Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 881

MELANESIA:


1) Seasonal labourers to fly out soon

BY PEARSON KOLO

THE seasonal labour scheme in the country is progressing well and is proving to be of great benefit to those who have flown out to pick fruits or work in farms in Australia.
The next group of successful applicants would be leaving the country in December to work in farms in Australia.
PNG Grassroots, an agent involved in conducting recruitment, is calling on all successful applicants from other centres to fly into Port Moresby by November 25 for the preparations to fly out of the country.
The coordinator for PNG Grass Roots, Yuwak Tau (not the Yuwak Tau at CPA, they have the same name) said PNG Grass Roots has conducted the recruitment following the guidelines set by the Government of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Tau said recruitment were focused in rural centers where disadvantaged people were given priority to benefit from the scheme.
“Many of those who will be going to work in the farms in Australia are people who come from a disadvantaged background,” Mr Tau said.
“Priorities are given to orphans, widows, people whose fathers have died and also people who have the desire to do small businesses in their area but who lake resources.”
Mr Tau said it was the aim of the Government to allow such people to benefit from the scheme and that was exactly what they were doing.
He urged all the 58 successful applicants to be in Port Moresby by 25th November and get themselves prepared for the departure to Australia.
“All the applicants from the Highlands region will go to Mt Hagen and fly to Port Moresby on November 25th while Madang will be the location for the applicants from the Momase region,” Mr Tau sakid.
He said everything was arranged expected the applicants to be in Port Moresby by the date given.
Applicants who want further information from Mt Tau can contact him directly on his mobile number 7268 9667postcourier.com.pg

2) Morobe Show has potential

By Sylvester Wemuru DWU journalism student

THE Morobe Province Agricultural show has the potential to attract more tourists within Papua New Guinea and overseas, Morobe Governor Kelly Naru said.
He said the show also attracted investors to invest in Morobe Province, especially Lae city and in doing so the Government must ensure all public utilities, communication system, sea, air and road infrastructure are maintained so the business people of Lae and new investors are attracted to the province.
Mr Naru on Sunday presented a cheque of K50,000 to the Morobe Province Agricultural Society Inc as a token of appreciation for the great show. After the presentation he announced that the Morobe Show will now receive annual Morobe Provincial Government funding to assist in their operations.
He also said the show is a great marketing place where different organisations display their products.
The governor thanked the organising committee president Mike Quinn and his committee members for their hard work towards the show. The show was a successful one without any disturbances.
The show also attracted people from all around the country to come and see what was happening and also sold out some of their products from their respective provinces especially from the highlands region.

postcourier.com.pg

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 22 October 2013

by bobmakin

a) Charlot Long Wah, as one of the all too few local kava experts, sees exporting kava chips as a “rip-off” in today’s Daily Post. The price growers would obtain can be three times greater for value added kava powder than for chips, he told Jane Joshua at the handing over of Kava Store to the Pentecost Huhugaituvwa Association of Pentecost last Friday. “Fiji orders 700 tonnes of kava chips a year and from this sells kava powder at VT 3-4,000 a kilo Whenever their supplies run out they buy from Vanuatu,” he said. Charlot will continue to preach his “value adding” philosophy, but governments must back him up in every way, whether with legislation or training. It was certainly encouraging to hear the Minister for Agriculture, like Huhugaituvwa also from Pentecost, David Tosul, promising more agriculture field workers next year in his speech at the hand-over.

b) Prime Minister Carcasses Kalosil has raised the Umaenupne / Leka (Matthew / Hunter) question with the French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in Paris. They had a session of bi-lateral talks during our PM’s French visit for the exhibition of Kanak art in the French capital. No response to the southern outliers question has been recorded yet.

c) Dr Charles Kick, who has spent a long time analysing Pacific development, writes, following the Cultural Centre Joel Simo’s observations concerning the dangers of writing down the custom laws relating to land … He suggests …

Yes, this is the biggest difficulty–bigger than resolving most boundary conflicts!

If you can find any histories on Fiji’s NLC work between 1910 and 1940 you might share their reports on why Fiji settled on a ‘one size fits all’ decision-making process rather than the flexibility now the focus of Vanuatu’s efforts.

My own feeling is that there should be standard terminology, some general principles and a general structure or sequence, and perhaps some standard mechanisms. Other than that communal ownership should be allowed to vary as much as does corporate or cooperative or condominium or family ownership anywhere. Modern legal systems have too little appreciation of communal ownership–and hence communal owners have too little appreciation of it as well.

d) USP Professor Sue Farran has mentioned the difficulties associated with trying to make custom mark time which, she acknowledges, it cannot ever really do, being a living entity.

e) Twenty-seven thousand Vanuatu passports have been issued since 2010 until today, the Principal Passports Officer advised Radio Vanuatu News in its lead item today. Tamashiro says these are in circulation since the bio-passports people have carried out a screening.

f) The annual chefs’ competition takes place this week, VBTC News reported. This is the ninth. It is intended to increase skills. Chief cooks are gathered together in teams according to seniority.

g) A science exhibition is taking place at the French Embassy until the end of the month and involves work from the francophone schools. It is well worth a visit. Try to catch any of the presentations..

bobmakin | October 22, 2013 at 11:55 am |

4) Fiji’s National Council of Women wants more women in politics

Posted at 03:20 on 22 October, 2013 UTC

The National Council of Women in Fiji is embarking on a project that aims to increase the representation of women in politics in the lead-up to the elections promised for next year.

