Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 902

MELANESIA:

1/2) Papuan rebel commander to meet Vanuatu PM

By Online Editor
09:53 am GMT+12, 02/12/2013, Vanuatu

A West Papuan guerilla commander has visited Vanuatu and participated in a special Morning Star Flag raising ceremony yesterday to mark the anniversary of the West Papua declaration of independence in 1961.
 
Uri Joweni is the military senior commander of the rebel OPM Free West Papua Movement and has been a key target of the Indonesian security forces in Papua.
 
Uri Joweni made a clandestine trip from Papua, travelling through Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to reach Vanuatu where he is the guest of the Port Vila-based leadership of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation.
 
Today he is scheduled to meet Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Moana Carcasses.
 
Carcasses recently called on the United Nations to appoint a Special Representative to investigate alleged human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia and for their political status to be revisited.
SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

3) Arrests at West Papua flag-raising

By Online Editor
3:28 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, Papua New Guinea

Three organisers of a pro-West Papua rally in Port Moresby have been taken into custody, with the governor of the Papua New Guinean capital accusing the country’s government of bowing to pressure from neighbour Indonesia.
 
The PNG nationals Fred Mambrasar, Tony Fofoe and Patrick Kaiku said they were interviewed by police on Sunday afternoon after taking part in a march to mark the West Papuan national day of 1 December. The event culminated in the raising of the banned West Papuan morning star flag.
 
Powes Parkop, the Port Moresby governor, told Guardian Australia the three had been targeted “due to undue pressure from the Indonesian government”. West Papua is a province of Indonesia but there is an independence movement that does not recognise the government in Jakarta.
 
“Clearly Indonesia has put pressure on the [PNG] government but we are an independent nation. Our constitution allows us freedom of expression and assembly. They will not intimidate us anymore,” Parkop said.
 
Mambrasar told Guardian Australia he expected they would be charged with unlawful assembly despite the event being endorsed and approved by the municipal government, led by Parkop.
 
At the rally Parkop addressed the crowd of approximately 1,000. “We have broken the silence. We won’t be intimidated any more. I congratulate you all for turning up,” he said.
 
“This is our ancestral land. The morning star flag deserves to be raised across our ancestral land. This will become a worldwide movement that cannot be stopped. I want to tell the Indonesian government that their claim to West Papua is based on fraud and lies.”
 
Earlier the West Papuan activist Benny Wenda and the Australian lawyer Jennifer Robinson, who attended the event, told Guardian Australia they had been threatened with arrest and deportation if they took part in “political activities” while in PNG on visitor visas.
 
Parkop said he personally intervened to make sure they were not arrested. “I have advised [PNG] immigration that Benny and Jennifer are here at my invitation,” he said.
 
Guardian Australia sought comment from the PNG prime minister, Peter O’Neill.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN/PACNEWS

4) Protestors against Indonesian rule in West Papua gather to raise flag

Posted at 06:32 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

Protestors against Indonesian rule in West Papua have gathered outside New Zealand’s parliament and raised the Morning Star flag.

They were marking the 52nd anniversary of the West Papuan declaration of independence.

New Zealand Green Party MP, Catherine Delahunty, says the New Zealand government should be doing more to help West Papuans.

“It is the Palestine of the Pacific and our Government is colluding and providing funding for police and military ties – which is unacceptable and people just don’t know and if they did know, I think they would care.”

Catherine Delahunty says momentum for the cause is building despite the media blackout in West Papua.

Radio New Zealand International

5) Papuan Refugees March In Port Moresby Supporting Independence
Governor Powes Parkop defines PM, raises Morning Star flag

By PNG correspondent Liam Fox

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 1, 2013) – The governor of Port Moresby has raised the flag of the West Papuan independence movement, despite a request by Papua New Guinea’s prime minister not to do so.

Police told several hundred West Papuan refugees not to march through Port Moresby’s streets today but they did anyway, calling for independence from Indonesia.

Their destination was city hall, where governor Powes Parkop raised the Morning Star flag of the West Papuan independence movement.

“Papua New Guineans: for the last 50 years we have been silent, blind, not seeing, not hearing, not speaking. But tomorrow it must change,” he said.

Prime minister Peter O’Neill had asked him not to raise the flag.

Also at the flag-raising ceremony was visiting West Papuan activist Benny Wenda and Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson.

The pair are in the Port Moresby at the invitation of Mr Parkop.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that a similar event took place in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila where Papua rebel commander Uri Joweni plans to meet Prime Minister Moana Carcasses. RNZI also reported that 3 people were arrested by PNG authorities for organizing the protest.]

But PNG immigration officials have threatened to deport them for “engaging in political activity”.

Ms Robinson says an official told her independence was a sensitive issue for Indonesia.

“I think it’s a grave concern that Indonesia has such influence on domestic matters in Papua New Guinea,” she said.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

6) Solomon Island teachers theaten to strike

Posted at 01:50 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

Solomon Island teachers are threatening to go on strike next year if the Government does not meet its obligations over re-levelling and outstanding payments.

The Solomon Islands National Teachers Association or SINTA is urging the Government to pay teachers what was settled upon under several Memoranda of Agreement.

SINTA wants the issue settled by the teachers’ first pay period of 2014, otherwise it says it will consider industrial action.

The group’s general secretary, Walter Tesuatai, says the threat to strike is meant as a wake up call for the Government.

“I think the tactic that has been employed here is what frustates SINTA and also teachers throughout the country – for the delay in the completion of the re-levelling and the incremental teachers salaries.”

SINTA General Secretary Walter Tesuatai.
Radio New Zealand International

7) Vanuatu wants maritime border talks with France

Posted at 06:32 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu has asked France to resume negotiations about the sea border between Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The foreign minister, Edward Natapei, made the call after the French Navy detained a Vanuatu-registered fishing boat last month.

Mr Natapei says the Vanuatu government is very disappointed at the way the French navy made the arrest then prosecuted the boat captain.

He says as far as his government is concerned, the boat was fishing within Vanuatu’s exclusive economic zone.

Mr Natapei says Vanuatu and France have not agreed to or signed any treaty marking the maritime boundary between the two countries.

