Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 892


1) Australia-PNG joint border patrols enhancing ties, keeping “both communities safe”

Updated 14 November 2013, 7:06 AEST

By Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney

Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney takes a close look inside the joint cross border patrols between Australia and PNG keeping both communities safe.

Australia Network’s Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney, a former veteran Papua New Guinea correspondent, has just been back to PNG – to a village he has never visited before.

Sean was invited to be part of a joint patrol to Sigabaduru village involving Australian Customs, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police, Papua New Guinea Customs, PNG Immigration and PNG Police.

The village of Sigabaduru is on the southern coast of Papua New Guinea’s Western (or Fly River) Province and is less than three kilometres from the Australian island of Saibai.

We went there in quite speedy tenders launched from a patrol boat, the Australian Customs Vessel Holdfast Bay.

Unlike Saibai which has a wharf, electricity and running water, Sigabaduru – a village of 850 to 1,000 people – has no electricity, no running water and no wharf. That meant wading ashore.

Once on the beach Grant Smith, the Australian Federal Police officer who was in the team, handed over his gun to his PNG counterpart, a policewoman who held it until he was ready to return to Australian territory.

Sigabaduru is one of the villages covered by the Australia PNG Treaty whereby PNG citizens are allowed traditional entry into a number of Australian islands in the Torres Strait, free from the need for visas.

About 50,000 visits are made to Australian islands like Saibai each year by Papua New Guineans covered by the Treaty.

In fact, the day before we crossed over to Sigabaduru I ran into one of the men from that village, Nope Nama, who was on a shopping trip to the supermarket at another Australian island just off the PNG mainland, Dauan.

He bought some rice, flour, sugar and fruit juice. He was back on the PNG mainland before nightfall.

The idea of the joint cross border patrols is to maintain relationships with the communities and the trips provide the authorities in both Australia and PNG with invaluable intelligence.

The local people on both sides of the border know each other extremely well and so the Torres Strait is not the easy access route to Australia by potential asylum seekers or others that one might assume.

Liam Daly, the Australian Customs and Border Security team leader for the Torres Strait, told a village meeting in Sigabaduru that the Australian agencies involved in the patrol had a variety of interests.

“We’re interested into [sic] the movement of people into Australia, the movement of people out of Australia,” he said.

“Things like drugs, guns, money movement – that kind of stuff.”

The AFP’s Grant Smith told the people how much Australia had appreciated information Papua New Guineans had provided in the past.

“I just want to say we really value the relationship we’ve established with your village here,” he said.

“And because we’re so close. PNG and Australia are so close here these Cross Border Patrols which are led by Customs, it’s really about us working together across that border so that both communities are safe.”

There was one complaint from the other side. Koeget Salee, a retired school teacher from Sigabaduru, said that his people had assisted in reporting people trying to illegally enter Australia – but it was expensive for people in PNG to do so.

He said that if he was reporting some suspicious movement to Saibai, he had to make an international phone call on his mobile even though Saibai was in full view just there across the water.

The joint border patrols also keep a watch on illegal fishing.

One issue that I reported on quite extensively when I was the ABC’s Port Moresby correspondent in the 1990s was the trade of guns from Australian to the Torres Strait and marijuana from the PNG side.

Although there was mention of it during the Sigabaduru village meeting, it appears the trade has declined somewhat.

One of the reasons, I was told, is that hydroponic marijuana grown in Australia has taken market share off the PNG Highlands grown variety.

I asked the Queensland Police officer in charge in the Torres Strait Patrol Group about the trade.

“I wouldn’t say that it doesn’t occur,” Inspector David Lacey said.

“Certainly our intelligence indicates that it is not as prevalent as perhaps it was in the past. I think one of the reasons is our continued cross border patrols with our federal counterparts.

“We have a very good connection of networks on the islands these days with the Movement Monitoring Officers employed by the Federal Government attached to each of the outer islands.

“Also we have Torres Strait Islands Police Support Officers currently on the islands so that network of contacts, I think, significantly reduces the amount of activity that goes on, specifically with regards to large-scale importations.”

Inspector Lacey said a big part of the Queensland Police job in the Torres Strait these days is to do with search and rescue operations because the waters on both sides of the border can be quite treacherous.


2) Land scam in PNG

By Online Editor
11:50 am GMT+12, 14/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

A piece of land worth K30million (US$11.6 million) in Port Moresby was sold by a state-owned enterprise to a foreigner for K4 million (US$1.5 million), Papua New Guinea Parliament has been told.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the Physical Planning Board in the National Capital District had been told to stop any development on the piece of land opposite Jack Pidik Park, at 5-Mile, until the sale of the land had been investigated.

He was responding to a question without notice from Kerowagi MP Camillus Dangma regarding the sale of the land by Post and Telecommunications to a foreigner. He wanted to know if any investigation had been commissioned into how the land was transferred outside the normal process.

Parliament began its final sitting of the year yesterday.

It will include the handing down of the 2014 Budget next Tuesday by Treasurer Don Polye.

O’Neill told parliament Tuesday Task Force Sweep would investigate how the land title was transferred by Post and Telecommunications after the sale was raised by the Independent Public Business Corporation.

East Sepik Governor Sir Michael Somare had asked Lands Minister Benny Allan how the land was transferred to a foreign businessman without proper processes being followed. He wanted to know who facilitated the transfer because he understood the land was owned by Post and Telecommunications.

Allan said the land transfer was done privately without the knowledge of the Lands Department.

He said he did not know who transferred the piece of land and benefited from the arrangement.

O’Neill said he had received complaints from the IPBC over the transfer of the land and the development taking place on it because it had never given any consent to sell the land and transfer the title.

