Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 903

MELANESIA:

1) Palamen i sidaon long Namba 2 Odineri Sesen

Olgeta –

Palamen i statem Namba 2 Odineri Sesen blong hem tede.
Long moning ia, Presiden i bin mekem ofisel opening blong Namba 2 Odineri Sesen mo mekem wan toktok i kam long Palamen, afta Praem Minista mo Lida blong Oposisen i givim ansa long toktok blong hem.
Stat long Wenisde (namba 4 Disemba) long 2 klok long aftenun bae Minista blong Faenans i givim “Budget Speech” blong hem we bae i talemaot faenansel situesen blong kantri mo givim tingting blong Gavman long badjet situesen blong Gavman, afta bae Gavman i tebolem 2014 badjet (“Bill for the Appropriation (2014) Act”) blong Palamen i dibetem mo pasem.

Ol bill blong jenisim loa blong graon bae oli jas kam long nekis wik.

Palamen bae i laev long Radio Vanuatu olsem oltaem, mo naoia bae i laev long Television Blong Vanuatu tu.
Blong yufala we i stap ovasi, Palamen i stap “stream” laev tu long <http://www.parliament.gov.vu/>

Ta, MP Ralph Regenvanu.
www.graonmojastis.org


2) Ambassador in Brussels cleared, says Caulton

Posted on December 2, 2013

By
Godwin Ligo

Three weeks ago, the Vanuatu ambassador to Brussels, Roy Micky Joy, lodged complaints with the Vanuatu Police regarding rumors of the embassy’s involvement in the diplomatic passports scandal and other foreign affairs-related issues.

This week, Police Commissioner Arthur Caulton confirmed to the Daily Post that the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) had received letters of complaint that called for an investigation into the rumors to clear Roy’s name and the reputation of the Vanuatu embassy in Brussels.

“Investigations were carried out and I can confirm that there was no substance to the rumors. We have dismissed the issue and closed the case on the rumors,” Coulton told the Daily Post.

Ambassador Joy Micky Roy has been hailed as the most active Vanuatu diplomat since independence and has gained the confidence of the EU countries as well as Africa and the Caribbean. He has achieved high-level goals for Vanuatu through his diplomatic initiatives since taking up the post in Brussels and during his current term of office.

“Ambassador Roy Micky Joy is cleared of the baseless allegations that emerged through foreigners abroad, as well as locals here in Vanuatu, and he is being informed of the outcome of the Vanuatu Police’s investigations and the closure of the case,” Police Commissioner Coulton told the Daily Post.

Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy has put Vanuatu on the diplomatic world map and initiated numerous international conventions that have been hosted by Vanuatu, including the probable staging of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which Vanuatu has bid for and is currently seen as the most likely bidder to win.http://www.dailypost.vu/

3) Vanuatu political parties regroup, end divisions

Posted at 23:01 on 02 December, 2013 UTC

Vanuatu’s first political party, the Vanuaaku Pati, is re-uniting with its breakaway factions.

It has already reconciled with the National United Party, which was born out of a power struggle within the party, involving the first prime minister, Father Walter Lini, more than 20 years ago.

It has also made peace with the People’s Progressive Party, headed by a former prime minister, Sato Kilman.

Our correspondent says the Vanuaaku Pati is next targeting the breakaway party of another former prime minister, Barak Sope of the Melanesian Progressive Party.

All the political leaders have reportedly agreed to work together towards the 2016 general elections and possibly develop a new party name.

The prime minister, Moana Carcasses, who heads the Greens, has remained silent about the new political developments.

Radio New Zealand International

4) Democracy critical for society

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

DEMOCRACY is not restricted to national parliament but should also be at work throughout every aspect of society, says acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking at the close of the Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry business forum on Saturday, the A-G said democracy had been an issue in certain segments of society.

“One of the issues I have been trying to grapple with this week has been, for example, chambers of commerce,” he said.

“We have a number of towns in Fiji where there have been absolutely no collaboration between the special administrator and the chamber of commerce. It is critical for that to happen.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said prolonged occupation at the helm of organisations such as chambers of commerce proved detrimental to progress.

“We have chambers of commerce where people have been presidents or chairman and they hold on to it, they don’t want to let go. It becomes their own little fiefdom to have their own names in the papers and get publicity. That is not the purpose of the chamber of commerce.”

He said a constant influx of new ideas could be brought about through new people taking charge of organisations such as the chamber of commerce.

