes dans le Territoire du Nord :

«Malheureusement il n’y a pas eu d’évaluation de la liste rouge des buveurs invétérés quand elle était encore en vigueur, ce qui fait que nous ne pouvons nous baser que sur les anecdotes qui nous ont été racontées et quelques statistiques que nous avons obtenues auprès des hôpitaux, entre autres. Et je pense que cette liste rouge était efficace. Plusieurs familles m’ont dit, vous savez c’est un pas en arrière.»

Depuis août et l’abrogation de la liste rouge des buveurs, les maladies sociales liées à l’alcool ont repris de plus belle. John Paterson :

«D’après les témoignages que nous avons reçus du personnel médical et des habitants des villages, le harcèlement a repris. Des mères sont venues se plaindre auprès de moi, en disant que depuis la suppression de la liste rouge, elles revivent leur cauchemar d’avant : leurs maris, frères, etc., qui leur prennent leurs allocations pour aller boire, et du coup les gamins vont à l’école le ventre vide et sans panier-repas.»

Le gouvernement fédérale menace d’intervenir directement dans le Territoire du Nord pour rétablir un certain nombre de lois anti-alcool.

Dans le Queensland, les lois sont en cours d’examen et un assouplissement des restrictions est probable. La Première ministre a exhorté le gouvernement d’Etat à une extrême prudence. Réponse du Ministre des Affaires aborigènes : il conseille à Mme Gillard d’aller d’abord visiter les communautés aborigènes avant de se prononcer sur quoi que ce soit.

Notons que ce débat intervient après l’annonce par Julia Gillard, vendredi, de la date des prochaines élections fédérales. Elles auront lieu le 14 septembre 2013 et d’ici là l’Australie est en campagne. Ce qui agace John Paterson :

«Il est regrettable de constater que des questions comme le fléau de l’alcool réapparaissent toujours en période de campagne électorale. Et nous qui sommes en première ligne, nous rappelons au gouvernement que ce sont des problèmes qui nécessitent une attention de tous les jours. Ils n’apparaissent pas dès qu’une élection se profile.»

John Paterson, le directeur des services de santé contrôlés par les Aborigènes dans le Territoire du Nord, répondait à Sara Everingam sur l’ABC.

30) Les Iles Cook demandent l’extension de leur plateau continental

Mis à jour 7 February 2013, 14:54 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

L’enjeu ce sont bien sûr les possibles ressources minières qui dorment au fond de l’océan.

Le pays veut donc prolonger sa zone économique exclusive au-delà des 200 milles nautiques.

Une délégation menée par le Secrétaire aux Affaires étrangères est à New York cette semaine pour défendre ce dossier auprès de la Commission des limites du plateau continental, le bureau spécialisé de l’ONU.

Le gouvernement des Iles Cook souhaite ainsi gagner 400 000 kilomètres carrés de plateau continental. Les Iles Cook ont déposé leur dossier en 2009 auprès de l’ONU.

C’est la troisième visite d’une délégation officielle et la dernière chance des Iles Cook de convaincre la Commission des limites du plateau continental.

BAHASA Indonesia: For  West Papua,Maluku,Flores,Timor+ readers

31) Regu darurat Solomon Islands dikirim ke desa yang dilanda tsunami

Diperbaharui 7 February 2013, 13:01 AEST

Para petugas operasi darurat di provinsi Temotu, Kepulauan Solomon, bekerja membersihkan puing-puing di bandara untuk memungkinkan masuknya bantuan bagi para korban tsunami kemarin.

Tsunami itu dipicu oleh gempa berkekuatan delapan skala Richter yang melanda daerah dekat kepulauan Santa Cruz lepas tengah hari waktu setempat.

Paling tidak enam orang tewas dan sejumlah lainnya masih hilang setelah sejumlah desa tersapu habis.

Setelah penilaian awal, badan amal World Vision memperkirakan lima desa pesisir terkena dan sekitar 100 rumah hancur.

Para petugas bantuan pagi ini akan menilai lebih terinci kerusakan yang diderita, untuk mengirim perbekalan kepada mereka yang paling membutuhkan.Radio Australia

32) Polisi Indonesia gulung jaringan trafficking anak

Diperbaharui 7 February 2013, 12:35 AEST

Pihak kepolisian di Indonesia masih mencari orang-orang yang disangka terlibat dalam sindikat trafficking anak setelah menahan sejumlah tersangka anggotanya.

Polisi di Indonesia telah membongkar sebuah jaringan trafficking anak internasional yang dituduh membeli bayi dari keluarga miskin dan menjualnya seharga ribuan dollar atau puluhan juta rupiah.