O’Neill said: “The IPBC valued the land and its value is around K30 million.

“But the land was cheaply sold for K4 million. Therefore I have referred the matter to Task Force Sweep to investigate.

“I wrote to the NCD physical planning (board) to stop any development on the land until investigations are completed.”

Northern Governor Garry Juffa raised his concern over the theft and illegal grabbing of land by foreigners in the country.

He said it was very easy for foreigners to come and buy and own land. Juffa has been very vocal about “aggressive land grabbing” in the country. He has been critical of the functions of the Lands Department in the recent Public Accounts Committee hearings.


3) PNG PM rejects army interference claim

Posted at 05:07 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, says he does not tell the defence force what to do.

This comes after claims in parliament by the opposition leader, Belden Namah, that Mr O’Neill had ordered the re-instatement of the commanding officer who had ordered an attack on a Taurama medical school campus earlier this year.

In July, more than 30 soldiers had stormed the medical school, leaving dozens of students and staff injured.

Mr Namah, who is a former army officer, claims that the commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stanley Benny, who had been dishonourably discharged from the defence force, got his job back after Mr O’Neill intervened.

He also suggests Mr Stanley is a first cousin of the prime minister.

The newspaper, The National, quotes Mr O’Neill as saying he never interfered with or gave instructions to the military because he believed in the professionalism of its commander and the other commanding officers.

He says political directives to the military are the responsibility of the defence minister, Fabian Pok.

Mr O’Neill also told parliament that Mr Benny is not his first cousin.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Gun proliferation worries New Caledonia

Posted at 05:07 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

There is growing concern in New Caledonia over the proliferation of firearms amid suggestions that more than 100,000 rifles are now in circulation.

The French high commissioner, Jean-Jacques Brot, says weapons should no longer be sold as if the territory was a haven of eternal peace.

France says it will tighten the gun law by next month as there are now officially more than 54,000 rifles registered, a figure which insiders say hides the real numbers.

An online petition has been launched to stop the easy sales of hunting weapons, to check on the number of rifles held by individuals and to control the quantity of ammunition being stocked.

There have been several shooting incidents in public as well as eight homicides in the past year, which a leading politician, Philippe Gomes, says has raised New Caledonia’s armed crime rate to three times that of France.

A hunter’s organisation says alcohol abuse is behind the violence but concedes that with the approach of a possible independence referendum people have stocked up.

Political unrest in the 1980s left dozens of people dead, including both civilians and soldiers.

Radio New Zealand International

5) French Senate watching New Caledonia, says Bel

Posted at 03:26 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

The president of the French Senate, Jean-Pierre Bel, has told New Caledonia’s Congress that the Senate is watching the territory’s development very closely.

Mr Bel, who is the first Senate president to visit Noumea, says France will remain impartial as next year the territory gears up to the last phase of the Noumea Accord, which calls for an independence referendum by 2018.

There have been calls for putting off a straight forward vote for or against independence as outlined in the accord.

Mr Bel says France remains open to any new institutional approach which is supported by all parties concerned and which would require a change of the French constitution.

Support for the strict application of the Noumea Accord has varied, with anti-independence parties veering away from the referendum idea and instead opting for a new accord.

Mr Bel’s three-day tour comes within months of visits by the French prime minister, the overseas territories minister and the head of the law commission of the French National Assembly.

Radio New Zealand International

6) Academic Questions How Fiji Will Sustain 2014 Budget
Government must clearly explain revenue forecast: Biman Prasad

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 13, 2013) – Professor Biman Prasad of the University of the South Pacific says the 3.6 percent growth rate the government has projected for Fiji this year is largely consumer driven.

Professor Prasad says the budget for 2014 revealed last week continues the government’s populist and expansionary fiscal policies of the last two years, with almost 300 million US dollars on education and 50 million on increased salaries for the civil service.

But he says the government will need to lay out very clearly its revenue forecast and what exactly it will get from the sale of government assets.

“The real question probably is not how they’ll fund it in 2014 but how they will be able to sustain the expenditure beyond 2014. Of course that is based on the fact that they’re expecting high levels of economic growth but these are unknowns that would have to be explained very carefully.”

Professor Prasad says the eight million US dollars towards elections preparation is an indication of the government’s firm commitment to hold elections.

Radio New Zealand International:


7) Australians happy with country’s progress: ABS report

Updated 14 November 2013, 13:47 AEST

The latest report on Australia’s progress has found the country is in good shape across most areas.

The latest report on Australia’s progress has found the country is in good shape across most areas.

The report, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with the tagline “Is life in Australia getting better?”, aims to quantify the country’s progress.

Measures of Australia’s Progress (MAP) is broken up into four domains: society, economy, governance and environment.

ABS director Fiona Dowsley says it is a great result that Australia has more progress than regress.

“Progress was found in the areas of health, learning and knowledge, jobs, living standards and participation,” Ms Dowsley said.

“We have only regressed in the areas of our economy’s resilience and sustaining the environment.”

Health in Australia has progressed over past decade

Using figures from across the decade, the ABS says progress has been made in health, living standards, jobs and education.

In the 10 years to 2011, life expectancy at birth has improved by 2.7 years for males and 1.8 years for females.

Based on current mortality rates, a male born in 2010–11 can expect to live 79.7 years, while a female can expect to live 84.2 years.

Over the decade, male life expectancy increased more than female life expectancy – 2.7 compared with 1.8 years.

Infographic: Life expectancy rose by 2.7 years for men and 1.8 years for women between 2001 and 2011. (ABC News Online)

Managing the environment sustainably has regressed

However, Australia has gone backwards in terms of the overall economy and sustaining the environment.

