Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 879


1) Man seeks PNG govt help

A 38 year old man from Kelila Village, Wamena District of Jayapura is currently nursing serious gunshot wounds after Indonesian military forces shot him and his brothers at a hotel in Indonesia.
Danny Kogoya, visibly tired and distressed on crutches, made a dash for freedom after he crossed the treacherous jungles of the PNG-Indonesian border for his safety.
The West Papuan was a TPN OPM Rebel Commander in charge of all OPM operations in Jayapura. “It was in September of last year, both me and my two brothers were on the way to a hotel for a meeting when the military stopped us at the entrance of the hotel to conduct a body search. All of a sudden I was shot at close range in front of my brothers,” Danny said.
It is believed that two of his brothers, believed to be dead, were belted in front of him and were lying on the ground covered in blood. They were severely beaten and had been taken away. “We did completely nothing wrong to deserve this. The military shot me after I surrendered and told them my full name, but they kept punching me,” Danny said.
After he regained consciousness he was taken to Indo Bayankara Rumasakit military hospital where he was treated and then taken to prison to serve 10 months at the Lembage Abe Jayapura.
After completing 6 months of his jail term he was again re-arrested by the same group of military and police officers. This time he told them that in order for him to go back to jail, his other two brothers should also be arrested in the same manner. When the police and military went to check for two of his brothers, Danny escaped by crossing the thick jungles near the border. “There were all 7 of us, all jailed for up to 10 months for no good reason at all, but some were lucky as they were released under the Human Rights law in Jakarta, Indonesia,” Kogoya said.
Nursing a deep cut and fractured leg, visibly distraught from the painful experience he endured, he said someone had to warn the PNG government to do something immediately before many innocent lives and his people are completely wiped out, which will be a human catastrophe.
Danny’s family have all gone into hiding in the mountainous regions in the highlands to avoid getting caught and killed by the Indonesian military who only want to shoot to kill innocent men and young boys.
He is calling on the ONeill/Dion government to take human rights seriously by talking to the United Nations or the world leaders to give the Papuans freedom, or autonomy, or self-governance so there is total freedom to live normal as human beings under the Geneva convention.
“We are one people. There is no difference and we share the one common border. There is no difference among us, as we speak the same language and have the same cultures and traditions,” said Danny.
He is determined to return back to his homeland to fight for justice, equality and freedom for his people after he undergoes surgery to remove pellets on his left leg and parts of his body sustained from the confrontation.

2) PNG Government Proposes Constitutional Amendments For Stability
Seek to clarify no-confidence process, minimum days parliament must sit

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 1, 2013) – The government will introduce legislation aimed at making the no-confidence vote process more open and transparent.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill made the announcement at the People’s National Congress party convention in Lae, Morobe.

O’Neill also said among the changes, the number of days parliament can sit in a year would be clearly defined.

The proposed changes provide that the mover of a no-confidence motion in the prime minister must give three months’ notice containing the signatures of at least one-third of the members of parliament nominating a new prime minister.

This notice must be published in full in a national newspaper.

“The proposals will significantly add to political stability and certainty, and strengthen investor and business confidence,” O’Neill said in a statement yesterday.

The proposed amendments to the Constitution are in two parts:

Amending section 124 of the Constitution in subsection 1 by removing the words “not less frequently than three times in each period of 12 months, and, in principle, for not less than nine weeks in each such period” and replacing them with the words “not less than 40 days in each period of 12 months”; and
Amending section 145 (1) of the Constitution by repealing the words “one week’s” and replacing them with “three months” and replacing the words “one tenth” with the words “one third”.

O’Neill said the amendment to section 124 simplified and would make clearer the number of days Parliament would sit every year.

“It removes the ambiguity individuals have capitalised on in the past to congest sittings, or prolong the adjournment of Parliament for political convenience and survival.

“By clearly defining the sitting days in a year, the government can plan its legislative programmes for parliament in an orderly manner, improves administration and helps to reduce costs,” he said.

O’Neill said the amendment to section 145 of the Constitution is a safeguard that makes the vote of no-confidence notice process in Parliament more transparent.

“This will make no-confidence motions more transparent and less susceptible to corruption. At the moment, deals to replace a sitting prime minister are done behind closed doors and in secret.

“Sometimes, members are offered inducements to change their allegiance. Now, those members who wish to change their allegiance must do so publicly so their electorate can hold them accountable.”

“The amendment allows the vote of no-confidence process to occur in an open and transparent manner and allows more time for Parliament and the public to assess and debate whether the notice has merit. It ensures wider consultation.

“The performance of a prime minister must be given the scrutiny it deserves before Parliament decides his or her government’s fate: this provision ensures that, so that if change occurs, it occurs in the interest of the nation and not for the glory of one or two individuals.”

The National:

3) PNG Government Said To Owe Bougainville $87 Million
Development grant formulas not being adhered to: Minister

By Romulus Masiu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 1, 2013) – The National Government of Papua New Guinea owes the people of Bougainville K200 million in restoration and development grants as agreed under the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA).

An angry Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Minister for Finance Albert Punghau blasted National Government saying that by law ABG can take the National Government to court and has assured the people of Bougainville that ABG will just do that – it will take the National Government to court over the issue. “I’ve already spoken to President Chief Dr John Momis and we will definitely take them to court. Even though we have signed the BPA in good faith, we signed for the referendum, we signed for restoration development grant and we signed for the other monies and the National government is continuously and purposely delaying our money till today. You can know the politics of this thing, the ‘Cold War’ is still on, you have to be mindful and make the crucial decision and we open the Panguna Mine and have our own money,” Mr Punghau reminded the people of Bougainville last week in Arawa.

The financial arrangement under the BPA stipulates that the PNG government has to provide grants to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG). One such grant is the Restoration and Development Grants. The grant was introduced in 2005, with the first Bougainville House of Representatives getting K10 million. From then on the grant accumulated to K12 million and then to K15million. When the second Bougainville House of Representatives took office the figure is still locked up at K15 million till today. However, Mr Punghau highlighted that according to the formula of the BPA, this money K15 million must increase prorate as per increases of the public investment of PNG. To date this is not happening totaling to K188million owed to Bougainville.

This is just one example of the National Government’s uninspiring support and delay tactic that has prompted Momis-Nisira led government to set its sight on the re-opening of the Panguna Mine to re-build its economy and gain independence from PNG. “If the mine is re-opened Bougainville will be one of the richest places on earth with its 300,000 benefiting from billions from the copper-gold deposits at the Panguna pit,” Minister Punghau said, adding that the responsibility of ABG is to provide the goods and services to its population as in the budget, at the same time build economy which it is not doing at the moment because of lack of financial capital. “Let’s kick-start the economy by re-opening the Panguna Mine, if the mine has given independence to Papua New Guinea, this is our money, why we give money to outsiders and now we are becoming beggars on our own land, when we can’t agree on the re-opening of the mine which is rightfully ours,” Mr Punghau said adding that the budget is critical in relation to what the National Government of PNG is doing to Bougainville and its people.

PNG Post-Courier:

4) AROB ready for referendum date


BOUGAINVILLE is ready and all geared up to receive the date for the Referendum for Independence which will be decided next year 2014 by the second Bougainville House of Representatives.
The Momis-Nisira government has earmarked the year be set in 2016 with the day and date to be settled when the House sits in its special meeting first thing next year.
President Chief Dr John Momis challenged Bougainvilleans to rise up and be counted when the date is finally set saying there is no time to lose.
“We must seriously decide on the referendum as this decision we make will determine our future. Let’s keep on dreaming and be prepared to dream the impossible and make it possible. We have to dream on and reap the fruit of our dreams – not just dream empty dreams. People who don’t dream are dead. People who dream have belief and hope one day they will benefit from the dreams they have had with others.”
Dr Momis further said now is the time to make sure our dreams are realised otherwise our dreams will be of no purpose and no use. He urged the people of Bougainville to put dreams to concrete programs.
“We have to be united and work as team. Bougainville has to play as a member of one team. Process is very important, when we take care of the process, the outcome will be acceptable to all of us including our foreign investors and governments. Bougainvillea has to prove that we are not crying for money alone, we are crying for justice, we are crying for freedom. We didn’t fight for money alone. We fought for justice and freedom too.”
President Momis said this is a very important political process – autonomy is finished, autonomy ended already – discussion about autonomy is history already, now we are at this crossroad to Referendum for Independence which will be decided by the Second House which has taken over from the First House – the foundation government under the leadership of late President Joseph Kabui.The Momis-Nisira government is bringing the date closer to 2016 challenging the people of Bougainville if they are ready or not.
“Are you ready, or you afraid – that is why we are leaders and we are indigenous people of our mother land Bougainville. We have to decide our future – no one else. No outsider must decide our future –our destiny.”
“We are leaders today because we must show leadership and authority to govern – this is our task, when we die don’t regret, let us unite for one common good – for now and future. Let us be united and become one voice because we have one legislative government which is ABG – it’s not government for President Momis and his Ministers – this is the government of Bougainville. That is why we sacrifice – we sacrifice 20,000 lives during the Bougainville Crisis.
What justice will we give them? Let us make the right decision today for our future generation with whatever governing instruments,” President Dr Momis said.

5) PNGSDP funds road in B’ville

The groundbreaking for a K11-million PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd road project in central Bougainville heralds the arrival of new social and economic development potential for the 10,000 people in the area.
The reconstruction and upgrading of the Wakunai-Togarao Road on the east coast will enable construction to go ahead on the PNGSDP-funded Togarao Hydro Scheme, and at the same time will give people in the Togarao area much better access to markets for their garden produce and to essential services at Wakunai and ultimately Arawa and Buka.
PNGSDP chief executive David Sode said the road would open up a new world of opportunity. “Its main purpose is to allow PNGSDP’s local contractors to start the major development work on the first phase of the Togarao power project,” he said.
“We have been able to do some limited work using the existing access track, but we need a road capable of heavy equipment haulage to allow the main components of the hydro system to be brought in and installed.
“Once this equipment is installed, electricity will be available to the Rotokas villages in the immediate vicinity, which is a big step forward in terms of potential social and economic development.
“The power project, which is being overseen by Western Power, a PNGSDP subsidiary, will improve the quality of life in the villages, particularly by making electricity available to the local school and clinic. “A spin-off benefit will be the access it provides for people from the remote Togarao area to Wakunai, and further on via the island highway to Arawa and Buka.”
Autonomous Region of Bougainville President Fr John Momis thanked PNGSDP and welcomed the start of work on the road.
“The road itself is an important project because it will cut the very high cost of getting to and from Togarao on the existing track, which is in very poor condition,” he told guests at the opening
“Togarao is well known for the fertility of its soil and the quality of its garden produce, and I believe there is good potential to increase local production on the back of quicker and cheaper transport to the market at Wakunai, and further on to Buka and Arawa.
“The road will also make it much easier for villagers to get access to essential government and non-government services.”
It is being built by a local contractor, Jomik Plant Hire Ltd, which won the job in open tender.
PNGSDP is a 63.4 percent shareholder in the Ok Tedi mine. The dividends from its shareholding are used to support sustainable development across the nation, ranging from community-based infrastructure to large-scale projects of national significance.

Source: David Sode
Chief Executive Officer

6) New Caledonia Conference To Discuss Challenges With Nickel Market
Price drops, increased Chinese production threaten industry

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 1, 2013) – Problems facing the global nickel market are being discussed in New Caledonia this week at a gathering of the world’s top producers.

The volatile nickel price has dropped as two new huge nickel plans have this year begun production in New Caledonia, which has about a quarter of the world’s nickel ore supply.

The Noumea conference is being attended by among others Vale of Brazil, Xstrata-Glencore of Switzerland, BHP Billiton of Australia and Chinese, French and Russian producers.

The long-standing New Caledonian producer, SLN, is again feared to be making a loss this year as the crisis in Europe has cut demand and led to growing stockpiles.

China is also reported to have become a massive producer, based on ore imports from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Radio New Zealand International:

7) RAMSI Programs Transferred To ‘Partnership For Development’
Governance, elections, and law and justice activities to continue

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, July 1, 2013) – Solomon Islands and Australia have begin a new era of cooperation with the transfer of RAMSI’s development programs to the Solomon Islands – Australia Partnership for Development.

The Partnership for Development expands to include Australian funded RAMSI programs in governance, elections and law and justice. This complements ongoing efforts through the Partnership to improve the delivery of health and education services, increase access to water and sanitation, promote rural development and maintain vital transport infrastructure.

