Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 966

MELANESIA

1) Chabod is declared duly elected

Posted on April 19

By
Godwin Ligo

Jean-Yves Chabod of the Green Confederation Party was officially declared elected as new Member of Parliament (MP) for Port Vila by the Electoral Commission yesterday.

He fills the chair vacated by the late MP and the former Internal Affairs Minister, the late Patrick Crowby.

The official result declaring theduly elected candidate of the PortVila parliamentary by-election that took place on Tuesday this week,
was announced on Radio Vanuatu yesterday evening.

The new Port Vila MP Chabod received 1,941 votes in Tuesday’s poll.After the official count of the votes by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday, the Commission announced the by-election official results and declared Jean Yves Chabod new Port Vila MP on Radio Vanuatu yesterday evening.

The rest of the official results are; Andrew Napuat, of Graon mo Jastis Pati received 1,906 votes; Levi Tarosa of the Vanua’aku Party with 1,891 votes; Union candidate Ephraim Kalsakau with 1,760 votes; Sabby Natonga of Moderate Alliance with 1,160 votes, sixth Jeffrey Wilfred Independent with 1,156 votes; Joshua Bong, Independent, with 996 votes; Joe Iautu, Opposition with 879 votes; Alick George Noel Independent with 520 votes; David Abel, Independent with 507 votes; Father Henry Crowby PPP with 243 votes and Ephraim Songi, Independent with 143 votes.

According to Daily Post’s independent calculation, around 35.9% of the total eligible registered voters of 36,863 cast their votes.

Even, the predicted figure of 27,000 eligible registered voters that was expected to poll on Tuesday fell far short. There was a huge drop in the turnout of the Tuesday election compared with the 2012 parliamentary elections that recorded a turnout of 51% and the Tuesday 15th April 2014 recorded a turnout of only 35.9% according to Daily Post calculations. It indicates a drop of around 15% from the 2012 parliamentary elections.http://www.dailypost.vu/

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 April 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Government / Malvatumauri joint understanding on Kastom determining the application of the issuance of land leases has achieved new levels of cooperation during the week. Following contributions from the Vaturisu, Chamber of Commerce and Custom Land Tribunals Office (CLTO), on 11 April the Malvatumauri handed the Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu, written authorisation to amend the new laws. Regenvanu promised to ensure the amendments would be debated by the first ordinary sitting of Parliament at the end of this month. At the close of the one-week meeting of the Malvatumauri, members performed a custom ceremony for the Minister and made a presentation to mark their gratitude for the long-awaited amendment to Article 30 of the Constitution.
  • Changes to the Custom Land Management Act concern the possibility of fee refunds for matters awaiting adjudication which have been transferred to a new judicial or customary body, removal of quorum requirements for nakamal meetings to determine custom ownership, and the finality of decisions of single or joint customary tribunals.
  • Amendments to the Land Reform Act remove the requirement for an EIA to be undertaken as a condition for approving a negotiator’s certificate, removal of the requirement for ministerial consultation in disputes except where major issues are concerned such as the intention to sub-divide. The new land laws can be seen at the Lands Ministry’s web site at http://www.mol.gov.vu/.
  • Land leasing remains a concern at Tanna Coffee Development Company reports Daily Post this morning. The lease for the property involves 32 nakamals and they have received no lease money for 4 or 5 years. A New Zealand company is said to be now developing part of the lease without proper and full consultation with the land owners. The far reaching new land laws placing lease issue and ownership beyond administration control should surely be able to deal with this new case. Custom owners’ spokesman John Saupat said provision of employment was one of the reasons for enabling the lease. However, custom owners remain jobless as outsiders are brought in to work on the coffee plantation.

Friends of People with Special Needs is planning a huge fund-raising for the Vanuatu Society for People with a Diability (VSDP) at Saralana Park on May 29. It will be theBiggest Garage Sale ever and a family fun day and they hope to raise VT 3 million.

Radio Vanuatu transmission and news were rather discombobulated this morning with yesterday’s news being repeated exactly as it was yesterday at 6 and then another bulletin being given at 7. Some staff seemed to have had a late start.

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 18 April 2014

by bobmakin

  • The official Port Vila election results have been announced and slightly narrow the advised difference between the Green’s Jean-Yves Chabod and GJP’s Andrew Napuat. It is now 1,941 to 1,906 respectively. We are again reminded of the huge drop in voter turnout by all the media.
  • Daily Post tells us this morning that a judicial review of the Fishermen’s case will be heard on April 24. The legal counsel of the 1,131 former SPFC employee fishermen, now calling themselves the Vanuatu Fishermen’s Cooperative Marketing Consumer Society Limited, has sought the review. The fishermen’s leader is Remy Kunuan. Daily Post advises the case is against PM Carcasses and the Republic of Vanuatu.
  • The telecommunications regulator is to conduct a full mobile service coverage audit.The intention is to have 98% of the Vanuatu islands covered by 2018 under the Universal Access Policy (UAP). Mobile owners are asked to cooperate with those conducting the audit should they be questioned concerning their service and reception quality.
  • Wan Smol Bag saw its new Kam Pusum Hed Clinic opened this week at Tagabe with VT 35 million of assistance from the Australian Government. Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer performed the opening of the new reproductive health facility. The opening is part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of WSB.

POLYNESIA

4) Samoa’s Finance Minister resigns
By Online Editor
5:30 pm GMT+12, 17/04/2014, Samoa

Samoa’s Minister of Finance Faumuinā Fa’aolatane Tiatia Liuga has resigned and will remain a backbencher, reports Talamua Online.

The Minister announced his resignation close to midnight last night (Wednesday) at the end of a two and a half hours address in Parliament where he tried to clear his name and his actions and decisions as investigated and reported by the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Select Committee.

He quoted the many Cabinet decisions that was basis for his actions as a Minister and apologized if his desire to expedite the development of the country has resulted in actions being questioned by many.

The long awaited debate of the Parliamentary Committees Report follows months of the report being exposed by the media both locally and overseas and resulted in a rift within the ruling Human Rights protection Party that started with a signed letter to the Prime Minister in May 2013 to remove the Minister.

The rift continued with moves to remove the Minister during a four hour long caucus meeting last month that concluded to give the Minister a chance to answer in Parliament when the report is debated.

An emotional Faumuina thanked the Prime Minister for his confidence and asked for the Parliament and the country’s forgiveness if he has erred. It was the first time he has officially responded to the accusations in the report.