Its general secretary, Fay Volatabu, says it will work with the United Nations Democracy Fund to raise public awareness and train women as leaders.

Ms Volatabu says the new constitution is silent on the issue of women participating in politics, so it is up to the political parties to decide who they will nominate, and the public to who they are going to vote for.

She says there is still a possibility the yet-to-be released Electoral Act may demand that half the electoral roll be reserved for women.

“This is basically about the empowerment of the public to make decisions. I mean, that’s all it is. It’s about freedom, it’s about human rights enshrined in the constitution. So, as far as we’re concerned, the people need to be enlightened and especially for us as women.”

Fay Volatabu says it is not about getting all women into leadership, just those of merit and integrity.

Radio New Zealand International

5) Chiefly title unclaimed

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

THE chiefly Vunivalu of Natewa title remains unclaimed.

This as the two traditional clans of Valelevu and Valenisau, which belong to the tribe of Sovatabua, are yet to identify and agree on a nominee for the title.

The Masitabu and traditional kingmaker of Natewa’s warlord, Ratu Josese Raya, said the two clans were yet to consult with him on who the next title holder would be.

Ratu Josese said the clans had a disagreement on the nominees for the position and they had been subsequently advised to resolve the issue through dialogue.

“There is a need for the appointment and installation of a new warlord so that the vanua of Natewa can have some sense of order and leadership,” he said.

“The two clans of Valelevu and Valenisau had earlier disagreed on the next title holder and I had told them to consult with each other through dialogue before coming to a final decision.

“The people of Natewa need a leader to lead them in this changing world and this will depend entirely on the decision of the two clans.”

Roko tui Cakaudrove Sara Bulutani said the new title holder was yet to be identified.

“The provincial office will only advise the people of Natewa to ensure that proper dialogue and consultation is done so that they install a new warlord,” Mr Bulutani said.

“The people of Natewa know their rightful leaders and it is they who are supposed to install their new paramount chief.

“The provincial office will only ensure that the intentions of government are fully implemented and that all rightful title holders are installed within the traditional iTaukei leadership system.”Fijitimes.

AUSTRALIA:

6) Farming becomes a super investment

Posted 22 October 2013, 11:13 AEST
Sarina Locke

A large agricultural investor says Australia is entering an era of institutional investment in farming.

Wheat and canola, western Victoria (Credit: ABC)

A large agricultural investor says Australia is entering an era of institutional investment in farming.

Sustainable Agriculture Funds (SAF) has superannuation money in a $150 million portfolio of dairy, beef, cotton and grain cropping across Australia.

Australian superannuation firms like Auscoal, Catholic, Christian, AMP and Melbourne University are all investors in the Sustainable Ag Fund.

The investments have only been delivering single digit returns until now.

But the fund’s chief executive John McKillop says Asia’s need for more food is driving up the interest.

“I think it just takes a patient investor, which is historically the family farm.

“They are more patient, they know the returns aren’t steady year on year.

“We’ve just got to find the right institutional investors who are willing to accept those returns are going to be slow or negative in some years, but ultimately they are a solid performer.”

His comments come as Lempriere Capital partners, a part-owner of Australia’s largest cotton farm Cubbie Station, takes equity in Australian Farms Fund Management (AFFM), the manager and trustee of Sustainable Agriculture Fund.

AFFM now has a combined $500 million under management, given its role as manager of Cubbie.

“You must remember a lot of the food security issues have been driven not by Australia but overseas investors, thinking that in the future it will become a critical part of the global production scene.

“In Australia, we haven’t seen that boom quite flow through yet.”

While SAF hasn’t yet invested in food production or processing, Mr McKillop says it’s considering the move.radio australia

NEW ZEALAND:

7) Voter registration drive for Fijians in NZ

By Online Editor
4:55 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Fiji

The Fijian Government has announced details of its campaign to register Fijians living in New Zealand to vote in the 2014 election

Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) centres in Auckland and Wellington will begin registering potential voters over an eight day period from this Wednesday, October 23rd, until Thursday October 31st.

Every Fijian over the age of 18 is being encouraged to come forward and is required to produce a valid Fijian passport.

Announcing the details, the Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, urged Fijians living in New Zealand to take advantage of the opportunity.

“This is the chance for everyone to make their vote count next year in the first truly democratic parliamentary election in Fiji’s history. It will be a historic occasion and I know that many Fijians living abroad are delighted that they no longer have to be actually present in Fiji to have their say”, he said.

The registration process in the NZ capital, Wellington, is taking place at the Fiji High Commission and other locations. Registrations in Auckland will be held in commercial premises in areas where there are known to be high concentrations of Fijian residents.