In 2011, Australia emitted 547 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e).

Although this was lower than a peak of 626 million tonnes CO2-e in 2007, it was higher than the 486 million tonnes emitted in 2001.

The level of emissions in 1990 was 518 million tonnes.

Infographic: Australia emitted 547 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2011, down from a 2007 peak of 626Mt but well above the 486Mt emitted in 2001. (ABC News Online)

‘Average Australian’ happy with progress despite some concerns

Narelle Moodie, 36, is statistically the average Australian and she says having secure housing and a job is vital.

“I’m really happy with the way my life is going. Life is definitely different now than it was 10 years ago when I didn’t have a house and a husband. I think overall life is pretty good,” she said.

But when it comes to climate change Mrs Moodie says she worries for her children’s generation.

“I think that for a lot of people [climate change] is not front and centre. People do forget about it but you do worry about what we’re doing to the planet,” she said.

Mrs Moodie is currently on maternity leave and works as a nurse two days a week. She says she is happy with the health system in Australia.

“We have a pretty good public health sector. I know a lot of people complain about it and think that we don’t but I really think you can go to a lot of other countries and unless you can afford treatment you don’t get treated,” she said.

The full report can be found online.



8) Australia-PNG boda patrol i helpim gut tupla kantri

Postim 14 November 2013, 12:06 AEST

By Pacific correspondent Sean Dorney

Pacific niusman Sean Dorney i lukluk gut long boda patrol namel long Australia na PNG long lukautim gut tupla kantri wantem.

Australia Network  Pacific niusman Sean Dorney, ibin wok longpla taem olsem ABC niusman long  Papua New Guinea na emi bin go bek long PNG long wanpla liklik ples emi no bin go long en bifo.

Oli bin askim Sean long joinim wanpla wok patrol igo long  Sigabaduru vilis we emi bin go wantem ol ofisa blong  Australian Customs, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Queensland Police, Papua New Guinea Customs, PNG Immigration na PNG Police.

Despla vilis istap long Western (or Fly River) Province na emi stap olsem tripla kilomita longwei long Saibai, ailan blong Australia long Torres Straits.

Emi tok olsem oli bin go long despla vilis long wanpla patrol bot, em iet long Australian Customs bot em oli kolim Holdfast Bay.

Sean Dorney itok olsem, Sigabaduru – emi gat 850 igo long 1,000 pipal ino gat ilektrisiti, gutpla wara saplai, na ino gat biris taem Saibai igat ol despla despla i min olsem oli bin kalap long bot na swim igo long sua.

Taem oli bin kamap long nambis, Grant Smith, blong Australian Federal Police  long despla team ibin givim gun blong en igo long wanwok blong en blong PNG, wanpla polismeri bai imas holim inap emi redi long kam bek long Australia.

Sigabaduru i wanpla long ol vilis em istap aninit long despla tok oraet em oli kolim  Australia PNG Treaty we emi save larim ol PNG citizens long go ikam na lukim ol laen wan pisin blong ol long ol ailan blong Australia long  Torres Strait. Despla tok oraet i min tu olsem ol despla pipal ino save kisim visa long go ikam long Torres Straits.

Planti pipal blong PNG em oli stap aninit long despla treaty oa to oraet isave mekim moa long 50 tausan ol lukluk raon oa wokabaut  ikam long Torres straits long wan wan yia.

Sean itok olsem, wanpla dei tasol pastem long despla wok patrol ibin kamap long Sigabaduru emi bin bungim wanpla man blong despla ples, nem blong en  Nope Nama, husat ibin go long narapla ailan blong Australia em oli kolim Duan we emi bin baem sampla samting long stua long hap.

Despla man ibin baem ol samting olsem  rice, flour, sugar na loli wara  na emi bin go bek long bikples PNG long avinun.

As tingting blong despla boad patrol em blong strongim na holim iet ol gutpla wokbung wantem ol lokal pipal na tu emi helpim tupla kantri long kisim ol gutpla save long ol wonem samting iwok long kamap long saed blong boda sekiuriti.

Ol lokal pipal long tupla saed blong boda isave gut long ol iet  na emi no isi ples we ol asailam sika husat i laik brukim loa na kam insaet nating long Australia long en.

Liam Daly, lida blong blong Australian Customs na Border Security team long Torres Strait, ibin tokim ol vilis pipal long wanpla miting long  Sigabaduru olsem ol Australian agencies em oli stap long despla patrol igat planti wok long mekim na emi bin tokim ol olsem. “We’re interested into [sic] the movement of people into Australia, the movement of people out of Australia.”

“Things like drugs, guns, money movement – that kind of stuff.”

Australia Federal Polis ofisa  Grant Smith ibin tokim olsem pipal olsem australia i hamamas tru wantem ol gutpla toksave em oli bin givim long Australia bifo.

Emi tok tu olsem “I just want to say we really value the relationship we’ve established with your village here.”

“And because we’re so close. PNG and Australia are so close here these Cross Border Patrols which are led by Customs, it’s really about us working together across that border so that both communities are safe.”

Long Papua New Guinea saed wanpla man  Koeget Salee, ibin tokaut long sampla bel heve blong en. Mr Salee husat ibin wanpla tisa bifo na emi kam long Sigabaduru, itok ol pipal blong en ibin halvim long stopim ol pipal husat ibin laik brukim loa na kam insaet nating long Australia, tasol ol PNG pipal isave lusim planti moni long mekim despla wok.