He says Vanuatu does not recognise the decision by a French court to prosecute the vessel.
Radio New Zealand International

8) Vanuatu daily news digest | 2 December 2013

by bobmakin

a) President Johnson Iolu Abbil opened the budget sitting of Parliament this morning with an appeal for leaders to return to and strengthen the values held dear by the people and founding fathers of Vanuatu at Independence. These values and our fundamental Christian beliefs must not be compromised, he said. He pointed out that agriculture was one of the main promises of Independence but governments have never achieved the full potential of primary production in a land richly blessed to make our inheritance successful. “We are not achieving our full potential and benefit,” he said. “And we must make the younger generation see the value of our land.”

President Abbil read out a list of 22 Bills to be debated by Parliament. Opposition Leader Ham Lini observed that many of these were only available to MPs from this morning and he asked whether time could be given for study of the Bills which are to be debated.

Prime Minister Carcasses agreed with much of what President Abbil observed and admitted to being worried about the weakening of Independence and family values. He suggested that his government is doing something for farmers in a scheme being promoted to enable buyers to contact farmers directly. This was not explained in any way. Opposition Leader Lini, however, was of the opinion governments have not properly addressed the issue of agriculture and saw the Agriculture Bank as a failure for direct assistance to farmers.

The Parliament sitting was adjourned at 11.15, it is understood, in order to give MPs the time to read and discuss the Bills, including the Appropriation Bill for 2014, before them. The sitting resumes at 2 pm Wednesday.

b) In other news today from Daily Post, the People’s Progressive Party of Sato Kilman has reconciled with the Vanua’aku Party of Deputy Prime Minister Natapei.

Said by MP Robert Bohn to be “sub-standard work” in aviationbeing performed by Airports Vanuatu Limited and the Civil Aviation Authority in Saturday’s Independent is answered by both authorities in today’s Daily Post.

9) Clock starts ticking in January for Fiji regime says expert

Posted at 06:32 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

An expert in transitional politics, Paul Buchanan, says the Fiji regime has until the end of January to announce key election machinery or risk next year’s polls being seen as illegitimate.

The regime’s leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama has promised elections by the end of September but his critics says he is stalling on preparations like announcing the Electoral Commission to enhance his chance of winning.

Dr Buchanan who is a political risk consultant with 36th Parallel Assessments says the clock starts ticking in the new year.

“An announcement as to the Commission and the process by which the elections will be held needs to be made in early January, late January at the very latest. Certainly no less than six months are needed in order for this to be held as a legitimate exercise. Anything short of that will pretty much de-legitimate it pretty much from the get-go.”

Paul Buchanan says everything can be accomplished in that time frame assuming there is good faith on the part of the military regime and its opposition.

Radio New Zealand International

10) Travel bans hindering set up of Fiji electoral body

Posted at 06:50 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

Fiji’s Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says some potential candidates for the Electoral Commission have been reluctant to join because of travel bans imposed by New Zealand and Australia.

The Commission is to oversee the elections due to be held by the end of September.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the government is still on the lookout for good, credible and independent people for the seven member body and hopes to announce them in a matter of weeks.

“We’ve approached a few people and some were initially hesitant to join up because of travel bans but we do have letters from the Australian and New Zealand governments confirming that travel bans won’t apply to people who are appointed as commissioners. Some people are still hesitant and do not necessarily want to take that risk.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the Commission is to advise on the appointment of the Supervisor for Elections who will also be announced before the end of the year.
Radio New Zealand International

11/12) Fiji Electoral Commission to be established by end of year

By Online Editor
1:03 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, Fiji

Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the bodies tasked with overseeing Fiji’s elections will be set up by the end of the month.
 
He says the search is still on for good credible people to become part of the seven-member Electoral Commission which will direct the elections office and Supervisor of Elections, who is also yet to be appointed.
 
He has scotched claims the government is using delaying tactics to retain control in the run-up to the polls which are to take place by the end of September.
 
“We want to have transparent credible elections which obviously requires making sure all the ducks are lined up, all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted which means perhaps spending a bit more time in respect of the nuts and bolts of running the elections office.”
 
Sayed-Khaiyum says none of the international electoral experts helping Fiji have expressed concern about the timeframe.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

13) East Timor helps fund new regional grouping

Posted at 01:50 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

East Timor has donated US$250 thousand to the fledgling Pacific Islands Development Forum.

East Timor’s prime minister Xanana Gusmao was the chief guest at the inaugural meeting of the forum in Nadi in August.

China has also contributed funds to the organisation instigated by Suva and aimed at bringing the region’s governments, businesses and community groups together to discuss development issues on an equal footing.

It is seen by some observers as a response to Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth.

The Fiji government says the latest assistance is a further sign of the deepening relations East Timor has with the region.
Radio New Zealand International

POLYNESIA:

14) Samoa PM Dismisses Calls For Early Elections
Tuilaepa calls opposition’s effort ‘foolish;’ says it cannot happen

By Sophie Budvietas And Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Nov. 30, 2013) – Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi claims an early election cannot be called.

“This belongs to government,” he said on radio station 2AP’s weekly program with the Prime Minister on Thursday.

“There are many steps to be taken for an early election; it can’t be done.

“Palusalue (Faapo II, Tautua Leader) understands this.”

“He was a member and once held a Ministerial post.”

“He changed parties during the road change, when it was time for our party to make the vote to go ahead with the road switch.

“He didn’t (vote for it). He was caught in the corner even further when the other members of HRPP who were supposed to side with him didn’t.”

“He’s been angry with them ever since.”

He said this action taken by Palusalue showed how little he knew about politics.

Tuliaepa also called Palusalue “foolish” over his call for an early election during the radio interview.

“Anyone who asks for an early election is foolish,” he said.

[PIR editor’s note: Opposition leader Palusalue Faapo II said that PM Tuilaepa’s response to calls for early elections shows that he is worries and not secure in his position.]

“There are standard reasons why there should be an election before the term is up.”

“They (the Tautua) are calling for an early election because I don’t have any time to conduct my duties as Prime Minister because I am trying to fix the broken problems of family.”

He said by making this call Palusalue wants the elections to be held next week.

“The next election is in 2016,” he said.

“This means that they want elections to go ahead next week.

“They have no preparations.”

He questioned whether or not Palusalue had asked his own Party members whether or not they wanted an early election.

“You need 37 affirmations but they only have 12 members.

