Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 817

Melanesia:

Tok Pisin (PNG)

1) Niupela Bougainville maening loa

Updated 5 March 2013, 14:00 AEST

Autonomous gavman blong Bougainville igat niupela maening loa we i gutpela moa long PNG.

President blong Bougainville Autonomous Gavman, John Momis itok niupela maening loa blong Bougainville i gutpela moa long ol maening loa long Papua New Guinea.

Mr Momis itok aninit long dispela moa, ol land owner oa papa graun long Bougainville i gat moa paua long hau maening development long graun blong ol bai kamap.

Em itok dispela niupela maening loa i narapela moa long maening loa blong PNG.

Mr Momis itok Bougainville ibin gat bikpela heve pinis long sait long maening operesen long bipo na oli no laik long dispela kain heve i kamap gen.

Em itok loa ia i meksua tu long sait long ol benefit i go long ol land owner, ABG na olgeta pipol blong Bougainville.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2013-03-05/niupela-bougainville-maening-loa/1097054

2) Dams, a good idea for PNG mines

By Online Editor
11:07 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is an island of gold located in an ocean of oil and is dripping with gas. These three lucrative resources will bring immense wealth to the nation coffers.

These petroleum and mineral developments have caused the economy of the country to go through an unprecedented economic growth.

According to Resource PNG show on EMTV last week, the Minister for State Owned Enterprise Ben Micah said that his ministry is responsible for all these projects in which the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) will work to source partnership with multi-billion dollar corporations who have the capacity and funds to drive the petroleum and mineral projects in such a large scale as the US$19 billion LNG projects.
Minister Micah said that currently the government does not have the capacity and capability to fund and manage these projects.

Therefore it’s in the best interest of the country that we engage people and companies with expertise to manage this lucrative industry of petroleum and mines to maximise the huge revenue gain from these projects.

Micah also stressed that the tax regime will also be looked at to make sure that the petroleum and mines projects pay the right amount of tax to the government of Papua New Guinea.

He said that tax is one way the government can make money and bring development to the country.

“I want to tell the people of Papua New Guinea that Panguna is a classic example of the project that brings tangible development like building up the township of Arawa and Kieta in Bougainville since the mine operated.

Micah told resource PNG that there is no other project compared to the scale of development that Panguna mine provides.

He said that in the likes of Ok Tedi mine since its operation the project should by now turn Star Mountain into a tourist destination, Lihir, Pogera, Misima, Hidden Valley, Ramu Nickel and Mt Kare are some of the lucrative projects that are yet to provide a similar development like Panguna mine did in its glory days.

A trucking fleet contractor and Member for British Empire MBE Kandaso Napi said that the government must seriously look into the way the mining projects in the country are disposing their waste because it seems that most times the landowners are complaining about environmental destruction when they are not talking about royalty payments.

He said if the government is short of ideas then he can be of help to them by giving the ideas and strategies that can be formulated and incorporated into the existing mining policy.

He said that one important thing that the government of this country is ignorant about is to build gigantic dams near every mine project especially for disposal of waste in that way waste can be dumped back or recycled back to the earth. Rather than dumping waste tailings into the sea like the Ramu Nickel project in Madang.

He said that to build a dam is very expensive and is worth about K1 billion but is beneficial to the nation. It saves lives, creates employment, manage wastes and everybody is turns out a winner.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

3) New species found in threatened PNG lagoon
By Online Editor
10:13 am GMT+12, 05/03/2013, Papua New Guinea

An idyllic tropical lagoon threatened by pollution from a tuna cannery is a Pacific Ocean biodiversity hotspot, according to researchers from Nova Southeastern University, who recently surveyed the ocean off Papua New Guinea.

The study found numerous new species of marine life, including sea slugs, feather stars and amphipods. There was more variety of these indicator species found than there is along the entire length of Australia’s 1,600-mile Great Barrier Reef, said Jim Thomas, a researcher at Nova Southeastern University National Coral Institute
in Hollywood, Florida.

“In the Madang Lagoon, we went a half mile out off the leading edge of the active Australian Plate and were in 6,000 meters of water,” said Thomas, Ph.D., a researcher at Nova Southeastern University’s National Coral Reef Institute in Hollywood.

“It was once believed there were no reefs on the north coast of Papua New Guinea since there were no shallow bays and lagoons typical of most coral reef environments. But there was lots of biodiversity to be found.”

“This was an astonishing discovery,” Thomas said. “We returned to our labs and began to formally assess our collections. We had no idea this lagoon’s bounty was so profound.”

The international team Thomas led included researchers from and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, the California Academy of Sciences and the National Botanical Gardens of Ireland. Their 3-week expedition ended late last year. While in Madang, they joined a large French contingent of scientists from the Paris Museum of Natural History.

The NSU-led research team’s findings will be shared with the local villagers, as well as regional and federal governments. It will also be published in peer-reviewed journals.

The Madang Lagoon faces many environmental threats by land-based pollution from a recently opened tuna cannery whose outfall is very close to the lagoon’s reefs.