Emi tok taem emi save laik tokim ol gavman ofisa blong Australia long sampla laen husat ilak kam nating long australia, em bai iusim mobile phone blong en long ringim Australia, maski sopos Saibai emi stap klostu tasol long PNG.

Despla wokbung namel long PNG na Australia isave lukluk long paisn blong stili fis long ol solwara blong tupla.

Sean Dorney itok wanpla samting emi bin save bing toktok long en taem emi bin wok long Port Moresby em pasin em sampla pipal blong Australia isave mekim long salim ol gun igo long ol pipal blong Papua New Guinea na senisim long spak brus oa marijuana.RADIO AUSTRALIA

 9) PNG Wantok sistam ino helpim bisnis

Updated 14 November 2013, 10:13 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Pasin blong Wantok sistam isave bagarapim ol wok bisnis long Papua New Guinea.

Odio: TPI_pngbisnismeri_20131113

anet Sios vais president blong PNG Women Chamber of Commerce itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman (Credit: ABC)

Janet Sios, Vice President blong nupla  Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry long PNG i mekim despla toktok taem oli redi long helpim ol bisnis meri long kantri.

Oli bin launchim despla laen blong ol long wik igo pinis long Port Moresby na nau oli redi-im wanpla treining long skulim ol meri long ol gutpla rot blong statim na ronim bisnis blong ol.

Janet Sios itok olsem taem i senis pinis we ol meri i ken ronim bisnis na lukautim tu ol femili blong ol, tasol emi tok tu olsem wanpla bikpla wari em despla wantok sistam.

Emi tok tu olsem pasin blong seivim oa putim moni blong bihaentaem ino pasin blong ol pipal blong PNG, olsem na bai oli lainim ol meri long putim gut moni na noken givim nabaut long ol wantok.RADIO AUSTRALIA

10) Ol stilman i laik stilim K27 tausan kina long PNG

Updated 14 November 2013, 16:49 AEST

Pius Bonjui

Acting Highlands Divisional Police Commander long PNG, Martin Lakari i tok kuik eksen bilong polis i pasim foapela man i stil na ronowe wantaim K27,000.

Odio: TPI_pngrobery_20131114

Martin Lakari, Acting Highlands Divisional Police Commander na emi bin toktok wantem Pius Bonjui (Credit: ABC)

Mr Lakari i tok, wanpela ibin dai long sutaut wantaim polis, oli arestim tupela, na wanpela long ol i stap aut iet wantaim sampela long moni ol ibin stil, na oli save long dispela saspek.

Assistant Police Commissioner, Martin Lakari i toktok long dispela pasin blong traem stilim moni long ofis biong em long Mount Hagen city kapital bilong Western Highlands Province.

Mr Lakari itok olsem ol despla stilman ibin laik stilim moni blong wanpla bisnisman blong Asia. Emi tok tu olsem oli pulim kalabusim pinis tripla long ol despla man tasol wanpla long ol ibin ronowei na oli wok long painim em iet.RADIO AUSTRALIA


11) PNG : cauchemar dans la vallée de Sugu

Posté à 14 November 2013, 8:35 AEST

Pierre Riant

Dans les Hauts PLateaux, un conflit oppose les tribus de Kambia et de Wembe dans le District de Kagua-Erave près de Mount Hagen, dans le nord du pays.

L’attaque s’est déroulée lundi à l’aube et selon le Post Courier une grenade à main de l’armée aurait été utilisée.

La grenade aurait été jetée à l’intérieur d’une maison tuant tous les occupants : 14 morts dont des femmes et des enfants. Le bilan s’est ensuite alourdi et selon les autorités locales plus de 30 morts sont maintenant à déplorer.

Notre collègue salomonais du service Tok Pisin, Sam Seke, indique que les informations sont très difficiles à confirmer sur place. Mais si elles s’avèrent véridiques, l’attaque est sans précédent : « Ils ont utilisé des armes de gros calibres et des armes automatiques. C’est devenu de plus fréquent récemment alors qu’avant c’étaient des arcs et des flèches.

Au départ et traditionnellement, une tribu se mettait en haut d’une colline et l’autre sur une colline d’en face. Ensuite, elles se battaient et à un moment donné elles s’arrêtaient et tout le monde rentrait chez soi. Mais de nos jours c’est totalement différent. »

Le Président du Comité de Paix et de l’Ordre public de Kagua-Erave, Charle Miru, a précisé que 8 maisons ont aussi été incendiées.

L’origine de cette flambée de violence remonterait à 2011. Lors des obsèques d’un ancien membre du parlement, David Basua. La mort de David Basua a engendré des accusations de sorcellerie et un conseiller municipal de la tribu de Wambe a été par la suite tué.

Et cette année,  le mois de septembre marque le premier anniversaire du décès de ce conseiller.

Jack Tame, journaliste papou nous en dit un peu plus : « C’est une coutume qui remonte à loin. Quand quelqu’un de chez nous meurt et que c’est une personne âgée, nous savons qu’elle va mourir. Elle est arrivée à un stade où nous savons qu’elle va mourir. Même si quelqu’un est plus jeune, nous ne nous attendons pas à sa  mort. Alors on se pose des questions : pourquoi est-il mort ? Comme ça se fait ? Nous essayons de trouver les raisons de cette mort. »
Des soupçons aurait donc commencé après la mord de David Basua.

