Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 880


1) Papua tribes threaten Jayapura airport

Posted at 02:08 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

Four tribal groups in the Indonesian province of Papua have threatened to shut down Sentani Airport in Jayapura.

The tribes of Palo, Taime, Yoku and Kopeo are considered to be the owners of the land to be used for the airport’s new development.

The groups say the airport has not paid compensation for their customary rights over the land.

One of the leaders, Thobias Palo, has told the news organisation Tempo that the threat of closure and blockade will be translated into action immediately if their demands are not met.

The groups have also asked the workers building the airport to stop their activities.

Mr Palo says they have not received even a small sum of money while demanding what was in line with the prevailing value of the land.

However, Mr Palo says the tribal groups will follow the correct procedure by consulting the Papua Provincial Council to express their concerns about the issue.

Radio New Zealand International

2) Report on Bougainville Referendum review handed to PNG Government

By Online Editor
1:47 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Referendum Committee on Bougainville met last Thursday to receive the final report from a panel of international experts who conducted the review.

Speaking after the conclusion of the first day of the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Kokopo, East New Britain, Chief Secretary to Government Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc said the review is compulsory and is a requirement under the PNG Constitution.

He said both the PNG and ABG governments are required to conduct this review after every five years, commencing from the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the ABG.

Sir Manasupe said the review of the autonomy arrangements has four aspects: legal and constitutional, governance and administration, financial arrangements, and economic and social development.

“It’s an extensive technical report. The panel of experts presented the summary of the findings and recommendations to the Referendum Committee, which I chaired. The committee’s role is to determine the legal, constitutional, financial and administrative aspects to prepare for the conduct of the referendum between 2015 and 2020.

“As part of fulfilling this role, the committee has embarked on the engagement of the panel of experts. The review report will be tabled at the JSB proper tomorrow for the JSB to receive, accept and refer the report back to the referendum committee to develop a detailed implementation plan,” Sir Manasupe said.

In thanking the panel of experts, Acting ABG Chief Administrator, Christopher Siriosi and Sir Manasupe said this achievement now brings to a new level both governments’ efforts to make autonomy work for the people of Bougainville.

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 October 2013

by bobmakin

a) The government has secured the two thirds of all MPs (given out as “thirty-four plus”, though actually 35) necessary to change the Constitution, Radio Vanuatu News announced yesterday. The Vanuaaku Party and Iauko Group performed a custom reconciliation last weekend to work together after their four-year dispute. Together they will support the government of Moana Carcasses they pledged. Discussions have been taking place for some time and VP leader Natapei said the late Iauko had wanted it thus and the VP now has a block of 12 MPs. VP will continue to negotiate with other VP breakaway groups and political parties like NUP and MPP. Let us hope this is to ensure well thought out policies rather than matters like whose big airport and where it should be, both of which are so irrelevant. Natapei has promised stability. It will best be achieved by obtaining what the people want and no-one has yet asked for a big airport. And finding out what the people want is best done, as Regenvanu has shown concerning land, by public consultation.

That said, Joel Simo of the Cultural Centre has pointed out certain problem areasshould chiefs proceed to write down their custom laws relating to land. Simo urges them to carefully consider what they have in mind and to examine what other societies have done in this regard. If we write down the custom land laws we are binding them to be applicable in future and there will no longer be the flexibility which presently obtains. Simo made the statement following the National Land Law Amendment Summit in which he heard that many chiefs had decided to have their land laws transcribed.

The Chief Justice has declared the contract with VTDL for a new huge airport at Rentabau legal. However, it has not yet been reported whether the earlier Shanghai Construction Company contract simply to repair Bauerfield and renovate other island airports is also legal if the latter contract is. It seems a decision on this matter was not made part of the submissions to the court. We await the final report on the judgement. Then it will be a case of deciding which of some 4 short listed projects ismost wanted by those it will mostly affect, as was achieved through the land law consultations. And government must still review which airport contract is wisest, and soon, as the present airport continues to deteriorate, like the potholes in most road.

b) A study last year revealed that 51% of the population has lost its custom stories.They link traditional and present day life with the land and sea. Tafea and Torba are the provinces which best retain this cultural memory with 60% and 59% of people recalling their instructional tales.

bobmakin | October 21, 2013 at 7:33 am |

4) Vanuatu To Conduct Youth Parliament Training
52 youth from around country to participate

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 20, 2013) – 52 youths representing Vanuatu’s six provinces are in Port Vila to train for the country’s first youth parliament on Wednesday.

A United Nations Development Programme analyst, Donald Wouloseje, says the youths are undergoing a week-long training programme to prepare them for the event, which will be broadcast on national television.

He says the Youth Parliament was organised for students to experience how parliament works, and how decisions are made that impact development and human rights issues in Vanuatu.

Mr Wouloseje says they will be debating issues that are topical for youths.

“We have actually prepared a bill on teenage pregnancy and abortion that will be debated in the Parliament. Then, in the afternoon, there will be side discussions on some of the key issues that have come up at the moment – climate change and youth unemployment. Key issues that are actually effecting youth today.”

Donald Wouloseje says he hopes the experience will help young people gain confidence to voice opinions on national issues.

Radio New Zealand International:

5) Fiji stands ready to assist Pacific neigbours: President Nailaitikau

By Online Editor
1:56 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Solomon Islands

Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says the island nation stands ready to assist our Pacific nations, based on the experiences the country has had over the past 43 years as a sovereign nation.

Ratu Epeli made the remarks in Solomon Islands as part of his Melanesian tour this week.

“Your Excellency and honoured guests, it is not true that all good solutions come from external sources. Certainly, the developed nations have much to offer, and we need to embrace their experience and assistance when and if they benefit us. But even with the best will in the world, – as our respective histories have recorded – sadly they do not always understand our culture, our aspirations, and our challenges

So we must take a stronger hand in designing and executing assistance programs, and we must choose to learn from each other but only when learning from each other shows us the better way,” Ratu Epeli told delegates at a State dinner in Honiara.

“Fiji stands ready – whenever we can – to assist our Pacific neighbours, based on the experiences we have had over the past 43 years as a sovereign nation. Like any country, we have made mistakes along the way but the important thing is that we have learnt from those mistakes and we can perhaps help others to avoid them.

“We also strongly believe in the principle of service to others – whether it is our large commitment to United Nations peacekeeping or as civilians working in neighbouring countries.

The Fijian government is proud that Fijian citizens have volunteered to work in Solomon Islands in areas that are of priority for you,” he said.

Ratu Epeli said retired teachers have come to teach and train, and police officers are participating in RAMSI, which is of critical importance as you continue to work to ensuring that the Solomon Islands is free from violence and strife.

“Fiji will always stand beside you to share experiences, knowledge and expertise.

“Last year you stood by us – but not for the first time – when you made a significant donation to our flood relief. We are indeed most grateful.

While we have supported each other in dealing with the natural disasters that occur regularly in our part of the world, we also have faced similar political problems. Both our nations have had challenges with ethnic tension.