In accepting the resignation, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Fatialofa Dr. Sailele Maliegaoi said it is rare for someone holding a high profile position such as Minister of Finance to tender his resignation on his own free will. Tuilaepa paid tribute to Faumuina’s contribution as a Minister of State for the last 14 years.

These included the successful privatization of Public Works that laid off 400 workers in a move to save government expenditure and improve service delivery by offering public works to the private sector.

He said the privatization is being studied by other neighbouring countries that have yet to have the political courage to take such a drastic policy step.

The Prime Minister also praised Faumuina’s contribution in the construction of world class sports facilities for the 2007 South Pacific Games which has hosted many international tournaments and will also be the venue of the upcoming SIDS Conference in September this year and the venue for the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.

A new minister to be sworn in 25 April.

As he is now short of one Cabinet Minister, the Prime Minister told Parliament that he will pray for Gods guidance to show him someone who will be sworn in 25 April at 4.00pm. “Someone who does not answer back,” the PM indicated. “An MP from a constituency that has not yet been appointed in Cabinet.”

Parliament passed and accepted the Committees Report after 1.00am and then adjourned for the budget session at the end of May.

SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS

5) Calls to scrap Cook Islands departure tax for cruise passengers

Updated 17 April 2014, 13:37 AEST

The Cook Islands tourism industry is urging the government to scrap a departure tax for cruise ship passengers.

Visitors who stay longer than 24 hours in Cook Islands must pay a $60 tax, which is usually incorporated into airline tickets.

But because cruise ships rarely stay overnight, the tax generally doesn’t apply.

When a recently visiting cruise ship was told its passengers and crew would have to pay the tax if it stayed more than 24 hours, the liner cut short its stay.

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation’s Metua Vaiimene has told Pacific Beat the tax must go if the country wants to remain competitive.

“This we feel will help entice cruise ships to visit the Cook Islands,” he said.

Tourism organisations say Cook Islands will be missing out on big economic benefits if cruise passengers don’t make longer visits.

They’re also worried that ships may avoid Cook Islands altogether.

“Anything that will reduce cost to the cruise liners and of course any savings that they can pass on to their passengers, their clients, makes the Cook Islands a more attractive cruise destination,” Mr Vaiimene said.

The tourism industry says the economic benefits of having passengers spending money in the country outweighs any gains of a tax.

“The revenue that is foregone… is quite minimal, when you compare that to the economic benefits that a cruise ship does provide,” Mr Vaiimene said.

“The spend is much better served for the economy if it is out there in the private sector.”

A group of key stakeholders, including the tourism industry council and the body which collects departure taxes, has met and voted in favour of making a recommendation to the government to make changes.

“We expect these recommendations to roll our fairly quickly,” Mr Vaiimene said.Radio Australia

6) Embattled Samoa Finance Minister Steps Aside
Faumuina asks for country’s forgiveness, to remain MP

By Apulu Lance Polu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, April 17, 2014) – Samoa’s Minister of Finance Faumuinā Fa’aolatane Tiatia Liuga has resigned and will remain a backbencher.

The Minister announced his resignation close to midnight last night at the end of a two and a half hours address in parliament where he tried to clear his name and his actions and decisions as investigated and reported by the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Select Committee.

He quoted the many Cabinet decisions that was basis for his actions as a Minister and apologized if his desire to expedite the development of the country has resulted in actions being questioned by many.

The long awaited debate of the Parliamentary Committees Report follows months of the report being exposed by the media both locally and overseas and resulted in a rift within the ruling Human Rights protection Party that started with a signed letter to the Prime Minister in May 2013 to remove the Minister.

The rift continued with moves to remove the Minister during a four hour long caucus meeting last month that concluded to give the Minister a chance to answer in Parliament when the report is debated.

An emotional Faumuina thanked the Prime Minister for his confidence in him and asked for the parliament and the country’s forgiveness if he has erred. It was the first time he has officially responded to the accusations in the report.

In accepting the resignation, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Fatialofa Dr. Sailele Maliegaoi said it is rare for someone holding a high profile position such as Minister of Finance to tender his resignation on his own free will. Tuilaepa paid tribute to Faumuina’s contribution as a Minister of State for the last 14 years.

These included the successful privatization of Public Works that laid off 400 workers in a move to save government expenditure and improve service delivery by offering public works to the private sector.

He said the privatization is being studied by other neighbouring countries that have yet to have the political courage to take such a drastic policy step.

The Prime Minister also praised Faumuina’s contribution in the construction of world class sports facilities for the 2007 South Pacific Games which has hosted many international tournaments and will also be the venue of the upcoming SIDS Conference in September this year and the venue for the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.

New Minister to be sworn in 25 April

As he is now short of one Cabinet Minister, the Prime Minister told Parliament that he will pray for Gods guidance to show him someone who will be sworn in 25 April at 4.00pm. “Someone who does not answer back,” the PM indicated. “An MP from a constituency that has not yet been appointed in Cabinet.”

Parliament passed and accepted the Committees Report after 1.00am and then adjourned for the budget session at the end of May.

Talamua

7) Cook Islands Parliament Dissolved, Election Set For July 9
Early elections called to prepare for 50th anniversary

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 17, 2014) – The Queen’s Representative in the Cook Islands has dissolved parliament and called an early election in July.

Tom Marsters says he has been advised by the prime minister that early elections are necessary to have an incoming administration in place before next year’s 50th anniversary of self-government.

Mr Marsters says an early election will also allow the incoming government to pass an appropriate budget in time for this major event.

The election date has been set for July the 9th.

The term of parliament would have ended in November and elections would have had to be held before February the 17th.

Radio New Zealand International

MICRONESIA

8) Hong Kong, Palau Flights Temporarily Suspended
Mega Maldives Airlines brings tourists from Hong Kong, China

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, April 17, 2014) – Mega Maldives Airlines has resumed servicing the Palau-Hong Kong air route after a temporary stoppage.

Shallum Etpison, president of the Palau National Airlines (PNA), said that the airline company has resumed its flights to and from Palau on April 11. PNA is the local partner of Mega Maldives.

He said that the airline is flying on the same schedule- Tuesday and Saturday.

“Mega Maldives resumed its Palau flights and is continuing to do so,” said Etpison, who did not disclose the reason for the stoppage.