The Minister for Development Planning & Aid Coordination, Connelly Sandakabatu said the Partnership for Development has existed since 2009 and plays a critical role in supporting the Government deliver essential services to Solomon Islanders.

“The transition of RAMSI programs to the Partnership recognises the country’s great progress over the last 10 years. But it also recognises that our development challenges are best dealt with through a Partnership for Development which provides long term planning and funding certainty,” Minister Sandakabatu said.

“As agreed at the recent annual Partnership talks, we will integrate state-building and peace-building themes into the expanded Partnership. But now is the time for Solomon Islanders to lead the country’s development for the benefit of our people.”

“Our relationship with Australia has grown over the years and we value the Partnership because of its very practical assistance offered Solomon Islands. The Government and people of Solomon Islands look forward to Australia’s ongoing support through the expanded Partnership,” Minister Sandakabatu said.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson said the expanded Partnership reflects Australia’s strong commitment to Solomon Islands.

“The new Partnership continues to support the Solomon Islands Government’s priorities in their National Development Strategy and our shared efforts are making a real difference to improve the lives of all Solomon Islanders,” Mr Anderson said.

The agreed priorities of the expanded Solomon Islands-Australia Partnership for Development are health, education, justice, broad-based growth and governance. RAMSI continues as a police focussed mission supporting the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force for a further four more years.

Australia is the largest donor to Solomon Islands, providing more than SBD$1.4 billion (A$187.9 million) in development assistance in 2013–14.

Solomon Times

8) New Caledonia’s Koniambo nickel project vital for territory

Posted at 03:46 on 01 July, 2013 UTC

The operator of New Caledonia’s Koniambo nickel project says the longterm viability of its operation means it is of great importance to the territory’s ability to stand on its own feet.

The development arm of New Caledonia’s North Province, Société Minière du Sud Pacifique, or SMSP, is the 51% partner in the Koniambo mine and two associated plants, one in New Caledonia and one in Korea.

Koniambo’s local plant was launched in April, six years after work began on the five-billion US dollar project, part of moves to develop the economy of the mainly Kanak north.

SMSP’s Director of Public Relations Dominique Nacci says the Koniambo mine has created many jobs and more benefits will flow to local communities with first dividends expected in three or four years.

“This is a struggle for access to mining, access to know-how and to get added value out of the mining resources. Nickel is providing New Caledonia with more autonomy.”

Dominique Nacci

Radio New Zealand International

9) Russia Expresses Support For Reform Process In Fiji
PM Bainimarama warmly welcomed on Moscow trip

By Maika Bolatiki

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, July 1, 2013) – The Russian Federation has praised Fiji for its growing presence on the world stage and will support its reform process leading up to the 2014 elections.

The undertaking was given by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, to the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, during formal talks in Moscow. The talks also produced an agreement to set up a Russian cultural centre in Fiji for the entire South Pacific.

Mr Lavrov singled out Fiji’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping efforts and the recent deployment of 182 Fijian troops in the Golan Heights for praise. He said this was an example of Fiji’s continuing commitment to engage with the international community.

He praised Fiji’s leadership at the UN, saying that it had placed not only Fijian interests on the global agenda but the interests of the entire South Pacific region.

The Russian Foreign Minister reiterated comments made earlier to Prime Minister Bainimarama by his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, that Fiji should be allowed to determine its future without being dictated to from outside.

Prime Minister Bainimarama briefed him on the constitutional and electoral reform process in Fiji. In response, Mr Lavrov said Russia looked forward to Fiji finding its own style of democracy for the benefit of its people and their future. He said Fiji could count on Russian support as it carried out that process. Russia, he said, believed in respecting each country irrespective of size and wealth.

The Foreign Minister said Russia and Fiji both looked forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary next year of the establishment of their diplomatic relationship. He invited Commodore Bainimarama to make a return visit to Russia to commemorate the anniversary.


10/11) Academic says Russia extending influence through Fiji

Posted at 06:09 on 01 July, 2013 UTC

An Auckland University Pacific Studies academic, Steven Ratuva, says Moscow is trying to extend its influence in the Pacific through Fiji.

He was commenting on new formal ties established between Suva and Moscow during a trip to Russia by Fiji Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Steven Ratuva says Fiji, in turn, is trying to use Russia as leverage along with China against its traditional partners Australia and New Zealand.

“Russia doesn’t want to be left out now that a new cold war, as it were, between China and the United States, is taking place. It’s saying look I’m still here.”

Steven Ratuva says more global exposure puts pressure on Fiji to make good the promise of elections next year.

Radio New Zealand International

12) Fiji Former PM Rabuka Considering Standing In 2014 Elections

Coup leader tells New Zealand TV if chiefs, people want him to run he will

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, July 1, 2013) – The leader of Fiji’s first two coups, former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, has said in New Zealand that he isn’t ruling out standing in the 2014 elections.

Mr Rabuka has previously back home in Fiji deflected suggestions that he still has political ambitions.

But Mr Rabuka confirmed in an interview on New Zealand TV3′s “The Nation” that he has. Mr Rabuka is in New Zealand to speak at the University of Otago Foreign Policy School in Dunedin.

“I believe God doesn’t believe in retirement,” he said.

“I am still available to contest if my chiefs and my people want me to run as their representative.”

He said he would most likely be a member of parliament representing a province if he re-entered the political sphere, but did not rule out a prime ministerial bid.


Mr Rabuka also said New Zealand and Australia’s sanctions on Fiji were punishing the innocent.

“They’re being felt by the people who have no say in what is going on,” he said.

Mr Rabuka also said the sanctions were being particularly felt by the people in the army

“They’re just slogging along and they need medical treatment in New Zealand and Australia, they’re not allowed to come in.

“So we have to take them all the way to India.


He said that because of the sanctions New Zealand and Australia had lost a lot of mana.

He added: “If we have elections and Australia and New Zealand want to come in, we have the right to say where were you when we needed you?”

Excerpts from his views in the TV3 programme:

ON non-racial voting:

“I agree as long as you have a place for the races. You have to accept the races as a fact of communities and societies, and you have to deal with them on a race by race case.”

ON being pressed by the interviewer about the influence of Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum:

“He’s higher profile, because he’s there facing the cameras, facing the media more occasions than the Prime Minister. Maybe he’s at home at the time, more of the time when Frank is away negotiating overseas.”

ON who’s running Fiji:

“Frank is still running the country, with his Cabinet.”

ON his own aspirations to lead again:

“Aspiring to be the political leader of Fiji now before the election is unrealistic. First of all you’ve gotta get into parliament and get in with a new big base of support, to be able to go and lead. But you can be the voice of the people in parliament.”

[PIR editor’s note: During Rabuka’s trip to New Zealand he also addressed a group of diplomats and scholars at Otago University where Radio New Zealand International reported he said that “Fiji is turning into a nation of parasites because of a culture of spoon-feeding and vote buying….[Additionally he said that] there is increased political polarisation, and a nationalistic wave because of the weakening of indigenous institutions and customary values.”]


13) Jobless rate up in Fiji

Fiji: There are 28,006 unemployed persons registered with National Employment Centre (NEC) which is about 99 per cent of unemployed persons captured in the 2007 census.
But government is working on achieving its goal to reduce unemployment from its present status of 8.6 per cent to 4.2 per cent by 2015.
Minister for Labour Jone Usamate said this seemed impossible but they would find innovative ways to reduce unemployment rates and provide the people of Fiji with livelihood. “The unemployment rate increased during the period 1996-2007 from 3.7 per cent to 8.6 per cent. This is a substantial 43 per cent increase in a span of 10-11 years,” he said while opening a one-day workshop on public sector partnership and co-operation in Suva this week.
“The reduction of unemployment in Fiji remains at the forefront of the ministry’s ultimate goal under the NEC Decree.C/-


14) Tonga Parliament Unanimously Passes Record Budget
Donor support to make up 55% of $192.6 million

By Pesi Fonua.

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 28, 2013) – The Tonga government’s biggest-ever budget estimate of T$357.6 million [US$192.6 million] for the 2013-14 financial-year was unanimously passed by parliament yesterday evening, 27 June.

The budget – the third to be produced by Tonga’s current government -relies on foreign aid donor funding to meet 55 per cent of its total costs. [See earlier article: Tonga’s biggest budget depends on donor pledges]

Donor-supported government has become a fact of life for Tongans whose economy is predicted to make invisible growth of 0.5% in the coming financial year.

Significantly, there are no major projects in the new national budget that could boost the economy, other than opportunities for Tongan workers to work overseas and send money back to their families in Tonga.

Salaries and wages account for a large portion of the ministries votes.

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Lisiate ‘Akolo stressed that there is no cut back in the size of the Civil Service this year, nor an increase taxes, excepting for an amendment to the Income Tax Act, to enable government to collect income tax from foreigners who are in Tonga on projects for less than 30 days.

But government will fund two big investigations – one to find out why public enterprises no longer pay handsome dividends; and another to find out why bored school boys who see no future in a dead economy are beating-up each other.

Public Enterprises

The budget allocates $250,000 for the setting up of a Royal Commission to scrutinize the operation and the revenue collection of Public Enterprises. Hon. Lisiate ‘Akolo believed that some thing is wrong with the revenue collection of some of these enterprises. He said that one particular enterprise used to pay a dividend of $6 million per annum, but now it was paying only about $300,000 to $400,000 per annum.

The allocations for government Ministries have all increased, with some more than others. The top five ministries are:

The Ministry of Finance and National Planning – $69,763,455
The Ministry of Infrastructure – $59,949,707
The Ministry of Education and Training – $46,994,368
The Ministry of Lands, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources – $39,945,986
The Ministry of Health – $31,050,288

The bottom five ministries are:

Ministry of Public enterprises – $2,298,639
Ministry of Justice – $4,481,897
Ministry of Internal Affairs – $7,767,814
Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forests and Fisheries – $8,237,089
Ministry of Revenue Services – $8,801,575

Minor changes

The debate on this year’s budget lacked vigor, and after eight days of debate, including overtime, it was passed with only two minor changes to the original submission.

One of those changes allows the Ministry of Education to receive the $250,000 that was allocated to find a solution the problem of the increasingly violent clashes between schools, which is spreading into villages. The Ministry of Education is already working on the problem.

The other change was the amendment to the Income Tax Act to enable government to collect tax from foreigners who visit Tonga to oversee projects.

Noticeably lacking from the budget debate this year, was that it ended without any good wishes for the coming year from Cabinet.


Whether it was by design or default, a very cold draft blew the House closed, when an issue of corrupt electoral practices for village elections was compared to the current practice of allocating a total $2 million in handouts to PRs for their annual constituency tours.

For a start, ‘Akilisi Pohiva told the House about a letter from a man at Pangaimotu, Vava’u, who had complained that the last election for town and district officers was snatched by a candidate who had butchered a pig for the villagers during the election, and won. ‘Akilisi said when he first ran for parliament other candidates did all sorts of corrupt practices to get into parliament, but he did not, but the people elected him.

Lord Nuku, however, snatched the moment and pointed out that the member was highlighting what he thought was corrupt practice by this individual at Pangimotu. In fact, he pointed out, that the PRs had just butchered the budget by accepting an allocation of $100,000 per elected People’s Representative to take with them on the annual tours of their constituencies for handing out. This practice, according to Lord Nuku, is a budget-funded election campaign by the People’s Representatives. A total of $2 million has been allocated in this year’s budget to be shared among the PRs who may make hand outs to their constituents.

The only PR who responded to Lord Nuku’s reaction was Hon. Sangster Saulala, who said that now and again he helped the needy people in his constituency, not to ascertain that he would get their vote but “to share what he had”.

Matangi Tonga Magazine:

15) Satellite Launch Could Bring High Speed Internet To Am. Samoa
O3b Networks promises ‘fiber speed’ via medium-Earth orbit satellites

By Patty Page

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, June 28, 2013) – A space ship that blasted off this week from a small South American country that most of us probably can’t locate on a map is destined to revolutionize telecommunication and internet services for parts of the world that currently have little or no access to broadband internet. And American Samoa is on the top of the list to benefit from this novel telecommunications network.

Earlier this year American Samoa Telecommunication Authority (ASTCA) signed an agreement with O3b Networks, the company that launched their first four medium-Earth orbit satellites that will deliver fiber speed with satellite reach for Pacific Island nations. They were successfully launched on a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana on Tuesday.