The New Zealand registrations are the first phase of an ambitious program to also garner the participation in the election of Fijians living in other countries. The next phase – to be announced later – will see Electronic Voter Registration Centres set up in Australia, the west coast of North America and Britain.

“We recognise the ambitious nature of this undertaking,” the Attorney General said. “But we are determined to meet our goal of an election that is fair, credible and conducted to the best international standards. These days, that means giving the opportunity to vote to any citizen living abroad.”

The EVR team in New Zealand is being led by Fiji’s acting Permanent Secretary for Justice, Mohammed Saneem.
SOURCE: MINFO/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN:

8) PNG MP i ting wanpla trabal bai nap kamap ken long asailam senta

Updated 22 October 2013, 15:33 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Memba blong Manus Open long Papua New Guinea Ronnie Knight i ting wanpla trabal bai nap kamap ken long ditensen senta.

Odio: Memba blong Manus Open long Papua New Guinea Paliment, Ronnie Knight
Memba blong Manus Open long Papua New Guinea itok emi no nap kirap nogut sopos narapla trabal i kamap long Australia ditensan senta.

Mr Ronnie Knight i mekim despla toktok bihaen long wanpla fait ibin kamap namel long ol PNG difens fos soljia na ol polisman long Fraide long wik igo pinis.

Despla stori ibin kirapim planti toktok tu long Australia we sampla ibin tok wok sekiuriti long lukautim ol asailam sika ino gutpla tumas.

Planti ol sekiuriti ofisa long senta ibin ronowei taem despla trabal ibin kamap.

Mr Knight itok emi bilip planti belheve long ol wok long despla senta inap kamapim wankaen trabal bihaen taem.

Long wankaen taim em i tok ol Manus man meri i welkamim ol asailam sika, tasol long wei ol i dil wantaim displa trabol.

“Inogat problem long ditensen senta, ditensen senta i orait.”

“Hao mi lukim, ol pipol i welkamim displa samting tasol olsem mi tok, ol ino hamamas long hao ol i mekim.”radio australia

FRENCH:

9) Vanuatu: le ministre des Terres est un homme heureux

Posté à 22 October 2013, 9:25 AEST
Pierre Riant

La réforme foncière proposée par Ralph Regenvanu est une réforme historique et elle vient d’obtenir l’aval du Malvatumauri : le Conseil national des chefs coutumiers du Vanuatu.

Les terres coutumières ne peuvent pas être vendues, elles sont donc louées à long terme à des expatriés qui obtiennent des baux fonciers.

Jusqu’à présent, ces baux fonciers sont attribués entièrement et sans conditions à la seule discrétion du ministre des Terres. C’est ce que désire changer Ralph Regenvanu, l’actuel ministre des Terres, pour qui l’attribution des baux fonciers doit passer par un Comité national de gestion et de planification foncières.

Le système d’attribution actuellement en cours a suscité maintes affaires de corruption et Ralph Regenvanu entend y mettre fin avec un rigoureux processus d’attribution : « Les problème de corruption viennent du fait que le ministre peut approuver un bail sans aucune condition.
Alors nous voulons un Comité national de gestion et de planification foncières établi par la loi qui réunira, le directeur des Services de l’environnement, le directeur du Centre culturel, le planificateur du gouvernement et le planificateur de la province où la terre est située.

Le président de ce Comité sera nommé par la Commission des services juridiques en fonction de critères d’intégrité qui sont à la base de ce Comité de gestion.
Autre exigence : avant d’attribuer un bail, il faudra identifier les propriétaires coutumiers en fonction d’un processus inscrit dans la nouvelle législation.  C’est-à-dire qu’il faudra descendre au niveau de ce que l’on appelle Makamao ; les institutions de gouvernance à l’échelle locale, des institutions coutumières. Une réunion devra être organisée et un quorum sera requis pour que tout le processus soit très transparent et que tout le monde puisse y participer. »

Notons que la terre est le bien le plus précieux qu’un ni-Vanuatu puisse posséder et que les réformes en cours suscitent un intérêt énorme dans l’archipel.

Pour que cette réforme se concrétise, Ralph Regenvanu, se devait d’obtenir l’appui des chefs coutumiers et un sommet foncier qui a attiré plus de 600 personnes s’est déroulé la semaine dernière. À cette occasion, les chefs coutumiers se sont penchés sur la question : « Le Conseil national des chefs s’est réuni toute la journée pour examiner toute la législation, paragraphe par paragraphe. Ils ont posé beaucoup de questions.
Et à la fin de la journée, ils ont donné formellement leur accord et m’ont dit que je pouvais aller au Parlement. Et je suis vraiment très content à ce propos.
Nous allons enfin pouvoir aller de l’avant. Nous voulions l’accord des chefs coutumier et nous l’avons. C’est fantastique ! Nous écrivons le dernier jet et nous le présenteront au Parlement le mois prochain. »

La terre est vitale au sein de la culture mélanésienne et des ni-Vanuatus,  et si ce projet de loi est adopté au Parlement, cette réforme anti-corruption incroyablement complexe sera probablement considérée comme un tournant de l’Histoire de l’archipel. Et si c’est le cas, est-ce que d’autres pays mélanésiens ou d’autres pays du Pacifique pourraient envisager à leur tour de redéfinir leurs lois foncières : « Oui, mais je ne suis pas très familier avec le type de réformes foncières qui se déroulent dans d’autres pays. Ce que nous faisons ici et très local et s’inspire de nos propres expériences et un petit peu de groupes fonciers en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, pour comprendre ce qu’il ne faut pas faire.