“Hopefully, our discoveries will strongly encourage governing bodies to recognize the environmental importance of the lagoon and work to stop the pollution,” Thomas said.

SOURCE: SUMMIT VOICE/PACNEWS

4) Indonesia flags, signboard on PNG soil
By Online Editor
11:10 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2013, Papua New Guinea

Indonesians have placed their flags and a new signboard 30m into the PNG side of the international land border, posing a national security threat for the country, reports say.

Villagers in Western and West Sepik told authorities that Indonesian poachers, smugglers and soldiers were illegally crossing the border into PNG.

They were involved in the illegal trade of deer, wallaby, barramundi and shark fins into West Papua.A high level government delegation visited the border areas in South Fly, Western, last weekend led by Ian Jinga, the director general of the Office of Security Coordination and Assessment.

Foreign Affairs secretary Lucy Bogari, Defence operations commander Col Walter Enuma, joint forces commander Col Gilbert Toropo and deputy police commissioner Simon Kauba were part of the team.

Jinga said the government’s immediate plan was to deploy military troops to the border areas and work with the provincial governments on the border development issues.

The National was told by villagers that with the lack of vital government services in the border areas, they were trading their natural resources with the Indonesians and buying and using Indonesian-made products using their local currency, the rupiah.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

5) Malaita Premier Anticipates No-Confidence Vote In Solomons
Ex-ministers criticize Suibaea administration’s money problems

By Ednal R. Palmer

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 4, 2013) – The Malaita province ruling government is preparing for a second test in the Solomon Islands, as Premier Edwin Suibaea is anticipating a motion of no confidence during a budget meeting in Auki this month.

A spokesperson from the provincial office in Auki said lobbying is evident but there is still no official confirmation of a motion.

The spokesperson said two ministers from Suibaea’s government had already resigned.

“Minister for forestry, mines and energy Job Salan and minister for public health service Beato Apaniai resigned last week.”

The two resigned ministers claimed Mr. Suibaea’a government faces a lot of financial problems.

Mr. Suibaea’s camp during the weekend quickly defended the claims saying the two members were frustrated because they wanted more ward grants but that was not released to them.

One member in Mr. Suibaea’s camp and minister for works and transport Joel Mamali said the two members had already exhausted their ward grants for this financial year.

“We don’t know what ward grants they insisted on. They were frustrated men because the government cannot release that ward grants to them. They already collected theirs but still asked for more,” Mr. Mamali said.

Provincial members are entitled to a SB$50,000 [US$6,855] ward grant each financial year.

Meanwhile Mr. Mamali said they had already filled up the two portfolios vacated by the two resigned minister.

“On Saturday (weekend), a new minister for forestry, mines and energy Abraham Fanamaea was sworn in.”

Another to take up the public health service ministry vacated by Beato Apaniai, is expected to be sworn in today.

Mr. Mamali said the two new intakes means Mr. Suibaea’s-led government still enjoys the support of the majority.

“We still maintain our number of 21 members four of whom are backbenchers and 17 Ministers.”

He said there is no time to waste because the province has huge projects in the pipeline.

“We cannot allow political wrangling to destabilize our proposed development projects.”

Mr. Suibaea has defeated one motion since capturing power.

The provincial government has a total of 33 members.

Solomon Star

(6)
Nyus i kam long MP mo Pati
.
Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu

Formesen blong ol Provinsel Gavman

Olgeta –
Long las Tasde namba 28 Febuari ol niufala elekted kaonsela long ol 4 provins we oli bin gat eleksen long namba 12 Febuari oli bin gat fes miting blong elektem ol presiden mo vaes-presiden blong olgeta.  Mi bin go long Lakatoro blong formesen blong Malampa Provinsel Gavman mo mi kambak long Malakula long wiken.
Risal blo ol eleksen long ol 4 defren provins ia i soem se ol politikol pati long oposisen oli stap insaed long evri 4 provinsel gavman ia, olsem presiden o vaes-presiden.  GJP i holem posisen blong Presiden blong Malampa mo Vaes-Presiden blong Shefa mo Penama.  Ol politikol pati long Gavman saed i stap wetem ol politikol pati blong oposisen insaed long 3 provinsel gavman – Tafea, Shefa mo Penama – be long wan provins – Malampa – i nogat eni politikol pati long gavman saed i stap insaed long niufala provinsel gavman.
Risal blong ol eleksen i olsem:
Penama Provins: Lonsdale Hinge blong NUP (Not Pentikos) i kam Presiden, Jackson Adin blong GJP (Maewo) i kam Vaes-Presiden.
Malampa Provins: William Fred Tasso blong GJP (Malekula) i kam Presiden, Aram Hungai blong VP (SE Ambrym) i kam Vaes-Presiden.
Shefa Provins: George Edward blong VNP (Emae) i kam Presiden, Max Johnny blong GJP (Not Efate) i kam Vaes-Presiden.
Tafea Provins: Nako Natuman blong UMP (Tanna) i kam Presiden, Natuman Iamak blong NCA (Tanna) i kam Vaes-Presiden.
Ol politikol pati we oli formem ol Provinsel Gavman:
Long Penama Provins (16 kaonsela), GJP i stap insaed long wan gruping blong ol pati we i gat insaed RMC (2 kaonsela), VP (2 kaonsela), GJP (1 kaonsela), Indipenden blong MP David Tosul (1 kaonsela), Indipenden blong MP Peter Vuta (1 kaonsela) mo Nagrimanel (1 kaonsela).  Yumi go agensem wan gruping we i gat insaed NUP (6), PPP (1) mo Iauko and Group (1).  Long taem blong vot tufala saed oli kid-kid (8-8), be afta wan kaonsela insaed long gruping blong yumi i bin vot narasaed blong mekem se presiden we NUP i nominetem (Lonsdale Hinge) i pas lo 9 vot for, 7 vot agens.  Toktok we i kamaot long Daily Post las wik we i talem se kaonsela blong GJP nao i vot narasaed hemi no tru – yumi no save se weswan kaonsela blong grup blong yumi i vot i go narasaed from hemi wan “secret ballot”.  Afta, long vot blong vaes-presiden, grup blong yumi i nominetem Jackson Adin blong GJP blong kam vaes-presiden mo narasaed i nominetem kaonsela blong PPP, mo long taem blong vot, vot blong 1 blong ol kaonsela blong gavman saed hemi nogud (“void”), mekem se GJP i winim vot long 8 vot for mo 7 vot agens.
Naoia long Penama Provins grup blong yumi mo grup blong NUP i stap toktok blong sherem evri vaes-presiden mo jeaman bitwin tufala grup, blong mekem se i gat wan “gavman blong provinsel unity”.  Bambae yumi wet blong luk sipos hemia bae i wokaot o no (bae oli aloketem ol narafala posisen long Fraede long wik ia).
Long Malampa Provins (21 kaonsela), niufala provinsel gavman hemi gat insaed 5 politikol pati blong oposisen: GJP, VP, UMP, MPP mo LDP (Liberal Democratic Party blong MP Willy Jimmy).
Presiden i go long William Fred Tasso (GJP, Malakula)
Vaes-Presiden i go long Aram Hungai (VP, SE Ambrym)
1st Vaes-Presiden i go long Selwyn Meltetake (UMP, Malakula)
2nd Vaes-Presiden i go long Simeon Robsen (MPP, Malakula)
3 memba blong kabinet i go long LDP, VP mo UMP.
Oli no apoentem ol jeaman blong ol komiti yet.
Formesen blong Shefa Provins (21 kaonsela), i bin folem tingting blong eria o rijen, be i no folem tingting blong weswan politikol pati i stap long gavman o oposisen saed.  I gat 2 bloc i saenem MOA blong formem gavman blong Shefa – Efate Bloc (ol 5 kaonsela blong Efate we oli kamaot long GJP, VP mo UMP) mo Shepi Bloc (ol 7 kaonsela blong Epi, Tongoa, Shepherds mo Emae we oli kamaot long VNP, GC, PPP, I&G, VPDP mo Indipenden).  Bigfala tingting blong gruping ia hemi blong karemaot Presiden blong provins long aelan blong Efate, from long ful histri blong provins Presiden oltaem i kamaot long Efate – i neva bin go long Epi o Shepherds o Tongoa.  Folem tingting ia, ol kaonsela i elektem ol lida blong Provins olsem:
Presiden i go long George Edward (VNP, Emae)
1st Vaes-Presiden i go long Max Johnny (GJP, Not Efate)
2nd Vaes-Presiden i go long Joseph Merip (Indipenden, Epi)
3rd Vaes-Presiden i go long Robin Willie (GC, Makura).
Ol jeaman blong ol komiti i olsem:
– Faenans: VPDP (John Raymond blong Epi)
– Sosel Welfea: GJP (Willie Ben Kalmasie blong Efate)
– Fisikol Planing: VP (Bob Homu blong Efate)
– Divelopmen: GJP (Joel Abel blong Mosso)
– Lejislesen: GC (Pakoa Kaloran blong Shepherds)
Formesen ia i minim se 2 bigfala pati blong gavman saed, RMC mo Natatok, oli stap long oposisen long Shefa Provinsel Gavman.
Long Tafea Provins (19 kaonsela), gavman i form long ol pati ia: UMP (3 kaonsela), VP (2 kaonsela), Cloud Zero (2 kaonsela), NCA (1 kaonsela), NUP (1 kaonsela), VRP (1 kaonsela).
Oposisen i form long: GC (3 kaonsela), I&G (3 kaonsela), PPP (1 kaonsela), Indipenden (2 kaonsela).
Presiden i go long Nako Natuman (UMP, Tanna)
Vaes-Presiden i go long Natuman Iamak (NCA, Tanna)
1st Vaes-Presiden i go long John Topi (VP, Aneityum)
2nd Vaes-Presiden i go long Peter Maiake (Cloud Zero bloc, Tanna).
So hemi wan gud risalt blong GJP, from naoia yumi holem Presiden blong Malampa mo Vaes-Presiden blong Penama mo Shefa, mo yumi gat 7 kaonsela evriwan naoia, wetem 4 MP blong yumi.
Ta,
MP Ralph Regenvanu.
7)  Opposition parties in control of Malampa province

Posted on March 6, 2013 – 9:33am |

By
Jonas Cullwick

Following last week’s formation of the new provincial government councils in Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea, the Opposition parties in Parliament are busking in the euphoria of success that has seen them command influential roles in the new governments of all the four provinces.

