Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 947

Bonjour,

Wantoks Na Frens blo Western Pacific ( Melanesia ) Hope you and loved ones are good saraga!

Vanuatu Wantoks & Friends- Wishing you all, A Very Happy Lini Day 21/2/13.

Note: I will be on Holidays, travelling for 5 weeks, I will do VOM news update, whenever I have access to a PC.

Best Regards.

Lukim – Phil nomoa.

MELANESIA

1) Housing a major worry in PNG
By Online Editor
4:09 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Papua New Guinea

Housing remains a major issue for employers and employees in the country, a survey has found.

Findings from the 2013 BHC and Hay Group Paynet Remuneration Survey were presented to members of the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry this week by Concept Group managing director, Brendan Coombs.

Coombs said the survey found that more than 50% of the 70 organisations questioned provided a housing allowance to their employees, 28% rented or provided accommodation, 14% provided nothing and 7% (including Government) offered home ownership.

“To me, one of the most effective ways of keeping your employees engaged with you is if you’re able to help them with their housing because people will move because of housing (rather) than get another 5,000 bucks,” he said.

“The problem is that housing is very problematic. Providing home ownership schemes is fraught with getting the money in the first place.

“The other issue I find is that there’s not a history of home ownership in Papua New Guinea so if people move from a company house to their own house, they still think someone else is going to look after it for them.

“They still forget to pay the rates and all those sorts of things so it becomes an issue.

“There’s a whole psyche change that has to happen around home ownership before it can be taken up.

“But really, for the amount of money we’re spending on housing allowance for an employee or what it’s costing us to rent accommodation, it’s much better that that money goes into the employees’ pocket so they have an asset at the end of their working life.”

Coombs said government institutional housing, particularly for disciplined forces such as police and army, had so many problems.

“What we find with institutional housing, particularly with government, is that people don’t move out,” he said.

“Long after they’ve retired, they’re still taking up someone’s house because there’s been no progress made in getting them to have their own accommodation.

“So there’s no room for the people who actually work in institutional housing right across PNG. They find it very difficult to find housing.”

Housing and Urbanisation Minister Paul Isikiel said last September the Government had approved K150 million (US$58 million) for the National Housing Corporation’s public investment programme to start this year.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN

2) Chef bai kuk long helpim skul long PNG ailan

Updated 20 February 2014, 16:01 AEST
Bethany Keats

Wanpla man blong Rabaul Island long East New Britain provins long Papua New Guinea husat i laik raisim sampla moni long helpim Praimari skul long ailan blong en.

Daniel Brehaut ibin skul long kukim kaikai bihaenim wei em ol pipal blong France isave kukim kaikai, na emi gat wanpla haus kaikai we wanpla kaen liklik olsem blong Spain.

Long  mun bihaen em bai kukim kaikai bihaenim wei blong ol ailan pipal long siti blong Geelong, arasait long Melbourne siti long State blong Victoria.

Mama blong Mr Brehaut  emi blong Duke of York Islands na wanpla praimari skul long despla Island i bagarap tru, olsem na  Mr Brehaut kukim kaikai blong raisim moni long helpim despla skul.

“Mi save tingim Rabaul olsem mama-graun blong mi.”

“Mi stap hia long taem, maritim misis long Australia tasol mi save pilim olsem haus blong mi ino stap long hia, haus blong mi i stap long ol ailan long Rabaul,” em ibin tok. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

3) Lae Yut farm long PNG i bungim Australia Jastis Minista

Updated 20 February 2014, 16:58 AEST
John Papik

Lae City Misin ibin girap nogut long bungim Australia Jastis Minista Michael Keenan taim em ibin go lukluk long Lae.

Lae City Mission long Morobe Provins PNG  olsem ol arapela Yut senta isave hat wok tru long halivim ol yangpela pikinini em ol save gat heve long  laif blong ol.

Long hed kota blong ol long Suambu Farm dispela wik oli bin girap nogut long bungim Jastis Minista blong Australia Michael Keenan ibin go kamap long Lae na Australia Hai Komisina long PNG Deborah Stokes na arapela ol bikman blong Australia gavaman.

Wokabout blong ol igo long Lae em long halivim Lae polis  long rausim oa kisim bek ol gans long ol pipol long Lae city.

Bruce Hart Managing dairekta long Lae City Mission itok lukluk blong Australia Jastis Minista Michael Keenan igo long farm blong ol ibin surprise long ol.

Tasol bikpela samting Mr Hart itok oli ibin hamamas long lukim ol i peim dispela visit blong ol igo long Yut farm blong ol  na lukim wanem samting oli wok long mekim long halivim ol yut blong Lae na Morobe Provins.