It took more than two hours to get the spacecraft into its just over 5,000 mile-high (8062 km) orbit, the altitude that is a critical part of the O3b Network design.

By flying in this “medium-Earth orbit”, the satellites will be a quarter of the distance from Earth that traditional geostationary (GEO) telecommunications satellites orbit in and O3b is promising its customers a round-trip transmission time of a little more than 100 milliseconds—an astounding improvement over the delivery time of the older satellite providers.

In January ASTCA said it was preparing a state of the art, dual 7.3-meter antenna array at the ASTCA Ili’ili Teleport (located on the golf course) that will receive the signal from the satellites for distribution through the fiber optic network being laid on island as part of the $90 million BLAST project. At the time ASTCA said the equipment was ordered and the site was being prepped.

A selling point for O3b to extend the project to include American Samoa is ASTCA’s BLAST project that is wiring American Samoa fiber optically.

Samoa News watched this story develop this week via the Arianespace website — the company that launched the satellites. On Monday with the go-ahead in place, the launch was halted because of weather. On Tuesday the countdown began again, culminating with a successful launch and orbit.

Steve Collar, Chief Executive Officer of O3b Networks said on its website, “The Internet is now established as the key infrastructure that supports every sector of the economy and is a fundamental driver of productivity, innovation and economic growth. It is the most transformational technology of our time. And yet, this transformational technology is not available to everyone. As our customers reach out further and further into the remote and rural communities and populations of the world, O3b will provide the critical infrastructure to connect, to reach further and to do more.”

Samoa News understands that the new service should be available in the third quarter of 2013 and on Tuesday, prior to the launch, we sought comments from ASTCA board chairman Roy J.D. Hall, Jr who referred us to CEO Moefa’auo Bill Emmsley for updates on both the BLAST and O3b projects.

In the spirit of transparency promised by the Lolo administration, Samoa News would like to know:

Why has the BLAST project been in delay mode for the past year and when is the completion date anticipated?
Is the Ili’ili Teleport eligible for BLAST funding or is another funding source available?
If the teleport is funded by BLAST are there any costs associated with O3b project that remain unfunded?
What is the status of the Ili’ili Teleport and is it completed?
Tell us how these two projects are going to ‘revolutionize’ our connectivity and when ASTCA expects the medium-Earth orbit satellites will be in use here in American Samoa.

No replies to our questions were received at press time.


One of the conditions of the BLAST grant is that ASTCA must improve broadband capacity up to 3 times greater than it currently offers, at the same price it presently charges.

O3b Networks’ investors are SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart. O3b Networks is headquartered in St. John, Jersey, Channel Islands.

The name “O3b” stands for “[The] Other 3 Billion”, referring to the population of the world where broadband Internet is not available without help.

The Samoa News:

16) French Polynesia Opposition Unconcerned By Government Boycott Threat
Flosse government doesn’t want UN to organize self-determination referendum

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 1, 2013) – The French Polynesian opposition has shrugged off a threat by the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira to boycott a self-determination referendum if it is organised by the United Nations.

The ruling party itself wants to have a plebiscite as soon as possible but organised by France and without restricting voting rights to long-term residents.

Walter Zweifel reports.

“The president Gaston Flosse, has again rebuked the UN for returning the territory onto the decolonisation list last May, accusing the world body of being dictatorial. His latest attack came on Autonomy Day in Papeete which the rival pro-independence side marked on the other side of town by hoisting the UN flag. The opposition says the public needs education so that the indigenous people can decide its future, but Mr Flosse says a majority wants to stay with France and this should be tested in a referendum. While France failed to stop the UN decision in New York, it has chosen to remain silent on Mr Flosse’s plea to organise a referendum in French Polynesia.”

Radio New Zealand International:

17) By-Election Win Bolsters Tuvalu Opposition Parliamentarians
Claiming mandate they ask Governor General to reconvene dormant parliament

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 1, 2013) – Following the by-election result on Nukufetau Island at the weekend, Tuvalu’s opposition has presented a petition to the Governor General seeking the use of his special powers to reconvene parliament.

Islands Business reports that the opposition’s candidate Pita Elisala won Saturday’s by-election in the seat left vacant after the death of Finance Minister Lotoala Metia in December last year.

Mr Elisala, a former Ministry of Fisheries official, polled 537 votes to beat Peteli Niuatui who polled 264 votes.

Elisala’s election means the Opposition led by Enele Sopoaga now has the majority of eight seats whilst the Willy Telavi-led government has seven seats.

However parliament has been dormant since last year and the opposition suspects the government remains reluctant to call a parliament session so it has sought action from the Governor-General.

The Governor-General has asked for time to seek advice on the issue before acting on the petition.

Radio New Zealand International:


18) AusAID stresses good governance
By Online Editor
2:19 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Promoting good governance in PNG is AusAID’s most important task, head of Australian Aid (AusAID) in the country, Stuart Schaefer says.

Speaking in Port Moresby during the national development forum at Parliament last Friday, Schaefer emphasised that to improve service delivery, AusAID was finalising a new strategy for supporting governance.

He said they had picked up strategies from some of the key themes of the forum.

“This is not about improving governance for its own sake but to improve service delivery,” Scahaefer said.

“The three themes – quality services, sustainable services, community-driven services – are high among AusAID in PNG’s priorities.

“Achieving good governance is most likely to result in development that is sustainable and PNG-led.
“PNG has experienced more than a decade of economic growth but this has not translated into commensurate improved development outcomes.

“Increased government revenues will only translate into a more educated and healthier population if these revenues are effectively governed.

“The government has committed itself to improving service delivery.

“Australia is here to help the government do so by improving the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of its spending.

“We support better governance in PNG by focusing on the partnership for development priorities which Australia shares with PNG.

“In health and HIV, education, transport infrastructure and law and justice – a good governance approach underpins everything we do.

“This year, AusAID is supporting more than 609,000 elementary school children to receive tuition free education.

“Measures have already been in place to oversight the distribution of funds but AusAID is supporting the government to take an additional step – a feedback loop from citizens to government.”.

19) Australian PM Kevin Rudd unveils his new frontbench
By Online Editor
2:27 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Australia

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the core task of his new frontbench will be to keep the Australian economy strong

Announcing his new team in Newcastle on Monday, Rudd says jobs, growth and living standards will be his government’s top priority.

“The core task of this Australian government is to keep the economy strong,” he told reporters.

The government will seek to diversify the economy, boost manufacturing and productivity, and working with businesses and unions, he said.

“That’s why I have assembled today a strong economic team, one with vastly more experience and vastly more competence than those we face opposite,” he said.

He described Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong as highly intelligent people who will lead that team.

Deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese faces a heavy workload, retaining his infrastructure and transport portfolio, while taking on communications – including responsibility for the national broadband network.

“This is a large set of responsibilities for a man with a prodigious work ethic and a heart for all Australia. He will do the job well,” Rudd said.

Overseeing the nation’s roads, rail network and ports, along with the broadband system, means Mr Albanese “will keep the nation’s arteries going”, the prime minister added.

Bill Shorten will retain the industrial relations brief but will also take on the school education portfolio.

Senator Kim Carr, who was sacked from cabinet by former prime minister Julia Gillard because of his support for Rudd, returns as the minister for innovation, industry and science.

Mark Butler becomes minister for climate change, taking over from the retiring Greg Combet, as well as environment, water and heritage.

As expected, Tony Burke will move from environment to the tough immigration, multiculturalism and citizenship portfolio.

Rudd said Burke had experience in the sensitive portfolio after being immigration spokesman in the Labor opposition.

“It’s a tough challenge,” the prime minister said, adding that he was certain Burke would bring the right balance of toughness and “heart”.

Joel Fitzgibbon returns to the frontbench, taking agriculture, fisheries and forestries while Brendan O’Connor moves from immigration to employment, skills and training.

“He was delighted,” Rudd said when asked how O’Connor responded to his new role.

Victorian MP Richard Marles has been catapulted from the backbench into the trade portfolio.

Other ministers who have retained their Gillard government portfolios include Bob Carr in foreign affairs, Jason Clare in home affairs, Stephen Smith in defence and Mark Dreyfus as attorney-general.

Gary Gray continues as resources and energy minister, as well as minister for tourism small business.

Jenny Macklin will carry on as family services minister, also in charge of disability reform, along with indigenous affairs.

“She is a person of great experience and a great work ethic,” the prime minister said of Ms Macklin.

New female faces in the cabinet line up include Senator Jacinta Collins, who assumes the mental health and ageing ministry.

Tasmanian MP Julie Collins becomes housing and homelessness minister, and minister for the status of women.


20) Samoan minister to challenge for Auckland mayoralty
By Online Editor
2:24 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, New Zealand

A Samoan minister is preparing to take on Len Brown for the Auckland mayoralty in a contest which is likely to divide traditional loyalties for the current mayor.

Reverend Uesifili Unasa joins Brown, activists John Minto and Penny Bright and millionaire businessman John Palino in the race for the top spot.

Unasa said today that the first term had been a “huge challenge” for the mayor and council to bring together the many different legacy councils, but Aucklanders needed to consider whether people or projects were being put first.

“I think it’s important when we have elections that we are able to contest ideas. I believe that the issues now are very profound and important for Aucklanders to consider.

“The vision that was set out that Auckland be the world’s most liveable city has to be tested again.

“Is the vision about people or about what we can build on roads and tunnels and trains? We have got to get the issues right and the priorities right and it seems to me that we have got to ask the question again of our leaders. Are people being put before the projects?”

Unasa said the contest was not a personal one between he and Brown, who is revered amongst the Pacific community, but a contest of ideas.



21a) Queensland i promis long sapotim nupela hausik long PNG

Updated 1 July 2013, 17:45 AEST

Queensland i tok orait long halvim Papua New Guinea long kirapim wanpela nupela hausik long kepital blong Western Province, Daru.

Gavman blong Queensland i promis long halvim Papua New Guinea i bildim wanpela nupela hausik long Daru, kepital blong Western Province.

Dispela tok aut ibin kamap long wikend taim PNG Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ibin igo long Townsville long Queensland.

Gavin King, man igo pas long Queensland PNG task force, i tokim Radio Australia Pacific Beat igat planti ol bisnis long North Queensland iken mekim insait long Pacific.

Em i tok gavman blong PNG igat planti samting, planti risos na mani tasol ol inogat ol save laen na pipol igo long halvim wantaim dispela ol kaen wok.

Moni blong hausik bai kam lng PNG Gavman wantaim Queensland save-laen i mekim design, construction, administration na management wok.

Dawson Wilkie, from Townsville Chamber of Commerce itok Queensland Gavman imas givim ol bisnis blong North Queensland nambawan ‘priority’ taim dispela wok i stat.

Em i tok, dispela em i narapela wei blong strongim bisnis wantaim ol na PNG.

Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ino ting ol Queensland bisnis bai ino pasim ol PNG sitisen long kirapim bisnis blong ol iet.

21b) PNG i painim hat tru long lukautim bodamak

Updated 1 July 2013, 12:28 AEST

Eksekitiv Dairekta blong Institute blong National Affairs, Paul Barker i tok Papua New Guinea i painim hat tru long lukautim bodamak blongen na bikpela heve longen, istap long solowara. Em i tok em i hat long sekim olgeta ovasis bot  i kamap long provins, we em ino gat gutpela sistim long sekim ol.

Odio: Ekseketiv Dairekta blong PNG Institute of National Affairs i tok PNG i painim hat tru long lukautim bodamak blong en
Papua New Guinea igat bikpela heve na wari wantaim ol sosol isu, bikpela namba blong ol mama na pikinini i dai nating na tu, bikpela namba blong ol pipol ino go skul oa pinisim skul.

Wamntaim dispela ol wari, Papua New Guinea nau i painim had tru long lukautim ol bodamak blong en na stopim pasin blong bringim hait ol pipal blong Asia ikam insaet long kantri.

Wanpela ripot blong State Dipatment blong America ibinmekim dispela tokaut, we em i bin sutim tok long ol gavman ofisa long helpim long bringim hait ol meri blong ol narapla kantri long mekim pamuk pasin long ol maining na logging eria.

Ripot ripot itok tu olsem sampla kriminal laen blong Asia i save go pas long ol despla wok we oli save iusim tu ol yangpla meri blong PNG long mekim paum pasin.