“We have organisations in Fiji where people have been presidents for 25 years. That, obviously, does not augur well for any type of organisation whether it’s a chamber of commerce, whether it’s a sporting organisation or even a student organisation.

“We must always have new ideas, new ways of looking at things, making paradigm shifts, thinking outside the box.

“It’s only then that any organisation becomes vibrant and dynamic — so I think in the new Fiji, when we are talking about modernisation and making changes, we need to be, as a society, able to make changes at these lower levels.”http://www.fijitimes.com/

NEW ZEALAND:

5) Census data revealed: NZ’s population hits 4.24m

By Online Editor
4:01 pm GMT+12, 03/12/2013, New Zealand

New Zealand’s population is now 4.24 million and is getting older and more ethnically diverse, this year’s census has shown.

Statistics New Zealand this morning released key census information on the country’s population, its mix of ages and sexes, and where people choose to live.

The census, held on March 5 this year, required everyone in the country to provide key information about their households, jobs and income.

The overall population was 4,242,048 people – up 214,101 on the last census in 2006 – but there were fewer children under 15 years.

Meanwhile, the number of people aged 50-69 years showed a large increase.

“The New Zealand population is aging, with the latest census results showing the median age of the population is 38 years, just over two years older than at the last census seven years ago,”’ Government statistician Liz MacPherson said.

“As well as being older, the New Zealand population is also now more diverse, with an increasing Asian population, in particular.”’

Almost one out of eight people living in New Zealand were Asian, up from about one in 11 in 2006.

Nearly two-thirds of Asian people, or 307,233, live in the Auckland region, where over one in five people are of Asian ethnicity.

This year’s census was the first since 2006, after the Christchurch earthquakes disrupted plans to hold a census in 2011.

More than 5.6 million individual and dwelling forms were collected, with about 2 million of those completed online.

Today’s release of key information would be followed by regular, detailed releases over the next 18 months.

The census results also show that Hindi is now the fourth most common language in New Zealand, after English, Maori, and Samoan.

The country’s total number of dwellings, both occupied and unoccupied, increased by just over 118,000 since 2006, to top 1.7 million.

Nearly 30 per cent of this increase was in the Auckland region.

While there were more dwellings, a lower proportion of households owned their homes.

“The rate of home ownership fell to just under 65 per cent at the 2013 census, compared with almost 67 per cent at the 2006 census,”’ MacPherson said.

The number of unoccupied dwellings increased sharply since 2006, up more than 26,000 or 16.4 per cent.

“Almost 40 percent of this increase was in Canterbury, probably because of people leaving their dwellings after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes,” MacPherson said.

The rate of home ownership in Canterbury was 68.3 percent – down from 70.4 percent at the last census. But the quake-hit region also had the second-biggest growth in median income in the country.

The census also showed people who had left Canterbury had mainly moved to the Auckland and Otago regions, MacPherson said.

“Those who moved to Canterbury also mainly came from Auckland and Otago, and a large number came from overseas.”’

The region had the fourth-highest percentage of overseas-born residents of all the regions, with 19.6 per cent, up 1.7 percentage points.

Of those, 27 per cent were Asian, giving the region the third-equal highest percentage of Asian people, on 6.9 per cent.

Census data released today also gave a snapshot of the country’s Maori population, which was growing and youthful, although getting older.

One in seven people, or 598,605 in total, was Maori – up 33,276 or 5.9 or per cent on 2006. By comparison, the total New Zealand population grew 5.3 per cent.

“Maori are a youthful population, but as a group are growing slightly older. The median age of Maori in the 2013 census was 24 years – about one year older than at the last census,”’ MacPherson said.

The number of Maori aged under 15 continued to grow, but as a proportion of the total Maori population, decreased slightly since 2006.

The largest increase in the Maori population since 2006 was in the working-age group of 15-64 years, particularly those aged 30-64, followed by those aged 65 and over.

The census also showed more Maori were achieving formal qualifications at university.

More than 36,000 stated a bachelor’s degree or higher as their highest qualification – a more than 50 percent increase since 2006.

Just over one in five Maori can now hold a conversation about a lot of everyday things in te reo Maori, a decrease of 4.8 per cent from 2006.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

HEALTH:

6) Pentecost calls on Vanuatu government to improve health care

Posted at 04:53 on 03 December, 2013 UTC

Chiefs and people from central Pentecost in Vanuatu are appealing to the government to improve services to the island.