Na kamap blong Michael Keenan long farm blong ol yut ibin wok hat stret  long klinim farm na bilasim gut long kamap blong Michael Keenan na lain blong em.

Na Australia gavaman ibin givim sampela moni halivim igo long farm las yar blong ronim dispela farm em ol yut istap long en.long wokim ol  bildings.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

FRENCH

4) Le texto au secours de l’enseignement primaire

Posté à 20 February 2014, 8:24 AEST
Pierre Riant

Dans 26 établissements scolaires de Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, le texto s’est avéré un véritable outil pour améliorer la capacité de lecture des écoliers.

Ce programme de SMS, financé par l’Australie dans les provinces de Simbu et de Madang, a réussi à relever le niveau de lecture d’environ 1 000 élèves. Le succès est tel que le programme en question pourrait être élargi à l’échelle nationale.

Amanda Watson est consultante en communications mobiles à Port Moresby, la capitale : « Nous avons commencé à envoyer des SMS aux enseignants pendant les jours d’école. Deux SMS par jour. En premier, un sujet court et en deuxième, un plan de leçon et des idées sur la façon dont ils pouvaient enseigner à bien lire en utilisant le court sujet. »

Première étape donc l’envoi du texto aux enseignants, mais comment les messages sont transmis aux élèves ?

WATSON : « Dans le plan de leçon, nous avons suggéré aux enseignants de recopier le sujet à la craie au tableau noir pour ensuite lire l’histoire aux écoliers en montrant les mots un par un pour introduire de nouveaux sons, de nouvelles lettres et de nouveaux mots.
Ensuite, l’enseignant doit demander aux élèves de lire l’histoire à voix haute et de la lire entre eux à travers des jeux. En leur demandant aussi d’écrire d’autres histoires avec des images pour que les élèves puissent utiliser le sujet et les enseignants utiliser ce sujet dans la salle de classe. »

Dans un premier temps, une centaine d’enseignants des provinces de Simbu et de Madang ont reçu les SMS et une centaine d’autres, dans des écoles similaires, ne les ont pas reçus afin de pouvoir comparer à terme le niveau de lecture des élèves des deux groupes : « Au début de la phase d’essai  lors du premier trimestre 2013, nous avons mis à l’épreuve le niveau de lecture des élèves de tous les enseignants. Environ 2 500 élèves ont été mis à l’épreuve et il n’y avait pas de différence de niveau entre les deux groupes.

Nous avons ensuite commencé à envoyer 200 SMS sur une période de 20 semaines et au quatrième trimestre nous sommes retournés dans les mêmes écoles pour des tests de lecture. Et, nous nous sommes aperçus qu’il y avait statistiquement dans les résultats d’importantes différences entre les deux groupes.

Les élèves des enseignants abonnés aux SMS lisaient mieux que les élèves des enseignants qui ne recevaient pas les SMS sur leur téléphone portable. »

Devant ce succès, et à condition de trouver le financement nécessaire, puisque ce programme pilote était financé par l’aide à l’étranger du gouvernement australien, cette méthode d’enseignement par SMS pourrait être élargi dans l’ensemble des zones rurales du pays et donner des idées au reste du Pacifique.Radio Australia

5) Soif de culture chez les jeunes océaniens de Sydney

Posté à 20 February 2014, 8:17 AEST
Pierre Riant

Le Centre artistique et culturel Matavai a ouvert ses portes en juin dernier et connaît un engouement grandissant parmi les communautés océaniennes de la ville. La directrice de ce Centre, Maryjane Mckibbin-Schwenke, indique que de nombreux jeunes océaniens veulent en savoir plus sur leur culture d’origine.

Tant et si bien que de nouvelles activités ont été ajoutées au menu : enseignement de plusieurs langues du Pacifique, par exemple,  et cours de danse : « Je me suis dit, pourquoi ne pas donner des cours de danse du Samoa en pensant que si une dizaine de gamins étaient intéressés ça serait bien.
J’ai mis une pub dans Facebook et quelque 80 personnes se sont présentées à la petite salle de danse que je louais à l’heure. Au bout de trois mois, j’ai réalisé qu’aucune salle de danse ne pouvait nous prendre 8 heures par semaine.

Il nous a fallu trouver notre propre espace et j’ai mis la main sur un entrepôt qui se trouve être dans le même bâtiment que le Centre. Et le trimestre suivant, le nombre d’élèves a doublé.