The opposition parties hold either the President or Vice President in all the four provinces.

Speaking to the media Monday, Spokesman for the Opposition and Member of Parliament for Port Vila, Ralph Regenvanu, said that the results of the elections showed that political parties on the Government side can be found with those of the opposition in three provincial governments – Penama, Shefa and Tafea, except Malampa where there are no government political parties.

“On behalf of the parties in the opposition, I would like to say that we are glad to see the result of the elections last week, because the opposition is in all the four new provincial governments, except Malampa where the opposition has taken full control,” MP Regenvanu said.

“At Malampa, we had been in consultation with MP for Paama, Jonas James, for the formation of the new government, but in the final moments he pulled out, and as a result we only have the opposition in the council.

“You will also see that there is no elected office bearer in the new Malampa council from Paama, which was not what we wanted. However, the President, William Fred Tasso is of Paama in Malekula, and this makes up for that situation,” MP Ralph said.

He added that at Shefa Province, the government was formed along regional lines, not parliamentary-affiliation lines.

“The intention of the coalition composed of GJP-VP-UMP-VNP-GC-PPP-I&G-VPDP-IND was to give the President to a non-Efate person for the first time ever in the history of the province, and to shift the focus of provincial activities away from South Efate and towards North Efate, the Shepherd Islands including Emae and Tongoa, and Epi,” MP Ralph Regenvanu said.

At Penama Province – the new President is Lonsdale Hinge of the National United Party from North Pentecost. Vice President is Jackson Adin of Graon and Jastis Party (GJP) from Maewo. At this point we would like to point out that Councilor Adin did not vote with National United Party and other government political party candidates to install Councilor Hinge President of the new government council as we reported earlier.

At Malampa Province – the new President is William Fred Tasso of the Graon and Jastis Party of Malekula and the Vice President is Aram Hungai of the Vanua’aku Pati from Southeast Ambrym. First Vice President is Selwyn Meltetake of UMP, Malekula, and 2nd Vice President to Simeon Robsen of MPP from Malekula.

At Shefa Province – the President is Atavimarata Edward George of the Vanuatu National Party who is of the government side from Emae and Vice President is Max Johnny of GJP from North Efate. Second Vice President is Joseph Merip, an Independent from Epi, and 3rd Vice President – Robin Willie of Green Confederation (government side).

At Tafea Province – President is Nako Natuman of the Union of Moderate Parties from Tanna, and Vice President is Natuman Iamak of NCA, from Tanna.

http://www.dailypost.vu/content/opposition-parties-control-malampa-province

8) Vanuatu Maritime Committee Under Fire For Registering Phocea
Finance minister says committee’s dealings ‘questionable’


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 4, 2013) – Vanuatu’s Minister of Finance says that recent members of the Maritime Technical Advisory Committee were unqualified.

The Committee’s role in Vanuatu’s maritime structure has come under scrutiny after its purported issuing of a provisional registration for the super yacht, the Phocea.

The vessel has been detained since last July in Port Vila by the Ports Authority due to false documentation and lack of registration.

The Minister, Charlot Salwai, says he suspended the Committee last year because the Maritime Authority which appointed the Committee has been defunct since 2007, making the registration illegitimate.

He suggests that the Committee’s dealings have been questionable.

“As Minister for Finance, I need to know how funds have been used. I came to the Ministry and I was informed that there was such a Technical Advisory Committee but for me, many of those who have been appointed are not qualified persons. They are supposed to advise government and ministers on maritime issues and they should have someone that is qualified.”

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

9) Investigation under way into Fiji bashing video

Updated 6 March 2013, 7:00 AEST

Fiji police say they are determined to quickly resolve the issue of the brutal bashing video posted on social media sites.

A graphic video has emerged which allegedly shows Fijian security forces torturing prisoners who escaped from custody. (Credit: ABC)

Fiji police say they are determined to quickly resolve the issue of the brutal bashing video posted on social media sites.

They say their investigation has already begun.

The video shows two men, one in the back of a truck, the other on the ground being repeated hit around the legs and the body with lengths of polythene pipe and wooden clubs, with the ankle and leg area especially targetted.

At one stage the man on the ground is attacked by a dog, while the man in the truck is strip, and it would appear is sexually assaulted with a piece of wood.

Both men are handcuffed and their attackers are not in any uniform.

Fiji police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says police will follow international standards in the investigation.

“Like every Fijian we were disturbed to see the video of what appears to be the abuse of two men, who at this stage we understand to be recaptured prisoners,” he said.

“A thorough investigation to establish the circumstances of this incident has been ordered.”

Video: Fiji police to investigate beating video (WARNING: Graphic content) (Australia Network News)

Amnesty concerns

In December last year Amnesty International wrote an open letter to Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama raising its concerns about the alleged beating of two prison escapees in September.