They have made the appeal following last week’s death of a baby whose mother arrived at the Melsisi health centre in central Pentecost to deliver twin boys.

Chief John Tabi says the baby died because there is no qualified midwife at the centre.

He says nursing staff managed to save the second baby.

Chief Tabe says the government needs to employ a midwife and a doctor.

He says the government has already deemed that the health centre is a hospital following renovation work undertaken by French soldiers, but a doctor is yet to be posted there.

Radio New Zealand International

EDUCATION:

7) Institute to train for global career

Source:
The National, Monday December 2nd, 2013

By MIRIAM MALAWA
THERE is an ever increasing need for the Legal Training Institute (LTI) to keep up with the latest development of practical legal education and training, Pauline Mogish says.
Mogish, who is LTI director, said during the 8th graduation in Port Moresby: “We need to train our lawyers for our own local profession, as well as the global profession.”
She said there was a need to realise domestic issues and global issues that usually general but becomes specific when hinges on domestic principles and affects human rights.
“Domestic issue would usually be centered on corruption, domestic violence, professional misconduct and breach of ethics which are very important whilst global issues are protection of the rule of law and protection of human rights in a changing world,” she said.
She said there were already talks of Australia and New Zealand training lawyers for the global profession.
She said lawyers should be exported to the global market and to do that there had to be proper training which LTI was prepared to provide.
She thanked the AusAID and the Law and Justice Sector for sponsoring the pilot project of Curriculum review that has seen LTI courses re-arranged to seven modules with proper formatting of course manuals and practice papers.
“My vision is for this institute is that one day our law graduates and subsequently lawyers be able to get admitted easily to the bar in Australia, New Zealand, other Pacific countries and even the world because by then they should have passed the competency standards required by the other countries.”

MEDIA:

8) Report raises concerns for safety of female media workers

Updated 3 December 2013, 1:28 AEST
Sarah Malik

More than two-thirds of female media workers have experienced abuse and harassment at work, according to new research.

The survey conducted by the International News Safety Institute (INSI) and International Women’s Media Foundation found half of female media workers polled experienced sexual harassment at work or in the field.

INSI director Hannah Storm says the research was fuelled partly by the attack on American journalist Lara Logan in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the 2011 Arab Spring.

The attack sparked a debate on the safety of female foreign correspondents and protesters in the Egyptian capital.

Audio: Asia Pacific’s Sarah Malik speaks to INSI director Hannah Storm on a new report investigating harassment and violence against female media workers. (ABC News)

“Almost two thirds of women journalists have experienced abuse and harassment and that’s quite a staggering figure when you think about it ,” Ms Storm told Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific.

“In some ways I’m incredibly surprised. In some ways it’s just a sad confirmation of what we’ve known for a long time.”

Almost two thirds of women journalists have experienced abuse and harassment and that’s quite a staggering figure when you think about it.

International News Safety Institute director Hannah Storm

The harassment included verbal or physical intimidation, threats or abuse.

Almost 46 per cent of respondents had experienced sexual harassment at work, with 13 per cent admitting experiencing sexual violence.

The research found almost 60 per cent of sexual harassment happened in the office with 49 per cent occurring in the field.

Ms Storm said the nature of the harassment made female reporters, photojournalists and other media workers reluctant to report violence.

“One of the other reasons women don’t report it is, where it doesn’t happen in the office, one of the other main sets of perpetrators were government officials, authorities, police,” she said.

“So you’re going to have almost entire impunity if it were reported because the very people you report it to are committing this crime.”

The research found that over half of women who had experienced intimidation, threats or abuse suffered a negative psychological impact.

“First of all you’re treated to some horrible experience. You face something which nobody should have to face,” Ms Storm said.

“Then you face a situation where the very people you are supposed to rely on, those people you are supposed to trust are the perpetrators.”

Ms Storm said high-profile cases including Lara Logan and an Indian photojournalist gang-raped in Mumbai earlier this year has brought awareness to the issue.

“In my mind if you make it more public and put it more out there…the more people are going to come forward…but equally there is more of an ability to do something about it,” she said.

Ms Storm said the research will spur lobbying for greater safety training, policy changes, counselling and mentoring to support female journalists.

“It’s about providing an enabling and encouraging atmosphere where they can articulate their desires to be more safe, to articulate their desire to be treated equally,” she said.