Davantage de familles ont amené leurs enfants et nous avons été obligés d’élargir les cours de danse à Fidji, à Tonga, aux Maoris de Nouvelle-Zélande et je ne m’attendais pas à ce que cela prenne de telles proportions. »

Sydney abrite de nombreux océaniens du Pacifique, mais on ne peut pas parler de présence massive par rapport au reste de la population de cette ville. Alors quelles sont les raisons derrière cette soif de culture chez les jeunes du Pacifique : « Je pense que c’est la façon dont nous enseignons cette culture. Nous utilisons la danse comme un outil qui permet de les attirer. Et quand ils sont à l’intérieur, ils réalisent que la danse n’est qu’une des activités que nous proposons à Matavai.

La danse nous amène à discuter de questions culturelles ou d’environnement. Nous parlons aussi de l’Histoire du Samoa ou de Tonga. Nous essayons de susciter des questions de leur part et ils commencent à se dire que ce que racontent papa et maman n’est pas si idiot que ça. »

Des parents qui parlent souvent de traditions et de coutumes à des jeunes qui sont élevés dans le milieu urbain de Sydney : « De nombreux jeunes à Sydney n’apprécient pas car on les oblige à participer à des cérémonies culturelles et on ne leur explique pas vraiment bien ce dont il s’agit. »

Un Centre qui permettrait donc de reconnecter ces jeunes océaniens avec une culture que les parents n’arrivent pas toujours à faire passer.Radio Australia

HEALTH


6) Health advocates push for a Sugary Drink Free Pacific by 2030
By Online Editor
4:11 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, New Zealand

A number of health experts, university professors, dentists and dieticians want the Pacific to be free of sugary drinks by 2030.

The delegates gathered at a symposium in Auckland, aimed at reducing the consumption of drinks like fizz, cordials, flavoured milks and energy drinks in the Pacific and New Zealand.

The delegates say sugar sweetened beverages, or SSBs are major contributors to obesity, diabetes, rotten teeth and gout.

The co-ordinator of the Pacific Reserach Centre for the Prevention of Obesity and Non-communicable diseases, Dr Wendy Snowden, says the main problems are a high availability of sugary drinks at a low price, with heavy marketing for them.

“In a lot of the Pacific Island countries, access to drinking water is a problem, certainly in some locations, so you do need access to bottled drinks. The water is generally more expensive than bottled soft-drinks or canned soft-drinks then people choose the cheaper options. They are readily available, they are heavily marketed, there’s good reasons why people are drinking a lot of them.

Dr Wendy Snowden says pricing up the drinks, by imposing an excise tax on drinks containing sugar, would be a key approach to tackling the issue….
SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

EDUCATION

Diverse Communities/Diverse Media 21-25 July 2014.University Of Goroka.PNG.International Conference.

OURMedia Call for Proposals

Credit: Dr Sam S Kari, Ms Verena Thomas & CFP Our Media – Thank you for the news.

Please checkout attachment and also on www.voiceofmelanesia.com

POLITIC 


7) Australians slapped with PNG visa ban 01 March
By Online Editor
4:18 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Papua New Guinea

Australians will not get visas on arrival in Port Moresby and other major centres from 31 March, Papua New Guinea Immigration chief Mataio Rabura says.

He said the move was in response to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s decision to maintain the no visa-on-arrival for Papua New Guineans travelling to Australia.

“After the visit by the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, during which the prime minister reiterated PNG’s desire for Australia to reciprocate its visa-on-arrival facility, and the response of maintaining the status quo, the government’s decision to ban the visa-on-arrival facility to Australian passport holders will now be enforced,” Rabura said.

“The decision though taken in December, was not effected due to the government’s desire to give ample time to the government of Australia to reconsider its response given to the PNG ministers at the PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum in Canberra last year, and for Australian citizens who had already confirmed travel arrangements to PNG to undertake confirmed travels.”

He said the March 1 ban meant Australian passport holders would no longer be able to:

*Obtain visitor (all classes) and business (short term entry and restricted employment facility) visas on arrival at any port of entry in PNG; and,’

* Be granted uplift letters for issuance of the aforementioned visas on arrival at any port of entry in PNG

“Australian passport holders will be required to obtain these visas at the nearest PNG overseas mission/posts abroad where there is no PNG government representation,” he said.

“PNG’s current missions/posts in Australia are located in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.

“Visiting PNG on cruise ships, including flying in to join a cruise ship to catch a flight out of PNG, will not be affected by this ban because they are granted visas electronically without the need for prior application.

“Transiting through PNG for less than eight hours does not require visas, and are to remain within the international transit lounge at the airport.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

8) Australia explains visa requirements
By Online Editor
2:05 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Papua New Guinea

Australia is welcoming PNG citizens in a more flexible approach, according to a fact sheet on Australian visa.

According to the fact sheet, Australia welcomes Papua New Guinea citizens to visit, study and work in Australia that includes the significant growth in visitors to Australia – this growth is against global trends.