Ratu Epeli said there is much that the regional bloc can do for ourselves if we maintain a spirit of sharing and cooperation, and if we always remember our strong connections as Melanesians – where we are several nations, but one people.

“Through the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the Pacific Islands Development Forum, and the other regional institutions, we are now taking control of our destiny and helping each other. If we keep on working together, we can increase trade among Melanesian nations and raise the living standards of all our peoples, we can share our experiences not only to solve common problems but also to assist each nation to solve our own unique problems. We may be in different stages of development, but as neighbours we are all travelling in the same direction.

“We Fijians are enthusiastic about what a Melanesian common market can mean for all of us—a larger market, economies of scale, greater opportunities to create employment, and the added collective weight at the negotiating table rather than just as individual nations.

A common market will lift all our economies, spur improvements and encourage sharing in our most important industries—like agriculture, fisheries, tourism, mining, timber and manufacturing. And Fiji quietly hopes to be a hub for the development of a broadband system that eventually will bring the benefits of the digital age to every Melanesian – in every settlement and in every village,”  he explained

Ratu Epeli also spoke about Fiji’s constitution and the way forward for the island nation, as it prepares for democratic election in 2014.

“Fiji’s new constitution creates—for the first time— a society in which ethnicity is no longer a factor. For the first time in our history, every Fijian will be equal before the law, every Fijian will have an equal vote, and no Fijian will be a second class citizen.

“The Solomon Islands is still but steadily going through a process that was caused by the tensions that befell your country not so long ago.

“While the events in our nations took different turns, their aspirations were the same.

“Your Excellency and honoured guests, Fijians believe in the people of the Solomon Islands. We are proud to be fellow Melanesians. We are equally convinced that by working together, we can counter any challenges.  We are honoured to be your partner – to stand beside you and be an understanding friend – as we both deal with those aspirations.

Just as we stood by you early in the 20th century and in world war two, we stand by you today. Where you need solidarity, we will give you solidarity. Where you need assistance, we will assist you as much as we can. Where you need friendship, you will always find that with the Fijians,” Ratu Epeli said.


6) Fiji Labour Party says election consultants step towards free and fair elections

Posted at 06:49 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Labour Party leader says the arrival of international election consultants is a step towards free and fair elections but history may yet repeat itself.

Mahendra Chaudhry says he is still doubtful about whether an election will proceed despite experts from Australia, New Zealand the European Union coming to Fiji to help with preparations.

The regime has promised to hold elections next September.

Mr Chaudhry told Amelia Langford that the regime took little notice of independent advice when it came to the country’s constitutional review and doubts things will change now.

MAHENDRA CHAUDHRY: For the elections, we are not very certain whether there will be elections. I’ve always said it’s a bit doubtful. Nonetheless, we’ll wait until an electoral commission is appointed, a supervisor of elections is appointed and the electoral laws are written up. As you know, we’ve got six experts – two from New Zealand, two from Australia and two from the EU – writing up our electoral laws. So until such time as all this work is done we can’t really be serious about elections.

AMELIA LANGFORD: Those election consultants, does that boost your confidence about this election going ahead?

MC: Well, we’ll have to wait and see until this process is completed. So we’ll wait and see how this eventuates.You will remember that we had a Ghai Commission doing up our constitution. And once they had done their report that report was trashed by the regime. So these are the uncertainties in the way. So until such time as something crystallises we can’t really talk about the elections with any degree of certainty.

AL: You’ve learnt from previous experience?

MC: Absolutely. It’s based on what’s transpired. Elections were promised twice – they were not held. The constitution review, the Ghai Commission report was trashed. So there is a string of these events which have taken place where the regime has gone back on its word. So this is another experience we’re going through. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of it.

AL: And are you at all concerned that the regime may issue another decree, or amend the law so parties have to do something else to be registered?

MC: Well, anything is possible, as you know, under a dictatorship. And they make laws according to their own whims. Whether there is any rationale or any logic behind it is immaterial. They do what they want to do and then a decree pops up. So anything is possible.

AL: In an ideal world, what would be the best situation now, in terms of how the regime proceeds with this election?

MC: Well, there’s a lot of work still to be done before we can talk about elections seriously. Once we have the electoral law is in place, once the commission is appointed, once the supervisor of elections is appointed, then it becomes a question of how do we ensure the elections will be free, fair and credible?

Mahendra Chaudhry also says he is still waiting for the regime’s leaders to release their financial declarations, as is the requirement of any political party wanting to register.

Radio New Zealand International


7) Live blog: NSW bushfires threat ‘unparalleled’ as conditions worsen

Updated 21 October 2013, 17:58 AEST

Emergency warnings have been issued for two major bushfires which have flared up in New South Wales, as fire crews warn the crisis could worsen in the coming days. The Rural Fire Service (RFS) has upgraded the danger status for the fire burning near Springwood and the State Mine fire near Lithgow. A watch and act alert remains in place for Mount Victoria and the Hall Road fire in the Southern Highlands, though fire crews warn the situation could deteriorate at any time. The RFS has called the bushfire threat an “unparalleled” emergency, and fire crews have spent the day aggressively back-burning in a bid to stop two major bushfires joining up. A state of emergency is in effect across the state, giving authorities powers to forcibly remove people, cut electricity and water supplies, and shore up or demolish buildings. Meanwhile, police in Port Stephens have charged one boy and arrested another over a fire which tore through the region last week. Follow our live blog for updates throughout the day.

Emergency warnings have been issued for two major bushfires which have flared up in New South Wales, as fire crews warn the crisis could worsen in the coming days.

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) has upgraded the danger status for the fire burning near Springwood and the State Mine fire near Lithgow.

A watch and act alert remains in place for Mount Victoria and the Hall Road fire in the Southern Highlands, though fire crews warn the situation could deteriorate at any time.

The RFS has called the bushfire threat an “unparalleled” emergency, and fire crews have spent the day aggressively back-burning in a bid to stop two major bushfires joining up.

At least 200 homes have already been lost and a state of emergency is in effect across the state, giving authorities powers to forcibly remove people, cut electricity and water supplies, and shore up or demolish buildings.

Meanwhile, police in Port Stephens have charged an 11-year-old boy with deliberately lighting a fire that tore through the region last week.

Follow our live blog for updates:

External Link: Live blog: bushfire emergency ( Radio Australia )

8) Australian celebrates successes in helping Solomon Islands pull back from failed state

By Online Editor
11:17 am GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Australia

An Australian MP says the federal government is proud to have helped prevent neighbouring Solomon Islands from becoming failed state 10 years ago.

Australia’s been the driving force behind the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

RAMSI is a partnership between the people and government of Solomon Islands and fifteen countries of the Pacific.

The mission arrived in Solomon Islands in July 2003 at the request of the Solomon Islands Government.

Since then, much has been achieved and Solomon Islands is continuing on its path to recovery.

RAMSI helped to end 5 years of ethnic conflict that brought the island nation from total collapse.

Speaking on behalf of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, the Member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro told the Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane last Friday that Australia’s assistance will continue.

“Ten years ago the Solomon Islands was in danger of being a failed state,” Gambaro said.

