Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 852


1) Aust and PNG are anti-West Papuan

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Tuesday he believed authorities in Papua New Guinea (PNG) would take decisive measures against Freedom Flotilla West Papua, a group of pro-West Papuan independence activists from Australia who intend to enter Indonesia via the neighboring nation.
The town of Daru in western PNG is planned to be the activist’s last stopover before they proceed on land to Merauke, the easternmost town in the Papua province.
In two boats, dozens of activists departed from the city of Cairns in northeastern Australia on Aug. 17 — the day Indonesians celebrated the nation’s 68th anniversary. They plan to arrive in Daru in early September.
“The Papua New Guinean government has said that they will not allow [the boats] to enter [its territory],” Marty said after attending the Special Conference on Irregular Movement of Persons in Jakarta. “If they insist on proceeding, the Papua New Guinean authorities will take enforcement measures,” he added.
On the sidelines of the conference, Marty had a bilateral meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr who was also attending the Jakarta conference.
After the meeting, Carr reiterated that the Australian government did not support the movement particularly given the activists’ failure to obtain visas and a sailing permit which could carry legal consequences under Indonesian law.
A Fiji-based media outlet, Islands Business, published an article on Tuesday quoting a PNG police commander who said that Port Moresby “has been alerted to a proposed celebration to mark the landing of a convoy of ships from Cairns Australia, carrying West Papuan people and rights activists.”
The outlet also said PNG police “would not allow any event to mark the proposed independence of the West Papua people of Indonesia.”
According to Australian media, the “Freedom Flotilla” boats had reached Cooktown in North Queensland on Tuesday. The boat’s last stop in Australia will be Thursday Island, also in Queensland, where they will seek customs clearance and hold a press conference before proceeding to Daru.

2a) Protest Held Over ‘Failed’ Western Highlands Elections In PNG
Tribes, settlers block roadways, shut down local airport

By James Apa Gumuno

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 21, 2013) – Important government services and business houses in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands closed after the city’s neighbouring tribes and settlers protested national Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen’s decision to fail council electionsin parts of the province.

The Andakelkang tribes living around Kagamuga Airport, with support from Jiga, Moge and settlers closed the airport, blocked three sections of the road at Waghi Bridge, bordering Jiwaka, Kagamuga road junction and also at Kim Pawa as early as 5am with big trucks, 20-foot containers and wreckage of vehicles.

Different aviation companies based and operating out of Kagamuga Airport like MAF, Hevi-lift, and Heli Solution grounded their aircrafts for the whole day.

Air Niugini announced that it had stopped all flights into Mt. Hagen yesterday.

Even the multi million kina airport extension work at the airport was halted.

All the terminals at the airport were empty and only the security guards were seen guarding the properties.

Bus services from Kagamuga into the city were also stopped and public servants and employees of private sectors walked more than 2 kilometers to get into the city from Kagamuga.

[PIR editor’s note: Elsewhere, Trawen remains committed to the declaration, warning all candidates, supporters, MPs and communities to exercise common sense and refrain from civil disobedience, violence or retribution in response to his decision. “I appeal to the people and leaders of the affected provinces not to jeopardise their democratic rights to have representation in the provincial assemblies,” he said. Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc yesterday urged Trawen to review and rescind his decision, as there appeared to be no grounds for the polls to be failed.]

People travelling into Mt. Hagen from Jiwaka, Chimbu and other provinces were dropped off at Waghi Bridge near Panga coffee factory and had to walk 3 kilometers into the city.

Route 100 buses operating into Jiwaka, Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, Lae and Madang stopped operation.

Supermarkets in the city like Best Buy, Renbo, City Pharmacy, Westpac bank and the post office closed in the morning but reopened at noon. Super Value Stores and a few others remained closed. Schools throughout the city sent their students home.

Western Highlands police were outnumbered and mobile squad 8 from Kerowagi, Chimbu were called in yesterday to assist local police.

During a meeting with provincial police commander Superintendant Martin Lakari, senior police officers and protestors at Kim Pawa, spokesman from the Andakelkang tribe, Luke Luckee Mathew, said their actions were unfortunate, but they did it to show their frustrations.

Mathew said people staged the protest to show their frustration over the decision by Trawen to declare Hagen urban, Hagen rural, Mul, Kotna, and Muglamp LLGs as having failed elections when all council wards had been declared and only a few boxes were left for the presidents’ seats.

“If Trawen declared fail election straight after the polling, we will accept his decision. Why is he declaring failed elections after counting is nearly over?” he asked.

He said the decision was not beneficial to the majority.

The National:

2b) New post on Vanuatu Daily Digest

Vanuatu daily news digest | 22 August 2013

by bobmakin

Pentecost MP Charlot Salwai has pointed out in Parliament that thetender process was not followed with the airport renovation contractwhich now involves an expensive new airport contract with no consultation with landowners and USD350 million in securities. It was also learned that there would be kickbacks from the constructing and operating company to the parties in government. The Deputy Prime Minister Edward Natapei justified the technique for the Build-Operate-Transfer (B-O-T) means of awarding the contract to the passage of the Privately Funded Airport Infrastructure Projects Act of the previous government (dated 2008) of which the present prime minister was also a member. AusAid was offering for many years to renovate the Bauerfield Airport tarmac but their proposals were never accepted. The Vanuatu Independent has this morning informed Radio Australia listeners that the successful company for the airport renovation projects has significant airfield construction experience. It is, however, simply a company formed by the Singapore food conglomerate, notably palm oil producer, Mewah, to fulfill the wishes of the politicians. No evidence has ever been given of any competitive bidding for any kind of contract to renovate and build (or B-O-T or otherwise) any new airport anywhere in Vanuatu in whole or in part. At least not in connection with the works presently being discussed.

To certain speakers in the parliamentary debate yesterday it appeared the creation of the new Climate Change ministry is particularly expensive. In spite of the international funds rushing in to create such as cartoons about climate change, the new ministry to receive them has no payroll and no budget. A million vatu was needed in a supplementary budget for the new ministry which did not exist when the substantive budget 2013 was created. There were various explanations as to the difficulties of transferring funds from one ministry to another when responsibilities are transferred. The transferring out from Agriculture of Quarantine to a Biosecurity Department was also found to be extremely expensive.

Some nine Bills were withdrawn from the present sitting when Parliament started the business of the sitting yesterday.