The Airline temporarily halted its flights to and from Palau on March 18, 2014. A source said that Mega Maldives temporary halted its Palau flights due to restructuring of its aircraft fleet.

Island Times sent an e-mail to Mega Maldives CEO George Weinmann to ask for confirmation on the reason for the temporary flight stoppage, but has not yet received a response as of press time.

The Paper also tried to contact Uchel Tmetuchl, PNA Vice President, but was not able to reach him as of press time.

The temporary stoppage has adversely affected tourist arrivals from Mainland China. Arrivals from China have been going up by more than 100 percent for more than a year, before it went down in March this year by 17.71 percent.

Figures released by the Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) show that there were 976 arrivals from China in March 2014 compared to 1,186 tourists in the same period last year, or a difference of 229.

The resumption of the flights could bring back more visitors from China and Hong Kong to this island nation.

Increasing arrivals from China have helped offset the decreasing number of visitors from the top three customers of the Palau Tourism Industry- Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

Mega Maldives started regular charter flights to and from Palau on December 16, 2013.

Palau Airways, which was servicing the same route before, temporarily stopped its operations after a few months and later folded up for good. Business losses reportedly caused for Palau Airways to cease operations.

Island Times

AUSTRALIA

9) Report shows decrease in young people under justice supervision orders

Posted 17 April 2014, 1:02 AEST

By Elize Strydom

There has been a drop in the number of young people under youth justice supervision but Indigenous young people are still over-represented, according to a recent report.

The 2012-13 Youth Justice in Australia report shows a 14 per cent decrease in the number of 10 to 17-year-olds under supervision when compared to 2010-11 figures.

The statistics revealed on an average day, just over 6,300 young people were under supervision due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime.

The head of the Child Welfare and Prison Health Unit at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Tim Beard, says about 85 per cent are under community supervision.

“The majority are still living at home but have been told by a court that they have some sort of order to maintain,” Mr Beard said.

“They could be on remand or on a suspended sentence or they’re serving parole.

“Only a relatively small number are in youth detention facilities.”

Mr Beard says there are two driving forces behind the drop.

“At a national level, community supervision numbers are actually falling substantially faster than the detention numbers which are quite stable,” he said.

“Young males, who make up about 85 per cent of the youth justice population, are also coming in at a much lower rate.”

He says an increase in the use of diversionary programs is also helping.

“When a young person ends up in court, the judge or whoever is charged with making the decision as to where the young person ends up, tries as hard as they possibly can to ensure that they’re diverted from the system,” he said.

“Either they’re given a warning if it’s a relatively low-level offence that they’ve allegedly committed or if they are found guilty, the idea is to make sure they are kept in the community so that they don’t flow through to the more serious element which is detention.”

Mr Beard says Victoria has a long history of favouring diversionary programs which has meant the state’s rates have historically been the lowest across the country.

The Youth Justice in Australia report shows the number of Indigenous young people under supervision has dropped 5 per cent in the last five years.

But Mr Beard says in 2012-13 they were still 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to have been under supervision.

“It’s a very large over-representation that has continued for a long period of time.”Radio Australia

NEW ZEALAND

10) MPs approve Ka Mate legislation

By Online Editor
5:08 pm GMT+12, 17/04/2014, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Parliament has passed Treaty of Waitangi legislation that lays down conditions for the use of the Ka Mate haka performed by the All Blacks.

The bill was one of three being passed as the House sits under extended hours.

The Ngati Toa Rangatira Claims Settlement Bill and the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Bill were passed together.

The latter bill stipulates that Te Rauparaha must be identified as the composer of the haka, whenever it is published commercially, communicated to the public or appears in a public film screening.

Maori Affairs Minister, Pita Sharples told Parliament the Ka Mate haka is New Zealand’s most powerful icon.

Dr Sharples said from today onwards the Crown recognises Ka Mate as a taonga and an integral part of the history, culture and identity of Ngati Toa rangitira.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN

11) Ol sios, gavman na komuniti lida imas stopim sanguma pasin

Updated 18 April 2014, 15:37 AEST
Pasin blong kilim nating ol narapla bihaenim ol tokwin olsem oli posin man-oa meri i wanpla bikpla wari long PNG.

Odio: Reverend Jack Urame, Director blong Melanesian Institute long Goroka long Papua New Guinea.
Olgeta sios, gavman na ol community lida long Papua New Guinea imas wokbung wantem long stopim ol pipal isave kilim ol narapla bihaenim bilif long sanguma oa sorcery.

Reverend Jack Urame, Director blong Melanesian Institute long Goroka i mekim despla toktok tede bihaenim ol nius olsem oli kilim sikispla pipal em oli sutim tok long ol  olsem oli posin laen.

Ol ripot ikam long PNG itok tu olsem tupla pikinini, krismas blong ol 3 na 5 ibin stap namel long ol pipal em oli bin kilim ol.

Pasin blong kilim nating ol narapla bihaenim ol tokwin olsem oli posin man-oa meri i wanpla bikpla wari long PNG.

Reverend Urame i tok displa pasin blong kisim pikinini i nongut olgeta.

“Displa ol pikinini, em ol i innocent, ol ino save long wanpla samting blong sanguma tasol taem ol i suitm tok olsem, olgeta long femili isave birua.”

FRENCE

12) Les terres coutumières de Nouvelle-Calédonie ne sont plus un frein au développement économique

Par Angela Palmieri
Publié le 19/04/2014 | 13:58, mis à jour le 19/04/2014 | 14:07

Direction Baco (Koné) dans la province nord de Nouvelle-Calédonie pour découvrir un nouvel exemple de partenariat réussi entre des investisseurs privés et une tribu kanak, propriétaire de terres coutumières.

© NC 1ÈRE Le totem réalisé par la tribu de Baco qui a été installé près des locaux de l’enseigne automobile

La zone VKP (Voh Koné Pouembout) poursuit son développement qui n’a pas cessé de

croître depuis l’installation de l’Usine du Nord.

L’augmentation de la population dans cette région de la province nord de la Nouvelle-Calédonie attire donc les investisseurs privés. Sur la RT1, une nouvelle enseigne, qui associe les principaux distributeurs automobiles, ouvrira ses portes cette semaine.

Un investissement de 150 millions a pu être réalisé grâce à un accord signé avec la tribu de Baco, propriétaire terrien du lieu où est implanté ce commerce.