J’espère que tout cela sera compris et si la réforme elle-même devient loi, nous aimerions, dans une certaine mesure, qu’elle devienne comme un modèle. »radio australia

HEALTH:

10) Lifestyle diseases’ are new threat to Asia Pacific: WHO

By Online Editor
1:40 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Philippines

Asia-Pacific countries face serious challenges from “lifestyle” diseases and ageing populations even as they overcome more traditional illnesses, the World Health Organisation’s regional director said Monday.

Western Pacific WHO director Shin Young-soo said such ailments, often arising from a change in diets and less exercise, were sharply rising in Asian nations.

He said recent studies showed that as many as 12 percent of Chinese adults had diabetes, while as many as 50 percent had a “pre-diabetes” condition, meaning they were on the borderline of developing the illness.

This was a huge jump from the estimated 3-4 percent diabetics in China’s adult population in the 1990s.

About 10 percent of adults in countries like South Korea, Japan and even Vietnam also had diabetes, Shin told reporters at a WHO regional meeting in the Philippine capital.

“It is because of the big change in our diets in the last 30-40 years’ time. There is also a very interesting observation that Asian people… tend to have more diabetes than Western people,” he said.

“We must have behaviour change. The whole society must tackle the issue,” Shin said.

Other non-communicable ailments like hypertension and high cholesterol were also on the increase despite the fact that they could all be prevented, he said.

Shin said countries such as some Pacific island nations were experiencing diabetes among 40 percent of adults while 75 to 80 percent were suffering from obesity.

“Over many years, this will lead to huge health care costs. Societies will lose this productive labour power,” he warned.

Shin also said ageing populations in some Asia-Pacific countries like Australia, Japan and China would force these nation to spend more on caring for the elderly.

Other problems facing the region like relatively high rates of blindness and the spread of drug-resistant diseases will also be discussed at the WHO meeting being held in Manila this week.

SOURCE: AFP/PACNEWS

11) Three boys infected in PNG measles outbreak

Posted at 03:20 on 22 October, 2013 UTC

Health officials in Papua New Guinea have confirmed a measles outbreak in the Sandaun province, the first such outbreak since 2005.

Samples taken from three boys were diagnosed positive by the Central Public Health Laboratory last week.

The health department says the three, who are less than two years old, are from two villages in the Vanimo Green District close to the Indonesian border.

The Health Secretary, Pascoe Kase, says there is no information on whether they had been vaccinated of if they have travelled.

Mr Kase says health facilities across the country have been put on alert and instructed to investigate patients of any age reporting a fever and rash, and collect blood samples and throat swabs to check for measles.

Radio New Zealand International

EDUCATION:

12) Education for Pacific women improving but limited jobs

Posted at 03:20 on 22 October, 2013 UTC

Higher education for young women in the Pacific is not translating into more and better jobs.

That’s according to the latest tracking report on Millennium Development Goals for the region.

A deputy Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Feleti Teo, says most Forum Island countries are on track to achieving gender parity, or equality of the sexes in education.

But he says stereotyping and traditional expectations are among barriers remaining for girls and young women, once they go out into the workforce.

“The r egional organisations, like SPC and us, are working on how we can close that gap and put in place measures where job descriptions or refinement of jobs better fits the programme that girls study at high school.”

Feleti Teo of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Radio New Zealand International

BUSINESS:

13) Banks to fix falling kina: Bank of PNG governor

By Online Editor
4:36 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Papua New Guinea

Bank of Papua New Guinea Governor Loi Bakani says the country can easily weather the storm of the depreciating kina.

He said this to dispel fears that the value of the kina, which had been on the downslide, would continue to weaken and affect the government, businesses and individuals.

Bakani, accompanied by Treasurer Don Polye, Finance Minister James Marape and Acting Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele, told a press conference that the depreciation – which started in September last year – was a result of slowdown in LNG construction work as well as falling commodity prices.

He said the bank and other commercial banks had taken measures over the past two weeks which had seen the kina stabilise at US$0.4140.

“We saw the LNG project going down, meaning slowing down of construction,” Bakani said.

“Most contractors up to now have gone. Which means less foreign exchange coming in.

“Commodity prices have also declined, therefore, affecting production of all major commodities in Papua New Guinea.

“We’re operating in a floating exchange rate regime, where the kina exchange rate against the US dollar, or any other currency, is determined by how much foreign exchange we get into Papua New Guinea and how much demand for foreign currency.

“People who bring in foreign exchange are LNG contractors here, exporters of our commodities like cocoa.
“Government, if it borrows overseas and draws down the loan, is  supplying foreign exchange because it has  to convert it to kina.