Furthermore, many more people from PNG are choosing to study in Australia with the total student enrolments being doubled since 2009, with some fields such as engineering experiencing a four-fold increase in enrolments.

The fact sheet also outlines that “it is easier and quicker than ever before for PNG citizens to apply for a visa to travel to Australia. PNG is the first country in the Asia-Pacific to enjoy an online visa application service’’.

“Online visa applications, first introduced on June 24. 2013, now comprise almost 20 per cent of total visitor visa lodgements and continue to grow; feedback from visa applicants about the online service continues to be very positive.

“Online visa applications can be lodged by any person or organisation on behalf of the applicant, making this new online service handy and available for those who do not have ready access to the internet, processing times for complete applications lodged online average seven days or less, facilitating ease of movement for all visitors including tourists and business people.

“Reduction in paper work for people who are regular visitors to Australia and a more flexible approach to the documentation requirements, first-time travellers are asked for evidence of funds to support their visit to Australia.  This evidence can be from a variety of sources, including letters from employers and invitations from host organisations in Australia. There is no requirement to provide bank statements.

“Furthermore no requirement for biometric data or interviews – many other countries require this, no visa required for PNG passport holders who transit through Australia for less than eight hours – citizens from more than 120 countries do not have such visa free transit and priority entry processing upon arrival for APEC business travel card holders

“Priority passenger lane access to Australian airports in Cairns and Brisbane facilitates quick entry to Australia – these arrangements have been in place since September 1, 2013 and also apply to Australian and New Zealand passport holders.”

The fact sheet states that Australia is assisting PNG to strengthen its border management systems including IT visa processing.

“As PNG strengthens its border systems and their integrity, this will facilitate further advances in Australia’s visa arrangements for PNG citizens.

“Australia looks to PNG to provide effective visa services for Australians to underpin the smooth flow of business people and tourists to PNG, such as through an online system.”

Australia does not have a visa on arrival system for any country but it does not take a long time to obtain a visa for Australia for visitors. It has reduced its advertised turnaround time for a visa from 30 days to 10 working days.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

9) Natapei Group confirms support for Vanuatu PM Carcasses ahead of motion
By Online Editor
4:20 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Vanuatu

Vanuatu government allies Thursday reaffirmed that it remains united behind Prime Ministership of Moana Carcasses Kalosil.

The statement was issued in response to claims made in the local media Wednesday that at least two additional Government MP’s have joined the Opposition camp ahead of Monday’s Motion of No Confidence.

The current Government is comprised of two “blocs”, the “Moana Group” led by Prime Minister Carcasses and the “Natapei Group” led by Edward Nipake Natapei.

The “Natapei Group” consists of 18 MP’s – nine MP’s from the Vanuaaku Pati (VP) (including the VP-affiliated Independent Peter Vuta), five MP’s from the Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP), two MP’s from the Union of Moderate Parties (UMP) and two MP’s from the Melanesian Progressive Party (MPP). None of these 18 MP’s have signed the Motion of No Confidence and all 18 are united in support of Moana Carcasses Kalosil ahead of Monday’s no confidence vote.

The Natapei group said any claims by the Opposition that any of these MP’s have joined the Opposition Camp are simply not true and designed to confuse and mislead the public.
SOURCE: PACNEWS

10) No-Confidence Motion Against Vanuatu PM Ruled ‘In Order’
Debate of removal of Carcasses to take place next week

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 20, 2014) – Parliament will meet Monday next week at 8.30am to debate the Opposition-sponsored Motion of No Trust against Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses.

The Office of the Speaker of Parliament confirmed to Daily Post yesterday afternoon that the Motion of No Trust against Prime Minister Moana Carcasses is in order.

Notices to the MPs for the calling of the extra-ordinary session of parliament on Monday have been distributed as of yesterday afternoon, according to the Office of the Speaker.

The Office of the Speaker confirmed that legal consultation with the State Law Office has confirmed that the Motion of No Confidence is in order thus satisfying the Speaker to call for parliament to meet on Monday to debate the motion.

MPs in the rural constituencies are expected to start arriving in the capital over the weekend for the extra ordinary sitting of parliament on Monday.

Meanwhile, reliable sources within the Opposition bloc told Daily Post that the 27 MPs who have signed the motion have rallied together and remain in political unity at a venue under tight security.

They are expected to remain there until Monday next week.

In other development relating to the motion of no confidence, Daily Post received a copy of a letter by the Minister of Youth and Sport confirming his resignation as of the 17th of February 2014.

Earlier yesterday Prime Minister Moana Carcasses told local reporters that UMP Minister for Youth and Sport did sign the motion of no confidence but did not resign along with two other state ministers as reported by the local media.