Regroupés au sein d’un GDPL (Groupement de Droit Particulier Local) qui donne à la tribu une reconnaissance bancaire, les habitants de Baco ont signé un accord avec les investisseurs. Un nouvel exemple de partenariat économique qui confirme que les terres coutumières ne sont pas un frein au développement économique de la Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Le reportage de Gilbert Assawa et de Philippe Kuntzmann de NC 1ère

http://nouvellecaledonie.la1ere.fr

13) Provinciales 2014: 17 listes en compétition dans les trois provinces de Nouvelle-Calédonie?

Par Angélique Souche (A.P)
Publié le 18/04/2014 | 17:36, mis à jour le 18/04/2014 | 21:14

La clôture du dépôt des listes pour les élections provinciales a finalement été repoussée à mardi 18 heures au lieu de dimanche soir. En tout 17 listes devraient être en compétition le 11 mai prochain dans les trois provinces de Nouvelle-Calédonie.

10 listes ont déjà été déposées et sont en cours de validation dans les services du haut-commissaire de la République en Nouvelle-Calédonie.
Il faudra patienter jusqu’à mardi soir pour avoir la confirmation, mais au total 17 devraient s’affronter le 11 mai prochain dans les provinces sud, nord et Loyauté, un chiffre inférieur à celui de 2009, sept listes de moins…

Avec pour commencer moins de candidats en province sud, où l’on devrait assister à une confrontation entre 5 listes non-indépendantistes et une liste unitaire indépendantiste qui serait tirée par Rock Wamytan mais les places suivantes font l’objet d’âpres négociations depuis plusieurs jours. Louis Mapou pour le Palika, Marie-Claude Tjibaou, mais aussi Sylvain Pabouty ou encore Prisca Holero et Marie-Pierre Goyetche pour le Parti Travailliste seraient en compétition pour le haut du tableau.

Côté non-indépendantistes, il y a les déclarées : Cynthia Ligeard pour le Front pour l’Unité-Rassemblement, Sonia Backès pour l’Union pour la Calédonie dans la France… Les attendues : probablement Philippe Gomès pour Calédonie Ensemble, et les outsiders : Stéphane Hénocque pour Convergence Pays et Bianca Hénin, tête de liste du Front National.

5 listes sont pressenties dans le Nord, celle du  Palika du président sortant, Paul Néaoutyne, dont le principal adversaire sera l’Union Calédonienne et la liste conduite par Gilbert Tyuiénon. Le Parti Travailliste est lui aussi en ordre de bataille derrière George Mandawé. Un tableau que devrait venir compléter deux listes “loyalistes”.

Enfin, les Îles Loyauté devraient remporter la palme de l’éparpillement, avec 6 listes connues à ce jour pour 20 000 électeurs. La liste favorite de l’UC menée par Neko Hnépeune, la candidature de Louis Kotra Urégei pour le Parti Travailliste, le LKS sera également dans la course derrière Basile Citré et le Palika avec Charles Washetine comme chef de file. Il faudra aussi ajouter Jacques Lallier, tête de la liste Union pour la Construction des Loyautés, composée de dissidents du Parti Travailliste et du Collectif des usagers des Îles. Enfin, il faudra compter avec Simon Loueckhote qui espère bien décrocher un siège provincial avec sa liste d’union loyaliste “l’Autre Voix”.

http://nouvellecaledonie.la1ere.fr

14/15) Amiante environnemental: les conséquences de la fermeture de la route de la rivière de Tontouta

Par Angela Palmieri
Publié le 17/04/2014 | 10:50, mis à jour le 18/04/2014 | 07:19

En Nouvelle-Calédonie, de nombreuses pistes contiennent de l’amiante environnemental. La route des Mines Montagnat permettait de partir à l’assaut du Mont Humboldt ou de descendre la rivière de Tontouta. Sa fermeture au public met en danger des petites structures touristiques.

© NC 1ÈRE Cette piste des Mines Montagnant permet de se rendre au Mont Humbolt, la deuxième plus haute montagne de Nouvelle-Calédonie

La Nouvelle-Calédonie a la particularité de contenir sur son sol des roches susceptibles de contenir des fibres d’amiante d’origine naturelle, c’est ce qu’on appelle l’amiante environnemental.

risques amiantifères nouvelle calédonie

Le portail permettant d’emprunter la piste des Mines Montagnat situé le long de la rivière deTontouta est bien connu des Calédoniens. Elle permet notamment de se rendre au pied du Mont Humboldt, la deuxième plus haute montagne de Nouvelle-Calédonie. C’est aussi un lieu de “tourisme vert” très apprécié par les touristes…

© NC 1ère Les Mines Montagnat ont décidé d’interdire au public le passage leur portail

La décision des Mines Montagnat de condamner l’accès au public à cause des risques amiantifères déstabilise fortement les petites structures touristiques installées dans ce secteur.

Une situation qui met en avant une fois de plus les limites de la législation concernant les risques de l’amiante environnementale.

Le reportage d’Alexandre Rozga-Lebrun et de Michel Bouilliez de NC 1ère.

http://nouvellecaledonie.la1ere.fr

16) Nickel, manganèse : la “route de l’acier” est coupée

Par Alain Jeannin
Publié le 18/04/2014 | 16:52, mis à jour le 18/04/2014 | 16:52

Début avril dans le nord de la Chine. Les eaux grises du port de Rizhao accueillent en plus grand nombre les minéraliers qui nourrissent l’appétit insatiable des usines chinoises d’acier inoxydable. Une situation qui profite aux producteurs de nickel…

© ALAIN JEANNIN Minéralier de nickel dans le port de Vavouto, en Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Les navires russes ou canadiens attendent dans la baie de Rizhao balayée par les vents, sans débarquer leur précieuse cargaison de ferronickel. Cette attente est due à la forte progression des cours du métal à la bourse des matières premières de Hongkong, le bras asiatique du London Metal Exchange (LME) de Londres. Les capitaines des navires attendent l’ordre de débarquer leur chargement de nickel. Il n’arrivera que lorsque la cargaison aura été vendue. L’attente peut durer plusieurs jours. La période est à la spéculation haussière, le nickel frôle désormais les 18.000 dollars la tonne.