“Private sector investments, which we have seen in the last few years, are supplying foreign exchange.”
Bakani said since Oct 7, the bank  had taken measures with commercial banks to counter this “short-term phenomenon”.

“We’ve reduced kina liquidity from the system and we’ve harnessed our intervention in foreign exchange,” he said.

“We have US$3 billion (K7.7 billion) in foreign exchange reserves.

“It used to be US$4 billion last year, which is the highest in our history, but we used close to K1 billion through our intervention support of the exchange rate.

“It’s still very high and very comfortable, nothing to be concerned about.

“We’ve tightened up liquidity, we’re supplying more foreign exchange on the market and the kina has stabilised against the US dollar.

“It has stabilised at US$.4140 to a kina now. For the past two weeks, it’s been stable.”

Meanwhile, PNG Opposition is concerned about the kina that has depreciated more than 13% against the US and Australian dollars.

Deputy leader Sam Basilsaid the Opposition had warned that the depreciating kina would result in increased costs of goods and services once those imported this month lands in November-December resulting to a jump in inflation rate.

“Our exports would earn more income but opportunities are passing us … I am sure coffee, copra and cocoa production is down and agricultural produce used in processing,” Basil said.

“Economic projections underpinning the 2013 Budget has been a cause for concern when we had a deficit budget, while commodity prices were said to be fluctuating with GDP (gross domestic product) projection dropping to about 4% from the 6%.”

Basil said the Government had focussed education, health, transport and law and order while the Opposition had warned the prime minister to include agriculture.

“We all know that the agriculture and rural sectors have been the backbone of the country during economic fluctuations and has been the safety net for the majority of our people,” Basil said.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

14) Wyndham Denarau Islands celebrates FJD$50 million development

By Online Editor
4:34 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Fiji

Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, part of Wyndham Worldwide, has celebrated the highly anticipated completion of the Phase III development and expansion of Wyndham Resort Denarau Island. The project marks one of the largest tourism developments undertaken in Fiji in recent years.

The celebrations, held last night, were officiated by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. Also in attendance were Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Tui Nadi Ratu Sailosi Raimoqedawai , representatives of the Landowning Community, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wyndham Vacation Ownership Franz Hanning, Chief Operations Officer of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Geoff  Richards and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Mr Barry Robinson.

The occasion was celebrated with a night of festivities at the resort including a spectacular fireworks display. To mark the occasion, a commemorative plaque in the design of a traditional Fijian carved wooden mask and clubs was unveiled by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. The plaque will be displayed in the resort’s newly renovated reception building.

Hosted around the newly refurbished main pool, the event was attended by more than 600 people, including WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham owners, resort guests and dignitaries from the Fijian community, and included speeches by the Prime Minister, Franz Hanning and Barry Robinson.

In addressing the audience, Prime Minister Bainimarama made special mention of Wyndham’s significant contribution to the Nadi community and Fijian economy since the resort was first developed in 2000.

“Today marks a landmark event for Fiji’s tourism industry,” said Prime Minister Bainimarama. “In 2000, Wyndham created one of the world’s premier resort destinations.  Today, with the unveiling of this marvelous development, they have taken the overall guest experience to new heights, while attracting generations of visitors to Fiji for decades to come,” he said.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama also commended Wyndham’s commitment to sustainability through Wyndham Green, the company’s global environmental program. Many environmentally sustainable features were incorporated into the redevelopment, including the use of local timbers, natural light and cross flow ventilation, energy saving lighting and water saving devices, plus energy efficient cooling systems.

The refurbishment and expansion of the 201 apartment Wyndham Resort Denarau Island (formally the WorldMark Denarau Island Resort) have been extensive. Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific has spent over FJD$50 million (AUD$30 million) in developments at the resort over the last two years including the Phase III development.

Based on design concepts by Australian architects Guymer Bailey, the design, construction, architecture, and fit-out with furniture, fixtures and equipment of the resort redevelopment were undertaken by Fijian firm Architects Pacific under the direction of Pacific Building Solutions with mostly local Fijian consultants, subcontractors and suppliers employed in the redevelopment.

Vacation owners and resort guests can now enjoy new accommodation choices of one, two, and three-bedroom deluxe apartments, contemporary in design, incorporating Fijian elements throughout the interiors, plus the three-bedroom ocean view grand suites and three and four-bedroom luxurious presidential villas with private plunge pools overlooking the ocean.

Further enhancements also include an expansive pool area refurbishment with a poolside bar and café, Karma Maravu Adults’ Retreat Pool and Bar; the expansion and redevelopment of the resort reception and lobby and kids’ club plus the relocation and construction of the new Mamacita Mexican Restaurant.
Wyndham Resort Denarau Island is also now home to Fiji’s first Karma Beach Bar – Karma Beach Fiji – a newly constructed restaurant cafe and bar boasting a white sandy private beach.

Having more than doubled its resort portfolio in just 10 years, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific’s explosive global growth is showing no signs of slowing down. This week’s achievements further strengthen Wyndham as the leader in the hospitality and vacation ownership industries, offering guests and vacation club owners exceptional levels of service and memorable experiences in exciting destinations around the globe.