Sindikat itu dikatakan membayar antara 1,5-juta sampai 3-juta rupiah untuk tiap bayi dan kemudian menjualnya kepada seorang warga Singapura yang menjualnya lagi senilai sampai 80-juta rupiah per anak.

Kantorberita nasional Antara melaporkan, polisi di Jawa Barat telah menahan tujuh orang anggota komplotan jual beli anak itu, yang diduga sudah beroperasi sejak tahun 1992.

Diantara yang ditangkap adalah seorang tersangka berusia 62 tahun dan seorang lagi yang berusia 35 tahun.

Jika dinyatakan bersalah, para penyelundup anak itu diancam hukuman tujuh tahun penjara dan denda sampai 60-juta rupiah per orang.

Pihak kepolisian Jawa Barat masih mencari sejumlah tersangka lainnya.

Ada laporan yang menyebutkan ratusan bayi dijual ke kelompok itu sejak tahun 1992.

Sekitar separuh dari 240-juta penduduk Indonesia hidup di bawah garis kemiskinan.Radio Australia


33) Drug use, crime links found in Australian sport 
By Online Editor
5:14 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Australia

A year-long government investigation has found widespread use of banned drugs in Australian professional sport and links with organised crime.

The Australian Crime Commission released the findings of a 12-month investigation into the integrity of Australian sport and the relationship between professional sporting bodies, prohibited substances and organised crime.

It said the links may have resulted in match-fixing and fraudulent manipulation of betting markets – and it was hopeful criminal charges would be laid.

The key findings of the investigation identified widespread use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs in professional sport.

The probe includes investigations into league’s containing New Zealand teams. The Warriors, Phoenix and Breakers all compete in Australian competitions.

It is not known if any New Zealand athletes have been implicated in the findings.

It said that in some cases players were being administered with substances that have not yet been approved for human use.

The ACC also identified organised crime identities and groups that were involved in the distribution of PIEDS (Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs), to athletes and professional sports stars.

The ACC report noted increasing evidence of personal relationships of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities and groups.

“The ACC has found that professional sport in Australia is highly vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime. Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having used peptides,” Justice Minister Jason Clare said in a statement.

“The findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports fans,” he said.

“It’s cheating…but it’s worse than that. It’s cheating with the help of criminals.”

Clare said one possible case of match-fixing was already under investigation, though he did not identify the sport.

He said that the evidence to date indicates that it is not the majority of athletes who are taking banned substances.

The investigation had also found organised criminals had been involved in the distribution of drugs. “This is particularly serious,” he said.

The report concluded that some coaches, sports scientists and support staff of elite athletes have orchestrated and/or condoned the use of prohibited substances.

Some sports scientists have indicated a willingness to administer substances to elite athletes which are untested or not yet approved for human use.

Sports Minister Kate Lundy said “we must remain vigilant” to fight the challenges to sports integrity.

“If you want to dope and cheat, we will catch you,” she said. “If you want to fix a match, we will catch you.”
Senator Lundy told reporters in Canberra that the government and Australia’s major sports codes were committed to eradicating doping in sport.

She said that professional sports codes had agreed to establish integrity units and would cooperate fully with ASADA and law enforcement agencies in a joint investigation.

She added that they would also call on their athletes who had doped to come forward – “this could possibly reduce their sanctions.”

“Today is about the integrity of sport in Australia,” Lundy said.

Lundy has introduced legislation this week to strengthen ASADA’s investigative powers and double its investigative resources.

“If persons of interest refuse to co-operate with ASADA investigations they will be liable for civil penalties,” she said.

ACC CEO John Lawler said the investigation was “proactive” but noted that organised crime was also serious and pervasive.

“It’s an issue that we’re all confronting and will continue to confront,” he said.

Lawler said the ACC had disseminated a large amount material uncovered from its investigation to state and territory law enforcement bodies.

“We’re hopeful that criminal charges will be laid,” he said.

The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) has agreed to several measures to assist the crackdown on drugs in sport.

The Coalition represents all the major sporting organisations in Australia, including the AFL, NRL, FFA, ARU and Cricket Australia.

The individual bodies are to:

*Establish integrity units to deal with doping, betting and ethical issues.

*Co-operate with ASADA and law enforcement agencies in a joint investigation.

*Call on their athletes to come forward and own up to wrongdoing and co-operate with investigators to possibly reduce sanctions.

*Enact a multi-code policy to share information and implement doping sanctions across codes.
* Have zero tolerance for any support staff involved in pedalling inappropriate substances and help ensure they are not employed in other codes.

AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said he was shocked by the findings, and said he did not know how many AFL clubs were involved.

He said the AFL’s investigation had already begun and that the league was working with ASADA.

NRL chief executive David Smith, who was in Canberra for the report’s release, said: “we need to be strong.”