“But RAMSI has worked with the government and the government of Solomon Islands to restore law and order.”

RAMSI took part in helping to rebuild national institutions and to stabilise the economy to improve service delivery.

Gambaro said the Australian government has committed $500 million to assisting Solomon Islands through the regional assistance mission in the next 4 years.

“Once again, the Solomon Islands are called the Happy Isle,” she said.


9) Australian Immigration Minister not concerned about PNG centre, defends calling asylum seekers ‘illegal’

By Online Editor
4:41 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Australia

Australian Immigration minister Scott Morrison says there’s no issue with Papua New Guinea processing asylum seekers despite a security incident at the Manus Island centre.

A disturbance involving members of the PNG police and military outside the centre on Friday triggered a “red alert” and staff were moved to a secure part of the facility.

Initial reports that firearms had been drawn were later dismissed by Morrison, but he confirmed that members of the defence force were seen by detainees carrying rocks and sticks.

Asked on Monday if he was confident about PNG’s capacity to process asylum seekers at the centre, Morrison said “there is nothing to suggest otherwise”.

“There has been extensive levels of support and training and mentoring being provided to Papua New Guinea and Nauru to manage those processes, and I haven’t seen anything to suggest that there are issues associated with that,” Morrison said in Canberra.

He also disputed claims from asylum seekers that the centre had been abandoned in the disturbance, and dismissed other claims as “hysterical”.

“They were completely over the top and proved to be completely false and I’m finding that quite a bit in this area,” he said.

But Labor’s new immigration spokesman Richard Marles said the Abbott government had failed to provide “the full truth and full disclosure” about the incident.

“It took 48 hours … before we had any word from minister Morrison,” Marles told reporters in Canberra.

“What we need is full disclosure from this government whenever an incident of this kind occurs, and we need full disclosure about what occurred on Friday.”.

Meanwhile, Morrison says he is simply calling “’a spade a spade” by directing public servants to refer to asylum seekers as ”illegal”.

“’I’m not going to make any apologies for not using politically correct language to describe something that I am trying to stop,”’ he said.
Morrison has come under fire for telling immigration staff that boat arrivals must be called ”illegal maritime arrivals”, and asylum seekers in detention must be called ”detainees” instead of “clients”.

The Immigration Minister is unrepentant.

“I’m not going to engage in some sort of clever language to try and mask anything here,” he said.

“I’m going to call a spade a spade.”

Morrison said his directive simply concerned the way asylum seekers arrived.

“People who have entered Australia illegally by boat have illegally entered by boat,” he said.

“I’ve never said that it is illegal to claim asylum. That’s not what the term refers to. It refers to their mode of entry.”

Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles accused Mr Morrison of demonising asylum seekers in what he said was a return to the inflammatory rhetoric of the Howard era.

“This is an area where language is bullets: it is really important that we are careful about what language we use and that we depoliticise this area of policy,” Marles said.

“Those who come by boat are not the enemy.

“In terms of calling a spade a spade, people who seek asylum here are asylum seekers.”.



10) NZ Migration climbs to 10-year high

By Online Editor
4:35 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand had its highest net gain of migrants in more than 10 years last month, as even fewer Kiwis left for Australia.

Statistics New Zealand figures show New Zealand had a net gain – more arrivals than departures – of 2,740 migrants in September, the highest since July 2003.

The increase in recent months was due to both more arrivals and fewer departures, according to the International Travel and Migration report.

A net loss of 800 migrants to Australia in September was the smallest since September 2003, as Australia continues to lose its attraction. The number of New Zealanders crossing the Ditch has been falling since December last year.

In the year to September, New Zealand had a net loss of 25,300 migrants to Australia, compared with 39,500 in the previous year.

At the same time as fewer Kiwis were leaving to go to Australia, more migrants were heading back the other way, said ASB economist Daniel Smith.

“We expect inflows will continue as the NZ labour market improves and Australia’s struggles to add jobs at a sufficient pace to keep up with population growth,” Smith said.

“NZ’s labour market is likely to remain relatively healthy compared to those in Australia and Europe, which will continue to drive inwards migration.”

Overall, New Zealand had a net gain of 15,200 migrants over the 12 months, compared with a net loss of 3,300 in the previous year.

The highest number of migrants by country came from the United Kingdom (6,000), ahead of China (5,400), and India (5,100).

Westpac economist Felix Delbruck said the net inflow was even stronger than expected.

“If recent trends continue, annual net immigration will easily surpass 20,000 by the end of this year,” he said.

“And, with unemployment in Australia expected to hit around 6.5 per cent next year, we expect net immigration to rise even further in 2014, which would make this New Zealand’s biggest migration cycle since the early 2000s.”

New Zealand’s unemployment rate rose to 6.40 per cent in the second quarter, from 6.20 per cent in the first quarter.

Delbruck said the inbound numbers were “big enough to matter for the housing market over the short to medium term”.

More people arriving than leaving would put pressure on house prices, despite new lending restrictions and recent rises in fixed-term mortgage rates, he said.

Meanwhile, visitor arrivals to New Zealand were the second-highest ever for a September month, pipped only by September 2011 when the Rugby World Cup was in full swing.

A total of 191,100 visitors landed here last month, compared to 179,100 a year ago.

Chinese visitors boosted the overall figure, said statistics manager Andrea Blackburn.

“The 21,200 visitors from China was well up from 14,000 last September,” she said.

“This continues the strong growth in visitor numbers which we have seen from the world’s most populous country in recent years.”

Visitor arrivals in the year to September were 2.670 million, up 3 per cent on the previous year.

United States visitor numbers were up by 11,400, compared to last year. There were also more visitors from China (up 49,600) and Australia (up 23,300).

New Zealanders took 211,400 overseas trips last month, which was 2 per cent higher than a year ago and the highest ever for a September month..


11) New Zealand Foreign Minister Justifies Easing Of Fiji Sanctions
McCully says move ‘right thing to do because of progress towards elections’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 18, 2013) – The New Zealand foreign minister says Wellington’s sanctions against Fiji were eased last month not to please Suva but because it was the right thing to do because of progress towards elections next year.

Murray McCully says Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth remains, now four years since the Fiji regime reneged on its promise to return the country to democracy.

He says the Forum’s ministerial contact group still wants to go to Fiji after an August trip was called off.

MURRAY McCULLY: It clashed with a very important meeting involving small island developing states, so that was going to take the host minister, amongst others, out of play. So we’re looking to try and reschedule that meeting of the ministerial contact group. We’re keen to try and do something this year so we can give an update to forum leaders.

SALLY ROUND: And any idea timing-wise?

MM: No, I haven’t got any dates yet, but I’m working on that at the moment. I think it’s important that we are able to provide a regular update. What I can say is that from a bilateral point of view New Zealand has been involved in discussions with a number of those planning the elections process in Fiji. We’ve had the deputy chief of the electoral office several times visit Fiji to look at the areas in which we can best help, and as of today, I understand it, we have two technical experts from our electoral office in Fiji offering assistance as part of that programme. I know that electoral experts have also been accepted from several other countries. So there’s a wider pattern of assistance here for Fiji as they plan what’s going to be a significant electoral undertaking.