But after the prime minister’s press conference Daily Post received a copy of the letter of resignation by Port Vila MP, Tony Wright, as a state minister addressed to the Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil.

His letter of resignation to the Prime Minister was dated February 17, 2014.

Daily Post was also informed by the Opposition bloc yesterday that MP Tony Wright is with the Opposition bloc camp in Port Vila.

In a short address to local reporters yesterday morning, Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, said some of the MPs who signed the motion against him will return to the Government side: “In the next day or so, three or four MPs will return to the Government side,” PM Carcasses told local reporters.

“It is a challenging time we face but I want to assure the people of Vanuatu that the Government I lead is here to ensure the country goes forward with its development goals. While the VP Deputy Prime Minister Edward Natapei is abroad, there’s a VP representative here this morning and likewise with the GJP Land Minister Regenvanu who is touring now but his representatives are here also,” said PM Carcasses.

On the question of allegations carried in the motion against him, the Carcasses replied: “I will answer all these allegations Monday next week when the motion is debated in parliament.”

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

BUSINESS


11) Fiji Mining Act to get long overdue review

By Online Editor
12:41 pm GMT+12, 19/02/2014, Fiji

Fiji’s Mining Act is now undergoing a review – more than 3 decades after the last assessment in 1978.

Director of Mineral Resources, Malakai Finau says that the value of compensation and development work will be two key areas they will look at.

Its been 36 years since the Mining Act was last reviewed.

Stakeholders and landowners are aware that the act has become archaic and is no longer applicable to the present day situation.

But such reviews comes with its own set of challenges and the Mineral Resources department knows that there’s not much common ground when it comes to compensation issues.

At the moment 70 exploration licenses have been issued.

The review of the Act should be completed by the end of April.

SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS

LAW&ORDER

12) 20kg cocaine in luggage

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, February 20, 2014

COCAINE weighing 20.5 kilograms and worth $6.1million was found in the luggage of an American national who arrived in Fiji last Tuesday.

Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said a 23-year-old foreign national was being interrogated by the police at CID headquarters in Suva.

He said the man arrived at Nadi Airport on an American passport then caught a domestic flight to Nausori.

The man is said to have arrived from South America.

According to the police, the man then checked into Peninsula Hotel in Suva and his luggage arrived two days later.

He said two large containers containing white powder were found by officers of the Drug Unit.

Police and customs officials found the white powder to be cocaine after tests.

According to the police, the man checked out of the Peninsula and checked into Sunset Motel in Suva where he stayed for a day before disappearing.

Insp Sokomuri said the man managed to evade police until Tuesday night when he was arrested in a restaurant in Lautoka.

No charges have been laid, however, the police are still trying to find out the origins of the drug and its intended destination.

http://www.fijitimes.com/

REFUGEE,ASYLUM

13) Manus Island unrest: PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill says locals not involved in detention centre violence

Updated 20 February 2014, 17:41 AEST
By Liam Fox and Emma Griffiths

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has rejected claims that local residents were involved in the violent clashes at the Manus Island asylum seeker detention centre earlier this week.

One man was killed and more than 70 others injured – several seriously – in a riot on Monday night.

The trouble has prompted questions about Australia’s offshore detention policies, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Government will not “succumb to moral blackmail”.

There have been reports that island residents also pushed down fences at the centre and attacked the asylum seekers.

But PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill says that “at no time did the good people of Manus get involved”.

In a statement to PNG Parliament he said “the media is out there trying to portray that there is a lawless situation. This is not the case”.

Mr O’Neill said police fired gunshots during the worst violence on Monday night “to calm things down, not to harm any particular person”.

His stance on local involvement differs to an eyewitness account given to the ABC that local guards employed by security company G4S beat detainees after asylum seekers shouted insults at them.

PNG police, defence and immigration officials have been charged with investigating the violence.

Australia’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has also ordered his department secretary Martin Bowles to lead an inquiry.

He says that follows precedent set by the previous Labor government in relation to other major incidents at offshore detention centres.

“That review doesn’t have any constraints on it. That review will be done by an independent person as those other reviews were,” he said.

“They will be charged with determining what the facts are around those incidents that took place over Sunday night and Monday.

“We’re going to have to be patient to get to the bottom of this issue.”

Greens want royal commission; Labor calls for end to ‘secrecy’

The Greens have called for a royal commission into the violence.

The Labor Party has stopped short of that, demanding a full inquiry and more transparency from the Government.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the Coalition needs to abandon its “addiction to secrecy”.

“I think the first step, before we get to the Greens proposition, is that the embattled Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, just needs to be upfront with the Australian people and tell us what’s happening,” he said.