Jack Tame, estime que l’utilisation d’armes automatiques démontrent que certaines tribus sont convaincues qu’elles ont besoin d’armes pour se protéger, mais que cette culture guerrière’ est en train d’évoluer : « Aujourd’hui, alors que nous nous dirigeons vers une société moderne et avec l’influence de christianisme, nous savons que nous sommes de moins en moins des tribus guerrière et que nous essayons de vivre comme des frères et des sœurs. Nous voulons promouvoir la paix et les droits de l’homme. »

En attendant, la police n’a pas réussi à pénétrer depuis lundi dans le District de Kagua-Erave et 100 policiers supplémentaires ont été envoyés en renfort.RADIO AUSTRALIA


12) Call for healthy life-styles in the two Samoas

Posted at 03:26 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

Samoa’s health minister has called for measures to ensure healthy lifestyles as both American Samoa and Samoa grapple with non-communicable diseases.

Tuitama Dr Leao Tuitama issued the call at the opening of the 4th Annual Health Bilateral Summit in Apia.

Tuitama says he is aware of the need to open economies and trade systems for the sake of economic opportunities for Samoa.

But he has struck a note of caution.

“We must then learn from history lessons from other countries where in the name of development and economic growth the health of people has suffered or where people for whom development is attempted in fact became the health victims of these efforts.”

Samoa’s health minister Tuitama Dr Leao Tuitama

Radio New Zealand International

13) Water woes in Tonga’s Ha’apai result in hospital patients discharged

Posted at 03:26 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

About 2,000 residents of Hihifo in Ha’apai island in Tonga have been experiencing inconsistent water supply this week.

The water problem has affected operations at Niu’ui Hospital and many homes on the island.

Radio Tonga’s correspondent, Moimoi Fakahua, says some hospital patients have been discharged, with just two critical patients remaining in care.

The problems have been put down to a water pump issue.

The island has also not had any rainfall in recent months and levels in water tanks are low.

Radio New Zealand International

14) Cooks nun says attitudes changing towards disabled people through education

Posted at 04:58 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

A nun on Mauke in the Cook Islands says attitudes towards disabled people have slowly changed with the help of education.

A centre for people with disabilities on the island was opened in 2000 and has been home to programmes teaching people how to treat disabled people and support the elderly.

Sister Madeline Cavanagh told Beverley Tse, people on Mauke are growing in their understanding of people with disabilities.

MADELINE CAVANAGH: Dealing with the disabled, the people here generally have the idea it is a punishment from God. They would hide their people. So around the late 1990s a sister from another congregation was visiting the homes of children she taught and discovered there were some disabled people who were just kept in back rooms and not cared for properly, you know? So she began to invite the families to bring them to her house and they would bathe them and provide food. Then, as time went on and she got some of the people interested, they started looking for a site. They got funding, put together probably the majority of the money that was needed to build what we now see as the current centre. But Sister Emma needed to leave the island. She tried some committee members to form a small committee to keep the work going, but it didn’t work out. So in 2005 they asked for Our Sisters, another congregation of women religious, and Our Sisters came and continued to work with the people at the centre and began to receive the frail elderly. But the problem was there still was not a good attitude. People did not understand. Their attitude was ’The family is responsible. They have to take care of it. It’s their sin’ or whatever the case might be. And it still was a problem. We had workshops. We brought people over. In fact, one woman came from New Zealand who had a son who was autistic. And one of our biggest challenges is an autistic woman we have. She came and talked to them about attitudes and all. So we’ve had different groups come in and work with the general population to help them understand the value and the importance of people who are disabled, and how we can benefit and learn from them and how they are children of god with the same rights as we have.

BEVERLEY TSE: So would you say people have a better understanding of things like autism and other mental health issues?

MADELINE CAVANAGH: Better. And their attitudes have improved somewhat, too, which I learned because somebody told me once that we weren’t going to change anybody’s way of doing things. So I asked and a number of people affirmed that. I thought ’Oh, we haven’t achieved anything’. Then a thought occurred to me and I asked ’Have attitudes changed?’ And they all said yes. And I went to the mother of the autistic women who suffered the most with people accusing her and all, and I said ’Have you seen a change in attitude?’ She said yes.

BEVERLEY TSE: So what is the attitude now?

MADELINE CAVANAGH: The attitude now is that they are children of God. They are people who have a right to be respected. They have to be treated well.

Radio New Zealand International

15) Samoa’s National Hospital Faces Critical Doctor Shortage
Patients reportedly waiting up to 4 hours to be seen

By Tupuola Terry Tavita

APIA, Samoa (Savali, Nov. 13, 2013) – Samoa’s national hospital at Moto’otua is in dire need of doctors as patients are having to wait for up to four hours to see one.

“It’s been a continuing problem for us,” says National Health Services chief executive Leota Laki Sio.

“We have about fifty (50) doctors on our medical staff at the moment and that’s not nearly enough. Not when the international standard is one doctor per 3000 people.”

When this publication visited the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital on Monday, the Paediatrics ward particularly was very crowded with some people sitting on the floor.

More in4 go to : Savali

16) Malaria Control Underway In Solomon Islands Capital
Houses in Central Honiara to be sprayed to combat mosquitoes

By Teddy Kafo, Journalism Student, Divine Word University

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 13, 2013) – Malaria in the Solomon Islands has been reduced significantly in recent years due to consistent spraying of homes with mosquito chemicals and distribution of sleeping nets.

Another round of home-spraying is underway in the capital, Honiara.

City councillor Jack Maeoli yesterday said they started the program to eradicate malaria in Honiara City by giving out free mosquito bed nets to Honiara residents two months ago.

It is their second phase in campaigning against malaria by spraying residential houses in the capital using environment friendly insecticides.

“We want to remove mosquitoes from the city by using the resources available,” Mr Maeoli said.

He said field workers from the Health division have started spraying houses in Central Honiara and will move on to other parts.