One of them had to have his leg amputated due to his injuries going untreated, an amputation Fiji Police said at the time was due to diabetes.

Amnesty New Zealand’s Grant Bayldon says it’s to early to say this video is of that incident, but there are similarities.

“We can say that the types of injuries that we documented from the attacks back in September do seem to be consistent, at first look, with the type of beatings seen in this video,” he said.

“However, it’s important to say that it’s still with our team to be verified at the moment.”

Fiji police denied the men were prisoners who escaped from Naboro Minimum Security prison in December.

“These crimes were perpetrated by a group of criminals with impunity and who had absolutely no regard for lives of ordinary Fijians, respect for basic human dignity and the law,” police said in a statement.

Fiji police criticised international reporting on the incident, saying that some of it had been wrong.

The Australian Government says it is attempting to verify the tape.

Inquiry call

Since it was put online the video has gone viral, with members of the Fijian community around the world, and at home viewing it on a variety of websites.

A Fiji-based NGO, Coalition on Human Rights in Fiji, wants a public enquiry into the videoed bashing as well as a police investigation.

The Coalition’s Shamima Ali says there should be a transparent inquiry, involving not just security forces, but members of civil society.

“Fiji is a small place…it’s very easy to find out who these people are and bring them to task and it should have been done a long time ago when the prisoners actually went in hurt,” she said.

“Police will do its own investigation – as it should do – and whatever disciplinary measures they have in place should take place.

“But… this is not the first time an incident of torture has happened here…so that is why we believe that a public inquiry [is needed].”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-03-06/investigation-under-way-into-fiji-bashing-video/1097422

Polynesia:

10) Study Claims Emigration Key To Improving Tonga Economy
Tonga faces falling remittances, low employment opportunities

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, March 4, 2013) – Emigration is invaluable to Tonga if its economy is to improve, according to a new Labour Market study on the demand for skills training in Tonga.

The study by Asian Development Bank (ADB) Consultant and Advisor, Richard Curtain strongly suggests emigration as an essential avenue to increase employment and remittances to Tonga, and shows that job opportunities are decreasing locally.

He estimated that only 26 percent of the population above 15 years of age had a paid job with an employer and that a current youth bulge is putting pressure on Tonga’s economy to “provide more jobs than it is doing now.”

Even more drastic is the current rate of employment that Tonga will have to maintain in the coming years when, according to Curtain, the economy “would have to create over 1,100 additional jobs by 2015, and 1,700 by 2020 to keep the same rate of employment as now.”

There was also a large a gap between the “number of young people with formal education and the number of available jobs.

“The number of jobs requiring middle-level skills has fallen over the five years to 2011. The numbers of technicians and associate professionals have decreased by 419 or 21 percent. Skilled agricultural and fishery workers have decreased by 798 or 8 percent. Craft and trades workers have decreased by 1,982 or 17 percent. This follows a trend noted in many other countries.”

Remittances

Emigration is vital to economic growth because of remittances. Money sent to Tonga from overseas has long been a life line for Tonga’s economy as Tonga has failed to develop a dominant export and tourism industry.

However, remittances have fallen significantly. According to the study remittances “continued a prolonged decline by 23 percent in the financial year 2011-12”. The decline along with exports and tourism was attributed to the global recession, which continues to cause serious financial and employment problems for major world economies

Although Emigration remains high with about 10,000 Tongans emigrating since 2006 “relatively few Tongan migrants to New Zealand in the past 15 years have gained entry on the basis of the skills they hold,” he reported.

The study shows that skilled migration to meet global demands would boost employment for Tongans overseas.

The irony of education opportunities and global recession in New Zealand and Australia is that employers complain of a lack of suitable workers. Statistics showed a high demand in skilled migrants across New Zealand, Australia and the United States with an “extraordinary growth in skilled migration to New Zealand and Australia, through both permanent and temporary entry.”

“The jobs Australian employers are having the greatest difficulty in filling are: skilled trade workers, engineers, sales representatives, accounting & finance staff, IT staff, management, technicians, drivers, mechanics, and chefs/cooks.”

“One-in-five New Zealand employers and one-in-four Australian employers report that they are willing to look outside their own region and country for suitable workers,” the report stated.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

11) Samoa Farmers Benefit From Government Stimulus Package
Individual participants received up to $423 in dividends

By Unumoe Esera

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, March 4, 2013) – Over 130 farmers from all over Samoa benefitted from WST118,000 [US$49,995] worth of dividends paid to them by the Government on Friday.

The farmers belong to the Government’s stimulus package program. Administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), the program was designed to revive the coconut, cocoa and coffee industry.

On Friday at the Maota o Pulenu’u, the Government rewarded the participants with bonuses of up to WST1,000 [US$423.69] for their hard work. Minister of Agriculture, Le Mamea Ropati Mualia congratulated all the farmers involved.

“The stimulus package was set up by Government in June 2010 as an incentive for farmers to plant traditional crops and also to boost our economy as it has been affected by the global economic crisis,” said Le Mamea.