Montmartre is to improve its security after the death of a 17 year old young woman student from North Ambae whose body was found Tuesday. The college authorities have also asked extra responsibility be taken by parents and guardians of the young persons at the school. Angeline Tari went missing Saturday. Police found the body.

The health minister is trying to make sure that only nutritious meals are served at schools avoiding snacks and sugary soft drinks.

This morning on Radio Australia Lands Minister Regenvanu detailed some of the changes to land legislation he is hoping to have before a future sitting of Parliament to prevent corrupt practice by lands ministerssuch as Vanuatu has seen. Full details of his interview later.

bobmakin | August 22, 2013 at 9:05 am | Categories: The News, Digested |

3) Fiji’s newest constitution unveiled
By Online Editor
11:49 am GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Fiji

The Fiji Government unveiled Thursday its fourth Constitution since independence that will underpin the first genuine democracy in Fijian history.

Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum told a media briefing in the main capital Suva, the 2013 Constitution seeks to create a ‘just and stable Fijian society.’

“This is not a political document. We are viewing it as a document that set outs the fundamental legal framework for a just and stable Fijian society that addresses many of the issues that we need to tackle that is not addressed previously.

“The entire Constitution also has enormous focus on building strong institutions,” Khaiyum said.

“It’s creating a more accountable state apparatus, not necessarily dependent on who is in government but dependent on the constitution,” Khaiyum reiterated

Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will give his assent to the document on 06 September. It will be the supreme law of the country and pave the way for elections by September 30, 2014 conducted, for the first time, on the basis of equal votes of equal value.

It is in line with the Constitutions of some of the world’s most liberal democracies and provides a framework for the development of a modern, progressive state.

The final version differs from the Draft Constitution because it contains specific provisions that guarantee and strengthen the protection of communally-owned i’Taukei, Rotuman and Banaban lands. During the consultation process that followed the release of the Draft in March, a large number of submissions were received calling for explicit protection clauses. These have been accepted and incorporated into the final document. They provide greater protection and security for I’Taukei, Rotuman and Banaban land than ever before.

In addition, for the first time, an extra provision gives any landowner the right to a fair share of royalties derived from the exploitation of resources beneath the surface.

The 98-page constitutional document in English has also, for the first time, been translated into the two main vernacular languages – i’Taukei and contemporary Hindi. In the 15 days before His Excellency the President gives his assent on 06 September, members of the public are invited to read the vernacular versions and provide feedback on their accuracy.

The Constitution provides for a single chamber 50-member Parliament – up from 45 in the Draft document- which will be the country’s supreme authority and be elected on the basis of one person, one vote, one value. Elections are to be held every four years and every Fijian over the age of 18 is entitled to vote.

“The electoral rule has been set out. The overall crux of the Electoral System is already enshrined in the constitution. Its going to be one single constituency, there will 50 member of parliament. There is proportional representation, minimal threshold of 5 percent and open system, Khaiyum explained.

In another alteration to the Draft document, individual regional constituencies are abolished. There will be one national constituency covering the whole of Fiji, as in The Netherlands and Israel. And every voter will get one vote, choosing the candidate who they believe best serves their interests under a proportional representation system.

He said Fiji is on track towards restoration of democratic rule by September 2014 as enshrined under the 2013 constitution.

“You will know there is a provision in the constitution that says the election must be held no later than 30 of September. So we have to be ready, otherwise you have a constitutional crisis. We have to be ready and that can be done. Of course, Khaiyum assured the media.

“We will meet members of the diplomatic corp later today. Many of them are also development partners who want to contribute to elections office. We were expecting one report but we’ve got two separate reports one from the Commonwealth and one from the EU and NZ. They are ready and willing to help. The   fact that we can have the election conducted in one day, as is the plan and we are sticking to that plan. It can be done. We’ve already registered probably close to now 540, 000 voters.

“That’s all on track, There is a lot of work to be done. There are a lot of rules and regulations that need to be prepared to make sure that everything is transparent. That’s why it’s important to make sure the Electoral Commission is appointed once the constitution is accented to. At this stage, we are planning to have close to 3,000 thousand polling stations to ensure we get voting done in one day,” he said.

In the Constitution, a Prime Minister who commands the party with the most seats in Parliament will head the elected Government and, in line with current practice, a President will be the Head of State and perform the ceremonial function of Commander in Chief of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

Among the Constitution’s major provisions are:
•A common and equal citizenry.
•A voting system of equal votes of equal value.
•A secular state and religious liberty.
• An independent and impartial judiciary and equal access to the law.
•The right to legal aid assistance.
•Specific protection of the ownership of I’Taukei and Rotuman lands and recognition of their unique culture, customs, traditions and language.
•The protection of the rights of leaseholders.
•Specific recognition of the culture and language of Indo-Fijians, other Pacific islanders and other immigrants and settlers.
•A Bill of Rights containing specific provisions guaranteeing a range of civil and political rights and, for the first time, social and economic rights. These include the right to education, economic participation, a just minimum wage, transport, housing, food and water, health and social security.
•A free media and freedom of speech, expression, movement and association.
•The safeguarding of the environment.
•The compulsory teaching of the i’Taukei and Fiji Hindi languages at primary school level, along with English as the common language.
•The right to multiple citizenship but a provision that only Fijian citizens be entitled to stand for Parliament.
•The right to fair employment practices.
• The right to join, form or campaign for a political party.
• The right to privacy.
•An Accountability and Transparency Commission which, for the first time, will hold all public office holders accountable.
•A Code of Conduct for public office holders.
•A provision requiring public office holders such as civil servants, members of the disciplined forces and trade unionists to resign before contesting a seat in Parliament.

The release of the Constitution follows a community consultation process during which the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and his team conducted 19 public meetings in urban, rural and maritime areas throughout Fiji, including Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Kadavu, the Mamanucas and the Yasawas.

Submissions were also sought and 1,093 written submissions were received.


4) Fiji government holds consultative sessions on new Constitution
By Online Editor
5:37 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Fiji

The Fiji Government today held consultative sessions on the country’s new Constitution.

“The media, NGOs and civil society groups, the political parties and members of the diplomatic corps were invited. The sessions were well attended and the new Constitution was received positively, said the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

However, Khaiyum said, “It’s a pity that none of the four registered political parties attended the briefings.”