La Chine représente 44 % de la demande mondiale de nickel

L’ordre arrivera par Internet de Russie ou de Toronto. Il surviendra après la négociation qu’un Trader de Hongkong aura conclu avec un autre Trader aux ordres de Tsingshan, l’un des grands producteurs d’inox du nord de la Chine et gros consommateur de nickel.

Ces navires qui attendent un ordre venu d’ailleurs démontrent que la Chine n’est pas encore arrivée à contrôler le prix et le volume des matières premières. Cette politique permanente de sécurisation des minerais est essentielle pour le pays qui compte à lui seul pour 44 % de la demande mondiale de nickel.

Le marché des métaux et les traders du nickel sont à la fête

Depuis deux mois, les cours du métal remontent à une vitesse vertigineuse. La raison est connue, le procédé chinois de Nickel Pig Iron (NPI), mis au point en 2005 est fragile et fondé sur l’utilisation d’un minerai à faible teneur en provenance principalement d’Indonésie. Or ces exportations ont cessé, elles sont désormais soumises à embargo. Pour Pékin, la route de Djakarta est donc coupée. En conséquence, les stocks chinois de nickel indonésien s’épuisent, Pékin doit modifier ses fours et se tourner vers des producteurs traditionnels.

Le marché des métaux et les traders du nickel, ceux de Londres ou de Hongkong sont à la fête, ils servent d’intermédiaire. Ils se remplissent les poches avec les cours du nickel qui sont de plus en plus élevés. La dernière analyse de Morgan Stanley envisage même un retour à des pics supérieurs à 30.000 dollars la tonne ! De la pure et folle spéculation pour le moment. Le chiffre de 30.000 dollars fait sans doute rêver les producteurs calédoniens de nickel. Ce prix résoudrait ou dissimulerait bien des problèmes de rentabilité.

La route ukrainienne du manganèse est coupée

La région pluvieuse du Donbass, dont Donetsk est la capitale, est le bassin minier, le siège de l’industrie lourde et la région la plus peuplée de l’Ukraine, mais aussi la plus riche : 25 % des richesses du pays sont produites dans cette zone.

À deux heures de route de la capitale du Donbass, la ville de Dnepropetrovsk est le siège d’Interpipe, une entreprise ou plutôt un conglomérat qui produit des moteurs pour les sous-marins russes ou encore des tubes en acier pour les gazoducs. Interpipe est aussi et surtout l’un des premiers producteurs mondiaux de manganèse, une matière première indispensable à la production mondiale d’acier au carbone. La situation en Ukraine perturbe depuis plusieurs semaines les livraisons de manganèse d’Interpipe. Les routes et les ports sont paralysés.
Les industriels européens et américains se tournent encore plus qu’auparavant vers le numéro deux mondial du manganèse : Le groupe français Eramet.

Eramet-Comilog de Moanda à plein régime au Gabon

Au Gabon, l’usine Eramet-Comilog de Moanda tourne à plein régime, malgré un sérieux accident qui s’est produit fin mars et dont personne n’a parlé. Le train du manganèse, celui d’Eramet qui relie Franceville à la capitale gabonaise a déraillé à son arrivée au port minéralier d’Owendo. Une quarantaine de wagons chargés de manganèse a basculé dans un ravin. Sans faire de victimes. Le trafic ferroviaire a été interrompu plusieurs jours. Pas de quoi interrompre durablement les livraisons du producteur français aux anciens clients de l’ukrainien Interpipe. Et ils sont nombreux.

Ces sidérurgistes de l’acier sont fébriles et dépendants. La remontée du cours de l’action Eramet est donc liée aussi à la hausse brutale des cours du manganèse. Principale conséquence pour Eramet, la remontée des cours du nickel à Londres et les ventes en forte hausse de manganèse gabonais améliorent la trésorerie de l’entreprise dans son ensemble et celle de la SLN en particulier. « It’s a wild world ».

http://nouvellecaledonie.la1ere.fr

WORLD

17) Shrinking and ageing

Afp
Thursday, April 17, 2014

TOKYO – Japan’s population has shrunk for the third year running, with the elderly making up a quarter of the total for the first time, government data shows.

The number of people in the world’s third largest economy dropped by 0.17 per cent or 217,000 people, to 127,298,000 as of October 1 last year, the data said on Tuesday. This figure includes long-staying foreigners. The number of people aged 65 or over rose by 1.1 million to 31.9 million, accounting for 25.1 per cent of the population, it said.

With its low birthrate and long life expectancy, Japan is rapidly greying and already has one of the world’s highest proportions of elderly people.

The ageing population is a headache for policymakers who are faced with trying to ensure an ever-dwindling pool of workers can pay for the growing number of pensioners.

The country has very little immigration. Any suggestion of opening its borders to young workers who could help plug the population gap provokes strong reactions among the public.

EDUCATION

18) Re: Misunderstanding about French Tertiary Education

Posted on April 12, 2014

Dear Editor,

There was a long standing misinformation, “that after independence in 1980, the Vanua-aku Pati tried to suffocate French education at tertiary level”.
This misinformation which had been published in some local and Pacific magazines is false, incorrect and completely misleading. The truth is that the University of the South Pacific was established according to its charter as an English language Institution and will not accept students with French Buccalaurea.

This was why French speaking students were sent to the University of New Caledonia. This means that trough Vanuatu was paying the full membership of USP every year, 60% of the population were benefiting. Whereas 40% of the Population who speak French could not send their children to USP.
This situation remained for 18 years after independence, when in 1998 Hon Joe Natuman, then Minister of Education, requested professor Bremond of the French Universities center to organize a consultation meeting between professors of French speaking universities of Canada New Caledonia and those of USP to discuss the impasse.

The meeting which took place in Vila reached a Policy guideline on the number of subjects the French speaking students to USP will take in French language and how many subjects they will take in English language. A French language Department was also created at USP Emalus campus.
They will still graduate with USP degrees like any English speaking students. I was first PA for Education and Mr. Raymond Malapa was second PA when the situation was rectified.
Sincerely,

George P. Tarimanu

http://www.dailypost.vu/ ( Phils Note: Well explained George P.Tarimanu.)

19) University Of PNG Students Want UBS Loan Rescinded
Council agrees to petition parliament over Oil Search loan

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 16, 2014) – The University of Papua New Guinea Students Representative Council has unanimously agreed to petition the 111 MPs to rescind the Prime Minister’s K3 billion UBS loan in parliament on May 6.