The Greens also say the Government should put a freeze on sending any more asylum seekers to the Manus Island facility.

But Mr Abbott says there will be no changes to the policy.

“The Australian Government will not be deterred or intimidated by anyone when it comes to doing what we need to do to protect our borders,” he said.

“We will not be deterred or intimidated by anyone. We will not succumb to pressure or to moral blackmail.

“We will ensure these camps are run fairly and if necessary firmly.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/i

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

14) Three more sites in Fiji for world heritage listing
By Online Editor
4:14 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Fiji

Three more Fiji heritage sites have been tentatively included to be recognised along with the old capital of Levuka on the World Heritage listing.

A tentative list released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the World Heritage convention noted the Sigatoka Sand dunes, Sovi Bay and Yaduataba, the home of the crested iguana among national sites to be recognised and preserved.

A submissions made by the National Trust of Fiji, described the sand dunes in Sigatoka as the product of fluvial erosion in the coastal hinterland and coastal dune forming processes which needs to be categorised as a cultural site.

The Sovi basin in Waimaro was submitted by the department of Environment, for the reason that it is Fiji’s most important land ecosystem in terms of its biological and landscape heritage.

The spectacular natural and cultural features of the Sovi Basin together build a strong imperative for ecotourism development. International promotion of the wilderness and cultural features of the Sovi Basin would form the lynch pin of a new heritage focus to Fiji’s tourism industry, the submission said.

The third is the Yaduataba Crested Iguana Sanctuary which was also submitted by the National Trust of Fiji and categorised natural for the World Heritage sites. The Uninhabited Island of Yaduataba lies in the south west of the large island of Vanua Levu.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

EVENT

15) Sydney photo exhibition captures historic early photographs of Pacific Islands

Updated 20 February 2014, 16:26 AEST
Bruce Hill for Radio Australia

An upcoming free exhibition of historic photographs at the University of Sydney’s Macleay Museum will show some of the first photos of the Pacific during the early colonial period.

An exhibition featuring some of the first photos of the Pacific during the early colonial period will go on display at the University of Sydney’s Macleay Museum next month.

Dating from the late 1850s the show includes photographs taken by missionaries, anthropologists, tourists and early government expeditions to the region.

The Points of Focus exhibition comprises images of the British proclamation of a protectorate in Papua in 1884, colonial and civil war in Samoa in the late 19th century and Douglas Mawson’s first scientific expedition to Vanuatu in 1903.

MacLeay Museum’s ethnography curator Rebecca Conway has told Pacific Beat that while many of the images are fragile, they are a tremendous historical resource.

“The exhibition itself, we are exhibiting digitally because many of those formats are really quite fragile so we can’t have them on display for long periods,” she said.

“A lot of the images, the original copies are quite small, so it’s difficult to see the details, so we have, through digital technology blow them up quite large.”

There are around 50,000 photographs in the collection in a variety of formats including glass-plate negatives, glass lantern slides and stereographic prints.

“I think people do have a personal response to photographs, particularly portraits,” Ms Conway said.

“You’re really able to examine them in quite close detail, so you do have a personal human response.

“It does give you an insight to history and maybe what people were thinking and feeling at the time.”http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

SPORT


16) 2015 Pacific Games Mascot launched
By Online Editor
4:31 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Papua New Guinea

The mascot for the 2015 Pacific Games is the Hornbill, commonly known as the Kokomo.

Nicknamed Tura, the Kokomo, the Games mascot, was officially launched yesterday by the chairperson of the Games Organising Committee Emma Waiwai. The name was chosen for the friendly Games coming to Port Moresby and the people of Papua New Guinea who are ever friendly wherever they are.

The Kokomo is a long beak bird commonly found in the Pacific and Asia region and is most often tamed as a domesticated pet. The species chosen is unique to Papua New Guinea The Mascot was launched at the winning school Tubusereia Primary school who sent in the winning entry by Grade 3 student Taka Segore whose entry scored the highest to win the competition.

The Games Organising Committee Board selected the winning entry after an expert panel of judges selected the top five from a total of over 250 entries received from schools throughout the country.

The judges went through the entries and rated them based on the following features: Unique to PNG and/or cultural identity, functionality, originality, emotional attachment and whether entries were consistent with overall requirements for the competition.

The winning school received K10, 000 while young Taka received a free Sumatin account with K500 courtesy of Bank South Pacific, the official sponsors for the Games.