He said their primary purpose is to chase mosquitoes from the centre to the outskirts of the city where they will be finally killed or dumped.

Notices have been distributed throughout residential areas in the city last week for home residents to voluntarily prepare their homes for the activity.

They started on Monday at the Mamanawata settlement and will move on to other areas in the city next week.

Solomon Star


17) Speaker of parliament in Samoa warns media over breach of parliament privileges

Posted at 03:26 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

The Speaker of parliament in Samoa has warned local media over breach of parliament privileges after the publication of the government chief auditor’s report by the only daily newspaper.

The report will be debated in parliament next month after it was tabled in June last year and forwarded to a parliament committee for a review.

The speaker, Laauli Leuatea Polata’ivao, insists the publication of a leaked copy of the report is against the privileges of parliament because the parliamentary committee has yet to report back to the house.

The speaker has now passed the matter to police for an investigation.

The chief editor of the Samoa Observer daily newspaper, Savea Sano Malifa, says he did not want to comment because the matter is now under investigation.

Radio New Zealand International


18) Cook Islands government finalising bill to encourage cheaper phone and internet service

Posted at 04:58 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

The Cook Islands Finance Minister says he hopes a bill aimed at driving down phone and internet prices will be finalised by the end of the year.

Mark Brown says once the bill is complete, it will be presented to parliament and if approved, the government will take the responsibility for issuing telecommunications licences away from the current monopoly, Telecom Cook Islands.

He told Beverley Tse the government’s plan is to ensure the whole country has full access to mobile and internet services, cheaper prices and faster broadband.

MARK BROWN: I think what we’re needing is the provision of services at more competitive prices. And the government is very keen on this. We’ve had numerous discussions with the current provider in regard to the provision of this new bill, which will essentially open up opportunities for telecommunications services in the Cook Islands.

BEVERLEY TSE: So what are some of the provisions in that bill?

MB: I think the first one is that the government basically takes responsibility for the licencing of telecommunications licences going out which currently are the responsibility of the telecom company, so it enshrines the monopoly behaviour. And I think the current telecommunications company, TCI, debates it. In discussions that we’ve had they’re well aware that we are moving towards a more open telecommunications field in terms of competitiveness. And they’ve moved a long way towards anticipating that. So we’ve been seeing progressively decreasing prices in the cost of telecommunication services, in the cost of high-speed broadband. We’ve seen investment by TCI in the new O3b satellite provision of broadband, which should provide much higher speed broadband to the country.And we’ll wait and see how that translates into better services and cheaper prices for the consumer. But the government is still taking steps to introduce legislation which basically will remove the monopoly and, furthermore, the government is also looking at investment in telecommunications infrastructure, such as under-sea submarine cables for the collections of trunk lines that provide high-speed broadband currently through to america and new zealand. So there’s a number of options available now to the government. The first one on the agenda is the introduction of new legislation.

BT: And when that legislation comes in force and there is no longer that monopoly, can you actually guarantee that licences will be issued to other competitors?

MB: I think the thing that we’re looking at again, as I said, is not so much that we’re going to issue licences to any other competitors. It’s whether prices will come down for consumers in a country which has a fairly small market compared to other destinations or other jurisdictions those are the far more important dynamics to us than issuing out licences to any Tom, Dick or Harry, which may have a disruptive influence over the pricing and over the provision of services into the country.

Radio New Zealand International

19) Air NZ pumps more cash into Virgin Australia

By Online Editor
2:28 pm GMT+12, 14/11/2013, New Zealand

Air New Zealand will spend up to A$116 million (NZ$130 million) buying into a rights issue by Virgin Australia to maintain its shareholding in the Australian carrier to 25.5 per cent.

Virgin Thursday announced a $A350 million capital raising and its other airline shareholders, Singapore Airlines and Etihad which hold just under 20 per cent, will also be taking up the offer on a pro-rata basis.

Air New Zealand holds 22.9 per cent stake of Virgin Australia and has regulatory approval to increase that to 25.99 per cent.

Air New Zealand said it would take up its full entitlement under the rights issue and sub- underwrite the issue with the other major shareholders.

It said that if additional shares were available from the underwriting, its shareholding could increase to as much as 25.5 per cent, a stake that would be worth about A$265 million at Virgin’s current share price.

Virgin suffered a $A98 million loss in the last financial year and is having to spend heavily to hold on to inroads it made in the business market in Australia where demand has been hit by a weaker domestic economy.

The airline will use the funds to reduce debt.

Air New Zealand started investing in Virgin in 2011 to give it access to the Australian domestic market and rationalise its transtasman operations.

“The additional investment by Air New Zealand of between A$81 million and A$116 million will strengthen the Virgin Australia balance sheet and enable the continuation of its strategy as it enhances its market position and improves business performance following a period of substantial change and growth,” said Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon.

The rights issue means a loan facility of A$38 million from Air New Zealand will not be utilised.

The Government plans to sell down its 73 per cent stake in Air New Zealand to 51 per cent and today’s announcement is not expected to affect that process which could happen soon.


20) Businesses In Tonga Urged To Adopt Disaster Plans
Private sector reminded of role in post-disaster economic recovery

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 13, 2013) – The Chamber of Commerce in Tonga says all businesses need to put in place a plan to ensure they can be resilient during times of disaster.

The Tonga Business Enterprise Center is running a four-day training programme, with businesses being told it’s crucial they all have quick recovery plans.

The vice-president of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce, Paula Taumoepeau, says it’s important that businesses are aware of the vital role they play in the community during disasters.

He says businesses should have a continuity plan, like making sure there are back-up generators, and equally important back-up staff that can respond quickly.