The new Constitution which calls for a 50 member Parliament allows for a four year term for an elected government.

Under section 58 (3), the President may, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister dissolve Parliament by proclamation only after a lapse of three years and six months.

The role of the President as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the nation’s military forces is maintained in the new Constitution.

While the job is largely ceremonial, as the Head of State, he or she will be required to present to Parliament once a year a speech outlining the policies and programmes of government.

The President must be a person who has had a distinguished career in any aspect of national or international life, holds only a Fijian citizenship, not a member or hold any office in a political party, not be a candidate for election and not convicted of any offence.

The appointment of the Head of State will be for a three year period.

To maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, section 5 assures that the Constitution ‘cannot be abrogated or suspended’ by any person.

It can only be amended with provisions of an amendment to the Constitution – which will go through Parliament and a referendum by the people of Fiji.

Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will give his assent to the document on 06 September. It will be the supreme law of the country and will pave the way for elections by September 30, 2014 conducted, for the first time, on the basis of equal votes of equal value.


5) Fiji Democratic Front To Boycott New Constitution Briefing
Regime’s constitution will never represent people’s views: UFDF

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 21, 2013) – Fiji’s main political grouping says it will boycott tomorrow’s briefing about the new constitution by the attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The United Front for a Democratic Fiji (UFDF) says those who were invited are staying away because the process lacks credibility, claiming that the briefing will be nothing more than a lecture by Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum.

The new constitution has been drawn up by the regime after it threw out last year’s draft by the Constitution Commission.

The UFDF says the regime’s constitution will never be representative of the views and aspirations of the people of Fiji and its planned imposition on the people will never be accepted.

The leaders of the UFDF are to meet this week to complete their own roadmap to democracy.

The regime says there will be two weeks of discussions about the translations of the document before it is assented by the president.

Radio New Zealand International:

6) Fiji’s new constitution changes electoral system, shifts control of army

Posted at 07:11 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

After a series of delays, the Fiji government has released the new constitution.

The document was drawn up by the military regime after it rejected last year’s draft drawn up by the independent Constitution Commission to replace the 1997 constitution, thrown out in 2009.

The country will get a 50-seat Parliament, elected every four years, and the electorates have been abolished in favour of a single national constituency and an open-list proportional representation system.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Fiji military will now be the President, who appoints a commander after consultation with government ministers.

The role has been removed from the office of the Prime Minister, as allowed in the draft released early this year.

The immunity provisions for coup perpetrators have been kept, and the regime has strengthened the protection of its own laws and decrees by ruling out the possibility of seeking compensation for decrees overturned by future parliaments.

The other major change in the constitution is the protection of indigenous land rights as well as economic benefits for minerals extracted from indigenous land.

The constitution is the first to be published in all the official languages – English, Fijian and Hindustani.

It also enshrines that the regime will remain in power until a government has been put in place after the elections promised for next year.

The constitution also states that it is the responsibility of the military to ensure at all times the security and well-being of Fiji and all Fijians.

Radio New Zealand International

7) Academic says new Fiji constitution takes on board concern about land rights

Posted at 06:09 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

A New Zealand-based Fijian academic says the new constitution appears to have taken on board concern about land rights.

Steven Ratuva of Auckland University says several elements were retained from the Constitutional Commission whose draft the regime dumped half a year ago. He spoke to Jamie Tahana.

STEVEN RATUVA: Many provisions to do with the Bill of Rights, for instance, very much are replicas of the Yash Ghai constitution, including the preamble itself. The preamble was pretty mechanical and restricted in the previous draft. In the new one, a lot of it was taken from the Yash Ghai constitution to do with recognition of the iTaukei, for instance, as owners of the land. So that was not in the previous draft, but was in the Yash Ghai constitution. Now they’ve put it back.

JAMIE TAHANA: And does this go against what Bainimarama has been saying in regards to the land rights?

STEVEN RATUVA: Yes, the land rights issues are very, very interesting here, because in the previous constitution, or the previous draft, there was no explicit statement in relation to protection of the land rights of indigenous Fijians, the iTaukei. After a lot of criticisms and after they got the message that if they don’t do anything they’ll lose support amongst the Fijian population, or the indigenous Fijian population, in the next election, so they made sure that it’s in this draft here. In fact, not only is it there, but it’s quite comprehensive, as well. Not only does it contain protection of Fijian land rights, also they have provided provision for royalties for minerals and other things for the Fijian landowners, particularly for mining, because the state owns the minerals in the soil and previously that was not there. The other interesting bit was the mention of the rights of the minorities of the Rotumans and the Banaban community, in terms of the land riots. So those things were not there in the previous draft. So that’s one of the reasons why I mentioned earlier that they’re trying to please as many people as possible, fundamentally because they would use this constitution almost as an election manifesto. Very soon they will announce their political party. They’ll have it formally registered and they will, in the course of the build-up to the election, use the constitution as a way of mobilising support.

Radio New Zealand International

8) Fiji Government releases final version of constitution, paving the way for 2014 elections

Updated 22 August 2013, 20:44 AEST

The Fijian Government has released the final version of the country’s new constitution, which it says will pave the way for elections by the end of September 2014.

Fijian Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announces the final version of Fiji’s Constitution (Credit: ABC licensed)
Video: Long awaited Fiji constitution due for release

The Fijian Government has released the final version of the country’s new constitution, which it says will pave the way for elections by the end of September 2014.

Fiji’s Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has presented the detail of the new constitution to media, registered political parties and other civil society groups this morning.

The new document will replace the 1997 constitution that was set aside by the military regime four years ago.

Read the Fiji Constitution here

It calls for a single-chamber 50-member Parliament, with elections to be held every four years.

In January, the Fijian government scrapped the draft constitution drawn up by an independent commission led by Professor Yash Ghai.

The draft was submitted to be re-written, and Fiji’s Government says the final version now includes stronger protections for communally-owned i’Taukei, Rotuman and Banaban lands.

It also alters the draft constitution to abolish the individual regional constituencies in favour of one national constituency covering the whole of Fiji.

Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the change will give politicians a national focus.

“The idea is that if you are a member of parliament, you must be equally concerned about somebody in Lau, somebody in Ba, somebody in Thikombia, somebody in Drasa, wherever the case may be,” he said.

“So the idea is that we have a focus on elected members of parliament having a focus on all parts of Fiji, and to ensure that political parties focus on national policies.”