Eksekitiv Dairekta blong Institute of National Affairs long Papua New Guinea i tokim Caroline Tiriman dispela boda isu i wanpela long planti ol wari i kamap long kantri.


22a) Forum keselamatan laut Asia-Pasifik digelar di Cairns, Australia

Diperbaharui 1 July 2013, 12:50 AEST
By Sharnie Kim

Kepala Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) mengatakan, sebuah forum regional di Cairns, ujung utara negara bagian Queensland, minggu ini akan membantu meningkatkan keamanan pelayaran dan pengendalian polusi.

Di Cairns mulai hari ini, AMSA menjadi tuan rumah pertemuan lebih dari 20 badan keselamatan laut dari seluruh Asia Pasifik.

Direktur AMSA Graham Peachey mengatakan, sangat penting untuk menjalin kerjasama regional.

22b) Dialog antara Australia dan Indonesia akan disiarkan di televisi

Diperbaharui 1 July 2013, 13:46 AEST

Pembahasan soal Australia dan Indonesia kini akan ditayangkan melalui acara diskusi, Q&A, progam TV yang populer di Australia. Acara ini akan disiarkan langsung dari Jakarta.

Suasana dibalik produksi acara TV Q&A di studio di Perth (Foto: Emma Wynne) (Credit: ABC)

Indonesia dan Australia akan sama-sama menentukan masa depan dalam waktu berdekatan, karena kedua negara akan menggelar Pemilihan Umum untuk menentukan pemimpin yang diharapkan dapat membawa perubahan.

Australia rencananya akan menggelar Pemilu pada tahun ini, sementara di Indonesia akan digelar tahun depan.

Pemilu ini nantinya tidak hanya untuk perbaikan di dalam negeri, tetapi hubungan yang lebih erat di kawasan Asia Pasifik.

Untuk membahas soal tantangan dan peluang yang akan dihadapi oleh para calon pemimpin kedua negara, sebuah diskusi terbuka akan digelar dan ditayangkan langsung dari Jakarta.

Melalui program televisi yang sangat populer di Australia, “Q and A” (Q&A), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) dan stasiun televisi, Metro TV di Indonesia akan bekerja sama untuk memproduksi acara ini.

Rencananya, akan ada sejumlah panelis yang akan ditampilkan dalam program ini, yakni Dewi Fortuna Anwar, selakuDeputi Sekretaris Wakil Presiden Bidang Politik; Yuli Ismartono, Wakil Pemimpin Redaksi dari majalah mingguan Tempo; Rafendi Djamin, aktivis di bidang hak asasi manusia; dan Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, Pemimpin Redaksi dari harian berbahasa Inggris The Jakarta Post.

Program Q&A juga mengundang para penonton untuk ikut hadir di studio. Mereka bisa ikut berpartisipasi dengan mengajukan pertanyaan dan pendapat soal hubungan kedua negara kepada para panelis.

Diharapkan dialog publik ini bisa menangkat topik-topik yang berkaitan dengan Australia dan Indonesia, terutama memberikan kontribusi yang positif untuk lebih mengenal kedua negara.

Q&A yang disiarkan langsung di Jakarta akan ditayangkan online pada hari Kamis, pukul 21:35 waktu Australia Timur atau 18:35 Waktu Indonesia Barat, di Australia Network.

Bagi Anda yang ingin ikut hadir di studio atau memberikan pertanyaan bisa mendaftar disini

Atau ikuti secara langsung melalui Twitter dan diskusi secara real time bisa diikuti dengan temukan #qanda


23a) Barack Obama s’en prend au changement climatique

Posté à 1 July 2013, 8:43 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le Président des États-Unis a indiqué qu’il n’avait pas de temps à perdre avec ceux qui croient que « la terre est plate ».

Barack Obama n’a pas le temps pour ceux qui pensent que la Terre est plate.

Toutes les îles du Pacifique s’inquiètent des conséquences du changement climatique et seront donc intéressées par les grandes lignes d’un projet de Barack Obama pour combattre les conséquences de ce changement. Pour ce faire, nous avons parlé à notre correspondant à Washington, Ben Knight.

KNIGHT : «  Il a présenté son projet en disant que ce sera l’un des legs qu’il aimerait laisser tout en expliquant que l’Amérique est déjà affectée par le changement climatique. Il a parlé de l’ouragan Sandy et du niveau des eaux du port de New York qui a augmenté de 30 centimètres au cours de ces 100 dernières années.

La semaine dernière, il a aussi parlé de la vague de chaleur en Alaska où les températures sont montées à 30 degrés Clecius. Barack Obama a dit : ne vous faites pas d’illusions, le changement climatique est là, nous le ressentons maintenant, cela affecte nos vies et cela coûte des vies.

Il s’est déclaré ouvert à toutes les idées, mais a souligné qu’il n’aurait pas beaucoup de patience pour ceux qui refusent de grimper à bord. »

OBAMA : « Je n’ai guère de patience pour ceux qui pense que ce défi n’est pas vrai et je n’ai pas pas le temps d’aller aux réunions de l’Association des croyants de la Terre plate. »

En fait, d’après ce que nous a dit Ben Knight, Barack Obama a l’intention de présenter son plan au Congrès et il a donc pris les devants pour mettre en garde les lobbyistes qui vont tenter sans nul de faire dérailler son projet. Il a ainsi souligné qu’il vaut mieux ne pas se retrouver du mauvais côté de l’Histoire.

OBAMA : «  Un jour, nos enfants et les enfants de nos enfants vont nous regarder dans le yeux et vont nous demander si nous avons fait tout ce qui était possible de faire pour gérer ce problème et leur laisser un monde plus propre, plus sûr et plus stable. Et j’aimerais leur dire : oui, nous l’avons fait. Pas vous ? »

On ne connaît pas en détail le projet de Barack Obama mais son discours à jeter les bases d’une politique à venir. On retrouve Ben Knight.

KNIGHT : « Le point le plus important de son discours a été de montrer où l’Amérique en était et la position du Président. Mais il n’est pas vraiment rentré dans les détails.
Il a quand même dit que 40% de la pollution américaine venaient des centrales électriques qui, à l’heure actuelle, peuvent émettre dans l’air toute la pollution par gaz carbonique qu’elles désirent sans avoir à payer quoi que ce soit. Et que cela allait changer, a dit le Président.

Il a dit aussi que les États-Unis allaient doubler leurs productions d’énergies éolienne et solaire d’ici 2020 pour alimenter plus de 6 millions de foyers.

Que le Département de la Défense allait se mettre aux énergies renouvelables pour réduire de 3 millions de tonnes la consommation de charbon et  qu’il allait mettre fin aux énormes allègements fiscaux des sociétés pétrolières pour subventionner les énergies propres. »

23b) Une structure d’aide pour les jeunes océaniens de Melbourne

Mis à jour 1 July 2013, 8:51 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est dans l’État australien du Victoria que le United Pacific Council (Conseil du Pacifique Uni) a été créé pour aider des familles océaniennes à obtenir une assistance gouvernementale.

Une initiative suscitée par les inquiétudes de la police et de la communauté juridique à propos de la surreprésentation des jeunes du Pacifique dans le système pénal.

Temese Leilua est un éducateur qui travaille auprès des jeunes pour ce Conseil du Pacifique Uni. Nous lui avons demandé de nous parler de cette surreprésentation des jeunes océaniens.

LEILUA : « Il y a eu un rapport des services juridiques de Springvale-Monash qui indique que les Océaniens représentent 2% de l’ensemble de la population carcérale des banlieues sud-est de Melbourne, mais que les jeunes océaniens représentent de 10% à 12% des jeunes qui se retrouvent devant de tribunaux. »

Le problème serait donc davantage du côté de ces 10 à 12% des jeunes océaniens qui font les 400 coups et se retrouvent devant un juge. Le Conseil du Pacifique Uni est en place depuis 3 ou 4 ans, alors que fait-il pour tenter de diminuer cette surreprésentation ?

LEILUA : «  Et bien nous essayons. Le tout est d’avoir accès à des programmes et les familles n’avaient pas vraiment accès à ces programmes de soutien pour les jeunes. Le but est de trouver les moyens d’aider les jeunes du Pacifique pour les relier à des programmes gouvernementaux, des services de jeunesse et d’autres organisations comme ça. »

Et quels sont-ils ces jeunes qui s’attirent des ennuis ? On ne parle pas, je présume, de ceux qui vont à la messe tous les dimanches ?

LEILUA : « Oh, il y en a toute une palette. Je pourrais en parler toute la journée. Il y a des jeunes qui ont des problèmes à l’école et d’autres des problèmes familiaux.
C’est complexe et cela a beaucoup à voir avec la culture. Nous n’agissons pas en fonction des valeurs de la cellule nucléaire familiale dans nos cultures. Il y a la famille élargie et ce n’est pas de la famille immédiate et tout le fonctionnement de la famille s’articule autour de la communauté [du Pacifique] et de la famille élargie et il n’y a pas beaucoup de soutien pour la famille élargie de la part du gouvernement local, les programmes gouvernementaux et tout ça. »

Les églises jouent aussi un rôle important en proposant des activités culturelles ou sportives, notamment le rugby qui a beaucoup de succès.


24) New hope for fisheries development in the Pacific

By Online Editor
09:48 am GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Australia

An Australian fishing centre has provided a new model of fisheries development for the Pacific.

The centre has been officially opened in Australia’s Northern Territory to process sea cucumber.

Will Bowman, hatchery manager at Tasmanian Seafoods, says the fishing centre will be engaging in sea cucumber production and will be releasing them in waters for sea ranching.

Bowman says sea cucumber produced in the centre will be exported mostly to China.

“We hope to produce ten tonnes of sea cucumber for export by next year,” he said.

Cathy Hair, a researcher at James Cook University, says many places in the Pacific have long been involved in collecting sea cucumbers for the Asian market.

“People in the Pacific, in order to have an income and to generate cash, have been exploiting these animals for several decades now,” Hair said.

“Populations have disappeared from some areas and seriously depleted in other areas (in the Pacific).”

Hair, who works to help develop community aquaculture in the Pacific, says cultivation alone can’t restore the region’s sea cucumber population.

“Good management is a big part of the answer,” she said.

“In areas where sea cucumber have been fished down to such low levels…aquaculture could really assist with the problem.

“If you produce juvenile (sea cucumbers), they can be put out into the sea in either sea ranching or sea farming situations.

“That is quite low technology and communities should be able to manage these.”.


25) PIDF – A positive road for the Pacific: FIJI PM Bainimarama
By Online Editor
4:44 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the launch of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) will provide the impetus for inclusive and sustainable development architecture which can become a key pillar for the South-South cooperation in the region and beyond.

PIDF was borne out of the collective input of Pacific leaders that attended the Engaging with the Pacific meeting in Fiji last year to bring together governments, businesses and civil society organizations in the Pacific to secure the future of the region through Green Economy.

PM Bainimarama during his recent participation at the 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit in New Caledonia, had issued an invite to all Pacific government leaders, private sectors, civil society organizations and development partners to this meeting.

“PIDF will champion the vision of a “united, distinctive and sustainable Pacific society” that has spread throughout the Pacific conveyed by a team from Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” PM Bainimarama said.

PM Bainimarama said work towards hosting of the inaugural PIDF meeting in Nadi in August has already begun.

“The team has visited around the Pacific, meeting public sector, private sector and civil society leaders and we are pleased with their report and are confident that the groundwork has been laid for a successful inaugural meeting of the PIDF ” PM Bainimarama added.

PM Bainimarama highlighted the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, at the Rio+20 Earth Summit issued a declaration, “The Future We Want” which encouraged countries to introduce green economy policies to tackle poverty without adding extra strain to food, water and energy supplies.

The theme of the inaugural PIDF meeting will be “Leadership, innovation and partnership for Green/Blue Pacific economies” and an experienced team of experts in Green Economy from the region and beyond have been approached to address the conference.

“We are excited by the interest that is being generated by this event which is creating its own challenges in terms of space and representation. We are confident however, that the mixture of programmes that is being prepared which includes ten plenary and parallel sessions, and a Green Economy Expo will surpass everyone’s expectations,” PM Bainimarama said.

PM Bainimarama added that through the support of all countries in the region, a new space for dialogue on sustainable development will be created.