SR: Now, Fiji gave a fairly flippant response to your announcement of a further easing of sanctions, in effect saying it was too little, too late. Was that a surprise to you, their response?

MM: No, not at all. I think I’ve said on a number of occasions, we are aware that Fiji has a certain view about the sanctions regime. We accept that as we make modifications to it that they’re going to draw attention to their dissatisfaction with the sanctions in the first place. We’re not doing this to try and please them. We’re doing this because we think it’s right. We think that the progress that is being undertaken in relation to elections should be recognised and that New Zealand sanctions should be modified accordingly, and that’s something we’ll continue to do.

SR: The European Union has just extended its measures on Fiji. They want to see if elections are indeed going to be free and fair before they lift them, and that could be after the elections. Don’t you think that new zealand was a bit premature?

MM: No, I think it’s an entirely reasonable approach for them to adopt and our sanctions regime remains in place in the same way the suspension from the Commonwealth, the suspension from the forum remains, as well. But within that framework we’ve got to try and find ways of encouraging progress and recognising that assistance is going to be needed if elections are going to be successful there. So I think we need to understand that there are some things that best wait until the elections have been held and other things that can best be undertaken now because they’ll contribute to freer and fairer elections behind held. And we’re trying to apply our judgement so that we get these things right. And I think others in the international community are trying to do the same.

Radio New Zealand International:


12) Kaukau istap iet olsem bikpla kaikai blong ol pipal long Melanesia ( Sweet Potato/Kumala/Kumra)

Updated 21 October 2013, 14:25 AEST
Caroline Tiriman
Wanpla agrikalsa saintis itok kaukau istap olsem wanpla bikpla kaikai em planti pipal blong Melanesian kantri olsem Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands na Vanuatu isave laikim tumas winim rais. Em i tok ol kaikai blong ovasis olsem rais bai ino kisim ples blongen, longwanem ol i pulap long rurel eria.

Odio: Dr Mike Burke blong Australian National University long Canberra, Australia
Dr Mike Bourke blong Australian National University itok, kaukau na ol narapla kaikai blong ol tumbuna olsem taro, banana, yam na tapioka i stap strong iet long ol kaikai blong Melanesia.

Olsem wanem long rais? Planti pipol i save laikim tru rais. Dr Bourke i tok rais ino ‘staple’ tru tru kaikai blong ol pipol blong PNG oa Solomon Islands, tru long sampla kantri, ol i planim rais.

Tasol rais ino kaikai tru blong ples.

“Tru long sampla liklik aelan kantri long Polynesia, olsem long Nauru, ol kaikai em ol isave kisim igo, olsem ol imports, em bikpla hap blong kaikai blong ol,” em ibin tok.

Tasol long PNG, Solomon Islands na Vanuatu, kaukau, taro, saksak, yam na kaikai blong ples, em ol kaikai tru blong australia.
( The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable.)


13) Australie : État d’urgence en vigueur en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud

Mis à jour 21 October 2013, 10:12 AEST
Pierre Riant

Ce n’est même pas encore l’été, mais les feux de brousse qui ont fait un mort, dévasté des dizaines de milliers d’hectares et rasé 208 maisons depuis la semaine dernière devraient s’aggraver au cours de ces prochains jours.

Les autorités ont imposé cet état d’urgence par crainte d’une fusion de trois gigantesques incendies qui sévissent dans la région des Blue Mountains ; notamment à Lithgow, Springwood et Mount Victoria, au nord-ouest de Sydney.

Ces trois incendies pourraient former un énorme brasier s’étendant sur des centaines de kilomètres.

Les températures sont à la hausse, le vent souffle et les autorités n’ont pris aucune chance. Cet État d’urgence leur permettra, entre autres, d’évacuer des habitants par la force si nécessaire.

Plus de mille pompiers volontaires sont impliqués, des renforts d’autres États australiens ont été dépêchés et cette nuit 250 pompiers ont creusé des tranchées et construit des dispositifs de confinement dans la perspective des conditions météo anticipées.

56 feux sont encore signalés dont 12 non-maîtrisés.

Mais la grande crainte des autorités reste la fusion des 3 énormes incendies dans la région des Montages Bleues; fusion qui pourrait devenir une tempête de feu de 300 kilomè australia


14) Women in Pacific still behind global rates of representation

By Online Editor
1:49 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands, Niue and Palau are the only Pacific Island countries on track to achieve broad international goals around the empowerment of women.

Decision-makers from around the region are in the Cook Islands this week and progress on achieving Millennium Development Goals is among items for discussion.

Every three years senior decision-makers gather to review and develop strategies to improve the lot of women in the region.

This year’s Millennium Development Goals progress report shows the region still has the lowest rate of women’s representation in parliament in the world, and high violence rates continue to hinder progress. But celebrating progress is also on the agenda of the 12th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women hosted by the Cook Islands.

Almost 200 participants will also discuss women’s access to health and education and look at initiatives to support women’s economic empowerment.



15) EU trade talks stalled

By Online Editor
1:57 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Samoa

The possibility of wrapping up the drawn out trade negotiations between the Pacific and the European Union is fading.

As a matter of fact, according to Samoa’s Ambassador to the European Union, Fatumanava III Dr Paolelei Luteru a plan B is already being discussed.

“I think that Plan-B has now kicked in which means we walk away from the negotiation,” he tells the Sunday Samoan.

“Because no progress has been made so I am sure that is where we are.

We have now said ‘let’s take a break’, there is no time frame in terms of another meeting.

“I will need to confirm that because that was the agreement that we reached when we discussed it with the High Officials.”

The officials he speaks of are the Commission’s Chief Operating Officer of External Action – or foreign affairs, the Director General of Fisheries Miss Lowri Evans and the Director of Trade.

“So these are very high officials and I am sure that what we have discussed and agreed will now be implemented,” he said. “So I’ll have to wait and see when I return what is the situation.”

Fatumanava was speaking to the Sunday Samoan at the end of the first consultation meeting of the Eminent Persons Group of member states of the ACP Group at Aggie Grey’s Resort.

The Ambassador is the Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors.

Presently a Pacific Trade delegation is in Brussels to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement.

However, talks were dealt yet another blow, with reports of a meeting between a Pacific Trade delegation and the EU Commissioner not going ahead as scheduled.

The various EPAs are a key element of the overarching Cotonou Agreement, the future of which was the focus of a high level meeting held here in Apia last week.

They are aimed at creating a free trade area between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

The EPAs were supposed to take effect as of 2008, however with discussions being drawn out, the trade negotiation’s lead spokesperson Tonga’s Dr Viliami Uasike Latu announced last June the Pacific would pull out of the negotiations if they were not concluded by the end of this year.

This ultimatum on the longest running trade talks in the Pacific was conveyed to the European Union Commissioner for Trade, Karel de Gucht, in a letter dated June 4, 2013.

The Pacific countries claim that Europe has failed to respond to their requests and the challenge issued by Dr Latu on behalf of the PICs has thrown a decade worth of discussions into jeopardy.