Audio: Anthony Regan speaks to Asia Pacific (ABC News)

Constitutional lawyer Anthony Regan at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific in Canberra has told Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific the aim is to break down the previous major ethnic divisions in Fiji, and to create a single national identity.

“It’s a system of one national electorate with proportional representation, instead of what was proposed previously which would have four divisions in the country,” Mr Regan said.

“There’ll no longer be even a fairly tenuous link to particular areas as there would have been with the four divisions previously.

“That’s a big change for Fiji where the people have been used to electing their members to local constituencies,” he said.

The document has also been translated into i’Taukei and contemporary Hindi, and there will be a two week window for people to raise any concerns with the translations, before the document is given presidential assent on September 6.

Australia-based Fiji legal expert Brij Lal has told Radio Australia the public have been excluded from providing input into the content of the final draft.

Audio: Brij Lal speaks to Pacific Beat (ABC News)

“This was prepared by the Attorney General’s and the Solicitor General’s Department and there really has been no public consultation on the content and character of this document,” he said.

“They’re introducing major changes here that will change the political culture of Fiji and there’s been no public input into it.”

Mr Lal has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat it’s good previous constitutions’ residential requirements for voters are no longer needed.

“Very large number of people from Fiji have migrated and now live in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“Any citizen can (now) vote whether they live in Fiji or not.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the new constitution includes a clause on free speech and a bill of rights.

“Obviously not all rights are completely without any checks and balances – there are certain limitations on rights imposed in all countries,” he said.

The constitution also sets up an accountability and transparency commission to hold public office holders accountable.

It also calls for the compulsory teaching of the i’Taukei and Fiji Hindi languages at primary school level, alongside australia.


9) Kiribati MPs Pass Bill To Annul Parliamentary Privilege
New law could have considerable impact on free speech

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 21, 2013) – MPs in Kiribati have passed a government bill to remove parliamentary privilege.

A staff member of the parliamentary council says the new law will mean MPs may be sued for anything they say in parliament.

Annell Husband reports.

“Kirata Komwenga says the bill was introduced in April but would not comment on its relationship to a dispute centred on parliamentary privilege between the Kiribati president, Anote Tong and an MP. He says a simple majority of MPs voted in favour of the bill on its first reading but it received a two-thirds majority on its second and final reading. Mr. Komwenga says Mr. Tong is expected to sign the bill into law sometime after the conclusion of the current parliament on August the 30th. He says the new law puts Kiribati in quite an interesting position and could have a considerable impact on freedom of speech. Mr. Komwenga says MPs will not be able to express what they want to say and will be more cautious in their speech.”

Radio New Zealand International:


10) Askim long PNG praim minista mas tokaut long lo em i laik senisim

Updated 22 August 2013, 12:39 AEST
Pius Bonjui

Sam Basil Deputi Oposisen Lida  i askim PNG Praim Minista Peter O’Neill na foren minista Rimbink Pato i tokaut stret long wanem hap bilong mama lo oli laik senisim pastaim long palamen miting long mun bihain.

PNG Deputi Oposisen Lida Sam Basil askim Praim Minista PeterO’Neill tokaut long lo em i laik sensim (Credit: ABC)

Deputi Oposisen lida long PNG i tok dispela bai givim givim pablik na ol memba bilong palamen i harim na save na dibet long en pastaim long palamen miting.

Mr Basil i tok i gat pinis planti senis long mama lo bilong kantri na dispela ino gutpela long ai bilong ol narapela long wold.

Oli ken kisim igo na lukautim ol refuggees long Manus Asylum Seekers Detetion Centre sapos sekim na painim ol i trupela refugees long Pangia elektoret bilong Praim Minista Peter O’Neil na long Wanpenamanda elektoret bilong Foran Minista Rimbink australia


11) Création d’un nouveau blog pour et sur le Pacifique

Mis à jour 22 August 2013, 9:24 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est l’Institut du Pacifique en Politiques Publiques (PIPP) qui est à l’origine de ce nouveau blog qui propose toute une série d’analyses et d’opinions sur des questions contemporaines relatives au Pacifique.

Derek Brian: “Le but est de stimuler les débats”. [PIPP]

Le but est de stimuler les débats, selon Derek Brian, le directeur dePIPP dont le siège est à Port Vila au Vanuatu.

BRIAN : « Nous avons lancé le blog du PIPP cette semaine mais il fonctionne depuis quelques mois et attire pas mal l’attention. Le but était de mettre l’information dans un format plus convivial dans lequel tout le monde peut avoir accès à l’info et s’impliquer. »

Selon Derek Brian, les gens désirent accéder plus facilement à l’information mais ils désirent aussi y contribuer, y participer. Tout comme Facebook, le blog du PIPP laisse une grande place au visuel, la lecture et l’audio ne suffisent plus.

On peut parler du réchauffement climatique et de la montée des eaux mais rien n’est plus explicite que la photo d’une petite fille dans un village de Tuvalu avec de l’eau jusqu’aux genoux. J’ai vu sur ce site, des vagues lancées à l’assaut de maisons en bord de mer des îles Marshalll et c’est assez impressionnant.

Cette nouvelle plateforme fait appel à des contributeurs du Pacifique, notamment des îles Marshall, de Tonga et du  Vanuatu ; un réseau qui est appelé à s’agrandir et à évoluer.

Brian : «  Absolument, absolument. Nous avons maintenant une douzaine de contributeurs dans la région et ça ne cesse d’augmenter. Nous encourageons les gens de s’intégrer à ce réseau grandissant. Nous voulons des contributeurs réguliers ou ceux qui ne contribuent qu’une seule fois.
Mais ce que vous avez dit sur le visuel est important. Nous avons passé beaucoup de temps sur la politique éditoriale en matière d’images. Quand vous regardez le stock d’images dans cette région, il s’agit en général de lagons bleus et de cocotiers.

Nous, nous voulons que les images ajoutent de la valeur à l’info, comme par exemple, les pourparlers à venir sur le changement climatique aux îles Marshall. Et l’image [que nous avons publiée] souligne vraiment l’impact dont on parle dans ce cas précis aux îles Marshall. »radio australia

12) Football féminin : la vie de famille passe avant le ballon rond

Mis à jour 22 August 2013, 8:52 AEST
Pierre Riant

Souvent, les footballeuses de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée ne reviennent plus sur les stades après leur mariage.