“They don’t feel like they’re banging a doorway where nobody is in the room.”

The survey conducted between July and November this year polled 958 media workers across the globe.Radio Australia

BUSINESS/TRADE:

9) Tools fight money laundering

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

LAWS in Fiji have been strengthened to keep up with emerging trends for money laundering.

And this includes the use of tools such as civil and conviction-based penalty applications in the courts.

During the fourth National Anti-Money Laundering conference at the Holiday Inn in Suva, Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde urged those in the private and public sectors, and financial institutions to be more vigilant in reporting suspicious transactions and detecting money laundering activities.

Mr Pryde said money laundering fuelled corruption and organised crime and early detection was vital to combat such activities.

“It is not only the lawyers and the accountants that need to be vigilant but also the public who are used by money launders and duped into assisting the concealing of illicit or stolen proceeds,” Mr Pryde said.

He said Fiji had one of the most sophisticated anti-money laundering legal frameworks in the Pacific and government had further amended the Proceeds of Crimes Act to allow for the forfeiture of unexplained wealth.

Since 2006, there had been a total of 4054 suspicious transactions reported by various financial institutions in Fiji.

Mr Pryde said financial agencies needed to work together for the early detection of money laundering in order for authorities to quickly restrain the money and have it forfeited to the State.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the central bank implemented the Financial Transactions Reporting (FTR) Act and the FTR Regulations in order to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, fraudulent activities and other financial crimes in Fiji.
http://www.fijitimes.com/

10) Time to tackle illegal businesses

Source:
The National, Monday December 2nd, 2013

TAXPAYERS in Papua New Guinea are seemingly footing the bill for illegal businesses and tax cheats.
The revelation by the Tax­ation Review Committee that PNG has become a paradise for illegal businesses to operate without paying taxes is a big slap in the face for companies and employees who work hard to contribute to the government coffers.
Committee member Sir John Luke Critin, who described the illegal business operations as a “huge black economy”, claimed that it involved money laundering.
This shocking revelation will no doubt dampen the Christmas cheer among many companies that have slogged all year to keep their businesses afloat and pay their taxes to the State.
By the same token, thousands of workers will feel cheated by a government system that forces them to pay taxes but does nothing to prevent unscrupulous people from evading taxes.
It is not fair that genuine employers and employees in the public and private sectors have to earn their keep and pay their dues while tax cheats continue to thrive.
According to Sir John, these businesses evade taxes simply because they are not registered. “They’re not in our books and they bypass the system.”
So who is responsible for the failure to detect unregistered or illegal businesses? Is it the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) or the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC)?
The Investment Promotion Authority, through the Companies Office, is responsible for the administration of Papua New Guinea’s key business laws such as the Companies Act, Business Names Act, Business Groups Incorporation Act and the Associations Incorporation Act.
There are other laws and regulations which will affect investors. These include laws on areas such foreign exchange, taxation and customs, licenses and permits for activities such as mining and petroleum exploration, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and industrial activities.
Provincial governments and urban authorities issue various licenses. It is the res­ponsibility of investors to ensure they comply with the respective laws as well as the Investment Promotion Act 1992.
The Companies Office maintains a national registry of all companies, associations, business groups and business names in PNG.
Failure to comply with the legislations administered by the Companies Office may result in administrative penalties or prosecutions that may follow jail sentences or fines or both against company officials and the company. The latter can only be fined. The company can be de-registered. The nature of penalty, whether administrative or others, and deregistration of a company depends on the severity of the offences.
The IPA can only deal with legal businesses that fail to comply with key business laws such as the Companies Act.
On the other hand, the IRC is responsible for collecting revenue for the State.
The IRC imposes taxes on legal businesses that are registered by the IPA and can only deal with infringements of the taxation laws by these companies.
The issue of tax evasion by illegal businesses or unregistered companies is the grey area that needs to be investigated and dealt with by relevant government authorities, including the IPA and IRC.
As Sir John said, “We’re losing billions every year. It’s not what hasn’t been collected, it’s what has escaped.” It’s encouraging to note that the Taxation Review Committee will make recommendations to the Government to identify those illegal businesses not paying taxes and generate extra revenue from that. The committee, headed by Sir Nagora Bogen, plans to modernise the PNG taxation system by streamlining and rationalising the current tax and revenue administration. They intend to embrace the use of information technology to speed up the process and assist in the assessment of taxes.
All of these sound swell but taxpayers throughout the country will hope that the committee sticks to Sir John’s assurance that it will not raise taxes but find ways to decrease or eliminate taxes for people earning K1,000 or less per fortnight.
Indeed, that would be a blessing for many genuine workers and their families.
As it is, ordinary wage earners are heavily burdened by all sorts of taxes and the current review will be a pointless exercise if it were to take more out of their pockets.