The decision was made in an emergency meeting on Monday.

SRC president Bobby Yupi said the council, comprising the 22 provincial association presidents, agreed that each MP should make it his or her priority to debate the loan in parliament and vote on it.

Yupi said the council respected the role of the Ombudsman Commission but added the legal processes involved were lengthy.

He urged all MPs to put the people’s welfare first.

“Parliament’s approval must be granted and we the students want to see that prevail in this vibrant democracy,” he said.

The National

POLITIC

20) Fatal shooting prompts PNG border market closure

18 April 2014

A market at the Papua New Guinea/Indonesia border has again been closed amid fears over a shooting incident.

The Antara news agency says the Skouw border market was shut after a trader was killed by an unidentified gunman.

The market had only re-opened after a gunfight between an armed group and the Indonesian military prompted its closure.

It is not known when the market will re-open.

The area has seen skirmishes between separatist rebels from Indonesia’s Papua province and military forces crossing into PNG in pursuit of them.

At the beginning of this week, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia agreed to jointly investigate the recent clashes.Radio NZ

21) PNG, Indonesia Leaders Agree, In Principle, To Reopen Border
Closure will persist, however, until security situation is normalized

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 17, 2014) – Government leaders from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia have agreed in principle to reopen the border when security was in place.

In a meeting at Batas yesterday, Acting Governor Paul Nengai led the PNG delegation which included the West Sepik provincial administration staff, the PNG Defence Force, Customs and police, and the Indonesians were led by their consul in Vanimo Jahar Gultom.

Both parties spoke on the importance of the border shared by people of West Sepik and Papua province.

Nengai said they discussed to reopen the border to allow business activities at the Batas market.

The Provincial Intelligence Committee (PIC) however advised Nengai to put the reopening of the border on hold for security reasons.

Until such time, the border will remain closed for traditional border crossers and international travelers.

Nengai appealed to the locals and travelling public not to go to Batas until security returned to normal.

The National

22) Interpretations In New Caledonia Roll Controversy Vary Widely
Different tribunals use different standards of eligibility

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 16, 2014) – There have been widely divergent interpretations of the law in New Caledonia’s controversy over the electoral roll.

The pro-independence FLNKS movement lodged thousands of court cases to challenge the inscription of people born outside the territory as preparations are underway for next month’s provincial elections.

Voting will be restricted to long-term residents in line with the decolonisation process which, after the election, opens the way for a possible independence referendum.

While the tribunal in Noumea rejected practically all bids to have people struck off the roll, the tribunal in Kone removed almost all names submitted to it.

The rules exclude immigrant voters who failed to be registered by 1998, but there have been differing views on who has to prove a voter’s eligibility.

The Noumea tribunal says the FLNKS has to submit the evidence but the group says only the judge has access to the migration records to verify the relevant dates.

An academic, Mathias Chauchat warned last week of a judicial scandal if the judges failed to check the relevant records which are only open to them, the mayors and the French high commissioner.

Radio New Zealand International

 23) Fiji’s Bainimarama Accused Of More Decree Breaches

A conviction could disqualify PM from contesting election

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 16, 2014) – The United Front for a Democratic Fiji says the regime leader, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, has committed further breaches of the Political Parties Decree.

The prime minister is already under police investigation for allegedly breaching that decree as well as a law which, if there is a conviction, can see him jailed and fined as well as disqualified from the election promised for September.

The UFDF says Rear Admiral Bainimarama is now in further breach for claiming to be the first candidate of his proposed party when there is no party structure in place to choose him as a candidate.

It also says by telling the Fiji Sun that election offices will be set up in Savusavu and Taveuni, he has exerted influence on the election office, which is supposed to be independent.

The UFDF has also called on the Chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority, Ashwin Raj, to take immediate steps to stamp out the Fiji Sun’s ongoing daily breaches of the Media Industry Decree.

The police cannot say when their investigations will be completed.

The election supervisor has not commented on the reported breaches of the poll-related decree.

Radio New Zealand International

MEDIA

24) ABC’s Australia Network signs China content deal

Updated 17 April 2014, 13:16 AEST

The ABC’s Australia Network has struck a deal for what it says will provide unprecedented opportunities for Australian content in China.

The agreement with the Shanghai Media Group is expected to be signed in Shanghai on May 4.

Under the deal, ABC International will establish an online portal in China through which a range of ABC and other Australian media content and services will be available to partner Chinese media organisations.

The ABC will have official approval to sell media content, enter international co-productions and generate sponsorship through a base in Shanghai.

Britain’s BBC World Service and America’s CNN International are the only Western broadcasters available in China.

The ABC says the deal gives Australia Network the most extensive access to Chinese audiences by any Western broadcaster.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott says the agreement opens new opportunities for media cooperation between the two countries.

“It provides a truly unique window for all Australian media to build a friendly and mutually cooperative relationship with China,” he said.

“International Channel Shanghai last week broadcast a week of Australian TV programs provided by the ABC and Australia Network to coincide with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit.

“The success of last week and the future under this agreement will help build understanding between China and Australia.”

The ABC’s Q&A program was last week broadcast from Shanghai, as part of special programming to coincide with the Australian Government’s Australia Week trade mission in China.

Sun Wei, the Executive Director of the Shanghai Media Group’s International Channel Shanghai, says his organisation is looking to build on that success.

“Ground breaking international broadcasts such as Q&A, which was produced as a collaboration between Australian and Chinese television crews, pave the way for bigger and better international media cooperation and cultural connections in the future,” he said.

Media authorities from the Chinese Government in Shanghai has given support for the deal.

CEO of ABC International, Lynley Marshall, says the deal takes the ABC-SMG partnership to a new level.

“This agreement will enable us to put the full range of Australia Network programming and content from other Australian media into China and for China to connect more closely with our media,” she said.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, recently questioned the future of the international broadcaster, saying the money it costs to run could be better directed elsewhere.

The ABC runs Australia Network under a $223 million, 10-year contract for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Radio Australia

25) Ex-editor takes the stand in trial

Afp
Thursday, April 17, 2014

LONDON – Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has told Britain’s phone-hacking trial he was only vaguely aware of the practice during his time at the Murdoch tabloid.

The defendant said he was never party to voicemail interception or in agreement with it.

Coulson also said that as deputy editor in 2002, he did not know the voicemail of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler —later found murdered — had been accessed.