“It is not an easy thing discussing the elections.

“There are reasons why (we) have elections before its [sic] usual time – March or April or May 2016.”

He said if an early election did go ahead it would be a sad moment for Palusalue when all his Party members decided to cross the floor to join the HRPP.

Then “there will be no Opposition Party…there to give us good advice,” he said.

“Anyway they don’t give us good advice as they are meant to, they only advise us on good developments already in place.”

The Prime Minister also back flipped on comments he made during last week’s program where he admitted his party, the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) was in trouble.

“What the Opposition Leader (is) talking about I don’t deny it,” he said then.

This week on radio however, he emphatically denied there were any factions within the HRPP.

“There are no factions in the HRPP,” Tuilaepa said last Thursday.

“It is like any family, there might be some differences of views but this doesn’t mean broken families.”
Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

15) France Unequivocal, Paris Has Authority Over French Polynesia
Overseas minister addresses assembly, doesn’t support decolonization process

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 1, 2013) – France has restated its authority over French Polynesia.

In a formal address to French Polynesia’s territorial assembly, the overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, says his message is clear that France is back.

Mr Lurel says France refuses to buy into the decolonisation process approved by the United Nations in May, saying Paris is guided by the outcome of this year’s territorial election which was won by the anti-independence camp.

He has also dismissed an assembly resolution passed in May, which formally called for an immediate independence referendum, saying it provides no solution to the territory’s problems.

The opposition boycotted Mr Lurel’s speech, claiming the territory is run by the mafia – a reference to the jail sentences for corruption given to the territory’s president, Gaston Flosse, who has lodged appeals yet to be heard.

Mr Lurel has dismissed the opposition stance, saying it is never good if the bitterness of an election defeat lasts too long.

Despite pleas by Papeete for firm financial commitments, Mr Lurel has deferred finalising any deals until more talks have been held in Paris.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

TOK PISIN:

16) PNG i makim 40 yar blong NBC brodkasting

Updated 2 December 2013, 16:02 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

National Broadcasting Corporation blong Papua New Guinea oa NBC, i stat nau long makim selebresen blong 40 yar blong redio brodkasing long kantri.

Odio: Jimmy Miringtoro, PNG Communications Minista i toktok
Ol program blong makim dispela aniversari selebresen i bin stat wantaim wanpela lotu sevis long Port Moresby long aste.

Ripota blong Radio Australia Tok Pisin sevis, Caroline Tiriman husat ibin wok pastaim tu wantaim NBC, i stap tu wantaim ol wokman-meri blong NBC na ol narapla pipol long dispela lotu sevis.

Bihain long sevis, Caroline ibin stori wantaim Papua New Guinea Communications Minister, Jimmy Miringtoro.

Na long stori blong tupela, Mr Miringtorro i askim ol provinsel gavman long kantri long givim gutpela moni blong halvim ol provinsel radio stesen blong NBC.

Mr Miringtoro itok, ol province imas lukautim gut ol provinsel stesen long oli wokim wok blong ol long givim aut long nius na infomesen we bai kamapim laip blong ol pipol long ol rural comuniti.

Em itok, funding blong ol provinsel stesen i wok blong ol province, aninit long ol paua we oli kisim taim oli kamap olsem province.radio australia

17) Madang Disasta Ofis i nonap halvim pipol long Long Island heve

Updated 2 December 2013, 15:23 AEST
Pius Bonjui

Madang Provinsel Disasta Ofis i save long hatpela taim ol pipal antap long Long Island i bungim nau bihainim longpela taim ibin nogat ren, tasol oli nonap givim halvim.

Rudolf Mongali, Assistant Director bilong Madang Provinsel Disasta Ofis itok em i harim olsem wanpela lapun man na wanpela pikinini nau ibin dai pinis na ino 19 olsem wanpela sios pastor ibin tok long Friday igo pinis.

Mr Mongali i tok tripela pastor bilong Lutheran Sios antap long Long Island ibin igo long hetkuata bilong sios bilong ol long Lae long painim halivim .

Wanpela long  ibin tokim Tok Pisin Stream long19 pipal nau ibin dai long ol kaikain sik i kamap long wanem oli nogat gutpela kaikai na wara blong dringim stat long mun June.

Mr Mongali i tok provinsel disasta ofis ibin kisim ripot long dispela heve long naba 24 long mun November, tasol oli no gat moni long bain kaikai blong halvim ol.

Em itok long nau ia, Lutheran Sios blong Madang na Lae yet i wok long givim halvim long ol pipol blong Long Island.

Mr Mongali i tok Madang provinsel disasta ofis i bai mekim ripot long askin Nasenal Disasta ofis long givim sampela halvim tu.radio australia

FRENCH:

18) Îles Salomon: mise à la retraite du Vérificateur général des comptes

Posté à 2 December 2013, 8:29 AEST
Pierre Riant

Un départ qui suscite l’étonnement et l’indignation de Transparency International.

Bob Pollard, membre de cet organisme anti-corruption, réclame une procédure de contrôle judiciaire après la décision du gouvernement de mettre un terme au contrat du Vérificateur, Edward Ronia.

La raison officielle est que M. Ronia a plus de 55 ans, l’âge du départ à la retraite prévu par la Constitution. Une raison qui ne satisfait pas Bob Pollard : «  En surface, on explique la fin de son contrat en disant qu’il a 57 ans. Mais cela fait 2 ans qu’il a dépassé l’âge de la retraite et c’est donc surprenant que cela arrive maintenant. Et dans la clause de la Constitution qu’ils invoquent, il est aussi dit que le Gouverneur général peut à sa discrétion permettre à une personne de rester à son poste. Alors nous posons la question : pourquoi le Gouverneur général ne l’a pas fait ? »

Notons que la mise à la retraite du Vérificateur général des comptes semble coïncider avec la publication dans quelques semaines de l’audit sur le Fonds de développement des circonscriptions. C’est dans ce Fonds que les députés se servent pour mettre en place des programmes de développement et des allégations de fraude persistent depuis longtemps. Peut-on donc parler de coïncidence entre le départ du Vérificateur et la publication des résultats de l’audit : « Oui, un certain nombre de personnes ont fait remarquer que le moment choisi est pour le moins intéressant. Et dans ce pays, les gens sont généralement persuadés que le Fonds de développement des circonscriptions est la pierre angulaire de la corruption. C’est donc surprenant que peu avant que l’audit soit publié le contrat du Vérificateur des comptes arrive à terme. »