11) Pacific finds innovative ways to strengthen position in China outbound market

By Online Editor
09:11 am GMT+12, 03/12/2013, Fiji

In an effort to increase the number of Chinese visitors into the region, South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation; Samoa Tourism Authority; Vanuatu Tourism Office; and Rosie Holidays, welcomed the first official trade familiarization delegation eight Chinese managers and representatives from key tour operators in China that visited Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa last week.

The programme enabled these influential figures to familiarize and experience each destinations’ main selling points; what they have to offer the Chinese traveler in terms of product and services; and air accessibility to these island destinations. It also allowed for the deliberation of potential tour packages with local inbound operators and accommodation providers.

SPTO CEO Ilisoni Vuidreketi said SPTO recognizes that China is the fastest growing international tourism source market and that Chinese travelers are the largest spenders in international tourism globally.

“The recognition by Leaders at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in July, that the Asian region presents abundant opportunities for South Pacific tourism, has called for aggressive marketing and increased collaborative efforts,” he said.

He further adds, “China is becoming the number one tourism source market in the world with 83 million international outbound Chinese travelers recorded in 2012 spending US$102 billion on international tourism.”

The familiarization programme received a lot of positive feedbacks including supportive roles by host Governments.

Dina Nicholas, Team Leader of International Finance Corporation’s Pacific Regional Tourism Program said the participants were grateful for the opportunity to meet and dine with Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu, Cheng Shuping and discuss market priorities and likelihood of increasing arrivals.

“The dinner, hosted by the Vanuatu Government evidenced the government support for the program and all were thankful for the opportunity to further discuss strategies to promote tourism,” she said.

Samoa Tourism Authority CEO Papalii Matatamalii Sonja Hunter said Samoa, which is an Approved Destination for Chinese, acknowledges with appreciation the assistance of the IFC as a key partner in this initiative and as well as the SPTO and private sector members which hosted the group.
She encouraged the private sector to capitalize on the leads presented and mentioned that this is part and parcel of STA’s ongoing efforts to enhance trade awareness in China

As SPTO’s partners in China, IFC and Pacific Island Trade Invest Beijing will meet with famil organizers to select Chinese tour operators for partnership in the next stages of marketing and promotion launches of tour packages for participating countries.

SPTO CEO further said, SPTO will continue to seek new and effective ways of strengthening the South Pacific’s position in China come 2014.
SOURCE: SPTO/PACNEWS

12) Fiji-PNG Trade Numbers Up 67 Percent Over 5 Years
Trade ministry says this is only a fraction of potential for Fiji

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 2, 2013) – Fiji’s trade with Papua New Guinea has increased by 67 per cent over the last five years. According to January 2013 data compiled by Investment Fiji, in 2012, Fiji’s projected trade surplus has been set at FJ$69.2 million [US$36.8 million], almost double 2011 figures of FJ$32.3 million [US$17.2 million].

This is partly due to the removal of Fiji products listed on PNG’s negative list in 2012 as per the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement and increase in investor confidence in Fiji brought about by better economic outlook.

In 2011, Fiji exported flour (worth FJ$4.3 million, [US$2.3 million]), lead acid of kind used for starting piston engines (FJ$1.0 million [US$532,198]), soap and organic products (FJ$0.9 [US$478,978]), bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers wares (FJ$0.8m) and telephone sets, including telephones for cellular networks (FJ$0.3 million [US$159,659]) to PNG.

Fiji imported parts and accessories (FJ$1.9 million [US$1 million]), telephone sets, including telephones for cellular networks (FJ$1.1 million [US$584,418]), plastics (FJ$1.0 million) and air coolers (at FJ$0.5 million [US$266,099]).

The Trade Ministry believes this is only a fraction of the potential that Fiji can garner from the relationship saying that the soon-to-be appointed trade commissioner will be able to expand Fiji’s trade with PNG.