Australian Rugby Union said it had set up an integrity office and hired an Australian Federal Police detective to look into drugs in its code. Over 2011 and 2012, it had prosecuted four cases.

Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver called the report a “very timely wake-up call”, saying he had been aware of the issue of performance enhancing drugs but less aware of the links to organised crime.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said his organisation was “as confident as we can be” that there was no match-fixing in the Big Bash.

“We have our own integrity unit that has surveillance activities over all of the Big Bash league matches.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott – an avid sportsman – told reporters in Queanbeyan that he was dismayed by the revelations about integrity in sport.

“Obviously, I’m dismayed at the revelations today,” he said.

Abbott said the Coalition would work with the government to deal with the problems.

“We want sport to be clean and fair,” he said.

When asked if he supported tough, new regulations, Abbott said he would wait to see what the government proposed. “But in principle, yes,” he said.


34) PNG Rugby League merger plan is a dangerous move, former chairman says
By Online Editor
5:11 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko’s bid to merge the PNG NRL Bid and PNGRFL is a dangerous move and highly suspicious, John Numapo says.

Numapo, the former chairman of the PNG Rugby Football League and Asia-Pacific Rugby League Con-federation director, said the proposed merger did not serve the interest of the game in the country.

Numapo, who is an executive board member of the Rugby League International Federation, said although the Bid and the PNGRFL were both involved in rugby league, they were two different entities with different purpose and objectives.

He said that was why the PNGNRL Bid and PNGRFL could not be merged.

“The PNG NRL Bid is a company with their own directors and shareholders.

“It operates like any business and is expected to make profit,” he said.

He said the PNGRFL was made up of all the rugby league affiliates from around the country and was a ‘non-profit’ organisation.

“The affiliates make up the PNGRFL and are represented by a board.

“It is an incorporated entity under the Associations Incorporations Act 1996 and has their own constitution that governs their affairs.

Numapo said if Tkatchenko was serious about a merger, than basic protocols “requires him to consult widely and extensively with all the stakeholders”.

“The game is bigger than a handful of self-serving individuals who are trying to change the image and the history of the game in Papua New Guinea for their own ends,” he said.


35) PNG Rugby League breaks shackles
By Online Editor
5:12 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) has finally freed themselves from their shackles.

Continued gutter politics that sought to bring the game to its lowest ebb for the past five years have finally been given the boot to give administrators nationwide a much sigh of relief.

In a landmark decision Thursday, the National Court ruled in favour of the PNGRFL interim board headed by Don Fox to finally be given the mandate to manage the affairs of the nation’s most popular sport.
The National Court dismissed all related cases.

The appearance of Minister for Sports and 2015 Pacific Games Jus¬tin Tkatchenko and former PNGRFL board member and Oro Governor Gary Juffa added much needed weight in the balance of the decision.

The decision was further strengthened by the admission of Juffa who had grown tiresome over the case and did not want to prolong the issue, and thus gave his blessings yesterday for the Fox-headed board to be given full reigns to administer the code.

“I only want to see a fair and trans¬parent board in place that is reflective of all the representative leagues in the country, and will take the interests of the rural leagues at heart as well,” Juffa said.

Jeff Shepherd, lawyer representing former chairman John Numapo, towed the line in support of the new direction.

The interim board was duly appointed by a majority of the affiliated leagues on Nov 30 last year, following an intervention by Tkatchenko to oversee and facilitate a transparent election by the members.
The other members of the board that represent the five regions are Joe Tokam (Highlands), Gwaibo Ma¬¬ri (Southern), Horta Boskey (New Guinea Islands) and Russ Kau¬pa (Northern).

However, the board still had no powers, with a court order in place. That order was rescinded yesterday.

In handing down the decision, Justice Catherine Davani made the point that sports administrators who had personality issues and could not see eye to eye must bear in mind that the interest of the sport and the affiliates was paramount.

“This case should not have come before this court,” Justice Davani said.

She said this matter should have been addressed by an arbitration committee set up by the PNG Sports Federation.

“It does not resolve anything by bringing the issue to the courts,” she said.

Following the decision, an elated Tkatchenko said he was relieved that this issue was now closed.


 36) PNG to meet Fiji or Vanuatu in T20 final

Posted at 23:51 on 06 February, 2013 UTC

Fiji and Vanuatu will square off on Thursday in an effective winner-takes all match for the right to face Papua New Guinea inthe East Asia Pacific T20 Cricket final.

The Barramundi’s beat Fiji by 41 runs in a top of the table clash on Wednesday, before thrashing the Cook Islands by 114 runs, to seal their place in the tournament decider.

Fiji kept their hopes alive after beating Samoa by three wickets in the afternoon, making for a happy captain Joe Rika.