On peut donc se demander si les résultats de l’audit seront effectivement publiés et s’ils le sont, peut-être pas sous la même forme que le Vérificateur des comptes l’envisageait : « C’est certainement possible. Le bureau du Vérificateur général des comptes est maintenant paralysé. Que le rapport de l’audit soit terminé ou non, il n’y a personne en mesure de remplir les fonctions de vérificateur des comptes et il est donc possible que ce rapport ne voit jamais le jour. »

En conclusion, on peut dire qu’une telle situation ne va pas convaincre l’opinion publique que le gouvernement est en train de faire du bon travail dans le domaine de la lutte contre la corruption : « Absolument,  le gouvernement aurait des choses à cacher qu’il n’agirait pas autrement. Et s’il n’a rien à cacher, il n’y a aucune raison d’agir ainsi. C’est une souillure  dans les propos d’un gouvernement qui se dit opposé à la corruption. »RADIO AUSTRALIA

19) PNG : publication d’un rapport accablant pour le ministère des Finances

Posté à 2 December 2013, 8:48 AEST
Pierre Riant

C’est un juge qui a levé une injonction judiciaire et autorisé la sortie de ce rapport sur la corruption au sein de ce ministère.

En 2010, un jour après la présentation du rapport au Parlement,  Zachary Gelu, ancien procureur général a réussi à obtenir une injonction empêchant sa publication.

Ce rapport, à force de détail, indique comment le ministère des Finances a versé des millions de dollars en demandes de compensations frauduleuses.

Le rapport recommande des poursuites pénales à l’encontre de plus de 50 personnes dont des avocats, des hauts fonctionnaires et des hommes d’affaires.RADIO AUSTRALIA

20) Les relations australo-indonésiennes mettront du temps à se raccommoder

Mis à jour 2 December 2013, 8:42 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le Président indonésien n’aurait pas été entièrement satisfait par les explications fournies par le Premier ministre australien, Tony Abbott à propos du scandale des écoutes australiennes.

En 2009, les services de renseignements australiens ont tenté d’écouter les conversations du Président indonésien et de son épouse.

Le vice-président de la Commission indonésienne en charge des activités d’espionnage de l’Australie, Tubagus Hasanuddin, ne pense pas que les relations entre Jakarta et Canberra vont retourner au beau fixe du jour au lendemain : « Je pense que cela va peut-être prendre de 2 à 3 ans. »

En attendant, la coopération militaire entre l’Indonésie et l’Australie est toujours suspendue, les manœuvres militaires prévues à Darwin, dans le nord de l’Australie, ont été annulées ainsi que la cérémonie de remise d’un appareil Hercules australien à l’Indonésie.

Et le chef de la police nationale indonésien, le commandant Sutarman, a annoncé au Parlement la fermeture des centres de détention réservés aux demandeurs d’asile qui tentaient de se rendre en Australie.

Ces demandeurs d’asile, a-t-il souligné, ne seront plus mis en détention.radio australia

HEALTH:

21) Fears medical aid to PNG could buy counterfeit drugs

By Online Editor
1:01 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, Australia

The Australian government has been warned a $38 million medical aid project in Papua New Guinea could be used to foist deadly counterfeit drugs onto some of PNG’s poorest villagers.
 
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade bureaucrats in Canberra are refusing to say if Australia will continue to bankroll the distribution network despite warnings from the PNG medical community of corruption allegations surrounding the project.
 
Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals has won the $28 million contract to supply medical kits to the PNG government with Australian aid, then send the drugs to aid posts and medical centres around the country.
 
Internal DFAT documents identify Borneo Pacific as PNG’s largest provider of drugs from manufacturer North China Pharmaceutical Group, a known offender in China’s fake drugs crisis.
 
PNG’s medical society alleges that Borneo Pacific “’is renowned for giving presents to people in the government procurement system”, has branded the process ‘”corrupt”’ and warns that counterfeit medicines supplied under the deal could kill.
 
The revelations come despite promises to clean up the PNG Health Department’s drug supply division, described in 2011 by its own minister as “riddled with corruption”’.
 
The internal DFAT documents show officials knew Borneo Pacific did not hold the required quality standards accreditation to compete in the tender, and were worried when the requirement was simply removed by PNG’s Secretary of Health after the tender’s deadline.
 
The same document shows the non-profit IDA group, which does hold the required accreditations, offered to supply its high-quality kits for $8 million less than Borneo Pacific’s bid.
 
An internal DFAT review of the health kits program by the Burnet Institute tells of the IDA drugs supplied by Australian aid being saved for the most desperately ill villagers by doctors and nurses who distrust the locally supplied drugs. The draft Burnet report warns of a ”serious problem” of ”transparency and accountability” at national level in drugs supply and procurement.
 
The distribution scheme, part of Australia’s $38 million PNG Health and HIV Procurement Program, has been lauded as a success in its first three years.
 
But AusAID, before its takeover by DFAT, warned it would walk away if unhappy with the governance surrounding the program’s next round.
 
In Canberra this week, officials from DFAT were trying to enforce an information blackout on the fate of the project. ”Detailed information on the priorities of the aid program – including arrangements for funding the distribution of medical supplies – will be provided by the government in due course,” a spokeswoman said.
 
But Nakapi Tefuarani, of the Medical Society of PNG, was more blunt about the program’s future. ”It seems that this year the process will be corrupt once again,” Professor Tefuarani said.
 
He warned of the dangers of Australia’s aid agency walking away from the distribution network, and called on PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to reverse the award of the tender.
 
“We will be left with local ‘wantok’ distribution companies sending out low-quality and possibly counterfeit medicines to our hospitals and health centres,” Professor Tefuarani said.
 
In response to accusations in the PNG Parliament this month that the medical kits deal with Borneo Pacific bypassed by the nation’s Central Supply and Tenders Board, Mr O’Neill defended the process.
 
Local media reported the Prime Minister as saying the deal had gone through ”a rather rigorous approval process” in which it was sighted and approved by the pharmaceutical and medical boards, the Department of Health and the National Executive Council.