Fina Angelo, butteuse du Vanuatu. Ce jour-là, en 2012, la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée l’avait emporté par 11 à 1. [OFC]

Parfois, ce sont les maris qui les empêchent. Il faut aussi s’occuper des enfants.Pendant ce temps la FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Associatif – tourne un documentaire sur le football féminin papou pour tenter de le promouvoir à travers l’ensemble du pays.

Frederica Sakette est en charge du développement des capacités personnelles au sein de l’Association de football de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée.

SAKETTE : « Nous avons des festivals de football pour filles en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée qui font partie de nos programmes de développement des filles. Nous en avons un à Port Moresby [la capitale]. Nous en avons dans d’autres centres, à Boroka, à Kimbe, à Madang dans le cadre de la FIFA. Toutes ces compétitions sont filmées depuis Port Moresby pour conclure avec le festival de Madang. »

En clair, la FIFA a décidé d’envoyer un caméraman pour filmer toutes ces compétitions et festivals pour femmes et jeunes filles dans l’ensemble du pays. Un pays où les femmes n’ont pas la vie facile ; le taux de violence conjugale reste l’un des plus élevé de la planète, sans parler des nombreux cas de viol et de torture. Difficile de se passionner pour le ballon rond dans ces conditions. Toutefois, le football peut-être aussi une échappatoire.

SAKETTE : « Nous avons des problèmes sociaux qui affectent les femmes de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée. Et le football permet aux femmes de sortir de leur coquille, de jouer au football et de faire partie de la communauté. Le football leur permet aussi de voir d’autres endroits. »

Mais la réalité est que de jeunes footballeuses qui ont connu leur heure de gloire, raccrochent les crampons dès qu’elles sont mariées.

SAKETTE : « Nous avons des joueuses qui ont pu aller jouer ailleurs qu’en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, dans d’autres pays, dès leur plus jeune âge. Mais dès qu’elles reviennent, elles se marient et les maris empêchent les épouses de jouer au football. »

Une situation que l’on ne retrouve pas uniquement en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée mais à travers tout le Pacifique.

SAKETTE : « Oui, nous avons ce problème dans le Pacifique – pas en Nouvelle-Zélande –  mais oui, dans le Pacifique nous avons ce problème. Je pense que c’est une question de culture… Nous y sommes habituées et les femmes pensent que c’est normal, que ça fait partir de la culture. »

En attendant et c’est une première, l’Association de football de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée a mis en place un programme de développement ciblant spécialement les femmes et les jeunes filles. Et le documentaire de la FIFA tentera pour sa part de convaincre également les hommes du bien-fondé du football fé australia


13) TB rife on Karkar
By Online Editor
2:27 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Karkar Island has the highest rate of tuberculosis cases in Papua New Guinea’s Northern Province of Madang, according to an official.

TB DOTS (directly observed treatment short course)  programme coordinator Yang Letang said one or two TB patients were diagnosed, registered and admitted daily at the Gaubin rural hospital on the island.

He said as a result, the hospital, Lutheran Church and the local level government staged a five-day campaign to educate people about the disease.

“It was conducted from August 5 to 9 to promote the fight against TB and HIV on the island,” he said.

Letang said they wanted to educate people on the dangers of the diseases and how early detection could help in saving lives and support people to live sustainably.

“HIV was also a major cause of concern because it usually comes in the form of dual infections where HIV is detected through infected TB cases,” he said.

HIV deputy programme coordinator at the hospital Tony Bosia said it was worrying to see cases of HIV from other health centres pile up at the hospital.

Some of these patients suffered from  TB and HIV.

Bosia said during the campaign they visited villages located on a 78km ring road on the island.

“The awareness stressed on the importance of having people to check their TB/HIV status and the basic prevention and treatment of these diseases,” he said.

The hospital is run by the Lutheran health service.


14) NCD’s cause 82 percent deaths in Fiji : Dr Luveni
By Online Editor
2:29 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Fiji

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) are regarded as silent killers and claim 82 percent of deaths in Fiji, annually.

This was revealed by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni during the official opening of the Vodafone Hibiscus Talent Show for Ladies at Albert Park in Suva.

Dr Luveni reiterated that Vodafone Hibiscus theme “Healthy living and a Healthy lifestyle leads to a Healthy nation” is a good platform to raise awareness on NCD’s through educating the people about the causes and ways of preventing NCD’s.

“Non-communicable diseases are not caused by infection but are typically developed due to hereditary, our surroundings or lifestyle factors. They contribute to 82 percent of deaths in our country each year, leaving behind orphans and widows.”

“In 2012, more than 800 amputations were carried out in Fiji, an increase by more than 100 annually from previous years. There are increasing numbers of those affected by cancer and mental disorders. Many heart complications reported to our hospitals and health centers are due to consuming too much sugar and fats that cause high blood pressure,” Dr Luveni said.

She said people need to adopt healthy eating habits and make responsible decisions to ensure they live a healthy lifestyle.

“These diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases can be prevented to a large degree by being informed, making conscious diet and exercise decisions and being proactive about our health.

“I suggest that we adopt a healthy goal. Although our current life expectancy rate is around 67, let’s live to a healthy 90 and longer. It only takes a good healthy diet to include bigger portions of vegetables and fruits, live healthy lifestyles and exercise daily,” Dr Luveni added.



15) Solomons women’s group vying for daily market

Posted at 06:09 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

A group representing Solomon Islands business women is hoping plans to operate a daily flea market in the capital will soon be approved.

The non-government organisation, Solomon Islands Women in Business Association, or SIWIBA, currently operates a market for its members at the arts gallery premises in Honiara once every two months but hopes to extend this to satisfy a growing list of would-be vendors.

The President of SIWIBA, Rose Usukana, says the organisation has 450 members, many of whom are looking for business opportunities without start up capital and says the daily market will provide them with opportunities to make money.

“The takings are good. We also do a survey like feedback after the end of the flea market, where our women are feeling and also show how much they earn. Some say four thousand, three. The flea market is on for an average of three days and our women are making full use of it.”

Rose Usukana says SIWIBA is negotiating with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which owns the land, and hopes an agreement will be reached by the end of the year.

The Honiara City Council manages a daily market in central Honiara but SIWIBA says it is too overcrowded for new vendors.