Fatumanava III remarks echo those of the Solomon Islands National Trade Negotiations Envoy Robert Sisilo, who earlier this month said after almost 10 years of negotiations, the prospect of concluding a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the Pacific Island Countries and the EU remains as elusive as ever.

Sisilo said Pacific Island Countries were at a critical stage of their negotiations and fish is the only issue standing in the way of progressing and concluding their EPA with the EU.

Sisilo said the big challenge now is how to treat fish and fishrelated issues such as conservation and management measures in the EPA.

Fatumanava III reiterated that the EPA is an important part of our current relationship with the EU.

“Obviously they (the meeting’s participants) were concerned about it because of the current impasse in Brussels,” he said. “I think we are all very concerned and disappointed about the lack of progress.”

He said he had convened a meeting with the senior officials of the Commission in External Action Services – fisheries, trade and development cooperation.

He too raised the sensitive issue of fish.

“We were able to agree on a number of key principles in terms of the sensitive issues,” he said.

“But unfortunately I think you know those that negotiated did not reach agreement.

“I think one of the difficulties lies in the fact that the sensitive issue at the moment is fisheries and when we negotiate EPA it is the trade officials that negotiate it.

“But when it comes to the issue of fisheries it is the fisheries officials that negotiate.

“There is also a bit of a gap in that relationship in terms of our region but I think we need really to look at how we are negotiating and see if it is the most effective way of negotiating.”

He said one of the other issues that needed to be taken into account was the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, of which Samoa is not a member.

The PNA brings together eight Pacific Island countries to sustainably manage tuna.

PNA members are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

These countries own waters which supply 25 per cent of the world’s tuna, an estimated $2 billion worth of fish every year.

“We have PNA members – six of our Pacific ACP countries are not members,” he said.

“There is also a need to look not only the members of PNA in terms of their own needs but also the others that are not there because they are basically holding up negotiations.”

Speaking to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Saturday, the nation’s Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum denied reports that the European Union has suspended negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement in Brussels.

Sayed-Khaiyum clarified the meeting between the Pacific Trade delegation in Brussels and the European Union Commissioner Karel de Gucht did not go ahead as scheduled.

“Actually they have not been suspended,” he said.

“There was a series of meetings held between the trade officials of the Pacific and the trade officials of the EU and there was going to be a subsequent meeting between EU Commissioner and the Ministers who are in Brussels.

“But because of the issues that were identified in the trade officials meeting, and the fact that we need to regroup as a region, the meeting with the European Trade Commissioner did not go ahead.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Pacific bloc has been given time to solve pending issues before they can continue negotiations.

“But the Pacific has written a letter [to the] EU Commissioner to say, given that some of the developments that has taken place, both parties need to regroup respectively and hopefully have a meeting very soon,” he said.



16) Australia HIV increase at a 20-year high

By Online Editor
1:47 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Australia

Australia has had the biggest jump in new HIV cases in two decades, leading experts to call for urgent action to tackle the disease.

David Wilson, program head at the University of NSW’s Kirby Institute, said more than 1250 people were newly diagnosed with HIV last year. NSW led the way with a 24 per cent increase, while Victoria was stable.

The 10 per cent increase nationwide in new HIV cases last year has hit young people particularly hard, with hundreds of people in their 20s diagnosed. HIV groups and infectious disease researchers say urgent action is needed to increase condom use, speed up access to new rapid HIV tests and ensure everyone who needs medications can access them.

“Traditionally, HIV has been diagnosed in the late 30s and early 40s but we are now seeing a trend away from that,” Wilson said. ”These people were not around in the [’80s and] ’90s and didn’t experience the fear campaigns.’”

However, figures provided exclusively to Fairfax Media covering the first half of this year show a high-profile campaign to reduce the disease, called Ending HIV, may be starting to have an effect.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the second quarterly NSW report on new infections shows 179 diagnoses in NSW in the first half of this year, compared with 196 last year and 175 the year before.

However, testing levels had also increased. “These numbers could mean you are bringing in groups that haven’t engaged with testing before and that can be a positive thing,” Ms Chant said. ”But HIV is still present and it’s still at unacceptable levels.”

She said people needed to be tested as soon as possible after exposure, as that was when they were most infectious.

Australasian Society for HIV Medicine president Edwina Wright said that Australia was not doing a good enough job of putting in place key recommendations on reducing HIV transmission, including getting people on treatment early.

“’A lot of people are on pensions and, in fact, aren’t able, at times, to afford their antiretroviral therapies,”’ Wright said.

She said an application was before federal health authorities to subsidise medication for all people with HIV, not just those with progressed conditions.


17) Vanuatu nurses threaten action over government health changes

Posted at 07:11 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

The Vanuatu’s Nurses Association has written a letter to the deputy prime minister, threatening to strike over the government’s hospital plan.

The letter to Edward Natapei follows to the pilot project to revise health service delivery at Vila Central Hospital in the capital and Northern District Hospital in Santo.

The deputy president of the Nurses Association, Anne Pakoa, has called on the government to review its decision to remove middle-management directors and replace them with a chief medical officer in each province.

She says the results on the ground already show it will not work.

Miss Pakoa has also told the Daily Post Newspaper the Nurses Association want the acting director general of health, Dr Santus Wari, removed.

She says he is at fault for suspending all professional staff to implement the government’s decision.

The nurses say they will strike if the government does not act.

Radio New Zealand International

18) Anger in American Samoa over re-hiring of dumped doctor

Posted at 07:11 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

A decision by the American Samoa Hospital Authority Board to hire a doctor who was forced out last year because of questionable patient care and poor job performance, may lead to a walkout by several senior employees.

It’s been confirmed by the acting chairman of the board, Mase Akapo Akapo, that Dr. Iotamo Saleapaga has been selected as the new chief medical officer for the LBJ Hospital.

The decision is dependent on the approval of a hospital committee which is to review whether Dr. Salaepaga can practise medicine at the LBJ again.

His privileges were revoked prior to his forced removal from the hospital last year.

Despite this Dr. Saleapaga was hired as a physician by the Department of Health which is separate from the LBJ Hospital.

Reliable sources say senior administrative and medical staff are among those threatening to walkout.

Radio New Zealand International

19) Pacific doctors ponder why traditional healing trumps modern medicine

Posted at 06:49 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

An American Samoan physician says Samoan residents are still seeking out traditional healers in the territory instead of medical treatment at the hospital.

Dr Annie Fuavai was attending the inaugural Medical Symposium in Pago Pago at the weekend.

Professor Ian Rouse, the dean of the college of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at the Fiji National University, says one of the big issues across the Pacific is that people know they are not well, but don’t look after themselves properly.

Dr Fuavai, who works in the Emergency Room of the LBJ hospital, says residents continue to seek out Samoan traditional healers.

“Amazingly with all the education that we have, all the programmes that we have, they still go back to traditional healers for comfort and for treatments so it something that we need to look at.”

Dr Fuavai says she expects Fiji to have the same problem with the traditional healers.