SOURCE: CANBERRA TIMES/PACNEWS

BUSINESS:

22) Papua New Guinea mining industry faces downturn after 10 years of growth

Updated 2 December 2013, 16:39 AEST
Jemima Garrett

The Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum says the country’s mining industry is experiencing its first downturn in a decade.

The Chamber says while the gas industry is booming, mining is facing difficult times in the wake of decreasing commodity prices and pressures on production.

Executive Director Greg Anderson had told Pacific Beat after 10 years of growth, it’s a significant downturn.

“We had a magnificent cross-section of explorers including a very decent suite of majors in joint ventures,” he said.

“Unfortunately many of those have now opted to pull out because of international pressures so it is definitely a challenge.

“We have…a very significant junior sector, but a lot of them are facing great pressures and I am afraid to say some of them will probably disappear.”

Mining has formed a significant part of the PNG Government’s revenue.

Mr Anderson says while the downturn hasn’t hit the government’s bottom line yet, it will definitely have an impact.

“We’ve got some growth in production, thank goodness, because we have some new projects but they are new and they are not significant tax contributors for some years,” he said.

“So it will certainly affect the government’s bottom line, particularly in the Ok Tedi situation because the commodity prices for both Ok Tedi products – copper and gold – were very high and they have both slumped.”

Mr Anderson says despite the mining gloom, the country’s LNG development is a bright spot.

“The two sectors have diverged quite considerably in the last 18 months because we had solid growth in both of them for nearly a decade,” he said.

“Definitely oil and gas is fortunately doing extremely well still and we have got a very buoyant situation ther, particularly for further LNG developments.

“We have got as we say the potential for further extensions and other developments and other gas developments as well so this is a very good story for such a small country.”RADIO AUSTRALIA

23) Pacific’s chief trade advisor believes labour mobility can be sorted

By Online Editor
09:48 am GMT+12, 02/12/2013, New Zealand

Labour mobility continues to be a sticking point over negotiations in the PACER Plus trade deal but the Pacific’s chief trade advisor believes a compromise can be reached.
 
Development assistance was the other issue that came up at the latest round of negotiations for the regional trade and economic development agreement, held in Auckland last week.
 
Dr Edwini Kessie, who provides support for the island countries in their negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, says they want legally binding commitments on current labour arrangements such as New Zealand’s regional seasonal employer scheme.
 
“Australia and New Zealand have indicated that they would consider other options which will satisfy the Pacific Island countries. Politically I think it’s quite difficult for Australia and New Zealand to have labour mobility in the PACER Plus agreement but I think we should find a creative way of advancing the negotiations.”
 
Dr Kessie says Pacific Island countries would also like Australia and New Zealand to increase the present cap on employment schemes.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

24) Rising fiscal challenges in the Pacific in 2014 – ADB

By Online Editor
12:54 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, New Zealand

Fiscal pressures are expected to increase in the Pacific in 2014, according to the latest issue of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Economic Monitor, launched today at the offices of the New Zealand Aid Programme.
 
Public spending for post-cyclone recovery in Samoa is likely to slow progress towards fiscal consolidation and drive up debt levels. In Fiji, rising capital expenditures by the government and anticipated election-related spending may challenge efforts to keep fiscal deficit in check.
 
Timor-Leste’s fiscal surplus is expected to diminish significantly due to declining petroleum revenues and continued high levels of government expenditure. Deficit-financed fiscal stimulus is expected to continue in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in an effort to counter the effects of a slowdown in economic growth. However, ongoing problems with the quality of expenditure and timely implementation of projects due to capacity constraints will likely to persist.
 
In the north Pacific, the Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Marshall Islands continue to struggle in their efforts to accumulate trust funds that will enable them to maintain government expenditure beyond 2023, when annual transfers from the United States under the Compacts of Free Association are set to expire.
 
“While there is some impetus to spend for growth in the region, it remains important to proceed with public financial management and structural reforms to build economic resilience” said Xianbin Yao, Director General of the ADB’s Pacific Department. “The looming impacts of climate change make resilience even more crucial, with added focus on adaptation and disaster risk management.”
 
Revenue collections have declined in the region’s large resource exporters, but remained strong in the smaller Pacific economies in 2013. Lower commodity prices are weakening revenue collections in PNG. In Timor-Leste, offshore petroleum production appears to have peaked. Falling log exports have decreased revenues from timber export duties in the Solomon Islands. Revenue declines, along with limits in government capacity to implement capital projects, have contributed to delays in budget execution and slowed growth in these economies.
 
 In contrast, revenues are exceeding budget targets for the second consecutive year in Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Tuvalu, mostly due to increased fishing license fees. Tax collections in the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu are also higher than expected due to higher tourism arrivals and other factors.
 
The policy briefs in this issue focus on the economics and financing of climate change in the Pacific. The first brief summarizes estimates and findings from The Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific. The next brief examines impacts of climate change on agriculture in the Pacific in greater detail. Both briefs weigh policy options for facilitating climate change adaptation and mitigation in the region.
 
An external contribution from the World Bank profiles the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative. The fourth brief discusses ways to increase public resources available for climate change adaptation and mitigation through mainstreaming in public financial management systems.
 
The Pacific Economic Monitor is a tri-annual review of economic developments in ADB’s 14 developing member countries in the Pacific. Each issue includes policy briefs on a subject of current importance to the region. Contributions from outside authors and institutions are encouraged.
SOURCE: ADB/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER:

25) Fiji police says officers appear to be involved in bashing video

Posted 2 December 2013, 15:22 AEST

Fiji Police has admitted that some of its officers appear to have been involved in the brutal bashing of prisoners, which was caught on video.

The graphic footage posted onYouTube shows one handcuffed man being savagely beaten with batons and metal bars, and another being set upon by a dog as the animal’s handler encourages it.

Police announced they would begin an immediate investigation into the video when it first emerged in March..

The Assistant Commissioner of Fiji Police, Rusiate Tudravu, has toldPacific Beat the internal investigation into the bashing of two prisoners is making progress but the allegations still need to be assessed by the criminal investigation department.

“You cannot speed up the investigation – because when we take this up to a further level, we need to verify it correct.”

“These are all individual clips… we have to get other independent witness into it, we cannot rely only on video clips.