“Pretty decent win I’d say. Samoa’s had it over us for the last couple of years and it’s good to get one back, and with an inexperienced side like this it makes the win a little bit more sweeter.”

It was a bitter-sweet day for Samoa skipper Ben Malaita, who saw his team bow out of contention despite his heroics with bat and ball.

The all-rounder scored a quick-fire 70 and added 2 for 23 with the ball against Fiji, just a few hours after blazing 114 not out and picking up 4 wickets for 5 runs in a massive win over Indonesia.

“Words can’t describe that sort of performance. It is disappointing to come at this stage of the tournament but hopefully our team can sort of just build moving into the next couple of games.”

In the other Wednesday results, Japan picked up its second win of the tournament against the Cook Islands and Vanuatu beat Indonesia.

Radio New Zealand International

37) Fiji beats Samoa, PNG work hard for fourth win over Fiji
By Online Editor
5:10 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, New Zealand

The  Fiji men’s cricket team needs to beat Vanuatu today to book their place in the final of the Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific Men’s Championship in Auckland.

The national side recorded four wins from five games. Following their three wickets victory over Samoa yesterday, the national side are one step away from booking a final duel with Papua New Guinea.

Fiji captain Josefa Rika was elated with a win over their regional rivals.

“Samoa’s had it over us for the past couple of years so it’s nice to get one back, especially with a very inexperienced side, which makes the win a little bit sweeter,” he said in a press statement.

Rika also praised the performance of Sekove Ravoka who was named man of the match.

“We’ve tried to adapt our batting line-up after losing four senior players, so Sekove started opening for us in this competition and has done really well, which makes selection a little harder and that’s a good thing,” he said.

Under no illusions as to the strength of the Vanuatu side, Rika was still upbeat about his side’s chances in tomorrow’s winner-takes-all showdown.

He said they would prefer the underdog tags heading into the match against Vanuatu today.

Meanwhile, Fiji rocked the boat early on, but was unable to sustain the pressure as Papua New Guinea’s bowlers proved too hot to handle in yesterday’s morning session of the 2013 Pepsi ICC East Asia-Pacific men’s championship at Waikaraka Park, Auckland.

Papua New Guinea were delighted to win the toss and take first use of the Waikaraka Park 2 wicket.

Despite gifting eight wides to the PNG total, Fiji’s 41-year old opening bowler Samuela Draunivudi stunned the Barramundis with two crucial wickets in the first over, trap¬ping Tony Ura lbw for 1 before dismantling Jack Vare-Kevere’s stumps for a golden duck off the next delivery.

Vuiyasawa Mateiwaqa followed up Draunivudi’s strikes by nicking out PNG run-machine Assadollah Vala for just 18 as the favourites were in disarray at 30 for 3.

A counter-attack followed as Mahuru Dai added 62 for the fourth wicket with Chris Kent.

Dai struck a series of boundaries, favouring wide mid-wicket and long on as he took to Jone Batinbulu’s second over, which leaked 14 runs.

However, just as PNG seemed to have built a platform from which to launch, Kent was stumped coming down to Joji Bulabalavu, who in tandem with Sekove Ravoka’s leg-spin ushered a few quiet overs.

Bulabalavu struck a vital blow by removing Dai for 48 as PNG fell to 105-5 in the 14th over.

Bulabalavu, who finished with figures of 3-21, forced Lega Siaka to miscue a heave out to the cover sweeper, before Ravoka trapped Chris Amini lbw and PNG slipped further to 117-7.

Draunivudi came back to pick up two tail-end wickets before Ravoka finished the job as PNG were bowled out for just 146, the first time in the tournament that they had not preserved all ten wickets.

The PNG bowlers came out fired up, determined to atone for their performance with the bat snaring the key wickets of Ravoka and the Rika brothers early. Pipi Raho, Willie Gavera and Norman Vanua each took two wickets.

Bulabalavu was the only batsman to stand firm, continuing an excellent individual performance with an unbeaten 57 from 48 balls. He was hampered by a lack of support as Fiji could only manage 105-8 to go down by 41 runs.

In the second game, PNG made 193 for eight and then skittled Cook Islands all out for 79.


38) Cook Islands Rugby finds new sponsor
By Online Editor
5:08 pm GMT+12, 07/02/2013, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands Rugby Union have been given a financial boost with Matson Shipping jumping on board to sponsor the code for the next two years.

The US Company bought out previous main sponsor Reef Shipping after it went into receivership and will contribute NZD$50 000 to the sport locally.

IRU president Chris McKinley says they had no idea where their funds would come from to cover their 2013 international campaign, so are very grateful for the support.

The Cook Islands are currently preparing for the Hong Kong sevens tournament next month.


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