Initially, the Minister said that up to 500 farmers registered.

But many of them have been unable to continue due to a number of “challenges.”

“These problems include farmers who are not honest in doing their work and for others, laziness has won them over,” said the Minister. “There are farmers who are still asleep at 10 in the morning when they should be working hard in the plantation at that hour.”

The seasonal employment schemes in New Zealand and Australia have also taken a toll. Le Mamea said many farmers have left the country for job opportunities in New Zealand and Australia because they offer better money.

But this has resulted in “limited people to work the plantations.”

To be eligible for the program, the farmers had to pay a $100 registration fee. They also had to have two acres of uncultivated land for the crops. In return, the Government would provide the crops.

ACEO of Crops Division, Misa Konelio said the dividend was supposed to be paid in December last year but Cyclone Evan changed all that.

A second bonus payment of WST1500 [US$635] will be made during the third year and the same amount will also be received on the fourth year. The stimulus package is for four years and a total of WST4,000 [US$1,694] should be received by the farmer at the end of it.

Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

12) Tahiti Coalition Planning Anti-Nuclear Rally In Papeete
Issues ‘not over, even if tests have ended,’ says Green party member

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 4, 2013) – An anti-nuclear rally is being planned in French Polynesia on Saturday.

The ruling Union For Democracy is organizing two marches, from the east and west of Papeete, with those taking part to meet outside the territorial assembly.

A member of the local Greens has told the Tahitinews website that the issue of nuclear tests in the Pacific is not over even if the tests have ended.

Karl Reguron says environmental and health problems remain, pointing also to the French compensation law, which he says is compensating nobody.

France carried out more than 180 nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific, the last one in 1996.

Japan’s Peace Boat, named after the NGO by the same name, is to be in port for the day.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

Micronesia:

13) Inos Reveals Plan To Reduce CNMI Government Size, Spending
Healthcare, utilities, school system and retirement fund prioritized

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, March 5, 2013) – Northern Marianas Governor Eloy S. Inos gave a rundown yesterday of his administration’s plans to reduce government spending and size, remove redundancy, and improve efficiency. That includes merging the Department of Labor and the Workforce Investment Agency, privatizing parks maintenance, and turning over the operation of the Oleai Sports Complex from the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs to an entity such as the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association, among others.

The list also includes not filling vacant positions deemed unnecessary or not critical.

The governor shared these after he and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider met with Cabinet members yesterday morning on Capital Hill.

Some lawmakers interviewed later said they support the administration’s proposals.

House Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero (IR-Saipan) said these proposals will reduce the size of government in the long run. He cited his inaugural address where he mentioned that 80 percent of the government’s budget goes to personnel costs, which he said is “top heavy” and should be reduced to 60 or 70 percent.

Inos said many of these specific plans are likely to be implemented in fiscal year 2014 starting on Oct. 1, so that they will be embedded in the administration’s proposed budget.

The administration has until April 1 to submit its proposed $114 million fiscal year 2014 budget to the Legislature.

However, transferring the operations and management of the Oleai Sports Complex from DCCA to NMASA or another non-government entity could happen within the current fiscal year, Inos said.

This change was one of the recommendations of an independent 2010 desk audit on DCCA that was never implemented by the previous administration.

The Virginia-based Management Analysis Inc., which did the desk audit on DCCA and the Department of Public Safety, said both departments are overstaffed and have employees with overlapping functions.

It specifically recommended, among other things, moving the Division of Sports and Recreation functions to the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association.

Rep. Ray Tebuteb (IR-Saipan), who is also president of the Northern Marianas Athletics, believes that NMASA will be able to better run the Oleai Sports Complex, as this is already provided for in a law that has never been implemented.

“It’s about time this is done. The previous administration did not heed the recommendation of that desk audit paid for by the federal government. I am 100 percent in support of removing the operation and management of the sports complex from DCCA to NMASA. NMASA can also go out and seek funding such as from private donors. But there has to be a gradual transition,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Priorities

The Inos administration seeks to prioritize healthcare, utilities, the NMI Retirement Fund, and the Public School System, as well as tourism to help grow the economy.

“We’ve got several areas that we need to really address. A lot of it has to do with programs that have been established for the longest time and we need to revisit these programs and see if they’re still relevant, see if the resources are being used to address those key areas. Are there any waste, duplication, inefficiencies and so forth? We are going to have to readjust the mission so that with the limited resources that we have, we will concentrate the application of those limited resources to identified priorities,” he added.

The need to spread out limited funds is compounded by the negative impact on the CNMI of the so-called federal sequestration-a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to U.S. government agencies totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years that began on March 1.

Among the specific plans Inos cited to better use the CNMI’s limited resources is privatizing the government function of maintaining parks throughout the islands.

“Not only do we have issues with respect to manpower, equipment, and so forth, there’s just not enough funding,” Inos said. “The plan is to look at maybe privatizing those types of services so there’s the added benefit. We got a sustainable program, a contractor that does it Monday to Sunday to make sure they collect the trash.”