Four schools: Daigul SDA Community School in Madang, Holy Trinity School from Western Highlands, Sekunkun Primary School in Lihir, New Ireland and Port Moresby International – were the runner ups of the Competition.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop will welcome the mascot this morning at the Jack Pidik Park in Port Moresby.
There are 499 days to go before Port Moresby hosts the 2015 Pacific Games starting on July 4.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

17) PNG to host games at 2017 Rugby League World Cup
By Online Editor
4:28 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, New Zealand

Papua New Guinea will host a minimum of two matches at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, with the potential for further matches throughout the Pacific.

New Zealand and Australia have been named joint hosts, with the Trans-Tasman bid beating out a proposal by South Africa.

The CEO of New Zealand Rugby League, Phil Holden, says the international game grew an extra leg during last year’s World Cup and spreading games round will continue that momentum.

“So there will be a pool based in Far North Queensland. That was part of our proposal, of which a couple of games would be played in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. And then there was discussion during the actual presentation whether there might be an opportunity to play a fixture in the South Pacific somewhere, either Fiji or Samoa. Again, that’s all got to be worked through but the Papua New Guinea one is locked in.”.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

18) Confusion over PNG hosting Rugby League World Cup matches

Posted 20 February 2014, 17:32 AEST

There has been confusion over suggestions that Papua New Guinea would host two matches of the Rugby League World Cup, with another games possibly being played in Fiji or Samoa

Australia and New Zealand have just been named joint host nations for the 2017 tournament.

According to the CEO of New Zealand Rugby League, Phil Holden, part of the joint bid included games being held in Papua New Guinea.

“That was one of the things we put forward with our presentation in November,” he told Radio Australia.

“So definitely Papua New Guinea will be hosting a couple of games.

“And then one of the things that we floated was the prospect of playing a game in Fiji or Samoa for example

“The logistics of that still need to be worked through but it was something that was on our radar screens and part of the proposal.”

A spokesman from Australia’s National Rugby League told Radio Australia no decisions have been made on where games will be played.

He said a tender process for towns wanting to host games would take place in the future.

Despite the confusion, Phil Holden says hosting the World Cup in the region will be a massive boost to the sport.

“We’re absolutely stoked, it has been a lot of hard work over the last six months, to have that bid confirmed late last night was just amazing,” he said.

“Certainly for us in New Zealand and in the broader Pacific Rim, it is a tremendous honour and achievement to hold a pinnacle event such as this.

The joint trans-Tasman bid beat out an attempt by South Africa to host the tournament in 2017.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/

19) NZ and Australia to co-host 2017 World Cup
By Online Editor
4:29 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, New Zealand

New Zealand will make a strong play to host the 2017 rugby league World Cup final after Australia and New Zealand were last night announced as joint hosts for the next tournament.

The joint Australasian bid beat off one from South Africa and was seen as a “safe pair of hands” – South Africa didn’t play at last year’s tournament and the South African government don’t recognise rugby league as an official sport.

Australia and New Zealand have promised to deliver the most profitable World Cup in history – last year’s event exceeded the profits of A$5 million made at the 2008 event hosted by Australia.

New Zealand will host one of the four pools as well as at least one quarter-final and probably a semifinal. The NZRL will also bid to host the final.

“It won’t be an emotional decision,” NZRL chief executive Phil Holden said. “It will be contestable and pragmatic and what will be best for the tournament overall.

“The first step is we want to make sure we have a semifinal here and I’m confident we will do that and the final will be down to what makes the most commercial sense and I’m confident that stadium in New Zealand will want to put their best case forward.”

New Zealand has never hosted the rugby league World Cup, although the 1988 World Cup final was staged at Eden Park which was the culmination of the three-year worldwide tournament.

The success of last weekend’s Auckland Nines at Eden Park was good timing for the joint bid, with rugby league in this country proving they can stage major events.

The New Zealand Government are also keen to host global events on a regular basis and they put their backing behind the Australasian bid.

“It’s a massive result for New Zealand rugby league and is going to be a huge benefit to the country overall,” Holden said. “I’m absolutely delighted that a World Cup tournament like this is going to come to New Zealand for the first time.”

The 2017 tournament is likely to follow the same format as last year’s World Cup contested by 14 teams, which will see two pools of four and two pools of three which will also see crossover games.

One of those pools will be based in Townsville and feature games in Papua New Guinea and perhaps even another country in the Pacific Islands.

An organisation will be established to work out where and when games will be played.

“Between us, New Zealand and Australia have proved we’re capable of staging major sporting events,” Holden said. “Rugby league is Papua New Guinea’s national sport, so we’re very confident of producing something special for the next tournament.”

It was also confirmed last night this year’s Anzac test will be played at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on May 2. Holden said they were keen to host next year’s Anzac test which will commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.

SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS

20) Pacific Test winner to compete in rugby league Four Nations
By Online Editor
4:25 pm GMT+12, 20/02/2014, Samoa

The prospect of playing the top three countries in international rugby league will be up for grabs in the second annual Pacific test in May.

Samoa will take on Fiji in Penrith on May the 3rd, with the winner to compete alongside New Zealand, Australia and England in the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.

The President of Rugby League Samoa, Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a, says it’s a great opportunity.

“The chance of a lifetime if we can make it into that Four Nations but we have to put together all our aspects in order to make this one of our dreams too but it’s not going to be easy. There will be lots of challenges in team selection and all those normal challenges evolves around the dynamics of a team will be there but we just have to do our best and do what we can from the resources available from time to time and the players.”

Toa Samoa were beaten by Tonga in last year’s inaugural Pacific Test, which is played on the same weekend as the ANZAC test.

The Fiji Bati made the semi finals at last year’s World Cup in the Northern Hemisphere, while Toa Samoa made it to the quarters.

SOURCE:  RNZI/PACNEWS

21) Barcelona, PSG win Champions League matches

Afp
Thursday, February 20, 2014

MANCHESTER, England – Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain took control of their Champions League last 16 matches with victories yesterday.

Lionel Messi and Dani Alves scored for Barcelona in their 2-0 win over Manchester City while PSG thumped Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring twice in the first-leg match in Germany.

Knockout-phase debutants City matched Barcelona in the first half at the Etihad Stadium, but the game changed early in the second period when Martin Demichelis was sent off following a last-man foul on Messi.

The Argentine scored from the ensuing penalty in the 54th minute, taking his tally of goals in this season’s competition to seven.

Despite being a man down, City continued to threaten, but in the final minute Alves ran through to score, leaving Barcelona in the driving seat ahead of the return leg in March 12.

Leverkusen, second only to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, suffered their third straight home defeat as Laurent Blanc’s PSG were rarely troubled at the BayArena with Ibrahimovic the architect of the victory with two goals in three first-half minutes.

Left winger Blaise Matuidi put PSG ahead with barely two minutes gone before Ibrahimovic netted a penalty, then added a second when he unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot to make it 3-0 at the break.

Replacement Yohan Cabaye then added PSG’s fourth just before the final whistle.

22) Aussie club recruits Fijian

Maciu Malo
Thursday, February 20, 2014

NABUA 7s halfback Apenisa Cokanasiga has been recruited by the Wareba Rugby League team in North Queensland, Australia.

The Fiji Resident rugby league rep who is on a month-long tour in Australia with the Nabua 7s team caught the attention of rugby union and league scouts in Australia.

Nabua 7s manager Solo Ravono said Cokanasiga was a standout performer during their past two tournaments and would be a force to be reckoned with for his new team.

He said the Topline Rugby league rugby league dummy half would join his new club after this weekend’s Kiama 7s.

“Assisting our players to secure overseas rugby contracts is one of the objectives of this tour and we are grateful that Cokanasiga has secured a contract,” said Ravono.

“Cokanasiga has set the benchmark for this team and I am confident more players are likely to be signed up after this weekend’s 7s competition.

“Another player that is making his mark is AOG under-18 winger Ifereimi Kaukirewa who scored nine tries in only four games last weekend.”

Meanwhile, Ravono said Brenan Lacey and Tongan native Sione Moala of the Woywoy rugby team had been recruited to play for Nabua this weekend after injuries to some of the players.

The Maroons will be joined by fellow Fijian teams Yamacia and Red Rock for this competition.http://www.fijitimes.com/

23) Ba golfer to play in NZ

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, February 20, 2014

BA golfer Vikrant Chandra will participate in the Mondiale Omaha Beach Pro-Am Championship in New Zealand this weekend.

Chandra has enjoyed two top 10 finishers on the New Zealand PGA Tour after earning a ticket at the Q-School event in Auckland last month.

Last weekend, Chandra finished in 11th position at the Lawnmaster Classic at the Manawatu Golf Club in Palmerston North. He carded a total of two over par 290 in the 72 holes event.

New Zealand PGA national events manager Jim Clelland said Chandra’s performance at the Lawnmaster Classic was his best so far.

Clelland said the performance would go a long way in retaining his tour card and playing privileges next year.

“Vikrant is doing a great public relations job for Fiji while he participates in our events,” he said.

“This weekend Vikrant will play in the Mondiale Omaha Beach Pro-Am before lining up in the final stage qualifier for the New Zealand Open at The Hills and Millbrook courses near Queenstown in the South Island.”

The Mondiale Omaha Beach Pro-Am Championship is offering a total prize purse of more than $38,000.

The New Zealand Open will be held from February 27 to March 2.http://www.fijitimes.com/

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