“Our commitment to providing first-class accommodation and facilities to WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham owners and guests is reflected in the significant development of this property, one of the first resorts in the Club’s portfolio, which now encompasses 24 resorts throughout the Asia Pacific region,” said  Robinson.

“We are proud to welcome our owners and guests to the best address on the island, offering warm friendly service and brilliant accommodation choices both befitting of the destination and true to the Wyndham legacy,” he said.

Located on picturesque beachfront, Wyndham Resort Denarau Island is situated a short drive from Nadi Town, with easy access to a range of retail and restaurant outlets and a variety of cruises that provide island-hopping tours and other tropical water activities. With friendly, welcoming staff, it is the perfect base to experience Fiji.
SOURCE” WHYNDHAM/PACNEWS

15) French Mining Group Warns Nickel Industry ‘Overcapacity’
Eramet reduced output at New Caledonia mine by 6% this year

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 21, 2013) – The French mining group Eramet, hit by the slumping nickel market, is warning of more losses and the need to reduce costs.

An Eramet spokesman told AFP that the nickel sector is in overcapacity and it’s impossible to predict when things will sort themselves out.

The warning came as the company posted a 5 percent drop in third-quarter sales to 754 million euros [US$1.03 billion], mainly on slumping nickel prices.

For the first half of the year, the company posted a net loss of 32 million euros [US$43.8 million].

To face its problems, the group says it will push through new cost-cutting measures, slash back investment and scale back operations, but the group says it planned no restructuring programme.

The company also says output at its main nickel mine in New Caledonia was reduced by six percent in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year.
Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

LAW&ORDER:

16) Young Pacific women cry out against violence

Posted at 21:21 on 21 October, 2013 UTC

Young women leaders in the Pacific have banded together and called for efforts to be speeded up to combat physical and sexual violence against women.

A newly formed alliance representing the region’s 15 to 24 year olds say such violence is one of the biggest issues facing the region’s one million young women.

Sally Round reports.

“The Pacific Young Women’s Alliance highlights up to eighty percent of women in some Pacific countries have experienced such abuse, affecting their health and their lives in general. They say this violence is perpetuated by some harmful traditional Pacific practices such as bride price and early and forced marriage. They’ve called for governments to promote gender sensitisation training for those on the front line helping victims, as well as law reform and more resources. Among the group’s other priorities presented to this week’s 12th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women in the Cook Islands were urgent action on sexual and reproductive health, full and decent employment and inclusion in decision-making.”

Radio New Zealand International

17) Nine foreign nationals detained in Papua

Posted at 02:23 on 22 October, 2013 UTC

Security officials at Freeport Indonesia’s massive Grasberg Mine have detained nine foreign nationals who said they were mountain climbers.

According to a source within the company, the nine hikers allegedly illegally entered the open pit mine in Papua province on Sunday and were detained by security later that day because they did not have a permit to enter the area.

The climbers have been identified by the anonymous source within the company as Swiss nationals Michel Wirth-Fragata, 44; Silvan Schenk, 57; Matthias Halchey, 34; Fritz Yacobv, 60; and Daniel Meyerhoff, 45; German national Reinhard Buscher, 61; Austrian national Alois Fuchs; and Matheus ven der Maulen, 59, from the Netherlands.

The Jakarta Globe reports the ninth climber and the only female in the group, who has been identified only as Elen Anezlua, 42, was taken to the hospital in Tembagapura to receive treatment for severe dehydration.

The others were taken to the Freeport security office in Sugapa Grasberg.

Local police were not immediately available to comment.

Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US mining giant Freeport McMoRan, operates gold and copper mining in Papua’s Timika district.

The Indonesian government owns a stake in Freeport Indonesia as well.

Radio New Zealand International

18) New Caledonia president in facebook identity theft

Posted at 03:20 on 22 October, 2013 UTC

New Caledonia’s president, Harold Martin, says he has asked his lawyer to contact the facebook website for it to delete a page purported to be about him.

Mr Martin says he has never had a facebook page and is the victim of an impersonation.

He says the page was set up last week and carried a loan offer in France which would benefit five people of his choice, provided they agreed to give their bank account number.

Mr Martin says he will lodge a complaint for identity theft, which can be punished with up to one year in jail and a 20,000 US dollar fine.

He says he wants to warn New Caledonians about the risks of scams appearing on facebook.

Radio New Zealand International

REFUGEE:

19) Advocates Bash Australia’s Labels For Asylum Seekers
Government reportedly favors ‘illegal maritime arrivals’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 21, 2013) – An Australian refugee advocacy group says it is disturbing that the Australian government has asked officials to refer to asylum seekers as detainees and illegal maritime arrivals.

A Refugee Rights Action Network advocate, Victoria Martin-Iverson, says she has received a communication sent from the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, to his staff, outlining the change.

Ms. Martin-Iverson says under international law, anyone has a right to seek asylum, and referring to those people as illegal undermines this right.