“It’s not just the question of how much trade there is but how much trade can there be,” Attorney General and Minister of Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“PNG is nearly double the population size of NZ, and there is already a growing demand for Fijian exports. We are competing with other countries like Australia and various other countries for the PNG market.

“Fiji is well positioned in this area given we have lots of relationship with PNG in terms of business connection which we can improve on. There is potential to grow it.”

He said in the recent Fijian trade and investment mission to Papua New Guinea that was held in August, some of the local exporters returned with orders which they had not been able to tap into previously.

This he says is indicatative of further opportunities for trade and investment that Fiji can tap into in PNG.

President of Fiji PNG Business Council and BSP country manager Fiji Kevin McCarthy expressed the same sentiments.

“It is more about using this position to increase the trade. With the relaxation of negative items on the MSG Trade agreement, there is great opportunity to trade with PNG now that we get duty free access,” he said.

“This position will be able to facilitate appointments for Fiji exporters with appropriate suppliers and also look to match Fiji exporters with PNG companies.”

Trade Ministry permanent secretary Shaheen Ali says the ministry is currently working on appointing a suitable person as PNG trade commissioner.

Fijilive: http://www.fijilive.com

13) American Samoa businesses urged to buy locally

Posted at 03:24 on 03 December, 2013 UTC

American Samoa’s Agriculture Director is urging businesses to buy taro and other staples locally rather than relying on imports.

Lealao Mel Purcell says crops showcased at the recent Territorial Farm Fair indicate there is an abundance of staples in Tutuila and Manu’a and the interest in farming is growing.

He says the department wants to encourage more people to farm the land so the territory can become more self-reliant.

Lealao Mel Purcell says a focus on local goods will boost the economy too.

“The circulation of monies will stay right here instead of going elsewhere, in terms of vegetable goods, and I think we can, at this point in time, safely say that we have enough of the vegetables, taro and bananas to take care of our own market.”

Lealao Mel Purcell says he wants legislation to control the imports of taro.

Radio New Zealand International

EVENTS+

14) Miss PNG, Vanuatu complete pageantry

Source:
The National, Tuesday December 3rd, 2013

MISS Papua New Guinea (pictured) and Miss Vanuatu arrived in Honiara on Saturday to complete the pageantry for the Carpenters Miss South Pacific Beauty contest which started on Sunday night.
In an interview with the Solomon Star upon arrival, Miss Vanuatu said she was so naturally excited to be in Honiara and the thought of how the week would unfold.
Valerie Martinez hails from a family of Spanish descendents and Vanuatu heritage.
She is 24-years-old and work at the QBE Insurance Company in Port Vila as a credit controller.
Martinez treasured model in life is her father. She said he worked hard to see his children succeed.
Martinez is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in accounting at the University of the South Pacific in Port Vila.
She tutors children, plays the ukelele and does the tamure (traditional island dance).
Martinez represented Vanuatu in the Miss Asia Pacific World in South Korea in October.
She aims to show other women that being a woman is God’s gift.
Miss Papua New Guinea Christine Aiwa is originally from Chimbu and Morobe parentage.
She turns 24 this Christmas and works at South Pacific Post as a office manager.
She is currently on a break from tertiary studies to pursue interests in sales and marketing.
She also hopes to complete her degree in political science at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Aiwa’s interests include reading, travelling, photography and learning different cultures.
She said the pageant show was a platform to empower women in Pacific countries.
“It is an event set as an avenue for us, the contestants, to exchange cultural values while making friends with each another.
“I’m obviously looking forward to the contest. I’m proud and honoured to represent my country,” Aiwa said.
She believed that representing PNG in the Miss South Pacific Pageant was an honour and she was looking forward to meeting the other contestants.
The Solomons Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga launched the event.

SPORTS:

15) PNG upset Fiji

Source:
The National, Tuesday December 3rd, 2013

A GAME-deciding three-pointer in the last 45 seconds was the nail in the coffin for the Fijian women as Papua New Guinea pulled off an upset 66-59 quarter-final win in their FIBA Oceania Basketball championships yesterday.
PNG will now face the New Zealand Maori for the second time at this tournament in the semi-final today at the Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua.
An intense and physical battle raged, as rowdy supporters urged both Fiji and PNG on in the last minute.
PNG were ahead at each quarter (17-13, 34-22, 51-36, 68-59), but in the fourth period, it looked like the Fijians might have pulled the game back.
They were let down badly by their three-pointers, converting only three out of 15 attempts.
PNG coach Veitu Diro explained the win: “This team is young and aggressive, and they followed the game plan.
“We watched some of Fiji’s earlier games and they use the UCLA 1-4 offensive alignment. We set up our defence to beat it and it worked.
“It suited our style of play.”
Betty Angula (20 points/13 rebounds) and Louisa Wallace (24 points/13 rebounds) both had double doubles for the winners, while Mikaelar Whippy led Fiji with 16 points.
PNG 66 (Louisa Wallace 24, Betty Angula 20) Fiji 59 (Mikaelar Whippy 16, Dale Wise 12)
In the men, NZ Maori were too good winning their quarterfinal against PNG, 103-66.
The game was very close in the first half, with PNG only nine points behind the New Zealand team at times.
Maori coach Jeff Green thought his team could have played better.
“We played down to their level and all credit to them – they made us play to their level,” he said.
New Zealand expanded their lead in the second half, 26 points ahead of PNG at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams made less than half the field goals they attempted and just over a quarter of their three-point shots.
“One of our shooters has an injured ankle, which showed during the shooting performance today.”
Green said his team had a good last quarter, after breaking away from the PNG challenge.
The New Zealand team have had five injured players this tournament, which is affecting their play.
“Our captain has a strained thigh, so he can’t get down, which showed during this game.”
NZ Maori 103 (James Paringatai 19, Shea Ili 17) PNG 66 (Gabriel Elavo 16, Purari Muri 14)

16) Australia cement rankings top spot

By Online Editor
12:54 pm GMT+12, 03/12/2013, United Kingdom

Australia have inevitably consolidated their position at the top of the international rankings after their Rugby League World Cup victory.

New Zealand, runners-up to the Kangaroos after a 34-2 loss in the World Cup final at Old Trafford on Saturday, remain second, while England and France are still third and fourth respectively following the tournament.

Fiji are the most notable movers in the figures released by the game’s international federation, climbing above Wales and Papua New Guinea to fifth after reaching the semi-finals for a second successive World Cup.

Wales, who failed to win a match in a tournament they were co-hosting, have slipped to sixth.

Surprise quarter-finalists the United States have broken into the top 10 for the first time behind ninth-placed Ireland while Scotland, who also impressed, are 11th.

SOURCE: PRESS ASSOCIATION/PACNEWS

17) NZ Rugby showing no love to the Island nations

By Online Editor
12:50 pm GMT+12, 03/12/2013, New Zealand

Romantically, the attraction is undeniable. It’s a scenario many rugby enthusiasts would love to see.

An entire nation gripped for 80 minutes by the presence, aura and respect for, the revered men in black.

Unfortunately in the current climate, don’t expect the All Blacks to play their first match in the Pacific Islands for 29 years.

Yes, it’s been that long. And the drought won’t be broken anytime soon, either.

“No, the All Blacks have not played a test in Fiji, Samoa or Tonga and right now we can’t see how that’s going to work in the short term,” New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said, bluntly.

“It’s very hard to fit in and very hard to make it affordable.”

From 1968 to 1984, the All Blacks played nine games in Fiji. None since, though. And not once have they collectively set foot in Samoa or Tonga.

Given how much New Zealand rugby has gained and continues to benefit from the plethora of naturally gifted Pacific Island-born athletes – Jerome Kaino, Mils Muliaina, Jerry Collins, Va’aiga Tuigamala, Josevata Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu, just to name a few – the consistent refusal to contemplate playing even a one-off match there is astonishing.

“I’d love to see the All Blacks play Tonga in Nuku’alofa; Fiji in Suva and Samoa at Apia Park. It would be a massive boost for rugby globally,” Samoan stalwart Seilala Mapusua said.

“You’d have the No 1-ranked side in the world going to the Islands. It would open up everyone’s eyes to the idea of playing the Island teams at home.

“There won’t be any financial gains but in terms of growing the game, it would be huge.

“It’s one of the few places the All Blacks could go where literally the whole country would stop for 80 minutes. It might be good for some of the boys to go home.”

Scotland broke a six-year absence by quelling Fiji (37-25) and Samoa (17-16) last year, while a weakened Welsh side will tour all three Island nations in 2017, when the British & Irish Lions venture to these shores.