Radio New Zealand International

16) Prostitution racket in Fiji
By Online Editor
2:26 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Fiji

A new prostitution racket has been discovered in Fiji, some involving female tertiary students from Suva.

The racket involves large sums of money being sent to some young girls as well as school students from a group of males overseas for common prostitution.

The prostitution racket was uncovered recently by the Fiji Financial Intelligence Unit through their intelligence system.

Confirming this in an interview, FIU director Razim Buksh said several remittances from Australia, all of which were low value transactions that were consistent with the value of payments for common prostitution service.

“The transactions ranged from $50 to $500,”Buksh said.

He said his office was investigating the case of an Australian national who frequently remitted funds from Australia to young females in Fiji.

“The funds were being sent to Fiji through foreign exchange dealers.”

He revealed that a portion of the money being transferred was to a young female studying at a tertiary institute in Suva.

Buksh said in the racket, what happened was that the suspect would travel to Fiji for only a short duration, usually for two to six days and stay in upmarket hotels.

“These young females had similar profiles, either they were unemployed or were students. The above indicators together with FIU’s networking, it is highly suspected that the suspect was conducting financial remittance transactions from Australia to Fiji as payments to the young females involved in prostitution.

“The suspect was a frequent traveller to Fiji and during the initial stages of analysis conducted by the FIU, it was revealed that there was no apparent relationship between the suspect and the young female.”

Buksh said additional profiling of the suspect using FIU’s data mining system revealed that the suspect was also sending money to other individuals to facilitate payment for prostitution services.

“The case is still under investigation and it is early to determine if the suspect is engaged in other organised criminal activities.”.


17) Western Pacific Tuna Fishery Valued Over $4 Billion In 2012
Total catch of 2.6 million metric tons beats previous record

By Giff Johnson

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, August 22, 2013) – Tuna catches in the western Pacific hit record levels in 2012 and coincided with record global market prices that bumped the value of the fishery to an all-time high of over $4 billion, according to a report presented to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s scientific committee that met in Pohnpei last week.

The total estimated tuna catch was 2,613,528 metric tons last year, “the highest on record, eclipsing the previous record in 2009 by 12,000 metric tons,” said the report. This volume of tuna accounts for an estimated 60 percent of the total global catch of tuna, according to the report.

The eight member nations of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) are also seeing record levels of revenue this year from tuna caught in their waters. PNA revenues are up from $60 million annually in 2010 to over $240 million this year.

Marshall Islands fisheries Director Glen Joseph said fisheries revenue in the Marshalls has tripled. It’s a success story for all PNA members, Joseph said. “All PNA countries have doubled or tripled their revenue under the vessel day scheme (or VDS),” he said. “With the new benchmark minimum VDS price of $6,000 starting in January 2014, the sky is the limit.”

But he cautioned, all of this PNA success is based on the unity the eight members have been able to maintain. “If we don’t stay together, we won’t be able to keep benefiting,” he said.

Last week’s report, prepared by officials from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Forum Fisheries Agency, broke down the tuna catch in 2012:

The yellow fin tuna catch set an all-time high of 655,668 metric tons, more than 70,000 tons higher than the previous record.
The bigeye tuna catch of 161,679 metric tons was the highest since 2004, when a bigeye volume record was set.
The albacore tuna catch of 131,872 metric tons was the second highest on record
The skipjack catch came in as the third highest ever at 1,664,309 metric tons.

Purse seiner fishing boats drove the record tuna catch in 2012, accounting for nearly 70 percent of all tuna caught. This was largely due to a record number of purse seiners — 297 — operating in the western and central Pacific area during 2012.

The fleet of purse seiners registered in Pacific islands “has been clearly the highest producer in the tropical purse seiner fishery since 2003,” the report said. And an increase in U.S.-flagged purse seiners fishing has resulted in a “sharp increase” in catch.

The report said the estimated “delivered value” of tuna caught in the western and central Pacific was over $4 billion in 2012.

Marianas Variety:


18) Chinese miners exit silently

A Chinese company which had been carrying out alluvial gold mining in Kompiam Ambum District in Enga Province has left without anyone’s knowledge.
More than 50 Asian made trucks, loaded with mining equipment that included exavactors, pumps, dredges and pipes, were seen traveling in a convoy down
towards Lae on Thursday morning.
The Asian miners, numbering more than 150, and who had reportedly breached all government procedures to enter and mine alluvial gold, were escorted by Mt Hagen police.
Government authorities including the Enga provincial government and its administration, Enga police and local leaders in Kompiam were baffled at the news that the unknown company had left without their knowledge.
Attempts to contact mining authorities in Port Moresby were unsuccessful yesterday.
Villagers who live close to the mine site said they did not know why the miners, who have been operating in the area for more than six months, left.
They said due to communication problems with the Asians, it was hard to establish the reasons as to why they were packing up to leave.
From earlier reports, the miners came to the area after making arrangements with certain village landowners without making proper arrangement with the national and provincial government mining authorities.
Some government officials said they were not fully aware of how the Chinese miners arrived at the remote part of the country, and said they were probably operating at the mercy of the landowners, who had reportedly threatened to defend the Asians if there was any government intervention.
Mt Hagen based police personnel who escorted the Asians said they were given instruction by government athorities to assist them out of the mine site as they were illegally operating in the courier-png

19) Domestic violence in PNG best tackled with community groups

Posted at 02:19 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

An aid worker in Papua New Guinea says the best way to stop domestic violence is to work through established community groups.

Phillippe Allen, the acting country director of Oxfam, says he connects with local initiatives such as the Lifeline Women’s Refuge and Papua Hahine, who have helped about 2,000 women this year.

Mr Allen says one aim is to give groups the confidence to express the same outrage as was seen in India when a woman was raped on a public bus.

There are 4000 men and boys being followed up through awareness programmes and Mr Allen says the Melanesian chiefly system must be used.

“You have to appreciate the particular melanesian way of doing things, access to networks, even simple things like languages, there’s a lot of different languages in this country. By working with people from those provinces, from those communities, I think you’re much better able to make a direct connection with people and get to the core of some of the problems we face.”

Phillippe Allen says at least a third of the men they are tracking are aware that violence is wrong and against the law.