Radio New Zealand International


20) Many in Vanuatu missing out on promised free education says watchdog

Posted at 07:11 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

Transparency Vanuatu has released a report which shows some primary school children are being deprived of a free education, and are missing out on school as a result.

It’s education report analyses the effectiveness of the Primary Education School Fee Grant Policy in Vanuatu from 2010 – 2012, and questions whether primary education in Vanuatu is free.

The policy is a joint initiative between AusAid, the New Zealand aid programme and the Vanuatu government, to provide subsidies for primary school fees.

A project advisor for Transparency Vanuatu’s education programme, Francis Bryard, says of the 41 schools surveyed, more than half are still charging fees or asking parents for a contribution, and this impacts directly on school attendance.

“Because in some situations when the school is asking, for example 7 thousand vatu for one child, it’s quite a lot of money. So sometimes the parents will not send the kids. In some situations that I highlighted in the report, where parents who haven’t been able to pay the fee, they are asked not to send their kids to school. So it has an impact.”

Francis Bryard says it’s clear that both parents and schools feel confused about what they should and shouldn’t pay.
Radio New Zealand International


21) Fiji-Solomon Islands Business Council Established
Council to ‘strengthen trade and development relations’

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 21, 2013) – The recent increase in trade and commerce between Fiji and the Solomon Islands has seen the establishment of a Fiji-Solomon Islands Business Council.

The council was established last Friday and is expected to strengthen trade and development relations between the two countries.

Fiji’s non resident High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Romanu Tikotikoca said there is quite a large number of Fijians working out of Solomon Islands in the various sectors including security, business, construction, transportation and others and Fijian businesses operating in Honiara have increased from just seven in 2005 to 28 this year, showing a rise in the level of cooperation and trade between the two countries.

Some Fijian companies that have established themselves in the Solomon Islands include Punjas, FMF, CJ Patel and Darlbrough employing more than 1000 locals and Fijians.

There are around 400 Fijians living in the Solomon Islands apart from students and this is expected to grow even further as the Melanesian Spearhead Group Skilled Labour Movement comes into implementation.


22) Imam At French Polynesian’s First Mosque Received Death Threats
‘Prayer room’ shuttered after one day due to safety violations

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 20, 2013) – The lawyer acting for French Polynesia’s first imam says he has been given death threats over last week’s brief opening of Tahiti’s first mosque.

The city administration of Papeete shut the prayer room a day after it opened, saying the premises failed to meet safety standards for public meetings and could only be used as office space.

The news about the mosque caused an uproar, with the A Tia Porinetia political party warning against the risk of extremism while the government restated the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and religion.

The issue triggered a debate in the assembly, with a member of the ruling majority and deputy mayor of Papeete, Charles Fong Loi, saying the 23-year-old imam has a provocative attitude and fails to give proof of intellectual honesty.

One anti-independence member said while he wants to keep the traditional hospitality, it cannot be extended to anything and anyone in the name of secularism.

Addressing his pro-French rivals, the pro-independence opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, said by coming to Tahiti the imam simply travelled within France, and in France there are mosques.

Radio New Zealand International:

23) Solomon Islands Police To Be Rearmed
Cabinet approves limited reintroduction of weapons to RSIPF

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 18, 2013) – Planning is now underway for the re-introduction of limited firearm to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

This was made possible after cabinet approved the initiative of rearming the RSIPF, but at a relatively small scale, and the signing of the Participating Police Force (PPF)’s drawdown strategy program for 2013-2017.

PPF Commander Paul Osborne said that under the drawdown strategic program, the PPF will begin a two phase limited re-armament program for the RSIPF.

This would include preparation and designing of a re-armament program and also include training of several selected officers and divisions of the RSIPF which is seen fit to be re-armed.

“Throughout the first 12 months we will be designing and preparing several programs and trainings for selected divisions or departments of the RSIPF which are likely to be re-armed in the near future.

“Some of these will include; the close protection unit, airport police, patrol boat and the police response team.

“We will also be conducting not only physical but also theoretical training for these officers in handling limited fire-arms,” Mr Osborne said.

He however said that all of this will be dependent on the PPF’s recommendation to cabinet after the 12 month period lapse.

“After our assessment, and if cabinet approves for re-armament to convene, we will then begin phase two of the program,” Mr Osborne said.

He however, cautioned that such news does not guarantee or authorize any RSIPF to carry arms as yet, as all process will be carefully followed and assessed before any further developments.

Acting Commissioner, Juanita Matanga meanwhile also stressed that having the sections of the RSIPF re-armed is very much beneficial as far as national security is concerned.

“We have to have our minds and focus toward the future and not dwell on past happenings.

“Solomon Islands being a sovereign state, the RSIPF has to have itself rearmed in order to maintain the national security of the country,” Ms Matanga said.

Solomon Star

24) Leaked Samoa police report implicates deputy PM in testing case

Posted at 02:08 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

A leaked police report on a traffic control incident in Samoa has implicated the country’s deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo.

The Samoa Observer has obtained a copy of the police report of an incident two weeks ago, when an Associate Minister, Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, was tested for drink driving.

The report says Fonotoe interfered as officers were attempting to test the Associate Minister.

The police officer, Ioapo Isitolo, says he and four other policemen spotted a vehicle doing an illegal u-turn.

The officer says Muagututagata appeared influenced by alcohol, and while undergoing the test, Fonotoe drove by and asked what was going on, and then instructed the Minister to drive away from the police.

When the newspaper questioned him, Fonotoe downplayed his role in the incident, telling journalists they should only report the government’s version of the events.
Radio New Zealand International

25) Guam military build-up opponents say expansion will increase noise pollution

Posted at 02:08 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

A group in Guam is opposed to the United States military’s plans to double the size of the area it uses for training and weapons testing.

A spokesperson for We Are Guahan says in the environmental impact study out for public consultation the ocean area to be used is extended from Guam and the Northern Marianas as far as Palau.

Leevin Camacho says bombers are already flying regularly over Guam, which is not something that was common three years ago.

“During one of these holiday weekends we were out and we have fighter jets flying over our tourist area. It’s just not something that’s really compatible – or – it’s kind of jarring to be at the beach and to see a bomber and fighter jets flying while you’re out trying to enjoy time with your family.”

Leevin Camacho says his group is putting together a fact sheet on the environmental impact study to help people understand the full consequences of what is proposed.
Radio New Zealand International


26) More research needed on sea level rise impact on Pacific atolls

Posted at 07:11 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

A New Zealand academic says more research is needed to monitor the Pacific’s changing shorelines as each island responds differently to rising sea levels.

Dr Murray Ford, from the University of Auckland’s School of Environment, used old photos from World War II and more recent satellite images to study the shoreline of Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

He says the atoll’s shoreline has mostly increased since 1945 but this does not mean rising sea levels are not a threat.

“This research kind of illustrates the complexity of these islands and how little we understand about the dynamics and the changes to the island shorelines. Wotje has generally grown, although there’s some evidence, that needs to be explored in more depth, to suggest that since 2004 there’s possibly been a shift towards more erosion.”