Inos said the government appreciates the work of volunteers who clean up roadways, beaches, and tourist sites but it is separate from having an agency or contractor that will be responsible for maintaining parks.

“That’s one way to trim down the cost for the government. We won’t have any burden for employee related expenses like contributions for the Retirement Fund. We plan to look into that and we’re going to crank that idea into the budget,” he said.

Inos, a former Finance secretary, said government personnel could either be reassigned to other agencies “or have the contractor absorb those employees.”

“Any savings that we can get from that may be used to cushion the impact of reduced federal funding,” he added.

Consolidating agencies and programs is also another area to cut costs and improve efficiency.

Inos said the Department of Labor and the Workforce Investment Agency “share the same mission, goal.it‘s for the employment of eligible U.S. individuals.”

“We plan to merge those two agencies and hopefully we’ll have some savings in the process,” the governor added.

Courtesy resignations

Inos said he and Hofschneider received the performance reports from Cabinet members and agency heads and the review is expected to be completed this Thursday, when the governor will possibly announce who will be replaced or retained.

He said he expected the courtesy resignations to accompany the performance reports.

Tebuteb reiterated yesterday his call for Cabinet members to give the new governor and lieutenant governor the chance to choose their Cabinet members.

Some Cabinet and agency heads interviewed yesterday said they did not submit courtesy resignations. Only a few department heads confirmed turning over a courtesy resignation.

Among them is Corrections Commissioner Ray Mafnas.

“I submitted my courtesy resignation before the new administration asked for Cabinet members to submit theirs. However, I was never asked to submit my courtesy resignation. I did it voluntarily,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Inos said he and Hofschneider will go over the performance reports.

“We want to make sure that all we do by way of moving forward will be based on the mission and how they performed during the last 12 months and. what they plan to accomplish in the ensuing 12 month-period,” the governor told reporters.

Division of work

Inos said he and the lieutenant governor have talked about their division of work.

Among them is that Hofschneider will be “liaison for all matters related to the first and second senatorial districts” of Rota and Tinian.

“He’s been assigned responsibility to oversee projects, CIPs in those two districts, make sure those projects are completed on time and work with respective mayors to start executing or implementing the projects,” he added.

Inos, a former lieutenant governor, ascended to the gubernatorial post on Feb. 20, after former governor Benigno R. Fitial resigned.

Fitial stepped down days ahead of his impeachment trial on March 7. The House of Representatives impeached Fitial on 18 charges of corruption, felony, and neglect of duty.

Saipan Tribune http://www.saipantribune.com

Pacific:

14) Australia’s and NZ’s Fiji policy weakened Forum, says academic
By Online Editor
11:14 pm GMT+12, 05/03/2013, Fiji

An academic says New Zealand and Australia’s relationship with Fiji has split the Pacific Islands Forum into less effective sub-regional groups.

Fiji has been suspended from the Forum since 2009, and at the last Forum meeting, leaders held firm on their stance that it wouldn’t be allowed back in until elections have been held.

The University of Fiji’s Dr Richard Herr said the Forum has failed to deal with the Fiji situation.

“It should have come back at the last meeting, and it was very unwise of the leadership not to include it. I don’t believe that at this stage that it’s necessarily the case that Fiji will re-enter the Forum even if asked. It’s probably slightly better than 50-50 that it would accept. But there are grievances there, and they show up in terms of attitudes towards the Forum, and new relationships.

Dr Herr said while groups have emerged throughout the region, like a Polynesian leaders group, only the Melanesian Spearhead Group has the resources to be viable without outside support.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

Franis: 


15) INTERPOL part à la pêche

Posté à 5 March 2013, 8:42 AEST
Pierre Riant

Cette organisation internationale de la police s’est réunie pour aborder – et c’est une première – la pêche illégale dans le Pacifique.

Loane Naivalurua, chef de la police fidjienne, accueille à Suva le Secrétaire général d’Interpol, Richard Noble. [Interpol.int]

Les services du Programme de prévention des activités criminelles environnementales ont mis en place une cellule de lutte contre la pêche illégale pour tenter de démanteler un marché noir qui porte sur des milliards de dollars.

Le Pacifique est un lieu de prédilection pour la pêche clandestine et Nathaniel Pelle, représentant de Greenpeace pour le Pacifique, estime que les gouvernements de la région doivent impérativement collaborer avec Interpol pour réduire l’impact de la pêche illégale et non réglementée.

PELLE : « Les meilleures estimations estiment qu’un tiers voire plus des activités de pêche dans le Pacifique est illégal et non déclaré. C’est une vraie tragédie pour les pêcheurs des îles du Pacifique et c’est une tragédie pour les espèces qui sont dans cette région. »

Les pertes financières pour la région sont énormes. Nathaniel Pelle parle de deux milliards de dollars par an.

PELLE : « C’est vraiment difficile de dire le montant exact en dollars, mais toujours selon les estimations dans le Pacifique, c’est dans les deux milliards de dollars. De toute évidence cet argent qui quitte le Pacifique pourrait substantiellement servir au développement de la région. L’ouest et le centre du Pacifique représentent une vaste zone océanique et les nations océaniennes n’ont pas les moyens de surveiller leurs eaux et c’est un immense problème. »

La pêche illégale est une activité criminelle qui rapporte, d’où la décision d’Interpol d’intervenir. Nathaniel Pelle.