Radio New Zealand International

20) PNG deputy minister Mori charged with fraud

Posted at 07:11 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

Police in Papua New Guinea have arrested the deputy mining minister, Wera Mori, and charged him with more than 30 counts of fraud, conspiracy and false pretence.

The charges relate to missing millions of dollars set aside for work on the Chimbu section of the Highlands Highway.

Police allege Mr Mori conspired with a former Works Secretary, Joel Luma, and Meneve Gene from Landmark Values Consultants to defraud the state.

Mr Mori has been released on bail.

Radio New Zealand International

21) Vanuatu police snare record cocaine haul in Port Vila harbour

Posted at 07:16 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu Police have reportedly seized more than 600 kilogrammes of cocaine from a yacht in Port Vila harbour.

The seizure was made in a joint operation with the Australian Federal Police.

Police sources say it is the biggest cocaine haul in the history of Vanuatu and possibly also the region’s biggest.

Police could not reveal where the cocaine came from but it’s understood to have been destined for Australia.

The office of Vanuatu’s Police Commissioner says information about the seizure will be released at a news conference tomorrow.

Radio New Zealand International


22) Pato: PNG solution working
By Online Editor
5:20 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

There is firm evidence the PNG Solution is having the desired effect in deterring boatpeople from attempting to land on Australian soil, Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato said yesterday.

He said the solution was so successful, some Iranian asylum seekers in Indonesia were asking to be sent home.

Under the agreement with Australia, all boatpeople will be sent to a detention centre on Manus Island ahead of resettlement in PNG. None will be allowed into Australia.

“Fifty of them, from the brief that I got today (yesterday), have agreed to return to their country,” Pato, who is in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta attending a conference on asylum seekers, said.

“And this is being processed through the international migration organisation,” he said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Pato defended PNG’s asylum seeker deal with Australia.

He said it was the only process that would work and dismissed criticisms coming from Australia that the deal was unravelling.

“It’s the same deal we did on that issue with the Howard government, with Julia Gillard and now with Kevin Rudd. So unless there’s a better solution, which I submit there isn’t, this solution is going to work.”

Ida Bagus Adnyana, Indonesia’s new head of immigration enforcement said: “The trends we have here is that there has been an increasing number of foreigners who want to voluntarily go back to their home countries, especially Iranians.”

Meanwhile, a landowner clan on Manus yesterday called on the government to clearly spell out what specific benefits they will receive out of the asylum seekers agreements signed between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Kohonaleng clan spokesmen, Ali Panpan Pinakohon and Abraham Kia, told reporters yesterday that while they supported the move, Manus was getting a raw deal.

“Just where do we as landowners and Manus people fit into the equation?” Pinakohon said.

“If the agreement between the two governments involves spending up to K500 million (US$209 million) for the Angau Hospital in Morobe, and hundreds of millions for infrastructure development in other centres of the country, what exactly is in it for Manus itself as host province.

“Physically, the rest of the country, except for areas earmarked for resettlement, will be immune to the psychological strain, cultural and religious differences, unknown health-threatening inbound diseases and other traumatic effects associated with people resettlement problems.”

Pinakohon called on the government to seriously address the impending issue of specific benefits for Manus, and not having the courtesy to involve its leaders, administrators and landowners in the agreed terms for asylum seeker processing in the province.

He also called for K20 million (US$8.3 million) to be set aside as seed capital for Manus to kick-start businesses that would over the long term support the asylum processing facility.

Kia said: “We do not oppose this project.

“Since July 19, when they signed the agreement, we have not heard anything from our two MPs, Governor Charlie Benjamin and Ronnie Knight.

“Since the signing, we have not heard anything about what benefits we landowners, and all of Manus, will receive.”

Kia also expressed concern about job opportunities for the people of Manus.

“Since the signing of the agreement, we have all these Australian engineers on the island,” he said.

“We have engineers too.” .



23) Australia unlikely to use aid in Pacific climate financing under Coalition

Posted at 06:09 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

The Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre has found that the opposition Liberal-National Coalition is opposed to the use of aid in climate change programmes.

Its research compares the policies of Australia’s two major political parties on aid and international development ahead of next month’s election.

The author of the research, Robin Davies, says that unlike the ruling Labor Party, the Coalition is bound to oppose the use of aid to reduce carbon emissions in Pacific Island states, and in climate change financing.

He says the Shadow Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, claims that using aid for climate financing is inconsistent with the Copenhagen Agreement.

“Which said that funding for action on climate change had to be new and additional, relative to aid budgets, so that might be the reason. Or it might be that a lot of these programmes are really about preparing developing countries to participate in global carbon markets and the Coalition here is not in favour of emissions pricing, it prefers a direct action approach to reducing emissions.”

Robin Davies of the Australian National University

Radio New Zealand International

24) Vanuatu state to buy Eretoka for conservation site

Posted at 06:15 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu chiefs of Lelepa Island have welcomed a decision by the lands minister, Ralph Regenvanu, to buy Eretoka, or Hat Island, and to maintain it as a Cultural Heritage Conservation Area.

The island if off Efate.

Earlier the chiefs had spoken out against any commercial development on the island, saying Eretoka symbolises respect for the grave site of the ancient chief who created a tribal system to end tribal wars.

But now the chiefs’ spokesman, Kalkot Mormor, says they fully support what the government intends to do with the island as it holds the sacred Chief Roimata Domain which is now a World Heritage Site.

In a notice sent by a Lands Acquiring Officer, land claimants who object to the government buying the land should send in their reasons within 30 days.

Radio New Zealand International

25) More Companies exploit loophole in PNG logging ban
By Online Editor
2:22 pm GMT+12, 22/08/2013, Papua New Guinea

Logging companies are exploiting a loophole in Papua New Guinea’s ban on exporting natural timber logs, according to a new report.

The Oil Palm and Deforestation in PNG report, co-written by Australian and PNG researchers, has found some companies using Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABL) as a cover for logging operations.

Under the SABL’s land can be cleared, and the logs exported, if the purpose of the clearing is to plant Palm Oil plants.

One of the report’s authors, James Cook University academic Dr Greg Nelson told Pacific Beat many of the companies involved showed little evidence of being able to develop plantations.

“A lot of them did seem to be logging companies,” he said.

“There was quite a few players where we couldn’t find any evidence they had any capacity to develop plantations and mills.”

Dr Nelson said the situation had left many customary land owners feeling powerless.