“We would like to be transparent in all the things that we do… if anyone is found guilty or proven that there’s evidence against him then we’ll follow the normal channel that is in place with us.”

Former Victoria Police detective Charlie Bezzina, who has 38 years experience in force, says sometimes internal police investigations into allegations of brutality take a long time.

He believes Fiji Police is probably taking its time to ensure it does a thorough job.

“Ultimately, if they work under the premise that we do over here, you have really got to get your powder dry in relation to what you’re going to be starting alleging – especially against your own people,” he said.

“It’s never easy [to investigate your own people]…but who are the best people to investigate it? You can look at private investigators…but then they don’t have the powers to do the investigation as a sworn police officer can.

“So there are pros and cons in relation to investigating your own.”RADIO AUSTRALIA

26) Workshop looking at how to overcome sorcery-related violence in PNG

Posted at 04:55 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

Academics, politicians and civil society representatives are coming together this week in Goroka in Papua New Guinea to develop a national response to sorcery related violence.

It follows the international outcry earlier this year after the murders of several women in both the PNG Highlands and Bougainville, with the perpetrators justifying their actions by claiming the victims were sorcerers.

Our reporter Annell Husband is in Goroka for the workshop and I asked her what the delegates will focus on.

ANNELL HUSBAND: The cultural and legal issues that are involved in stamping out the violence that has become increasingly associated with sorcery. This workshop has been hosted by the university, but there are a number of different groups attending and also members of the government, including the prime minister.

DON WISEMAN: If their brief is overcoming the violence, do we know…?

AH: I’m not sure that their brief is actually overcoming the violence. That’s obviously too much of an ask for this particular meeting. I think what they’re planning to do is draw up some sort of action plan, which I guess, then, will go to the government with suggestions on how the government might tackle this slightly differently. I don’t think it’s just a matter of repealing the sorcery legislation. That’s not going to be the answer to the problem.

DW: It’s got to come back to changing attitudes, doesn’t it?

AH: Yes. And as I understand it, sorcery is an entrenched part of many of the cultures that are in Papua New Guinea. And to greater or lesser degrees it is practiced and believed in. As I understand it, people across the spectrum – in the cultures where sorcery is believed in and practiced – people across the spectrum believe in it, it’s not just a thing about people who live in rural areas. People who live in Port Moresby have a firm belief… It’s a force. It’s a real force. And as I understand it, in the past people would practice sorcery. People would be accused of practicing sorcery, and those people would be got rid of. They’d be killed by being pushed over a cliff or drowned. But what seems to be the case now is it’s becoming increasingly associated with a prolonged death and torture. And it does appear that more and more women are being attacked under the guise of sorcery accusations. And it has been suggested that this is related to increasing abuses – alcohol and substances – and increasing disenchantment, particularly among young men who have may have had an education, then there’s nothing for them but to return to their villages. And they’ve got no real employment prospects. They don’t fit back into their culture of just tending to the food gardens. In that environment there’s a much greater propensity for turning to alcohol and substance abuse and it has been suggested that that’s playing a part.

Radio New Zealand International

27) Desperation prompts Vanuatu women to carry knives in self-defence

Posted at 06:50 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

A women’s advocate in Vanuatu says women are resorting to carrying kitchen knives as a way of protecting themselves outside their homes.

Police have been investigating the death of a man in Port Vila on Thursday night following an alleged stabbing by a woman.

Jenny Ligo of the organisation Women Against Crime and Corruption says she did a small informal survey after the death and found many women carry small knives in self defence.

Ms Ligo says it shows women are desperate.

“I don’t want to encourage it but I will not say that I will stop the women because if I stop them not to carry knives what is the other alternative?”

Jenny Ligo says there are many programmes to stem violence against women in Vanuatu but it is time now for the chiefs, churches and youth to step up and really tackle it.

Radio New Zealand International

28) PNG gets moving on scourge of corruption

By Online Editor
1:02 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has overturned a three-year injunction preventing the publication of an 812-page commission of inquiry into false compensation scams that cost the country more than $300 million.
 
The findings have previously been published only in The Australian, which responded to the injunction by refraining from distributing to PNG copies of the newspaper that contained the articles, and from posting them on its website.
 
This move, following other recent events, points to a possible turning of the tide against one of PNG’s most pervasive problems, with the country ranked 150th by Transparency International out of 176 countries on its corruption index last year.
 
The COI, conducted by PNG judge Cathy Davani, New Zealand judge Maurice Sheehan, and PNG business leader Don Manoa, found that a nexus of prominent officials, lawyers and others, stole $300m by inventing claims for compensation from the government, which highly placed members of the conspiracy then paid out.
 
The report recommends the criminal prosecution of 57 prominent people, many still in top positions. It had been injuncted immediately after then prime minister Michael Somare tabled it in parliament.
 
The report finds the Finance Department “ignored specific directions of the government, disposing of funds budgeted by parliament as if the state was not there”.
 
Jenny Hayward-Jones, director of the Melanesia Program at the Lowy Institute, told The Australian when the report was concluded three years ago that it raised the question of “what Australians from Treasury, Finance, Solicitor General’s and other offices have been doing in PNG”.
 
The injunction was obtained in 2010 by the former Solicitor General Zachary Gelu and lawyer Paul Paraka, who are both named throughout the document.
 
Paraka, the sole partner and owner of PNG’s largest law firm, with 22 branches around the country, has separately been charged, early last month, with conspiring to defraud the state of $28.8m.
 
He faces five counts of conspiracy to defraud, nine of stealing by false pretence, two of money-laundering and two of misappropriation, and is out on $20,300 bail.
 
The same body that pursued charges against Paraka – Task Force Sweep, established by the government to tackle administrative corruption – also successfully recently prosecuted PNG’s former planning minister.
 
Paul Tiensten was convicted of misappropriation over a $4m grant made when he was a minister to controversial businessman Eremas Wartoto, to help him start an airline that never got off the ground.
 
Judge Gibbs Salika said that Tiensten, now out on bail until he is sentenced early next year, had used his “political muscle” to force the grant through.
 
And legislation to establish an independent commission against corruption is now before the parliament.
 
“We are ready to go” with it, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told The Australian last week.
 
“It is under review as a result of public requests for more debate,” he said, but expected it to be finalised by February.
 