“I’m confident that with all our support, we will be able to birth this new space for dialogue on sustainable development and bequeath to our future generations a new way of engagement that is truly participatory and representative,” PM Bainimarama said.

“I am also confident the Pacific Islands Development Forum can surely animate its vision of a ‘united, distinctive, and sustainable Pacific society’.”

The PIDF inaugural meeting is scheduled for 05 – 07 August in Nadi.


26a) Tens of thousands march for democracy in Hong Kong

Updated 1 July 2013, 22:52 AEST

Tens of thousands of people have marched in a rally for universal suffrage in Hong Kong on the 16th anniversary of the return of the former British colony to mainland China.

Tens of thousands of people have marched in a rally for universal suffrage in Hong Kong on the 16th anniversary of the return of the former British colony to mainland China.

The procession came after a survey published by Hong Kong University found only 33 per cent of Hong Kong people took pride in being a Chinese national, the lowest level since 1998.

Local media has estimated about 50,000 people turned up for the rally.

Photo: Protesters march during a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong on July 1, 2013 marking the 16th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). (AFP: Laurent Fievet)

Jackie Hung from the Civil Human Rights Front, which organises the annual July 1 march, says many people have expressed anger at Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leadership.

“People don’t want ‘elections with Chinese characteristics'”, Yeung Yuk, a 28-year-old social worker said.

“The government should start consultations now so Hong Kong can have genuine democracy.”

Ms Hung says “the main goal of the rally is to push through for genuine democracy and to ask for Leung Chun-ying to step down.”

Leung Chun-ying was appointed as chief executive and president of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) last July, promising to improve governance and uphold the rule of law in the territory of seven million people.

At the ceremony to mark the anniversary early on Monday, Mr Leung refreshed his promise to address people’s grievances, which include a widening income gap fuelled by an influx of mainland Chinese wealth.

“With the greatest sincerity and commitment, the SAR government will launch a consultation at an appropriate juncture,” Mr Leung said, in response to demands for universal suffrage.

Beijing says the ability of Hong Kong people to protest in force proved that the freedoms guaranteed under the handover agreement were alive and well.

“This year, with so many people going on the streets to protest, shows that under the ‘one country two systems’, Hong Kong has a lot of freedom and rights,” Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong said.

26b) US regional expert says no need to choose between US and China
By Online Editor
2:17 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, United States

A senior adviser with the Washington-based think tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, says the United States does not want Pacific Island countries to have to choose between the US and China.

Ernest Bower says the two countries are focused on different areas of development in the region but there’s room for better co-operation.

He says the Americans are very good at governance, development strategies, empowerment of women and rule of law and its aid can be given alongside an enlightened Chinese approach.

“We recognise the fact that the Chinese are going to be a major presence in the Pacific for a long time and we want to work with them so we’re putting the hand out to do that.”

Ernest Bower says the US could be co-operating better and new levels of strategic trust need to be built up between the two countries


27a) Fiji TV undergoing restructure
By Online Editor
4:29 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Fiji

A management level restructure is now underway at Fiji Television after the company was granted a six month extension to its broadcasting license.

Fiji TV board chair Padam Lala told FBC News that changes are now in the pipeline for the media outlet.

Certain changes are now being planned but it is not going to be imposed overnight or tomorrow it’s something that’s ongoing process. There are technological advancements being done, human resources development and there is lot to be done in putting new equipment.

He says the restructure will be undertaken with the needs of the company in mind.

“You have to do in consultation with the staff, human resources and also make sure that these are for the long term gain of the company as you aware that the company is not only in Fiji but they are also operating in Papua New Guinea, we are also now looking at expansion in other islands as well,” said Lala.

Fiji TV was granted an extension of six months last Friday.

27b) Kapera: Support media

By Online Editor
2:14 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

PNG Government should give greater financial support to the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), managing director Memafu Kapera says.

Kapera told participants last Friday at the CIMC national development forum in Port Moresby the government must not ignore the communications sector since it was a vital part of the country’s progress.

“The quality of the government will be measured by the quality of the media,” he said.

“Every year certain funding must be allocated to support NBC operations in the country because it will enable the Government to deliver its strategic development objectives to the people effectively with the use of television/radio coverage that the organisation can maintain,” he said.

“It is a big plus because of our network across the country having an average of 42% of provincial stories and 58% from NCD stories.

“In 2011, the organisation received only K5 million in development funding from the state and  as of last year the organisation has not received anything from the budget.

“The organisation is able to raise revenue of K3 million each year.”.


28a) Diabetes destroys

With Avinesh Gopal
Monday, July 01, 2013

IT can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves over time.

And it is because of what it can do, people fear being told by medical officers that they have diabetes.

Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Health Ministry says 50 per cent of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease, primarily heart disease and stroke.

Combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and eventual need for limb amputation.

“Diabetic retinopathy is an important cause of blindness and occurs as a result of long term accumulated damage to the small blood vessels in the retina,” a Health Ministry statement said.

The statement said diabetes was among the leading causes of kidney failure and the overall risk among people with diabetes was at least double the risk of their peers without the disease.

It said Type 1 diabetes requires daily administration of insulin and its cause was not known and was not preventable with current knowledge.

Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin and comprises of 90 per cent people with diabetes around the world.

Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma said the figures, 20 per cent of the population with diabetes, was alarming.

“We know that the number of people suffering from diabetes has really gone up,” he said.

“In fact, a survey was done in 2011 and figures will be released soon to the public.

“Diabetes means blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure and eventually death.

“Wellness is one of the key factors we are looking at to reduce complications of diabetes.

“Artificial limbs are now readily available as well.

“We also launched a new diabetes management guideline aimed at providing standardised treatment to people living with the non-communicable disease on April 10 this year.”

Dr Sharma said they looked forward to a one stop diabetic shop, a diabetic hub which would materialise very shortly.

“It will be opened on July 11,” he said.

28b)Queensland pledges support for new PNG hospital

By Online Editor
4:38 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Australia

The Queensland Government has committed to help Papua New Guinea build a new hospital in Daru, the capital of the country’s Western Province.

The project was announced during PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill’s visit to Townsville in Queensland on the weekend.

Gavin King, head of Queensland’s PNG task force, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat there is untapped potential for north Queensland businesses to expand into the Pacific.

“The PNG government has a lot of resources, a lot of funding available but they don’t quite have the capacity and the expertise to deliver on those projects and that’s the whole reason they have come to the Queensland Government,” he said.

The hospital construction will be funded by PNG with Queensland providing expertise for design, construction, administration and management.

Dawson Wilkie, from Townsville Chamber of Commerce says north Queensland businesses should be the Queensland government’s first choice.

“We want to increase the business links and I think from those business links, then there might be increases in traffic,” he said.

Prime minister Peter O’Neill does not believe Queensland businesses will prevent PNG nationals developing their own businesses and prosperity.

“Where there is capacity within our country, we are encouraging joint ventures with the national businesses to participate in,” he said.

O’Neill says he would like the exchange to go both ways, boosting the number of PNG nationals coming to Australia.

Thousands of PNG students are currently learning trades at TAFE colleges in Townsville and Cairns.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill supports the increase but says getting the balance right will be difficult.

“We don’t want to see massive people movements out of PNG into Australia,” she said.

However, one major obstacle to creating stronger links remains – there are no direct flights between the Townsville and PNG.

O’Neill says there are plans to change this.

“We’re looking at direct flights between Port Moresby and Townsville. And we are going to encourage that with our own airline,” he said.

Meanwhile, O’Neill has encouraged businesses in North Queensland and Townsville to invest in PNG.

O’Neill, who addressed the Townsville chamber of commerce on Saturday, said great opportunities exist for Townsville business and industry to participate in Papua New Guinea’s economic development, and to grow the small business sector in the country.

“Our economy is experiencing strong GDP growth, thanks principally to the construction phase of our first LNG project that will begin exporting gas in 2015. In that year, our GDP will be more than 20%,” he said.

He said LNG and mining would deliver strong revenue inflows to the national government but those sectors could not alone provide the jobs and small business growth we are 100% committed to achieving.

“But we are only going to be able to genuinely and fully share the benefits of strong economic growth if we grow our small business sector, if we commit to downstream processing of our resources, if we grow tourism and service industries, and if we rebuild and grow agriculture.

“Our small to medium business sector needs partners, it needs mentors,” the prime minister said.


29) Greater need for Pasifika research to have practical application

Posted at 05:54 on 01 July, 2013 UTC

It’s hoped a new Pasifika Research and Policy Centre in New Zealand will build a better connection between researchers and policy makers, charged with making decisions which affect Pasifika people.

The Centre is one of the key features of a new strategy launched by Massey University to improve the education of Pasifika students.

At the heart of the strategy is the recognition that better education will contribute to the social and economic advancement of the Pasifika community.

Bridget Tunnicliffe reports:

The Pasifika director at Massey University, Dr Malakai Koloamatangi, says the main vision of the strategy, which carries through to 2020, is to achieve excellence for Pasifika students, researchers, and staff. Dr Koloamatangi says the new centre, which will be based at the Albany campus in Auckland, will add to the body of Pasifika knowledge and be relevant to those communities. He says one of the problems among existing centres of Pacific studies in Australasia is they often narrow in on Polynesia.

“MALAKAI KOLOAMATANGI: For example, except for the ANU in Canberra, Australia, no-one looks at Melanesia seriously. Yet the Pacific is Melanesian. The majority of Pacific Islanders are not brown, they’re from Melanesia, so why are we neglecting Melanesia? The resources are there, it’s got the most natural resources in the Pacific, the populations are there.”

Dr Koloamatangi says there is a need for more research that has a practical application. Dr Lesieli Ikatonga Kupu MacIntyre is a senior Pasifika advisor at Massey and supervises doctorate students. She says offering students study opportunities in areas that affect their own community seems to galvanise their interest.

“LESIELI IKATONGA KUPU MACINTYRE: They’re picking topics they hold a body of knowledge about. And some of them, because of that, they go back to their respective islands and do their fieldwork in it. I have seen the improvements in the Pasifika students choosing their topics and exploring it.”

“Emilia Sa’u is a New Zealand-born Samoan studying for a Bachelor of Health Science at Massey. When she graduates next year she wants to work in the community to better the health of Pasifika people through sport, exercise and better eating habits. Ms Sa’u says one day she might take what she has learned back to Samoa.”

“EMILIA SA’U: So probably going back to Samoa and seeing how they do things and how they eat their food and teaching the community on how to sort of make it in a way that’s more nutritional so that they can still have that traditional food.”

Dr Koloamatangi, who’s been appointed as one of the directors at the new research centre, says one of the things they are serious about is increasing the internationalisation of Pacific knowledge. He says they’ve started having conversations with other stakeholders and universities in the region, but says collaboration won’t be limited just to the Pacific.

“MALAKAI KOLOAMATANGI: We think that we’ve got a story to tell the world because the Pacific is international, it is global. This present engagement by the US in the Pacific as a counterweight to the Chinese presence is fascinating. So we need to be capitalising on that kind of thing. We’re here in the Pacific – it’s natural for us to provide for some of the advice, the policy formulation.”

The new centre will be up and running in about 12 months.

Radio New Zealand International

30) Governor helps Unitech students


KOKOPO MP Ereman ToBaining Jnr has brought good news to parents in the Kokopo District with a K51,000 payment for students attending Lae’s University of Technology.
The money came from the Kokopo District Services Improvement Program for the education sector and is intended to support Kokopo students only.
Mr ToBaining Jnr has initiated this program with an allocation of K250,000, covering 19 higher institutions throughout the country.
He made the bold move to subsidise school fees for students attending higher institutions after seeing copra and cocoa prices affected by the world market. He intends to increase the total amount to K1 million next year.
He said that his Government was committed to investing heavily in human resource development as this was the way forward for his district, the province and the nation as a whole.
“This is a 40 per cent subsidy by the Kokopo District administration and the balance would be met by parents.”
When receiving the payment, the university’s Acting Vice Chancellor Macquin Maino said that for this nation to grow we needed to invest in our students. The Governor’s funding will also give the students courage to perform extra hard so that they will give back to their province.
He said that this was the first of its kind where a New Guinea Island province assisted their students and he commended the Kokopo Governor for his commitment to the students.
Meanwhile, Kokopo Districts Executive Officer Donald Kunai also stated that they would introduce an East New Britain scholarship scheme next year.
He said it would be an elite program for Kokopo tertiary students building a partnership with the USA, Malaysia and the Philippines. The best students will be selected to study in these countries.
Mr Kunai said that with this new program, the USA and Malaysia would recruit 10 students each, while the Philippines would recruit 20 students.
“Those countries will pick the best of Kokopo students who are studying engineering, medicine or aviation,” he said.