“He says people must be referred to as illegal maritime arrivals because this is what we are trying to stop, people crossing our borders. He also insists that people no longer be referred to as clients but rather as detainees, because people held in immigration detention are not there to provide a service, they are there to be detained.”

Ms. Martin-Iverson says such language is creating a cultural climate of bigotry in Australia.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

20) Nauru people in dark over Canberra-run camps, says MP

Posted at 03:20 on 22 October, 2013 UTC

A Nauru opposition MP says the government has to tell the people what is happening at the refugee detention camps on the island.

It is believed there are more than 800 people housed in tents in the Australian-run camps.

But the Nauru government, which is officially in charge, will not say how many they are housing, nor how many have been found to be refugees.

MP Roland Kun says there is also not enough information on the administration of the camps or how the government proposes to handle the growing pressures given the limitations of the small island.

“There has not been enough parliament sittings in order that parliament can raise the questions and [so that] the public will benefit from the answers. So there is just not enough information going out.”

Nauru MP Roland Kun.

Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION,ENVIROMENT:

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

By Online Editor
1:35 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, New Zealand

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.”

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

22) Clear link between climate change and bushfires: UN adviser warns Tony Abbott

By Online Editor
4:53 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Australia

A senior United Nations climate change official says there is “absolutely” a link between climate change and bushfires and has warned that the Coalition government will pay a high political and financial price for its decision to scrap carbon pricing.

In an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour on Monday, the head of the UN’s climate change negotiations, Christiana Figueres, said there was a clear link between climate change and bushfires such as those raging in New South Wales.

She noted that the World Meteorological Organisation had not yet established a direct link between the NSW fires and climate change.

“But what is absolutely clear is the science is telling us that there are increasing heat waves in Asia, Europe, and Australia; that these will continue; that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency,” Figueres said.

The highly unusual intervention by a senior UN official in a domestic climate policy debate comes three weeks before the next major round of UN-sponsored talks in Warsaw. The negotiations are aiming to reach a global climate treaty by 2015 that would take effect by 2020.

Figueres described the NSW fires as an “example of what we may be looking at unless we take actually vigorous action”.

The UN negotiator said the new Abbott government had chosen a more difficult and expensive path to emissions reduction than the previous Gillard government – noting that the Coalition had not stepped away from Australia’s commitment to reduce its emissions by 5 per cent by 2020.

“The road that they are choosing to get to the same target that the previous government had could be much more expensive for them and for the population,” Figueres said.

This comes as Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced that the government could bypass the Senate and introduce its “direct action” carbon abatement policy through regulation.

The UN adviser said the Abbott government would not only pay a high political price but a “very high financial price” for stepping away from a price on carbon.

“What we need to do is put a price on carbon so that we don’t have to continue to pay the price of carbon,” she said.

Last week, the Australian Greens were criticised for drawing a link between the carbon tax and climate change at the height of the crisis, when homes had been lost and a man had lost his life.

On Monday, Hunt would not be drawn on links between climate change and the NSW fires.

“There are 2000-odd fire fighters in the field as we speak, there have been over 200 homes lost and of course a terrible tragedy on the Central Coast,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“No one, no one should be politicising these bushfires.”

Labor leader Bill Shorten said it was not the right time to debate possible links between the bushfires and climate change.

When asked on Monday if climate change made disastrous events such as the NSW fires more likely, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell replied: “Well, clearly, I think that’s the science.”

He told the ABC’s 7.30 that his job was to translate science into practical action.

“I understand that if you’re planning new developments, if you’re planning greenfield sites, you can ensure whether for flood damage or for fire damage, you build in a certain way,” O’Farrell said.

He said it was difficult to “retro-fit’” already established communities such as the Blue Mountains.
SOURCE: SMH/PACNEWS

23) Fiji’s indigenous forests fast depleting

By Online Editor
5:00 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Fiji

There’s confirmation that Fiji’s forests are fast depleting.

And the country only has twenty years of forestry resources remaining.

Principal Forester Pita Rokobiau says 39 percent of our forest is now grass land, with 50 percent of indigenous forests remaining.

“In terms of quick depletion of our forestry, yes the Forestry Department is doing reforestation in this grassland area. So we are working on that now, Rokobiau told FBC News.

Poor decisions, illegal and uncontrolled logging and the manner in which logging licenses are issued, are some of the contributing factors to the depletion of our forestry.

“In terms of decision making, we are not only…blaming decision making but the fact lies that we have to work on this”.

Principal Timber Inspectorate Livai Ikanikoda says there is not much left.

“It might go up to 20 more years from now on but there are rehabilitation work going on for planting of pine and mahogany to replace these native species”.

However, according to our forestry administrators, we aren’t so bad compared to some of our Melanesian neighbours as we are still able to maintain our forest.

They believe that with the replanting programme, numbers will pick up in the years to come.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS

24) Weather Service Warns 2 Cyclones Expected To Hit Fiji
Season officially begins on Nov. 1, ends April 30

By Losalini Rasoqosoqo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Oct. 21, 2013) – Get organised and prepare well now! At least two tropical cyclones (TC) are forecasted to hit Fiji this season, the Fiji Meteorological Service has warned as we approach our cyclone season.