“A lot has been said about corruption in this country,” O’Neill said.
 
“But no government has made a more determined effort to tackle it than we have.”.

SOURCE: THE AUSTRALIAN/PACNEWS

29) Canadian Police Probe On Bougainville Completed
RCMP investigating violations of Canadian law by mining companies

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 2, 2013) – The four-man investigation team sent to Buka by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police left Bougainville over the weekend.

They were in Buka to investigate possible breaches of a Canadian law by Canadian companies who have been operating in Bougainville.

Acting Bougainville President Albert Punghau said the investigation concerns the “activities of two Canadian companies in Bougainville – Invincible Resources Inc. and Morumbi Resources Inc”.

Acting Chief Administrator Chris Siriosi, said all officers in the administration have been directed to cooperate with the probe team.

“Bougainville’s mineral resources are one of its main sources of wealth. It is very wrong for foreigners to access that wealth unfairly by corrupt practices,” he said.

PNG Post-Courier: http://www.postcourier.com.pg/

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT:

30) Conservation group calls for Pacific leaders to combat overfishing

Posted at 06:50 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

A United States based conservation group is calling on participants at a Pacific fisheries meeting to urgently address overfishing in the region.

All 17 Pacific island members of the Pew Charitable Trust which are represented at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Cairns, Australia, are backing a measure to reduce tuna catches.

The Director of global tuna conservation for Pew, Amanda Nickson, says the commission has been receiving scientific advice over the past ten years showing overfishing is occuring in the region.

“Pacific bluefin is now at only 3.6 percent of its unfished levels and there needs to be urgent action taken to ensure that a management plan is put in place that will help that species rebuild. Second is bigeye tuna which has been subject to overfishing for the past ten years, needs a measure put in place to end that overfishing by 2018.”

Amanda Nickson says the Pew Charitable Trust is also calling for the preservation of silky sharks and an agreement on tracking devices to be attached to fishing vessels.

Radio New Zealand International

31) Reduced crops will cause main climate change damage to PNG

Posted at 06:50 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

The Asian Development Bank says reduced food crops in Papua New Guinea will be the main cause of PNG’s economic damage due to climate change.

A new report by the bank assessed the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, tourism, coral reefs and human health in the region.

A senior economist with the ADB, Christoper Edmonds, says PNG is looking at a loss of as much as 15.2 percent of its GDP by 2100.

He says the agriculture sector will be severly affected, which is of huge concern for the poor.

“In PNG, one of the most affected crops would be their sweet potato, which is the staple there. We are expecting significant production declines in that staple crop. It puts people’s nutrition and livelihood in danger. We go into very detailed modelling for different crops, and look at different ways of adjusting production patterns to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

Christoper Edmonds says with agricultural technology, new varieties of drought-resistant crops can be developed.
Radio New Zealand International

32) Kiribati Fights Back Against the Rising Sea   

Kiribati, Tuvalu and Marshall Islands battle climate change
As the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw enters its second week, Kiribati and other low lying islands of the Pacific battling rising sea levels have once again been largely ignored. “Kiribati has an incredibly rich and vibrant culture that needs to be preserved,” says Jill Finnane, co-convenor of the Edmund Rice Centre (ERC)’s Pacific Calling Partnership who has just returned from a visit to the Islands. While encouraged by the efforts being made by the Kiribati population to mitigate the encroaching sea, she admits she is disappointed with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision not to send a Minister of his newly elected Government to represent Australia at the annual Conference.
Read more at: https://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2013/20131118_1409.shtml

33) A disappearing state,                                                                                                                                           statement by Kiribati Environment MInister

Kiribati made an impassioned plea at the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw, calling for urgent action against climate change now – “time is running out for us. Climate change poses the most urgent security challenge for Kiribati. Now. We are in the front line of all this.”
Read more at: http://www.sprep.org/climate-change/a-disapearing-state-kiribati

34) Pacific Women in Climate Change – Meet Ms. Olai Uludong who hails from Palau, 

You can take an island girl out of the islands but you cant take the islands out of this island girl!” – 
Ms Uludong serves as the Chief Negotiator of the Alliance of Small Island States, on behalf of Nauru as AOSIS Chair… This has been a huge adjustment for Olai who used to represent one country at the conferences of the parties for UN multi-lateral environment agreements, her own. Now she negotiates on behalf of AOSIS and has filled this role for a year.
”It’s very difficult, challenging and it takes a lot of my time, I now represent over 40 nations when I negotiate on their behalf!” …”It’s tough here as you deal with so many different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. There are cultures that respond to women in a certain way and I have had to learn that, as a Chief Negotiator I am mindful of how important respect is and I’ve had to make changes in my approach so all of this is taken into account. It has been a real learning experience for me as a Pacific woman.”
Read more at:http://www.sprep.org/climate-change/pacific-women-in-climate-change-meet-ms-olai-uludong

SPORTS:

35) Historic win for Fiji 7S

By Online Editor
3:45 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, United Arab Emirates

It was a night of histories at the Dubai 7s tournament early yesterday morning in the United Arab Emirates.
 
Firstly, the Digicel Fiji 7s team recorded a historic 44-0 score against New Zealand to become the first side to hand the All Blacks 7s side their heaviest defeat to date in the HSBC Sevens World Series. The previous biggest margin of defeat for the Gordon Tietjens-coached side was when they were given a 43-14 thumping at the hands of Fiji in the Cup quarter-finals at the George 7s in 2005.
 
The second historic moment was when Fiji won its first ever Dubai 7s title on the Series with a 29-17 victory over South Africa in the Cup final yesterday.
 
The third was Ben Ryan becoming the first coach to win a tournament with two different nations.
 
He coached England to back to back victories in 2010 and 2011 and this time around, his magic rubbed off onto the Fijian side.
 
Fiji started the cup final on a high note with a brace of tries to Benito Masilevu. Both tries were converted by Emosi Mulevoro.
 
Speed merchant Samisoni Viriviri extended the lead with an unconverted try as Fiji led 19-0 at half-time.
 
South Africa’s Sampie Mastriet scored early in the second half as South Africa attempted a comeback but a try from Mulevoro stretched Fiji’s lead to 24-5.
 
Chris Dry scored a converted try for South Africa but Leo Naikasau’s unconverted try pushed Fiji’s lead to 29-12.
 