The revelation in July 2011 that the 13-year-old’s phone had been hacked sparked outrage and forced global media baron Rupert Murdoch to close the News of the World — Britain’s top-selling tabloid — within days.

Coulson told the London court that before the Dowler incident he was only vaguely aware of the practice of accessing voicemails.

“I think I was aware of it in very vague terms. I think it was in the ether. It was something that was gossiped about maybe,” he said.

Asked by his lawyer Timothy Langdale if he was ever party to or in agreement with phone hacking at the News of the World, Coulson replied: “No I was not.”

BUSINESS

26) New Caledonia price freeze queried

18 April 2014

Employers in New Caledonia have called for an end to the partial price freeze in place since August to curb the high cost of living.

This comes as unions say the measures, which are due to remain in force until January, have not been adopted properly.

Last May, a 12-day strike prompted the government to act on stalled efforts to reduce the cost of some goods and services.

It agreed to impose a 10 percent price cut on 500 consumer goods and lowered phone and internet costs as well as bank fees.

But the importer and distributors’ organisation has now told the local newspaper that while some people could maintain their purchasing power, several businesses now face problems.Radio NZ

27) Papua New Guinea telecom watchdog to register SIMs

By Online Editor
5:16 pm GMT+12, 17/04/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s telecommunications regulator plans to register mobile SIM cards because of abuse of telecoms services, according to The National.

It said National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO Charles Punaha said since the country’s telecoms market was opened up tor competition in 2007, there have been no control measures in place.

He said the regulator cannot track who a particular SIM belongs to.

He said NICTA is going to make it mandatory to have some form of identification to obtain a SIM.

Punaha said three months after the regulation is approved, any location where SIM cards are sold will have to have machines to register customer identifications and bio data.

He said customers will have to re-register after 18 months, otherwise their cards will be cancelled.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

28) Liquor ban on Easter in PNG

By Online Editor
4:59 pm GMT+12, 17/04/2014, Papua New Guinea

A liquor ban has been imposed in Port Moresby and other centres as the Government and police urge the people to have a crime-free and peaceful Easter weekend.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in a special Easter message urged everyone to focus on the “wonderful sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all on the Cross on Good Friday – and his glorious rising from the dead on Easter Day”.

“I hope we will also pray for the continued growth and health of our churches in every part of our nation, and for the vital work the clergy, members of religious orders and lay workers carry out in educating our children, looking after the health of many communities, helping the under – privileged, and encouraging our youth about the values of family life,” he said.

The liquor ban in the capital city will be effective from tomorrow to Tuesday.

City manager Leslie Alu said the ban would apply to the dealers, taverns, bottle shops, takeaway shops and public bars in limited hotels and publicans.

Exempted are restaurants where alcohol is taken as part of the meal clubs where alcohol is restricted to members and guest of members only, publicans where liquor is taken as part of meal by lodgers, guests and diners only and limited hotels where alcohol is taken as part of meal by lodgers, guests and diners only.

NCD Police acting Metropolitan Commander Superintendent Perou N’Dranou warned people to maintain peace and order this weekend.

He said roadblocks would be set up around the city.

Easter operation “Jesu Maino” started last Friday with commanders of police stations, Dog Unit, Mobile Squad Unit and the Police Band briefed on what to do.

In East Sepik, Police Mobile Squad Commander James Bisai said they would start a special operation from today to monitor road users in Yangoru-Saussia and people from other districts who used the Sepik Highway.

Similar operations are planned for Lae, Madang, Mt Hagen, New Ireland and Goroka.

Liquor ban imposed in the highlands region will also be closely monitored this weekend. In Gulf, road blocks are planned between Kerema and Malalaua and the borders along Central, provincial police commander Lincoln Gerari said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

29) Vanuatu Looks To Exploit Potential Of Chinese Tourism
International Finance Corp. assists with promotion, sector development

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, April 16, 2014) – The Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, signed a memorandum of understanding in the VTO Conference Room yesterday, strengthening their partnership in promoting tourism sector development in Vanuatu.

The MOU was signed between VTO General Manager, Linda Kalpoi and IFC Manager for Sustainable Business Advisory East Asia and the Pacific, Ian Crosby.

The MOU is the first step in formalising collaboration between the two entities, outlining areas of potential cooperation and mutual interest. Areas where VTP and IFC will work together include increasing awareness of Vanuatu in the China market through marketing activities, with the aim of increasing tourist arrivals from China.

The VTO General Manager said, “We are excited to be partnering with IFC. Their assistance will help Vanuatu tap into the emerging China market to bring in more tourists to Port Vila and the outer islands where we know tourism is needed.

“Our support will help the VTO bring in more tourists, as well as lift standards and increase investment in the tourism sector

In addition, IFC is providing support to the Vanuatu Tourism Awards Programme and the development of cruise tourism via the economic impact study on the cruise sector undertaken with the Department of Foreign Affairs and trace – Australian Aid programme and Carnival Australia.

IFC Manager for Sustainable Business Advisory Services in East Asia Pacific Ian Crosby said, “Our support will help the VTO bring in more tourists, as well as lift standards and increase investment in the tourism sector.

“Growing the tourism sector will provide more jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Vanuatu”.

IFC’s tourism activities are supported by the DFAT-Australian Aid Programme and NZAID.

Vanuatu Daily Post

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

30) Latest Quake centred just off PNG’s Bougainville

19 April 2014
More details have emerged about a strong earthquake which struck late this morning off Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville Island.

Initial reports centred the quake in neighbouring Solomon Islands but the United States Geological Survey says its epicentre was about 62 kilometres to the southwest of Panguna, which is in the central part of the island.

There was no tsunami warning.

Last weekend Bougainville experienced two major quakes – the strongest – 7 point 6 – claimed two lives and wrecked several dozen houses around Buin in the island’s south.

Other quakes in the region around Makira, to the southeast of the Solomons’ capital Honiara, sparked tsunami alerts in both countries and in Vanuatu last Sunday.

There was also a strong earthquake last night in Temotu, the most eastern of the Solomons’ provinces, and the site of a destructive tsunami in February last year.Radio NZ

31) Another major tremor in Solomon Islands

19 April 2014

Another major earthquake has occurred in Solomon Islands but there has been no warning issued for a tsunami.

The tremor, which measured 6 point nine, was at a depth of 52 kilometres, near the border with Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville.