31) Rio Tinto wins case

US Court dismisses class action


RIO Tinto, the parent company of Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), has emerged victorious in a long-running court battle against victims of the 10-year Bougainville War.
The international mining giant operated the controversial Panguna copper mine in Central Bougainville until it was closed in 1989 as a result of growing landowner dissatisfaction with the social and environmental impacts of the mine.
A 10-year secessionist war on Bougainville ensued, which reportedly claimed up to 20,000 lives.
On Friday (Saturday PNG time) the majority of an 11-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the class action against Rio Tinto which had alleged the company was responsible for war crimes, cultural devastation and environmental rape.
Steve Berman of US law firm Hagens Berman who represents the Bougainvilleans told Post-Courier by email, “the court has dismissed the case, unjustly so in our view.”
He added: “We are considering re filing with many individuals as plaintiffs rather than a class action. We would assert claims of assault, battery, murder, conspiracy.”
The case, known as “Sarei versus Rio Tinto”, alleged that “Rio’s conduct violated customary international law, including prohibitions against destruction of the right to life and health, and prohibitions against racial discrimination and war crimes.
“Rio’s conduct violated the settled standards for the protection of human rights and the environment recognised by customary international law and United States legal precedent.”
In the landmark court case, the plaintiffs were seeking remedy under the Federal Alien Tort Claims Act, a US law that had been used to litigate against companies accused of abusing human rights worldwide.
However, that law’s international clout was restricted by the April 17 decision in the Kiobel V Royal Dutch Petroleum Co case – a Nigerian lawsuit alleging crimes against humanity by the oil company. The majority of judges in that case declared the Statute was designed in the main to cover International law breaches within the US.
This has now impacted on the Sarei V Rio Tinto case which was discontinued on Friday as a result. This has now impacted on the Sarei v Rio Tinto case.

32a) Amid price drop, nickel talks in New Caledonia

Posted at 01:54 on 01 July, 2013 UTC

Problems facing the global nickel market are being discussed in New Caledonia this week at a gathering of the world’s top producers.

The volatile nickel price has dropped as two new huge nickel plans have this year begun production in New Caledonia, which has about a quarter of the world’s nickel ore supply.

The Noumea conference is being attended by among others Vale of Brazil, Xstrata-Glencore of Switzerland, BHP Billiton of Australia and Chinese, French and Russian producers.

The long-standing New Caledonian producer, SLN, is again feared to be making a loss this year as the crisis in Europe has cut demand and led to growing stockpiles.

China is also reported to have become a massive producer, based on ore imports from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Radio New Zealand International

32b) Dubai company gets PNG construction contract

Posted at 01:54 on 01 July, 2013 UTC

The Dubai-based company Essar Projects Ltd has secured a construction contract in Papua New Guinea worth 50 million US dollars.

Essar Projects already has experience in PNG, having previously built an airport for Exxon Mobil, and is now contracted for a construction project involving the Western Highlands Province government headquarters.

The project is to design and build an office complex for the provincial administration, the Governor’s Office and a residential building for diplomats, ministers and professionals.

The project is to be completed in 22 months.
Radio New Zealand International


33) Filipino, 2 Ni-Vanuatu nationals nabbed for illegal drugs

By Online Editor
09:58 am GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Philippines

Anti- Narcotics- agents have arrested three suspected drug personalities, including two Ni-Vanuatu nationals, in an entrapment operation in Dasmariñas City, Cavite, an official said.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac, Jr. identified the suspects as Eduardo Gocotano Jr., alias Kaloy, 28; and his cohorts, Vire Solomon, 19, and Gibson Tari, 25, both nationals of  of Vanuatu. The two foreigners are students and residents of Barangay Langkaan, Dasmariñas City, Cavite.

Cacdac said the trio fell into the hands of PDEA Regional Office 4A (PDEA RO-4A) during a buy-bust operation along Congressional Avenue, Pasong Lawin, Dasmariñas City, Cavite last Thursday.

Confiscated from the suspects were a brick of dried marijuana leaves, 12 plastic sachets containing marijuana, one bottle of suspected Psilocybine, popularly known as Magic Mushroom, a dangerous drug, and a smoking pipe.

“Psilocybine, a hallucinogenic substance found in certain types of mushrooms, is included in Schedule I of the 1971 United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances as enumerated in Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” Cacdac said, adding that like any hallucinogens, the illegal drug has the ability to distort one’s perception of reality.

The three suspects were allegedly selling illegal drugs, particularly marijuana, to students and foreigners alike in a resto-bar and in the outskirts of La Salle-Dasmariñas along Congressional Avenue, Pasong Lawin, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Cases for violation of sale and possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia will be filed before the City Prosecutors’ Office of Dasmariñas City, Cavite against the suspects, Cacdac said.

34) Solomon Islands government admits corruption in ministries a problem

Posted at 05:54 on 01 July, 2013 UTC

The Solomon Islands government says it’s new law on aid distribution avoids corruption, which is an entrenched problem.

Earlier in the week, the finance minister accused ministries of institutional corruption while justifying the new law that channels aid funds through the constituent offices of MPs.

Connelly Sandakabatu, the Minister for Development Planning and Aid Co-ordination, says the scheme works well and MPs are provided assistance from the ministries to implement aid projects.

He told Alex Perrottet corruption has long been a problem.

CONNELLY SANDAKABATU: (Indistinct) farmers directly assisted by me through this agricultural process for cocoa and coconuts and delivered in full. It is a partnership within constituencies, members of parliament and also the ministry of agriculture. So we do not go out there and work with farmers on our own. But each member is allocated a staff from the ministry of agriculture and livestock to work with farmers.

ALEX PERROTTET: There’s allegations of corruption by Transparency and the LCC. In the ministries there’s more layers of bureaucracy, there’s more corruption there and there’s more layers of bureaucracy. There’s more corruption there and there’s more opportunity…

CS: Exactly, exactly. I would totally agree. There are examples of that in the previous years – let’s say the 2010 disbursement and 2009 and the years before that. For instance, my constituency only received 6 projects, and this time around, you have 83 projects. That is miles different.

AP: This is all well and good to be channelling money more efficiently through individual MPs in the CDOs, but what is the issue with corruption in ministries and should there be a clean-out of these problems of layers of bureaucracy where money disappears? I mean, surely that’s the problem here.

CS: That is an issue which has been there for donkey’s years. And, for us, we have a limited term to serve the people, and how best we can serve right now is I think what we have to do. The constituency bill has been passed, legislation for that is going to be with the Core Economic Working Group, which I’m sure you know. That comprises all donor partners. And if there is any issue or any donors want to be included in the legislation, then that’s the opening. For my constituency this is the approach. I help and will continue to help my people.

AP: What is your government going to do to commit to doing something about cleaning out these ministries and the corruption inside them?

CS: We are exactly doing… I should say, there is the financial review and all these bills coming up, and we’re not sitting on our back and watching. We are doing all we can. And I’d like to invite Transparency International to come and visit my constituency, as well, if they so wish.

Radio New Zealand International

35a) Fiji soldiers begin work at Golan

By Online Editor
09:59 am GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Fiji

Fijian peacekeepers deployed recently to the Golan Heights have started work.

This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Land Force Commander, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.

Colonel Tikoitoga confirmed that the Fijian peacekeepers have arrived safely at Beirut and have reported for work.

“There is no rest for our boys as some of the countries have withdrawn from the Golan Heights,” Colonel Tikoitoga said.

Japan and Croatia have withdrawn their troops from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) because of the violence.

Austria has started taking home its contingent of some 380 troops.

Colonel Tikoitoga said Fijian troops would help fill in the gap, while the United Nations is still holding talks with various countries to find several hundred more troops to join the force.

The Philippines already has some 340 troops in UNDOF, joining 200 troops from India.

A UN report said Syria’s conflict started more than two years ago with peaceful demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad, but has since descended into a civil war.

It said that the UN also plans to increase the force, which has been operating with about 900 troops, to its authorised strength of 1250.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war, and the countries technically remain at war, though Syrian troops are not allowed in an area of separation under a 1973 ceasefire formalised in 1974.

Meanwhile, the former Prime Minister and Commander of the RFMF, Sitiveni Rabuka, has called on the UN to change the rules of engagement for peacekeeping in the Golan Heights..

 35b) NZ MP against Fiji move

A New Zealand MP says the United Nations shouldn’t employ soldiers from Fiji as peacekeepers while they are part of a military dictatorship at home.
Winston Peters was New Zealand’s Foreign Minister at the time of the 2006 coup when the head of Fiji’s military, Commodore Frank Bainimarama,overthrew the government.
Peters says while New Zealand has sanctions in place against Fiji, they need to be more expansive.
He says he believes one area that must be looked at is the hundreds of Fiji soldiers being deployed for overseas duty in places such as the Golan Heights.
“The paradox of the United Nations employing Fijian soldiers to bring about recovery of peace and democracy or the rule of law in some countries whilst destroying it back home.


36) Fiji recommits itself to providing early warning systems for Pacific Island Countries and Territories
By Online Editor
2:31 pm GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Fiji

By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS Editor in Nadi

Almost forty years of Fiji’s commitment to providing early warning services to Pacific Island Countries and Territories will continue in the future, assured Fiji’s Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities.

Captain Timoci Lesikivatukoula made the assurance at the 2ndPacific Meteorological Council (PMC) meeting underway in Nadi.

Since 1975, the Fiji Meteorological Service has been providing early warning service to the region.
“We are committed to continuing these services, especially to neighbours who have yet to set up their forecasting services.

In addition, Fiji has developed a coastal inundation forecast demonstration project funded by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

“This project is aimed at strengthening the technical capacity and capability of the Fiji Meteorological Services in issuing timely weather warnings and advisories to local communities and nearby islands on extreme unexpected weather events like tropical cyclones, flooding and tsunamis that may affect our communities.

Minister Lesikivatukoula said an agreement detailing the project has been endorsed by the Fijian Government.

“The project will also benefit the nearby small islands of the Pacific that are now becoming more vulnerable to the negative impact of climate change.

Lessons learnt and technologies from this project will be used to assist our neighbouring islands, said Minister Lesikivatukoula.

To strengthen this role, the Fiji Government has reformed its weather service, merging the Fiji Meteorological Services with the Department of Hydrology of the Water Authority of Fiji.

“The transfer is based on my government placing priority on the well-being of our citizens and the safety of their property, a lesson learnt from the devastation floods in the western division of Fiji in Dec 2011 and January 2012.

In addition, the Ministry of Works has also commenced discussions on relocating the Government seismologist from the Department of Mineral Resources to the Fiji Met Service.

“This would pave the way for a more efficient and effective tsunami reporting system under one umbrella at the Fiji Met Service, revealed Minister Lesikivatukoula.

The PMC meeting is part of a series of regional meetings in Nadi in the coming two weeks that will lead to the first ever regional framework on climate change and disaster risk reduction.

37a) “Climate threats in the Pacific: Rising to the Challenge”

This workshop held on Monday 24th June attracted around fifty people and with the four eminent speakers proved to be a very successful evening.
Dr. Robert Kay from Adaptive Futures, Australia spoke about the projects he has been involved with which have assisted Pacific Island Nations adapt to the climate change effects. These projects have been funded by the Australian Government’s International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, however this funding runs out on 30th June and there are NO PLANS FOR ANY FURTHER MONIES FOR PACIFIC ADAPTATION PROJECTS.
Dr. Habiba Gitay, a climate change adaptation specialist from the World Bank had a very strong message that we must stress to the financial arm of Government that what we have is A Major Development Issue rather than a Climate Change Issue in other words,  ‘People Centric Sustainable Development with Climate Risks’ .
Dr. David Dodman from the International Institute for Environmental and Development in the UK spoke about: Inequality in the Causes of Climate Change e.g. the Productivity & Consumption of 1st World Countries; Inequality in Vulnerability to Climate Change & the Ability to Respond e.g. exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of affected countries and Responding to Climate Change: Mitigation & Inequality e.g. does it take attention away from adaptation.
Dr. Simon Bradshaw, Climate Change Advocacy Adviser, OXFAM Australia spoke about an OXFAM Pacific Project in Vanuatu which has some key features.  The project is community led, builds on what has already been done, aims for climate resilient development, links traditional & scientific knowledge and has a resilience framework. Climate Finance: No plan on how to meet the 100bn Yr. by 2020 Goal,  Green climate fund still an empty shell.