Murray Ford says this research is important for underpinning future village developments like schools so they can be shifted away from erosion prone areas.

Radio New Zealand International

27) Managed fisheries drive success for Fiji university scholars

By Online Editor
4:33 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Fiji

A community in Fiji is funding university scholarships for local students by successfully managing Fiji’s largest protected marine area.

Community groups and chiefs in Kubulau are working with the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect their fisheries by limiting the number of fish people are allowed to catch.

Because the area is well managed, it attracts divers who pay $30 a day to dive there.

Fiji director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Dr Stacey Jupiter, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat the money is put to good use.

“That money all goes directly back to the communities and they use that to offset managment costs as well as pay for community development projects,” she said.

“They have issued about 150 scholarships to youth from Kubulau to go to university just from these fees coming from divers.”

Fish stocks in parts of Fiji are thriving due to the combination of traditional and scientific protection methods, with marine biologists seeing an increase in the size and number of fish over the past few years.

The district chiefs work with staff from the Wildlife Conservation Society to stop overfishing.

“So when the chiefs decide to make rules for the traditonal fisheries management area, for the most part there is large respect for their traditional authority” she said.

“People obey those rules and reduce their fishing pressure in certain areas that the chiefs designate as no fishing zones.”.


28) Heavy rain warning remains in force for Fiji group

By Online Editor
4:34 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Fiji

A heavy rain warning remains in force for the Fiji group.

The areas under threat include Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Viti Levu, Yasawa and Mamanuca group, Northern Lau and Lomaiviti group.

According to the latest bulletin issued by the Nadi weather office, an active trough of low pressure which lies just to the North of Fiji is gradually moving south towards the group.

Periods of rain, heavy at times and squally thunderstorms will affect the group while a strong wind warning also remains in force for Rotuma waters.

In light of the situation, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) has advised members of the public to exercise extreme caution and people living in flood prone areas are reminded to take necessary precautions as heavy rain may lead to flash flooding.


29) Storm in Fiji leads to bridge closures

Posted at 07:11 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

Fiji authorities say stormy weather affecting much of the country should ease tomorrow

The tropical depression has caused a number of road closures around Labasa.

The ministry of information says four bridges around the Vanua Levu centre have been closed and will stay closed until waters recede.

Radio New Zealand International


30) Papua New Guinea signal intentions with victory against Scotland

By Online Editor
4:12 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, United Kingdom

Papua New Guinea served a warning to France, just eight days ahead of their World Cup opener, with a 38-20 victory over Scotland at Featherstone on Saturday.

After suffering early blows from Scotland – the Bravehearts well-orchestrated by Man of Steel Danny Brough – the Kumuls found some rhythm and rarely looked back after going in front for the first time midway through the first half.

Brough played for just over 30 minutes before giving way to a series of experimental half-back partnerships – he and the travelling Peter Wallace will be Scotland’s first-choice duo – but without him, Steve McCormack’s men looked a little lost.

Just 75 seconds had elapsed when Brough – born just 12 miles away in Dewsbury – floated a pass out to the right, where Workington’s Brett Carter was on hand to dot down, although the conversion from Brough fell short.

That meant that when the Kumuls scored with seven minutes gone they were able to take the lead.

Enoch Maki – primed for a move to Hull KR – powered on to a ball from Paul Aiton and scored next to the posts, with David Mead adding a simple conversion.

The pacific islanders played with a little more freedom from thereon in – perhaps too much for Dale Ferguson who wiped out Josiah Abavu as he embarked on a showy run – before some clever Scottish play but them back in front.

Brough was at the heart of it, taking a pass down by his ankles before stabbing an angled, low kick through which reared up perfectly for Ben Hellewell – the second-rower a popular scorer on his home ground. Brough was on target with the goal.

Back came Papa New Guinea and, after his earlier run was halted, Abavu went on another defence-splitting run which this time ended with a punt ahead which was grounded by Nene McDonald.

Brough then left the field, but one of his first duties on the bench was to watch as Wellington Albert took in a fine pass from Jesse Joe Nandye next to the posts, although Mead missed the conversion when the half-time hooter was sounded mid-kick and forced him to drag it.

The Kumuls maintained their momentum into the second half and scored within a minute of the restart as Richard Kambo took in Nandye’s pass, with Mead on the spot to upgrade it before getting a score of his own with a snaking run from dummy-half.

Bradford’s Danny Addy reached out and dotted down on the hour to bring Scotland back in it, with the same man’s conversion making it 26-16 with a quarter of the game left. And, when new Wigan recruit Alex Hurst raced in at the corner, it was very much game on.

But Scotland’s intent in attack left them open in defence and Roger Laka killed things off with 10 minutes left, before a length-of-the-field McDonald intercept gave the scoreline a more credible look.

Even then there was time for more brilliance from Adrian Lam’s men, with Abavu kicked over opposite number Carter and collecting for a fine solo score which earned a standing ovation from the crowd of 1,412. Mead failed with all three conversions, but it mattered little.


31) Flying Fijians named for Northern tour

By Online Editor
4:09 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, Fiji

Flying Fijians coach Inoke Male has named a strong 30-member squad for the Northern tour next month.

Akapusi Qera has retained the captaincy role while Fiji 7s captain to the World Cup, Levani Botia has also made the cut in the final team. Waikato Chiefs winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma is another interesting inclusion in the squad.

Fiji plays its first match of the tour against Portugal on 9 November before facing Italy on Novvember 16, Romania on the 23rd and the Barbarians on the 30th.

The squad- 1. Jeremaia Yanuyanutawa – Glasgow, Scotland, 2. George Campese Ma’afu – Nottingham, England 3. Setefano Somoca – Nadroga, Fiji, 4. Manasa Saulo – Suva, Fiji, 5. Peni Ravai – Nadroga, Fiji, 6. Viliame Veikoso – Suva, Fiji, 7. Seremaia Naureure – Nadroga, Fiji, 8. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa – Agen, France 9. Wame Leawaravu – Stade Montois, France, 10. Dominiko Waqaniburotu – Brive, France, 11. Apisai Naikatini – Wellington, New Zealand, 12. Nemani Nagusa – Nadroga, Fiji, 13. Akapusi Qera (c) – Gloucester, England, 14. Malakai Ravulo – North Habour, New Zealand, 15. Netani Talei – Newport, Wales, 16. Sakiusa Masi Matadigo – Racing Metro, France, 17. Nikola Matawalu – Glasgow, Scotland, 18. Nemia Kenatale – Southland, New Zealand, 19. Henry Seniloli – Tailevu, Fiji, 20. Seramaia Bai – Carste, France, 21. Waisea Luveniyali – Naitasiri, Fiji, 22. Alexander Rokobaro – Rebels, Australia, 23. Levani Botia – Namosi, Fiji, 24. Nemani Nadolo – NEC, Japan, 25. Vereniki Goneva – Leicester Tigers, England 26. Napolioni Nalaga – Clermont, France, 27. Asaeli Tikoirotuma – Chiefs, New Zealand, 28. Waisea Nayacalevu – Stade France, France 29. Metuisela Talebula – Bourdaux, France, 30. Timoci Nagusa – Montpelier, France.