“And the quicker all the businesses are back to normal, then the quicker the economy will get back to normal. People need their jobs, people need to buy construction equipment, they need their electrician to turn up and fix their broken whatever. Everybody has to be back in their jobs, so the quicker you get that resilience and people get back to normal, it’s better for everybody.”

Paula Taumoepeau says all businesses, no matter their size, need to have a disaster resilience plan.

Radio New Zealand International:


21) National Climate Day of Action   this Sunday (Nov 17th 2013)                           call to action

Will you please help make November 17 the biggest, most widespread and diverse show of support for climate action the country has ever seen?
We need lots of people to send a strong message that we want action on climate change. Please come along and bring your friends.
Sydney: Prince Alfred Park at  105 Chalmers St, Surry Hills
Meet from 10.30am onwards at the left hand side of the stage (facing the stage). Alternatively keep an eye out for the PCP banners hopefully under a tree!!
Still can’t find PCP? Phone Millie 0439 419 684, or Marita 0402 146 509, or Ellie 0415 341144
Melbourne: Treasury Place at 11am
Canberra: Garema Place,  Civic,    11 am      Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang is speaking
Events are happening all around the country – have a look for your closest event on this map:

Come dressed in Pacific gear!! colours of blue, green and bits of orange. Be prepared to enjoy yourself whilst advocating for climate justice in the Pacific. If you haven’t got any Pacific Gear then turn up in beat the heat colours of orange and red. Bring a sign with your message as to why Pacific Islands want action on climate change.

What: Beat the Heat: National Day of Climate Action.
When: 11am Sunday 17 November – Proceedings are expected to finish around 12.30ish.
It’s our chance to send a message – loud and clear – that Australians and Pacific islanders want bolder climate action.
If you use facebook you can join the group and share and invite your friends and change your profile picture.
RSVP to let us know you’re coming

22) New project launched to help small countries handle rising sea levels

Posted at 05:07 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

Small Pacific nations facing rising sea levels are set to benefit from a new project launched today.

The project is funded by the European Union to the order of 2.3 million US dollars as an initial commitment.

The project director and head of the Pacific office of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Iosefa Maiava, says climate change threats are not well known, and the project is about listening and learning.

He says the three-year project will support all countries in the Pacific, but has a particular focus on Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu as the countries most vulnerable to climate change displacement.

“Countries are more interested in enhancing or making better use of their labour mobility schemes, getting better their skills and enabling them to move. Other countries are exploring, as you know in the case of Kiribati, are looking at the possibility of people having to be relocated, including overseas.”

Iosefa Maiava says the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations are other partners in the project.

Radio New Zealand International

23) Vale nickel plant suspends operations in New Caledonia

Posted at 05:07 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

The nickel company Vale in New Caledonia has suspended operations after an effluent pipe leading through a lagoon of a World Heritage site was damaged.

This comes after Vale halved production at its five-billion US dollar plant yesterday, with the government of the territory’s southern province giving the company until tomorrow to explain the extent of the damage.

The pipe, which is less than a meter in diameter and 23 kilometers long, leads to the open sea to discharge mine effluent at a depth of 46 metres.

In initial statement, Vale has said the incident has caused no damage to the environment.

Last year, Vale was fined over an acid spill at its plant four years ago.

The spill of more than 40,000 litres of acid was not contained and about 2,000 litres ended up in Prony Bay, killing nearly 2,000 fish.

Radio New Zealand International

24) Scientists warn of hot, sour, breathless oceans

By Online Editor
2:48 pm GMT+12, 14/11/2013, United States

Greenhouse gases are making the world’s oceans hot, sour and breathless, and the way those changes work together is creating a grimmer outlook for global waters, according to a new report Wednesday from 540 international scientists.

The world’s oceans are getting more acidic at an unprecedented rate, faster than at any time in the past 300 million years, the report said. But it’s how this interacts with other global warming impacts on waters that scientists say is getting them even more worried.

Scientists already had calculated how the oceans had become 26 percent more acidic since the 1880s because of the increased carbon in the water. They also previously had measured how the world’s oceans had warmed because of carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and gas. And they’ve observed that at different depths the oceans were moving less oxygen around because of the increased heat.

But together “they actually amplify each other,” said report co-author Ulf Riebesell, a biochemist at the Geomar Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Germany. He said scientists are increasingly referring to the ocean’s future prospects as “hot, sour and breathless.”

The 26-page report released by the United Nations and several scientific research organizations brings together the latest ocean science on climate change, related to a major conference of ocean scientists last year.

For example, off the U.S. Pacific coast, the way the ocean is becoming stratified and less mixed means lower oxygen in the water, and the latest studies show that means “80 percent more acidification than what was originally predicted,” said study co-author Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle.

The theory is that species like squid can only live in waters at certain temperature, acidity and oxygen levels, and the sweet spots where the factors combine are getting harder to find, Feely and Riebesell said.

The world ocean pH already has gone from 8.1 to 8.0 it’s considered a 26 percent increase in acidity because scientists measure hydrogen ions for this. But computer models predict the world will hit 8.0 in the next 20 years to 30 years and 7.9 in about 50 years, Riebesell said. At those levels shells of some mollusks, like clams and mussels, start corroding, he said.

“This is another loss that we’re facing,” Riebesell said. “It’s going to affect human society.”.

25) Solomons’ Choiseul province says no to mining

Posted at 05:07 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

The acting head of Solomon Islands’ Choiseul province says people in his region are opposed to mining because of the environmental consequences.

Alpha Kimata says the provincial population of about 30,000 depends on natural resources and is already having to manage the effects of logging.