37b) The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR)  Fiji 3-5 July

Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang PCP Outreach Officer & Amelia Anthony PCP Community Youth Officer are attending this Meeting
on behalf of the Pacific Calling Partnership – we wish them safe travels and a fruitiful meeting.
The Meeting was established to coordinate climate change dialogue and networking in the region. PCCR also facilitates linking global and regional stakeholders with the national and community levels. It is expected to host over 100 participants from across the region and internationally and to focus on building resilience to climate change through collaboration. PCCR is coordinated by SPREP in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) with funding provided by Switzerland, the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA /SPC- PSIS) project, AusAID, the British Government and Germany’s International Cooperation agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ). The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable will be held alongside the Pacific Meteorological Council (1-5 July) and before the Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Round Table (8-11 July 2013).

 37c) Work of our brothers and sisters from the Pacific

Mikaele Mavaega Maiava from Tokelau and Toanii Benson from Kiribati were in  Istanbul in Turkey last week attending a Power Shift. Mikaele Mavaega was the Chair person for the event, and hearing from Mikaele Mavaega from facebook he said that their present  (Pacific Representatives)  really stood out. They all worked together as a team and pushed hard to get their voices  heard on the issue of climate change. A comment from Arianne Kassman from facebook
“What an amazing and inspiring experience in Istanbul!!! Big thank you to my Oceania Pacific Family for all the love, support, laughter, meals and long distance walking Proud to be a Pacific Warrior!!!  “We are not drowning, We are fighting!!!”
Claire Anterea from Kiribati and Krishneil Narayan  from Fiji will be attending the Power Shift in Melbourne with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, we wish them and the rest from the Pacific all the best as they represent Pacific islands on the issue of climate change.

 37d) ACT for stronger climate action  – Climate Action Network Australia

July 1 One Year Anniversary of Australia’s Carbon Price – Twitter Action
1st Year anniversary is a fantastic opportunity for us to show that there is real support for a price on carbon pollution, and that Australia is not acting alone.
The suggested posts are below – you can just use the posts.  You can use twitter or facebook (which now has hashtags so the posts can be the same).  Feel free to create your own.  Or just retweet from @CAN_Australia.  Primary hashtag (all tweets): #HappyAnniversaryAustralia #CarbonPrice
Secondary hashtags (optional): #pricingpollutionworks #pricingpollutionisthesolution #climateaction #ActOnClimate

Targeting our Government to ACT on Climate Change
We will be @targeting the leaders of the 2 main parties on selected posts: @KRuddMP, @Tony AbbottMHR

Other methods of communicating ACTION on Climate Change
Tell Kevin Rudd:  Keep your climate promises Email your MP.


38) International Food Festival Saturday 6th July 2013 – 10am – 1pm. French Cultural Centre

Dear everyone,

Good afternoon!

This is an open invitation for the International Food Festival
Saturday 6th July 2013 from 10:00am to 1pm.

International Women’s Group is made up of all Women round the world
living and doing business in Vanuatu.  This group is well known for
its fundraising activities every year in holding this Food Festival as
their major fundraising activities in Port Vila.  All funds raised is
used in good cause.
Last year International Women’s Group have renovate the children ward
at the Vila Central hospital.  This was a project of over 3million
Vatu which IWG have invested in.
IWG also funds small projects for church women and villages in the
remote villages and also nearby villages in Port Vila.
What happened at the food festival is each country cooked present
their own traditional food and all monies raised goes to IWG for
funding projects.

This Saturday we are promoting a Melanesian Table and we are asking
women and men who can contribute to this day to the Melanesian table
and also we are inviting you all if you are in Port Vila this Saturday
to come and taste the foods.

This is IWG major fundraising event and the other one is our
International Food Festival Monster Raffle.  It is only 4 days away
and if you need to buy a ticket please respond or call on mobile

This is a charitable fundraiser and all proceeds goes towards children
and women projects.

If you want to contribute by cooking a dish and bring it to the food
festival please let me know so that we know how many people are
cooking or bring a dish.

IWG will love to have many more Ni-Vanuatu or more Melanesian women
joining this food festival this Saturday.

Thank you for your support and look forward to see you this Saturday.
If you cannot come and decide to contribute please let us know.

Thank you and God bless you!

Credit:  Jenny Viregagaru


39a) Dual challenge for Garamuts


A dual challenge lies ahead for the PNG garamuts who will be looking to qualify for their fourth consecutive Under 19 World Cup when they arrive for the Pepsi East Asia Pacific tournament in Brisbane.
The Garamuts head to Darwin, taking on cricketing giants Australia, New Zealand and India.
Assistant coach, John Ovia said it was a fantastic opportunity for his squad and “we will be playing against future test players and it’s a great opportunity for the guys.”
Ovia said “Our aim is to get some confidence and learn as much as possible at the tournament in Darwin, then come to Brisbane for the EAP final”.
“I think the strengths of the PNG team that beat Zimbabwe was our spirit, and doing the small things right on the day is something I will never forget”. “Bowlers, Riley Hekure, Nosaina Pokona and Sakavai Gebai are some of the players that can win a game.
They’ve played in the recent Hebou Shield matches and have been performing and they can do it in the tournament” said Ovia.
The competition is a very high standard, and the guys seem to be playing good cricket.
Papua New Guinea will arrive in Maroochydore on 5 July, after having matches against India (Sunday), New Zealand (2 July) and Australia on 4 July.

39b) Wigmen crush Crocs


An improved PRK Prima Gulf Isapeas put up a gallant effort before going down 34-38 to Kemele Construction Hela Wigmen in Mendi yesterday.
Toks Mix Dogs off season rugby league team product and PRK Prima Gulf Isapeas player, Junior Aria scored four tries on his return to the Isapeas club however a disallowed try to his side in the end did not compliment his effort losing to the Wigmen 38-34.
Back in the nation’s capital, die heard Enga Mioks supporters were disappointed when their team went down to Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers 20-16 in front of a roaring crowd.
In Lae, the Lae Snax Tigers have maintained a strong home win record beating current defending champion, the Agmark Gurias 8-6, while PRK Mendi Muruks fell short losing 6-8 to Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles yesterday in Mt Hagen.In the other result, the Goroka Bintangor Lahanis beat TNA Lions 22-14 to lead the Digicel Cup competition this year. It was interesting to see how passionate Engan supporters were for their team Mioks back in Port Moresby when a brawl between supporters nearly broke out during the game against Vipers.
Vipers proved a handful when they first scored through Richard Kambo and further extended the lead when blocking prop Enoch Maki from pushed his way over the line.
Second rower Sebastian Pandia converted both tries well to lead 12-0. The game went intense as players exchanged strong hit ups and gang tackle which Vipers escaped to be awarded a penalty before second half, Pandia converted well to lead 14-0 to the break.
Mioks fought back in the second half however supporters were very frustrated over some of the ruling that was made by referee Ben Kaupa. Few obstacles were thrown into the playing field by Mioks supporters to show dissatisfaction over some of the referee’s ruling but the game went on and Vipers won 20-16.
Mioks tries came through hard working captain Roger Laka and Paul Kambi and a consolation try to inform center Pasu Awane however time ran out on them.
Mioks Captain Roger Laka was put on report for consistently back chatting with the referee, Ben Kaupa. Similarly it is believed three Isapeas players are put on report following their loss to PRK Mendi Muruks match in Mendi yesterday.

39c) Snipers burns out Hoppers


Snipers had a lot of fuel to burn Grasshoppers with a stunning 3 sets to 0 in the NWTL National Capital District volleyball men’s premier match at the Hohola courts on Saturday
Snipers kept their winning record lashing out strong direct hits against the under strength Grass Hoppers who looked like beginners on the court.
It was one of their best performances with the itchy fingers of setter, Veleke Kila who paved way for front line spikers Richard Kila, George David, Poka Ai and Stanley Gele.
Their back court defence was well covered by veteran PK Morea who was given a golden opportunity at playing two full sets.
Morea was very considerate at picking up most of the loose balls that made it easy for his setter to draw a good line for the spikers.
The sharp shooters went into the business of winning three straight sets despite the Hoppers’ John Lausi who played his heart out during the entire clash.
In another interesting battle, Scorpions proved too classy against Vailima with another 3-0 set while Ela Motors put a tight bolt to win against Vanama.
Those stood out for the Stingers include skipper Ularalema Gima, Moha Opa Mea and Alex Solien while Charlie Iru tried his best for Vailima.
In the women’s encounter, Vailima made holes against the Scorpions blockers in a very tight tussle to see them winning 3-2 sets.
The early match had the After Dark Fashion wake up from a long sleep to beat Idubada with 3-1 set while Grass Hoppers defeated Snipers in the other game.

39d) Fiji Bati reveal RLWC outfit

By Online Editor
11:41 am GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Fiji

The Vodafone Fiji Bati apparel for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) was launched on Saturday night.

The apparel was modelled by the elite members of the Bati training squad during the Kaila! Talent Show at Civic Centre in Suva.

“One is the traditional Fiji Bati black and white coloured outfit and the other is sky blue which is our alternative jersey,” Fiji National Rugby League general manager Tomi Finau said.

“We will wear our alternative jersey against England.”

Finau said the jerseys go on sale from today at Tappoo’s Fiji outlets. The RLWC starts on October.


39e)NZ sweep rugby sevens for men and women

Monday, July 01, 2013

Update: 8:35AM MOSCOW – New Zealand swept the men and women’s titles at the Rugby World Cup Sevens on Sunday, mixing superior tactical nous with hard-nosed defence and fleet-footed attack.

Gordon Tietjens’ All Blacks team have dominated the IRB World Series Sevens, winning 11 of the 14 men’s titles on offer, but last won the World Cup in 2001.

However, they put England to the sword in the final at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, running in five tries to none as they took advantage of the tactically poor English kicking game in wet, muddy conditions.

Tim Mikkelson (2), Gillies Kaka, veteran playmaker Tomasi Cama and replacement Waisake Naholo all crossed the whitewash, Cama bagging three conversions and Kaka a fourth.

England were underpowered in the face of an aggressive All Black team happy to slow the game down and play for territorial advantage.

Ben Ryan’s team were pushed into resorting to a deep kicking game that played exactly into New Zealand hands. Rarely for the abbreviated game, there was a full minute of aerial ping-pong, which drew boos and jeers from the crowd.

The Kiwi women’s team had earlier beaten Canada 29-12 and the results mean that New Zealand are now world champions in rugby 7s and 15s in both sexes.

The All Blacks scrapped past Fiji 17-0 in the semi-final, where play was held up for an hour because of a thunder storm over the Luzhniki Stadium.

While the claps of thunder and bolts of lightning subsided, the rain did not, continuing to teem through the whole finals program.

England beat Kenya 12-5 in the second semi-final, played in similarly atrocious conditions, a try-saving tackle from Dan Norton the difference in a game also dominated by kicking.

The All Blacks had dispatched Wales, unlikely outsiders who clinched victory in Dubai four years ago against odds of 80/1, in the quarter-finals.

The Australian men’s side finished equal fifth.

In the women’s competition, New Zealand outplayed Canada in the Cup final, defending champions Australia having paid the price for an injury to key playmaker Tiana Penitani in suffering a shock 14-10 defeat by Spain in the quarter-final.

The Australian women went on to win the plate final.

The All Blacks won the major title 29-12 thanks to tries from Portia Woodman (2), Kelly Brazier, Honey Hireme and Kayla McAlister, Canada responding through Ghislaine Landry and Arielle Dubissette-Borrice.

39f)New Zealand are Women’s RWC Sevens champions

By Online Editor
11:43 am GMT+12, 01/07/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand have been crowned Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 champions after a 29-12 win over Canada in a final played in wet conditions at the Lizhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The New Zealanders now hold both World Cup titles – in Fifteens and Sevens – and also won the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series after victories in three of the four rounds in 2012/13.

The World Series champions had been in imperious form again on day two, comfortably beating England 24-7 in the quarter-finals and then coming through strongly 19-10 against USA.