Meanwhile, Nadroga staged a strong performance in the second half to clinch the Farebrother Challenge trophy from holders Tailevu and end the 2013 domestic season on a high note.

The Stallions won the nail biting clash 27-22 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Saturday night to engrave their name on both the Digicel Cup and the Sullivan Farebrother Cup.

Tailevu despite scoring first via a Jaoji Dakuvula penalty failed to cross Nadroga’s try-line in the first half while the visitors managed to score two tries through Setefano Samoca and Apisai Domolailai to lead 14-6 at halftime. The second spell was evenly contested as the lead kept changing till the final whistle.

Dakuvula narrowed the scored to 12-14 with two early penalties in the second half but a try to Samisoni Viriviri put the Stallions ahead 19-12 midway in the second spell.

A penalty to Dakuvula and a converted try to Tailevu minutes after gave the holders a 22-19 lead.

Jonetani Ralulu levelled the scores with a penalty and it was all left to Samuela Cava late in the match to seal the win for the traditional giants of Fiji rugby.

The Farebrother trophy will rest in Sigatoka for another season and will be contested next year after the completion of the Digicel Cup.

32) PIPA to give solidarity to Pacific rugby nations

By Online Editor
4:17 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, New Zealand

Rugby’s Pacific Islands Player Association will officially confirm its existence this week along with the announcement of a sponsorship agreement to fund its player welfare activities.

The sponsor’s name is under wraps but the Herald on Sunday understands it is an international corporate which has signed on for six months with another six-month option of renewal.

PIPA has been in development since last November. This will formalise the arrangement between players from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

In addition to the new relationship with the commercial sector, PIPA is backed by the New Zealand and international rugby players’ associations.

Efforts to create solidarity in the Pacific Islands have been made before, most notably with Sir Michael Fay’s support of Samoa in the 1990s. However, none has been sustained nor inclusive of the three main nations.

International Rugby Players’ Association member services manager Josh Blackie says setting up PIPA has been a key objective since he joined the organisation at the start of last year while continuing his own professional career with Kobe in Japan.

“It was a no-brainer. Most players simply said: ‘Where do I sign?’ While the players want to destroy each other when they’re wearing red, white and blue jerseys, this gives them collective power.

“PIPA will enable us to sustain player welfare and good governance over the Pacific Islands’ game. It creates a support network where we can work in partnership with the unions and the IRB [International Rugby Board] to capitalise on the region’s unique talent.”

The tipping point for PIPA’s development came last November following allegations by ex-All Black Simon Mannix that his former club Racing Metro paid Fijian players to rest during the 2011 World Cup.

It’s supposed to be mandatory for players to be released during the June and November test windows and the World Cup but the reality is, money talks. Players are unlikely to quibble with employers in the interests of supporting their families.

Pacific Island unions want players to get European contracts for their rugby development and financial security.

Concerns about player welfare inspired Fijian captain and former Chiefs prop Deacon Manu, Samoa’s Mahonri Schwalger and Tonga’s Hale T-Pole to lead a working group to get Pacific Island players a bigger say on the international stage. PIPA is the result.

“Between the three of us, we’re lucky to have contacts in Wales and New Zealand who are willing to help, despite our limited resources, because we don’t usually get a voice,” Manu said last year. “This movement is vital for our sustainability. We want to look back in 5-10 years knowing we made a difference.”

Schwalger is no stranger to controversy. As captain he criticised management post-World Cup for their conduct during the tournament when Samoa missed the quarter-finals. There were suggestions a player strike had been mooted, team gear had been sold for profit and players were disappointed to be paid less than the Tongans and Fijians.

PIPA also faces the prospect of players being recruited straight out of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. European clubs are forging closer links and, as the Herald on Sunday reported in March, French club Clermont has even invested in an academy programme with Fiji’s Nadroga Rugby Union. The two parties will work together to develop local talent.

The best players will be offered full-time contracts and could eventually qualify for France on residency grounds.


33) Kiwis thrash Cook Islands 50 – 0

By Online Editor
4:14 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, United Kingdom

The Kiwis have demolished the Cook Islands 50-0 in their only warm-up game before the Rugby League World Cup.

New Zealand hit the ground running in Doncaster, leading 24-0 at halftime with tries to Jason Nightingale, Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei and Bryson Goodwin.

Nightingale and Goodwin completed doubles in the second half as the Kiwis ran in nine tries in total. Hooker Issac Luke was awarded man of the match.

“The guys are certainly better for a run,” said the Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. “There were parts of our game that were a bit rusty out there, but it was a good start for us.

“The improvement areas are in both defence and attack, to be fair, and given that some of the guys haven’t played in six weeks it was a good performance, but our focus for this week is to improve both areas.”

Kieran Foran, the Kiwis vice-captain, was brought into the team as a late replacement for Thomas Leuluai, who rested a groin strain. Foran was due to sit this match out, along with other Kiwi players who were involved in the NRL grand final, but instead combined in the halves with Shaun Johnson for just the second time, following April’s test against the Kangaroos in Canberra.

Johnson’s pace was on show as he scored from 60m in the second half.

The Kiwis bench for this game – which wasn’t an official test match – was extended before kick-off with the inclusion of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. He got to wear the Kiwis jersey for the first time, playing 10mins at the end.

Before the match, the Kiwis delivered a new haka, led by Luke. Called Te Iwi Kiwi, the haka was created by members of the Kiwi team along with a cultural advisor.

The Kiwis open their tournament against Samoa next Monday morning.

Kiwis 50 (Bryson Goodwin 2, Jason Nightingale 2, Shaun Johnson, Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei, Kevin Locke tries. Penalty try. Johnson 4, Goodwin 2, Locke 1 goals). Cook Islands 0.

34) Wigan’s Harrison Hansen proud to be Samoa skipper

By Online Editor
4:11 pm GMT+12, 21/10/2013, United Kingdom

Wigan’s Harrison Hansen has revealed his delight and pride after becoming the captain of Samoa with the World Cup just a week away.

Samoa coach Matt Parish opted to employ the Auckland-born forward when Roy Asotasi withdrew from the squad for personal reasons.

“Harrison has been outstanding since day one with his attitude and leadership at training and in camp,” Parish said.

“I have no doubt he will inspire the boys to represent their proud nation of Samoa with the honour the Toa jersey commands.”

Hansen is the longest-serving member of Samoa’s World Cup squad, having won his first cap in 2007, and led them for the first time in Saturday’s 52-16 defeat by England Knights.

“It’s a huge honour to represent my country of Samoa and my family,” the Wigan second rower said.

“I thank Rugby League Samoa for this incredible opportunity. I look forward to working with this great team and having a strong and successful World Cup.”

Hansen came off with a dead leg 17 minutes into the match and never returned, but Parish later explained it was merely a precaution ahead of next Sunday’s opening World Cup game against holders New Zealand in Warrington.

Hansen will celebrate his 28th birthday 24 hours before the clash with the Kiwis..



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