South Africa scored a consolation try late in the match via Cheslin Kolbe.
 
But the talking point of the tournament and of the country would be the 44-0 hiding Fiji gave to New Zealand in the semi-finals.
 
Swarming defence from Fiji prevented New Zealand from advancing and the determined Fijian side starved New Zealand of possession.
 
Yamacia star Donasio Ratubuli started the onslaught after which Masilevu, the other Yamacia star Semi Kunatani, captain Osea Kolinisau, veteran Pio Tuwai, Mulevoro, Waisea Nacuqu and Samu Saqiwa scored tries respectively.
 
Coach Ben Ryan said his players learnt quickly and did things right on the field.
 
”This group of 12 players that have been with me for the last two days have just been outstanding in everything they have done, and they are learning really quickly,” he was quoted as saying on gulfnews.com.
 
”That semi-final was flawless sevens against the best side in the world and we gave them their heaviest defeat ever. I was speechless.
 
”I’ve always had a plan of how we can perhaps play well against New Zealand, but we don’t always execute it.
 
”But we played the way we had in our heads and that took us onto the final. It wasn’t a picture postcard of a final but we were always in control and we scored some nice tries.”
 
Meanwhile, Kunatani was named in the Dubai 7s dream team while Viriviri, who was the top try scorer of the tournament with 7 tries, was named the player of the tournament.
 
Viriviri and Masilevu now share the lead on the season’s top try scorer leaderboard with 11 tries each.
 
Fiji now trails New Zealand by only four points going into the third tournament on the series. New Zealand has 39 points, Fiji has 35, South Africa is third on 34 and England is fourth with 32.
 
Fiji has been pooled with Scotland, Australia and France for the Port Elisabeth 7s tournament which will be played in South Africa this weekend.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

36) IRB confirms pools for South Africa Sevens

By Online Editor
3:39 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, South Africa

The IRB has confirmed the pool draw for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, the third round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Port Elizabeth on 7-8 December.
 
The draw was conducted just before the Cup final of the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens, won by Fiji
 
After their blistering Cup win at the second round of the Series in Dubai, Fiji are top seeds in Port Elizabeth and head Pool A, while runners-up South Africa, third-placed New Zealand and the fourth semi-finalist England head the remaining pools.
 
After their win in Dubai Fiji head Pool A and face matches against Scotland, Australia and France on day one in South Africa.
 
The Dubai runners-up, Port Elizabeth hosts South Africa, will once again take on fellow Africans Kenya and their former coach Paul Treu, as well as Canada and Spain in Pool B.
 
The South African event defending champions New Zealand head Pool C and start with matches against Wales, Portugal and USA.
 
England head up Pool D and face Argentina, Samoa and the only non-core side in the draw, African regional qualifiers, Zimbabwe.
 
After the first two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia and Dubai, defending champions New Zealand lead with 39 Series points from second-placed Fiji (35), South Africa (34) and England (32).

SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

37) Kangaroos crowned World Cup champions after handing Kiwis a masterclass

By Online Editor
3:36 pm GMT+12, 02/12/2013, United Kingdom

Australia regained its place at the head of rugby league’s top table with a 34-2 thrashing of defending champions New Zealand in the World Cup final in Manchester.
 
The Kangaroos scored five tries in a sublime performance of hard-nosed defence mixed with a superior kicking game and a sharp eye for an attacking opportunity in outplaying a sluggish Kiwi side which failed to fire.
 
The Kangaroos, guided magnificently around Old Trafford by outstanding playmaker Johnathan Thurston, thrived on their quick play-the-balls and a defensive line that never ceded a linebreak to a Kiwi side much lauded for its attacking edge led by the off-loading Sonny Bill Williams.
 
Remarkably, it was the fifth successive game since their opening 28-20 pool victory over England that the Kangaroos had not conceded a try, one match off the record held by the 1981-2 ‘Invincibles’ side.
 
”It’s a dream come true. It’s been a long six weeks and to win a World Cup with your best mates, it doesn’t get any better,” man-of-the-match Thurston said.
 
”We’ve been building towards it, to be here on the last weekend, improve each week, and our defence was rock solid.
 
”That’s what we’ve built our game on and that’s what you saw today.”
 
Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney admitted that Australia had been “ruthless”.
 
”Australia’s performance was outstanding,” he told BBC.
 
”For us to have a chance today we needed a lot of things to go our way and they didn’t.
 
”We are disappointed with today but we are a young side and there is some talent coming through so we need to learn from this experience.”
 
Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens told Grandstand that he was proud of the way his team had regrouped after the game against England.
 
”We knew we were in for a really tough battle in this tournament (after that game),” he said.
 
”We really focused on D (defence) … I gave up a lot of opportunities to practice offence to give more time on defence.
 
”The Fiji first game in St Helens, (was) probably the toughest conditions an Australian team has played in for some time, and they hung together in that game.
 
”From there we really set the tone.”
 
Sheens said the Australian kicking game had been a key to Cup success.
 
”We have, I believe, the best kicking game with the two halves and Cameron (Smith),” he said.
 
”We’ve got excellent people with great touch.”
 
New Zealand assistant coach Ivan Cleary could only marvel at Australia’s control of the match, dubbing the Kangaroos’ performance as “amazing”.
 
”Probably I was most impressed with the way they finished their sets in the first half,” he told Grandstand.
 
”They constantly built pressure and they scored a couple of times.
 
”It was like they were holding us under water and we couldn’t come up for air. Then scoring the first set of the second half was just about the killer blow.”
 
Cleary said it was not all doom and gloom for the Kiwis despite the result.
 
”This Australian team contains a lot of Queenslanders, everyone knows the run they’ve been on,” he said.
 
”We’ve got some guys in there that are once in a generation players …. having said that, they don’t last forever.
 
”It’s not all doom and gloom, I think the Kiwi side is definitely making strides.”
 
Australia had the first real attacking chance, one-time Fijian Jarryd Hayne knocking on a Cooper Cronk cross-field kick after prop Jesse Bromwich had spilled the ball early on the first Kiwi set, in a sign of what was to come.
 
Thurston opened the scoring with a penalty after Kieran Foran nudged Bill Slater off chasing a bomb.

SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

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