If it comes or not, one of the two cyclones may reach or exceed category three status, says the director of the Fiji Meteorological Centre, Alipate Waqaicelua, as the 2013/14 tropical cyclone season outlook is released.

The official 2013/14 Cyclone Season begins on November 1 and ends on April 30, 2014.

Category 3 is rated a severe tropical cyclone with typical gusts over open flat land of 165 – 224 kilometres per hour.

Last year in December, Cyclone Evan affected thousands of people, mostly in the Western and Northern divisions,

It forced many families to seek shelter at emergency centres.

Cyclone Evan rehabilitation work has continued into this year. The Government has also made extensive efforts to develop preparedness to help reduce risks.

Mr. Waqaicelua says there is a high probability that any tropical cyclone directly affecting or passing near the country will approach from the Western and/or Northern quadrants of the group.

“For those tropical cyclones passing through the country, associated, active cloud and rain bands may bring heavy rain and squally conditions with possible flooding, including sea flooding of low-lying coastal areas.”

He has also warned that tropical depressions could also cause loss of lives and damage to properties.

He said there was an increased risk of severe tropical cyclones affecting the region this season, compared to the last season with very high risk for Tonga, Fiji, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia.

However, he elaborated that historical tropical cyclone data suggests that tropical cyclones could affect any country, irrespective of the prevailing El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) condition.

“Additionally, these records show that TCs have formed outside the official TC season and because of this, it is critical that all communities remain alert and prepared throughout the 2013/14 TC season,” Mr. Waqaicelua said.

FijiSUN: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/

SPORT:

25) PNG bid to host FIFA Congress: OFC President Chung

By Online Editor
1:49 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) wants to host the 2020 Federation International Football Association (FIFA) Congress.

Quite a huge call, but yes, a dream that PNGFA and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) president David Chung firmly believes is achievable.

The former Simbu businessman, who rose to prominence as a shrewd administrator to command respect in the Oceania region, has already made his presence known at the FIFA level by virtue of his automatic FIFA vice-president’s title.

Nothing is impossible. Chung is testimony to that.

There has been no other PNG sports administrator that has achieved his stripes. Having established himself already among the corridors of power in world soccer, he now wants to add the icing on the cake by bringing the 209 members of FIFA to Port Moresby.

“This is my dream to give back to the people of Papua New Guinea,” he added.

During a press conference in Port Moresby last Friday, Chung spelt out his ambitious plan to the local media that the PNGFA is basically riding on the 2018 (Asia Pacific Economic Committee) APEC meeting window in Port Moresby to gauge the National Government’s view for 2020.

Chung said that with the likelihood that the 2019 FIFA Congress may return to Zurich he indicated that 2020 was available to bid for.

“This dream needs the National Government’s blessing. The economic windfall for the business and tourism community will be huge as some of the richest people in the world, including princes and barons, are key stakeholders in FIFA,” Chung said.

“If I can convince others and have the support of people like West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel who can push soccer’s cause at the political level then this dreamcan be achieved,” Chung explained.

He said if cabinet could endorse the concept in principle he was confident of lobbying the support needed among the FIFA executives to get a green light.

Chung said part of the stringent criteria that needed to be met was whether Port Moresby was capable of hosting a world class event of this nature with the hotels and service providers to host up to 1,000 visitors.

“We are selling PNG to the rest of the world. In turn the 209 delegates are also coming with potential investors and the opportunities are there in abundance to return our visitors as investors,” he added.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

26) PNG Kumuls coach is happy

By Online Editor
1:47 pm GMT+12, 22/10/2013, United Kingdom

Papua New Guinea are not getting too excited by their rare win on foreign soil.

The Kumuls beat Scotland 38-20 in a World Cup warm-up game on Saturday.

Coach Adrian Lam said the team had “pulled up pretty well” over the Bravehearts at Big Fellas Stadium in Featherstone, their first game since the 50-10 drubbing to the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII in Kokopo on September 29.

“This is the game we needed to play. We’re all happy with the result and it means putting our best foot forward at this World Cup,” Lam said from Hull.

Lam said the Scots were no push overs playing a physical match in conditions that they were more accustomed to.

“Scotland were pretty tough, they gave us a great challenge early on but we held on through good teamwork.”
Lam said there were no major injury concerns from the match and the side had settled into the English conditions well enough.

“We’ve had no injury problems from the Scotland game. Everyone’s doing fine. Francis Paniu took a knock to his forearm but it’s not serious. That’s the only injury from the match.

Lam said the players understood the size of the task at hand against France on Sunday at Craven Park in Hull.
“We understand what’s at stake here. The game against France is going to be massive. I’m happy to say the

guys have settled in well and the team harmony is great. We gave the guys a day off yesterday (Sunday) as a reward for their effort against Scotland, but we’re back in training today (Monday) and for the rest of the week.”

Lam said he would name his team to play France on Thursday (Friday PNG time) evening.

“Ase Boas and Israel Eliab were not used against Scotland but they will be given the chance to play in the tournament.”

PNG play France on Sunday (Monday 3am PNG time).
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

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