PELLE : « Greenpeace mène des expéditions dans le Pacifique depuis 2004, depuis longtemps donc. Et nous avons mille fois vu des pavillons de complaisance. C’est-à-dire un bateau de pêche enregistré dans un pays aux lois très flexibles et qui appartiennent en fait à des hommes d’affaires chinois, taïwanais ou européens. Ce sont eux qui prennent ces pavillons de complaisance pour naviguer. Le poisson est ensuite vendu dans le monde entier et on le trouve dans tous les supermarchés de ce globe. »

Alors, que peuvent faire les nations du Pacifique pour tenter de réduire toutes ces activités illégales ?

PELLE : « Les nations océaniennes du Pacifique doivent vraiment continuer à  travailler ensemble, c’est une région unique au monde et ces pays ont des zones économiques voisines dans cette région dont ils partagent les ressources et il leur faut aussi partager la gestion de ces ressources. Elles doivent donc se rassembler et travailler avec des partenaires régionaux et Interpol pour le bien de la région et s’asurer que les flottes de pêche hauturière ne font pas comme bon leur semble. »http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2013-03-05/interpol-part-à-la-pêche/1096844

Sports:

16) Fijian hero

Emoni Narawa
Wednesday, March 06, 2013

+ Enlarge this image

All Blacks legend Michael Jones says Fiji must produce more players in the calibre of hardworking Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera (with ball) during a Gloucester Aviva Premiership match against London Wasps at Adams Park last month. Picture: Getty

THE heroic achievements of the late Sanivalati Laulau had inspired one of best open-side flankers in world rugby.

Legendary All Blacks Michael Jones accredited the former Flying Fijian for inspiring his rugby career while growing up in Te Atatu South, a suburb in the west of Auckland.

Jones recalled that Laulau was a Pacific hero and one of his favourite players during his childhood rugby days.

He said former Samoan rugby forward Taufusi Salesa and Laulau were two of his favourites. Salesa was a former Samoan rugby sevens coach.

“When I was growing up, Laulau was one of my Pacific heroes. There were about three or four Pacific heroes at that time but Laulau and Taufusi Salesa were my best,” Jones said.

Laulau was best known for his speed and rugby skills that entertained the world during his rugby days. And his stars were a light to the young Jones who later revolutionised the open-side flanker position with his physicality, his fitness and his ball skills.

“And Laulau was probably my number one. I just heard that he passed away recently and I was very shocked and sad to hear about the news.”

“Those two (Laulau and Salesi) have always been our inspiration. He (Laulau) was one was one of my favourites when I was growing up,” the superstar said.

He also mentioned Flying Fijian 2007 Rugby World Cup star Akapusi Qera who now plys his trade with English giants Gloucester Rugby Club.

“When I look at the Fiji team now, I always like the look of Qera, the loose forward who plays for Gloucester. I am really impressed with that guy,” he said.

“Fiji should try to clone players of Qera’s calibre.”

With the modernised game, Jones advised upcoming loose forwards to be as skilful and fast as backline players but to be a powerful ball carrier and aggressive defender if they want to be future stars.

Jones added former New Zealand 7s international and giant Fijian winger Joeli Vidiri was one of his best teammates.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=227096

17) Wins for Australian teams in PRC first round

By Online Editor
5:33 pm GMT+12, 04/03/2013, Australia

The ACT XV and Reds College XV made impressive starts to the Australian series of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2013 with victories over Samoa A and Tonga A respectively.

The ACT XV scored six tries in the second half to record a comfortable 58-19 win on Friday, while the Reds College XV beat their Tongan opponents 24-3 at Ballymore on Saturday.

The other round one encounter between the Waratah A team and defending champions Fiji Warriors, which was due to be the curtain raiser to the Waratahs’ Super Rugby match with the Melbourne Rebels, was postponed due to inclement weather in Sydney.

The ACT XV squad featured 16 players contracted to the Brumbies Super Rugby side and they recovered from conceding an early try to tighthead prop Jake Grey to lead 22-14 at half time with Coleman touching down twice after scrum half Ian Prior’s opening try for the hosts.

Tries from centre Jordan Rapana, wing Tom Cox, second row Etienne Oosthuizen, captain and number 8 Fotu Auelua, prop Scott Sio and centre Tevita Kuridrani completed the win, with Grey the only point scorer for Samoa A in the second half.

Fly half Jono Lance was the standout performer for the Reds College XV, managing the match strong and contributing nine points to the cause by converting all three tries and after an earlier penalty.

In wet and windy conditions in Brisbane, Wallaby wing Rod Davies, prop Sam Denny and centre Rex Tapuai crossed for the Reds College XV’s tries in the opening round of this key IRB development tournament.

The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup continues on Thursday when Samoa A face the Sydney Academy, Tonga A travel to Viking Park to face the ACT XV and the Fiji Warriors tackle Brisbane Academy at Ballymore.

SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

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