Portia Woodman gave them the perfect start to the final by going under the posts and Kelly Brazier followed soon after for a 12-0 lead early on. Canada hit back through Arielle Dubissette-Borrice but Honey Hireme ensured New Zealand lead 17-5 at half-time.

However, it was game on when the impressive Ghislaine Landry reached over and converted her own try. Playing in their first World Cup final, Canada needed to score next but they didn’t with Woodman and then Kayla McAlister touching down to ensure New Zealand could celebrate come the final whistle.

Woodman’s double in the final meant she finished the tournament with 12 tries, easily beating the previous benchmark of nine tries set by compatriot Carla Hohepa in 2009 when New Zealand lost the final in extra time to Australia.

It had been a good tournament for Canada up to that point with wins over hosts Russia and Spain, thanks in part to two superb games from Landry who racked up a brace of tries in both games and made some huge tackles, including one on Russia’s Baizat Khamidova who was heading for a try that would have but her side two scores ahead.

Silverware winners

Australia, meanwhile, won the Plate competition by beating England 14-5 in the final with captain Sharni Williams in inspired form, scoring a last gasp try to make certain of victory and making countless tackles as she led from the front.

It was some consolation for the defending champions were who left ruing a last-minute error against Spain in the quarter-finals earlier in day, conceding a try at the death having thought the game was over.

They had to come from behind in Plate semi-final, Williams winning it for them in the dying seconds to give them a shot at returning home with some form of silverware.

Sixth place will be a real disappointment for England, who misfired badly in a competition they were strongly fancied to win and had made no secret was their major focus for the year.

England were comfortably 24-5 beaten by World Series champions New Zealand in the quarter-finals, but were in much better form to beat Ireland 22-0 with Jo Watmore scoring the pick of the tries.

In the Bowl competition, Fiji continued to showcase their rapid improvement with a 12-10 win over a much more experienced Netherlands side in the final. Timoci Wainiqilo’s side showed great skills all weekend and they will certainly be a side to look out for in the future.

The loss ended a disappointing weekend for the Netherlands, who as well as finishing 12th overall also lost their core status for the 2013/14 World Series despite the outstanding efforts of their leading player Kelly van Harskamp.

Fiji had reached the final with a super win over South Africa, while the Netherlands had dispatched China. Earlier in the Bowl competition Tunisia had earlier scored their first try of the tournament against France and the North African side will have learned plenty from their first ever World Cup experience.

39g) New Zealand win RWC Sevens title in Moscow

By Online Editor
11:44 am GMT+12, 01/07/2013, Russian Federation

New Zealand lifted the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 title in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, beating England 33-0 in the final.

From the moment Tim Mikkelson picked a good line and waltzed through the England defence to open the scoring, New Zealand were in control. Two more tries, from Tomasi Cama and Mikkelson again, gave New Zealand a 21-0 lead.

Any hopes of an England comeback were effectively extinguished with Waisake Naholo’s try two minutes into the second half. England enjoyed their best period of pressure shortly afterwards, but were undone by a quick break from New Zealand, with Gillies Kaka touching down in the left corner before saluting the crowd to acclaim the victory.

In the third place play-off Fiji beat Kenya 29-5, while Canada won the Plate, losing just one match all weekend to New Zealand, and there was celebration for the hosts Russia who won the Bowl.

In the first semi final New Zealand beat Fiji 17-0 after the match had been suspended due to bad weather when Sir Gordon Tietjens’ side were leading 12-0.

When play was resumed Bryce Heem extended the current HSBC Sevens World Series champions’ lead, before a second half in testing conditions ended scoreless.

In the second semi final even the weather could not stop England’s Dan Norton, with the World Series’ top try scorer using his speed to cross twice in a 12-5 win against Kenya.

Earlier, defending champions Wales lost 26-10 New Zealand with Gillies Kaka scoring twice, as their title defence came to an end in the quarter finals.

“Considering our team four years ago, our squad this time has much more experience, but then so are the other teams. But we felt if we played our best we could retain the title but it wasn’t mean to be,” said Lee Williams who won the title four years ago in Dubai.

In the other two quarter finals Kenya dramatically beat France in sudden death extra time in their quarter final with Willy Ambaka scoring the decisive try after the scores were locked at 19-19 while South Africa lost to Fiji 12-10.

Plate triumph for Canada

A hat-trick from Canada’s captain Nathan Hirayama ensured the North Americans beat Samoa 19-5 to lift the Plate title in Moscow adding to earlier defeats of Tonga and Scotland.

The result meant Geraint John’s side finished ninth in the tournament, having lost just once over the three days to finalists New Zealand, with Hirayama scoring all the points in the final for Caanda.

Hosts celebrate

Russia won the Bowl to the delight of the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium by beating Japan 29-5 in the final, with Vasily Artemyev once again putting in a scintillating display.

The result meant they won all three of their matches on the final day in Moscow, adding to their earlier defeats of Spain and Uruguay.

39h) Knights run riot

A James McManus foursome of tries helped the Newcastle Knights pulverise the Gold Coast Titans 46-16 at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.Elsewhere the Warriors made it five wins straight, including two against Brisbane, as they pounced late to steal an 18-16 victory over the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium.
Later on Sunday evening North Queensland racked up its 100th home victory in a 24-4 defeat of Cronulla in Townsville.
In Newcastle, the eight-tries-to-three blow-out was enough to send the Knights up to eighth on a boosted points difference, while the Titans belied their finals hopes with an abject showing in defence.
To make matters worse for the sixth-placed side, Jamal Idris hobbled off in first minute and could be out for up to four months with a suspected broken ankle.
Tyrone Roberts opened the floodgates on the 10th minute for the Knights before Darius Boyd followed up his Origin II two-try effort with a penalty try four minutes later.
But the rest of the afternoon belonged to McManus, who became the sixth Newcastle player to score four tries in a match, notching up his hat-trick inside the first 30 minutes.
He had his fourth early in the second half before Jarrod Mullen powered over on the hour mark.
Willie Mason provided the one blot on the Knights’ copybook, going on report for a high shot on Gold Coast utility Sam Irwin.
Gold Coast’s Kevin Gordon then scored against the run of play, intercepting a fifth-phase bomb on his try line to speed away on the break.
Greg Bird scored another consolation for the Titans on 73 minutes before David Mead scored on the stroke of full-time to reduce the deficit to something approaching respectability.
Newcastle: (J McManus 4, T Roberts, D Boyd, J Leilua, J Mullen tries; T Roberts 6/8 cons, 1/1 pen)
Gold Coast: (K Gordon, G Bird, D Mead tries; A Sezer 2/3 cons)

39i) Aussies first win under new coach

Australia’s first match under new coach Darren Lehmann saw the tourists ease to a six-wicket win over Somerset on the final day of four at Taunton.
Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes and vice-captain Brad Haddin all hit fifties as Australia, who earlier this week replaced sacked former coach Mickey Arthur with ex Test batsman Lehmann just 16 days before the Ashes reached a target of 260 on the fourth afternoon.
That still gave Somerset and Ireland spinner George Dockrell take three for 78 in an innings where Khawaja top-scored with 73, Hughes added 50 to his first innings 76 not out and Haddin made an unbeaten 52.
Australia’s second and final Ashes warm-up match is a four-day fixture against Worcestershire starting on Tuesday.
The first of a five-match Ashes series, with England holding the urn, starts at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on July 10.
England not taking Australia lightly
Meanwhile, England coach Andy Flower has insisted his side won’t take Australia lightly when they face the “different challenge” of starting the Ashes as firm favourites.
England have won the last two Ashes series, with their most recent success a 3-1 series win in Australia in 2010/11.
Now, on home soil, against an Australia side which has been beset by problems on and off the field, with David Warner suspended until the first Test following his Birmingham bar attack on England’s Joe Root.
Without retired batting greats Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey Australia are struggling to re-assert themselves following a 4-0 series loss in India.
But Flower believes that England, who recently won a two-match series against New Zealand 2-0, aren’t as good as some have suggested while Australia are certainly not as bad as those who have labelled Michael Clarke’s men the worst Aussie outfit to come to England in 30 years have suggested.
“The 2009 Ashes were probably won against expectation and winning away was again I’d say won against expectation because Australia had such an amazing record at home before we beat them there,” Flower told Saturday’s Daily Mail.
“Now we’re expected to win and that does bring a different challenge,” the former Zimbabwe batsman added.
“Yes, we go into this series as favourites but anyone who knows about the game would also admit that we aren’t as good as some people are saying and the Australians are not as poor as some people are saying.
“We know that they will be dangerous and we respect them as such.
“But we also know we are a very good Test side and have a group of players who are excellent fighters.”
No guarantees when it comes to selection
Flower also had some consoling words for Nick Compton, overlooked for England’s warm-up game against Essex, with national selector Geoff Miller saying Joe Root was “currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook”.
Although Compton, the grandson of England great Denis, scored back-to-back hundreds in New Zealand this year, he struggled for runs in the home series against the Black Caps.
However, he pressed his case with 81 for Somerset against Australia at Taunton this week and will have another chance when he appears for Worcestershire against the tourists next week.
“You never know what’s round the corner. He must ensure he’s in pole position should anything unfortunate occur to the men in possession. Runs against Australia for Somerset were the perfect start,” Flower added.
“He’s very hungry to succeed and I love seeing that hunger in a player.”


40) Third Test is like a grand final: Horwill

Australia captain James Horwill has described the third Test against the British and Irish Lions as being like a Grand Final after his Wallabies side prevented the visitors from a series-clinching win in Melbourne.
Australia had to win the Melbourne Test and needed the game’s only try four minutes from time to claim a spirited 16-15 victory and take the epic series to a decider in Sydney next weekend.
Horwill, who first must overcome an International Rugby Board (IRB) appeal hearing tomorrow against his not guilty stamping verdict arising from the first Test, was emotional after the Wallabies finally broke through the Lions’ defences to level the series.
“It’s all bets are off. It’s all square now. It’s now one game to win it. It’s like a grand final, really,” Horwill said.
“The boys worked hard for that. Not everything went right. We didn’t execute as well as we could have. We found a way to win and that’s the most important part.”
But even after Adam Ashley-Cooper’s try, nervelessly converted from a tight angle by Christian Lealiifano, the Wallabies still had their hearts in their mouths as superboot Leigh Halfpenny had a penalty kick from halfway on the angle to pinch victory.
Halfpenny, who had slotted over five penalties in six kicks to continue his deadly tour scoring form, left it short much to the Australians’ relief.
“He’s hardly missed a kick all tour. Your pulse rate certainly goes up and we were disappointed we let it get to that stage where we allowed them to have a shot,” Horwill said.
Of his impending appeal hearing and the possibility that he may not be available to lead the Wallabies in the decider, Horwill said: “I’m hoping not to think about that. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, if I come to it.”
The IRB on Thursday said it would appeal the decision of its own appointed judicial officer to clear Horwill of stamping on Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones in last weekend’s first Test, won 23-21 by the tourists in Brisbane.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans praised his players for their indomitable fighting spirit to squeeze home against the Lions.
“Very proud. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. They knew the context. They knew that if they weren’t successful in scoring a try and converting, the series would be done,” Deans said.
“But they had enough composure to get it done. So, very proud.”
Deans also had a few words for fly-half James O’Connor, whose defence-splitting pass enabled Ashley-Cooper to cross the try-line.
“That’ll be a big fillip for James, particularly the part he played and the defining moment,” he said.
“It’s a backline with a lot of potential.
It was the first time they’d played together. But it also showed their capacity in time. More time in the saddle, a little bit more composure.
They’re an exciting group of players.”
The Wallabies are expecting another mighty tussle with the Lions in Sydney as the tourists chase their first series in 16 years.
“I feel they’ll bounce back like any quality team. They’ve got guys who have played a lot of Test rugby, they know what it’s about. I’m expecting it to be the toughest game of the tour. “It’ll be close again next week. There’ll be one or two points in it. Both teams are pretty evenly matched, we’re feeling each other out and obviously we’ve got a bit more footage of them now and they’ve got a bit more footage of us.”
It was an important result for Deans, whose Wallaby coaching future could hinge on the outcome of this series.
“We’re getting there. We’re making small steps. We didn’t get our hands on the ball that much,” he said.
“It was a frustrating game to watch, as it probably was to play.
“I was hoping we could get our hands on the ball in the right part of the ground, because I was confident if we could get some continuity we could ask enough to derive an outcome.” AFP

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