“The customary land owners often feel as though they have been left out of the negotiations and don’t have a fair right and say in what’s happening with their land.”.



26) Concerns Raised Over PNG’s 2015 Pacific Games Contract
Multimillion kina contract allegedly given to disqualified bidder

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, August 21, 2013) – Chinese company China Railway Construction Engineering (CRCE) Papua New Guinea was awarded a contract worth more than K263 million [US$105.9 million] to build the 2015 Pacific Games Village at the University of PNG.

This is despite the job being valued at only K190 million [US$76.5 million].

Documents provided to The National show that CRCE was not in the top three of the 10 companies that bid for the contract but was selected ahead of the rest at an additional cost of more than K73 million [US$29.4 million] to Papua New Guinea.

Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko, when contacted for comment yesterday, said there was “nothing sinister” about the awarding of the contract to CRCE.

A government source said a professional New Zealand engineering consultancy firm, Warren and Mahoney, did the scoping and estimation for the project which it said was worth K190 million.

Moreover, the tender evaluation committee of the Central Supply and Tenders Board disqualified CRCE from further evaluation but was somehow awarded the contract.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, the Goroka Chamber of Commerce has expressed dissatisfaction with the “massive sums” being spent for the Pacific Games in the National Capital District. President Terry Shelly said Tkatchenko “could rest assured” that millions of rural women and children would never use the much-vaunted Aquatic Center. Shelley added that, while huge contracts are being given to foreign companies, Papua New Guineans are left to pick up the crumbs.]

The 10 companies that bid, and their respective prices, were China Railway Construction Group PNG (K149,549,896.90, or US$60.2 million), China Railway Construction Engineering PNG (K263,973,822.56, or US$106.3 million), Associated Builders (K389,699,629.50, or US$156.9 million), J4J Construction and Hardware Supplies (K179,550,813.20, or US$72.3 million), China Harbour Engineering Ltd. (K153,307,006.19, or US$61.7 million), PNG Construction Ltd. (K223,437,500, or US$90 million), Digara Construction Ltd. (K226,479,798.16, or US$91.2 million), Fletcher Morobe Construction (K191,453,653.80, or US$77.1 million), JIC Niugini Engineering (K173,236,504.02, or US$69.7 million) and China Railway Group (K189,033,309.98, or US$76.1 million).

Fletcher Morobe Construction was recommended by the tender evaluation committee (TEC) of the Central Supply and Tenders Board to be awarded the contract at a cost of K191,453,553.80.

The other two top companies after that were China Harbour Engineering Ltd and JIC Niugini Engineering Ltd.

“Members of the TEC assessed individual bids according to the evaluation criteria for technical scores out of 100, and average totals established to determine the ranking of the bids,” according to the TEC report.

“Emphasis was placed on technical scores for ranking individual firms, while financial capacity was assessed based on the available working capital.

“China Railway Construction Engineering failed to meet the annual turnover requirements and his (sic) failure to provide the working capital, liquid assets and/or credit facilities information, and no certificate of compliance to confirm payment of tax to the IRC, disqualifies him for further evaluation.

Fletcher Morobe topped with 84 out of 100 followed by CRCE (77.3), China Harbour Engineering (77.2), JIC Niugini (76.7), China Railway Construction Group (76.5), China Railway Group (74), PNG Construction (63.5), J4J Construction & Hardware (70.5), Digara Construction (61.3), and Associate Builders (61.2).

Members of the TEC were chairman Gabriel Tomtai and members Simon Vai, Rayu Frank, Iammo Launa, Veari Hitolo and Phillip Tabogani.

The National:

27) Three Pacific teams at Youth Netball Worlds

Posted at 06:09 on 22 August, 2013 UTC

Three Pacific teams will contest the World Youth Netball Championships, which begin in Glasgow later this week.

For Papua New Guinea it will be their first matches since the last event in the Cook Islands four years ago, while Samoa and Fiji’s Under 21 teams played out a three match series in June.

Vinnie Wylie reports:

The Cook Islands were the top Pacific country four years ago, finishing sixth in front of their home supporters. They, along with Vanuatu, won’t be in Scotland, meaning Fiji are the top-ranked Pacific team at the tournament, having finished ninth at the last Youth Championships in 2009. Head coach Una Rokoura has called on the experience of senior internationals Raijeli Daveua and Una Rauluni, while shooter Afa Rusivakula represented Fiji at the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore. The Baby Pearls are in the same pool as Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Israel. Rokoura says taking on the defending champions Australia, especially, will be an almighty test.

“UNA ROKOURA: I believe there’s two or three players who are in the Diamonds and also 80 percent of the players played during the ANZ Cup Championship this year but it’s going to be a good opportunity for the players to play the best players in netball. This is a stepping stone for most of these players and, like I mentioned, this is a stepping stone for them to the national squad, so having them a part of the World Youth Competition is going to be a really good experience for them.”

The Samoa team has arrived in Glasgow with an air of confidence, having beaten their Fijian counterparts 2-1 in a series in June. Just one of their squad is locally based, with the others spread out across New Zealand and Australia. Samoa are in the same pool as hosts Scotland, Wales, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Head coach Trish Wilcox says, while they don’t know a lot about their opposition, they’re prepared for all possibilities.

“TRISH WILCOX: I know that the UK countries have had good programmes in place for the last four years and they have influences in both countries from New Zealand coaches, so it will be interesting to see what sort of style of game they offer. Certainly prepared for an aerial game against Jamaica so the key is to be adaptable. Obviously in a world tournament you can be faced with varied styles of play. That’s what we’ve tried to achieve is to be able to adapt to the different styles.”

The final Pacific challenger is Papua New Guinea, who are looking to improve on their 16th place finish four years ago. Budget constraints mean the Baby Pepes have not played since that 2009 tournament and the President of PNG Netball, Julienne Leka-Maliaki, is expecting a tough examination in the pool phase, where they’ll face Singapore, England, Barbados and the Republic of Ireland.

“JULIENNE LEKA MALIAKI: All other countries we find in our pool are a main threat because you know we haven’t played for four years and it will be exciting to see where we all stand. We finished 16th in 2009 so anything better than the 16th would be good enough, PNG Netball would be happy with those sort of results.”

Scotland open the tournament in front of their home crowd on Friday with Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea all in action on Saturday.

Radio New Zealand International

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