“We think it’s right to grow the game and show respect, so we will go to the Pacific Islands. We are prepared to take the financial loss to do these tours,” Wales boss Roger Lewis has said. “We feel you have to show respect on the field in test matches.”

Tew points out Wales are satisfying a schedule obligation.

“There won’t be any sacrifice for Wales,” he said. “They’re just fulfilling their responsibly to the schedule.”

Because of the June inbound tests and northern hemisphere tours in November, the schedules don’t ever require the All Blacks to follow their European contenders.

To be fair, the NZRU do assist the Islands. The Oceania Federation is run out of their offices in Wellington and New Zealand coaches also work on development projects.

Where the argument becomes a little cynical, though, is instead of promoting the game in Japan this year and the United States next year, the All Blacks could, just once, play in the Islands en route to Europe.

“It’s not on the way. We would have to fly to and from the Islands before going to Europe,” Tew said.

“The only defence we have is that we have made a decision that we think is in the best interests of New Zealand rugby and that’s for the All Blacks to play in Japan on the way to Europe this year to do our bit for developing the game where the World Cup is going to be staged in five years.

“We’ve got a considerable amount of credit from the IRB for doing that. As a consequence we managed to play a young side in a full test match, and we’ve done some very good commercial work for our partners who help make the game work in this country.

“I don’t make any apologies for that.

“We think we can play a game in the USA [next year]. It’s not yet confirmed. We don’t have the opposition we want in place and we don’t have a venue yet. It will tick exactly the same boxes as Japan did.”

A complication during the pre-November tour slot is Island nations may struggle to get their best players out of clubs, as it’s not an IRB-sanctioned window.

“It’s not dismissed as never going to happen,” Tew adds. “It’s just very hard to see how we will get to the Islands in the near future in the current programme.

“If it doesn’t work commercially, then I’ve got problems back home to resolve.

“While I was away I had at least six inquiries about the All Blacks playing in other countries, some of them pretty diverse. Right now everybody wants to have a crack at hosting the All Blacks in their part of the world because it is the brand to drive the profile of the game.”

And so, the Islands wait for a tectonic shift in policy.

ALL BLACKS TESTS AGAINST ISLAND NATIONS

Samoa: 5 since 1993 – last test 2008, 101-14

Tonga: 4 since 1999 – last 2011 RWC, 41-10

Fiji: 5 since 1987 – last 2011, 60-14

ALL BLACKS GAMES IN THE ISLANDS

Samoa: 0; Tonga: 0; Fiji: 9 since 1968. Last in 1984 .

SOURCE: FAIRFAX NZ/PACNEWS

18) SA and Kenya forced to change Sevens squads

By Online Editor
12:47 pm GMT+12, 03/12/2013, South Africa

Springbok Sevens head coach Neil Powell and Kenya Sevens coach Paul Treu have both been forced into changes ahead of the upcoming Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay SA Sevens, round three of the HSBC Sevens World Series in South Africa.

For the hosts Stephan Dippenaar has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and his replacement will be named on Tuesday. Dippenaar and Jamba Ulengo (foot) were ruled out of action on Saturday in Dubai, while Frankie Horne sustained a leg injury in their 26-12 semi-final victory over England.

“We have players in mind but will announce that on Tuesday morning. Stephan and Jamba flew back to Cape Town already (on Sunday) where they will both see specialists,” said Powell, who also indicated there is a possibility that Ulengo might still be able to play in PE.

“We believe Jamba has a 50/50 chance to play, but we will not take any chances. Frankie took a knock on his leg and we will see how he reacts to treatment before making any decision,” added Powell, whose side lost only one match in Dubai, the Cup final against Fiji 29-17.

Meanwhile, in the same pool former Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has also been forced to make changes.

Injury and study commitments have both had a hand in Kenya’s selection for the tournament in Port Elizabeth on 7-8 December, where they play pool games against the South Africans as well as Canada and Spain.

Philip Wamae and Michael Wanjala are unavailable due to injury, while Patrice Agunda must sit exams.

Their places in the Kenya team are taken by Davis Chenge, Billy Odhiambo and Dan Sikuta.

Kenya Sevens squad: Andrew Amonde (Captain), Collins Injera (Vice Captain), Dan Sikuta, Davis Chenge, Horace Otieno, Humphrey Mulama, Felix Ayange, Biko Adema, Eden Agero, Oscar Ayodi, Leonard Mugaisi, Billy Odhiambo.
SOURCE: IRB/PACNEWS

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