A forum on mining finished yesterday in the capital of the neighbouring Isabel province, where two companies are vying for the rights to mine nickel.

Mr Kimata, who is Choiseul’s deputy premier, says companies are also eyeing his province for nickel and bauxite but their operations would bring little local benefit.

“Six feet below it belongs to the state. Therefore any rental of the land belongs to the Solomon Islands government, not the province. We only get money on licence, provincial licence.”

Alpha Kimata says fishing and tourism are lucrative alternatives to mining.

Radio New Zealand International

26) UN to help Pacific nations build capacity for possible climate migration

Posted at 04:58 on 14 November, 2013 UTC

Several United Nations agencies are combining skills for a new initiative addressing the impacts of climate change in the Pacific.

The Economic and Social Commission for the Pacific, the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme want to help the threatened countries prepare for migration, if needed as a result of climate change.

ESCAP’s Iosefa Maiava explains to Don Wiseman.

IOSEFA MAIAVA: This project looks at investigating whatthe capacity needs of vulnerable communities are and investigating what the options are in terms of movement of people internally, primarily internally, but also looking at opportunities for relocating elsewhere if the need arises and if the individuals concerned and the governments concerned wish to. So it’s not assuming that people will move, but it is helping give people the opportunity to build up the capacity so that if and when the need arises and if communities and governments agree that it’s the best thing for them to do, they can do so.

DON WISEMAN: There’s a lot of talk in the Pacific, of course, at the moment about labour mobility. And I guess you would see some linkage there.

IM: Yes, some governments, they would see that as an opportunity that needs to be enhanced which requires some investigation of what the conditions are, what the expectations are from the point of view of potential destination countries. And I think that would be good information that potential sending countries will need to have to prepare those who are willing to move when the opportunity arises, to do so with a lot more efficiency than there would be if things were just left to be dealt with in an ad hoc manner or when a crisis occurs. So I think the idea is to help prepare.

DW: The most probable thing you’ll reveal if you’re assessing capacities is that most countries do not have the capacity to properly deal with this, so they’re going to be then requiring some additional input. Are you looking at that point, as well?

IM: One of the things that a prime minister has already expressed in response to this project is he would like to see a greater focus on educating his people on what’s coming and what the options are for them, which means some input into clarifying and looking at ways of providing those options.

DW: There’s been increasing discussion in the Pacific over the last 12 months or so of the Nansen Initiative and this idea of new laws to cover people that would be climate refugees. Now, would you be looking at this, as well?

IM: Well, we’re hoping to link up with the initiative because when it’s clear that we are getting into an area that is unregulated, so to speak, that is in many ways ad hoc, and therefore exposed to all kinds of uncertainties and surprises. And I think to build up an information base and knowledge and understanding of what the different scenarios might be and what the options are, those are all going to be helpful in arriving at laws and regulations that make sense. So I see a very necessary link between what we’re trying to do here and the Nansen Initiative.

Radio New Zealand International


27) 2015 Pacific Games on track: PNG Sports Minister

By Online Editor
12:05 pm GMT+12, 14/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko expects all major Pacific Games projects to be ready by March, 2015.

Tkatchenko allayed any concerns regarding the slowness of preparations, particularly of sports venues like the Taurama Aquatic Centre and the Sir John  Guise Stadium as well as the Pacific Games Village.

These venues are still in the early stages of construction and with only 20 months to the Games, there is a fear that Port Moresby will be not be ready on time.

Other venues like the Rita Flynn netball courts and the Lloyd Robson Oval have not been touched.

“I’m very upbeat after being advised by the Venues, Infrastructure and Equipment Committee,” Tkatchenko said.

“I have been assured that we are on schedule to have all major projects completed by March, 2015.”

Pacific Games Council president Vidya Lakhan, who was in Port Moresby last week, said: “I have every confidence in the Games Authority and the Games Organising Committee that at least the fields of play at each venue will be ready by the opening ceremony.”.


28) PNG bids to host 2017 Rugby League World Cup pool matches

By Online Editor
12:01 pm GMT+12, 14/11/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has made a bid to host the Kumuls’ pool matches for the 2017 World Cup Rugby League tournament.

The 2017 edition of World Cup rugby league will be co-hosted by closest neighbours Australia and New Zealand.

Sports Minister Justin Tkatchencko said he is expecting a positive response in six months time to give PNG the opportunity to host the Kumuls matches in Port Moresby.

He described his World Cup trip as an eye-opener for his Ministry where they visited many different sporting facilities such as the soccer stadiums and saw how they operated and ran these facilities.

“The trip was fantastic, positive trip,” he said.

Tkatchenko has negotiated with the head of World Cup Committee allocate World Cup games to be played in PNG.

If all goes well the PNG pool games will be played in Port Moresby. Twelve games are expected to be played at the Lloyd Robson Oval, which is getting a massive facelift in preparation for the Pacific Games in 2015.

Tkatchenko said many positives came out of the trip.

He used the opportunity to encourage Papua New Guineans to get behind Team Kumul.

The boys did their best, he said.

“We have wasted five years of bickering which distracted Team Kumuls preparation.”

He said Mal Meninga and Lam started from scratch while Samoa, Tonga and Fiji were well advanced with their preparations for the World Cup “while we did nothing”.

“We cannot expect miracles to happen overnight,” he said.

Both Meninga and Lam will do a post mortem of the World

Cup and present the report so that Team Kumul can move forward, he said.

“Mal and Lam were only in nine months into their five-year programme so we all should support them in trying to prepare our team for the 2017 World Cup.” .


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