Two major earthquakes last weekend claimed two lives in Bougainville and destroyed dozens of houses.

Solomon Islands, which has been struggling to cope with the effects of flooding on Guadalcanal two weeks ago, has recorded a number of other large earthquakes in recent days.

Mostly these have been around Makira, to the southeast of Honiara, and in the distant eastern province of Temotu.Radio NZ

32) 50,000 In PNG’s Milne Bay Affected By Cyclone Ita
Massive destruction of gardens, homes, infrastructure confirmed

By Lazarus Bira

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 16, 2014) – More than 50,000 people in Milne Bay were badly affected when Cyclone Ita swept through the province last week, government officials say.

Provincial disaster and emergency co-ordinator Eric Balaria said preliminary reports from outstations confirmed massive destruction to food gardens, homes and infrastructures.

He said no lives were lost but 54,414 people were in need of assistance.

The Category-Three cyclone later struck Northern Queensland in Australia causing millions of dollars of damage.

Balaria said rural communities worst hit were Louisiade, Yeleamba and Bwanabwana in the Rossel and Sudest Islands in the Samarai-Murua electorate.

People in the Murua local level government and Alotau escaped the full brunt of the cyclone.

He said a preliminary survey revealed that 11,542 households were affected, 1,159 houses and 5,390 food gardens destroyed. Also destroyed were some classrooms, an aid post building and a VSAT communication system.

Provincial disaster officials could not give the total estimated cost of the damage yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: The National also reported that “Milne Bay Governor Titus Philemon has launched a public appeal for donations following the widespread destruction caused by Cyclone Ita last week.”]

Balaria said the full extent of the damage was likely to be known in the coming days when reports were received from many islands and locations still out of contact.

“The cyclone caused extensive damage to properties, diplaced people, disrupted education of school kids and the normal life of people in the rural communities,” he said.

A report from Bwanabwana said the vessel mv Saga carrying 23 people was missing.

“The provincial disaster office is in the process of arranging relief supplies which include rice, tarpaulins, water containers, medicine and nails which will be distributed to the affected communities in the outstations,” Balaria said.

“The immediate needs required by the population are food, water, shelter and medicine.

“Food gardens were destroyed by the flooding, landslides and severe winds in the remote islands. Shelter needs to be addressed in the small islands that felt the full blunt of the storm.

“Increase in water-borne diseases and shortage of clean water require immediate attention.”

Balaria said food and water security were the two main term needs in the low lying islands and atolls in the affected zones.

The National

SPORTS

33) Anthony Milford could play for Samoa, Queensland and Australia in the space of a few months
By Online Editor
5:22 pm GMT+12, 17/04/2014, Australia

A serious flaw in the NRL’s new representative eligibility laws means Anthony Milford could play for Samoa, Queensland and Australia in the space of a few months.

The Four Nations could face the embarrassment of Milford helping Samoa to qualify for the tournament, then switching to represent Australia against his former teammates.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Milford advised Samoan officials on Monday of his desire to take on Fiji on May 3 for the final Four Nations berth.

Under the code’s revamped eligibility rules, Milford would be allowed to renounce his Samoan ties after the Fiji clash and be available for Queensland 25 days later in Origin.

That would enable Milford to be considered for Australia, who will play the winner of Samoa or Fiji in a Four Nations clash in Wollongong on November 9.

Australian coach Tim Sheens last week revealed Milford was a contender for his squad despite the Canberra ace being a Samoan World Cup representative.

In only six months, Milford could go from Samoan star to Maroons rookie to Kangaroos debutant plotting against the Pacific nation he helped to the Four Nations.

Samoa coach Matt Parish said last night it would be a blow to lose Milford, but admitted the second-tier nation was powerless under the eligibility rules.

“It would be sad if Anthony gets us to the Four Nations and then turns out for Australia against Samoa in the tournament,” Parish said.

“I’m fully aware of that situation, but that’s the rules as they stand.

Parish questioned whether Sheens and Meninga were giving Milford false hope.

“It’s all right for Tim Sheens to say he’s looking at Anthony Milford but what about Daly Cherry-Evans? Billy Slater and Greg Inglis are fullback options and Cherry-Evans is the utility so where do you fit Anthony in?’’ he said.

“Tony was one of our best players at the World Cup. I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t going to pull on the blue jumper again.

SOURCE: THE COURIER MAIL/PACNEWS

34) Rebels overpower Force

AAP
Saturday, April 19, 2014

Update: 11:25AM THE Melbourne Rebels put the brakes on the Western Force’s winning run with a hard-earned 22-16 victory in their Good Friday Super Rugby clash at AAMI Park.

The Rebels made amends for their early-season humiliation at the hands of the Force and stopped the Perth franchise’s surge at five successive wins.

It was Melbourne’s third win and was much needed after back-to-back losses in New Zealand and with the bye next round.

They did it the hard way, dominating the first half everywhere except on the scoreboard with the teams locked at 6-6 at halftime.

The Rebels had 62 per cent of possession, a massive 502 run metres compared to the Force’s 207 and made only 39 tackles compared to 96 for the visitors.

They didn’t get across the tryline until the 61st minute, relying on the boot of fullback Jason Woodward kicking penalties.

That try came after skipper Scott Higginbotham took the ball from the back of their scrum and charged over.

The Melbourne scrum earned bragging rights over their rivals while lock Luke Jones continued to push his claims for a Wallaby call-up, making a game-high 16 runs.

The Force, missing halfback Alby Mathewson (ankle), lock Sam Wykes (rib) and winger Luke Morahan (hamstring), also struggled to bag a five-pointer with five-eighth Sias Ebersohn keeping them in the game.

They hammered hard early in the second half, getting within centimetres of the tryline but the home side’s defence held up and they ended up taking three points for a ruck penalty.

The Force looked out of steam on the back of their winning run, which included the scalp of the NSW Waratahs last round.

Higginbotham’s converted try extended their lead to 19-6 and the early workload started to take its toll on both sides with the error toll mounting.

Woodward brought his personal toll to 17 points – five penalties and a conversion – before Force winger Nick Cummins crossed after the siren to ensure an all-important bonus point.

Higginbotham said the win was overdue after a run of close losses, including to the champion Chiefs last round.

He praised the scrum for laying the platform; all the more impressive after losing starting prop Laurie Weeks 16 minutes in with concussion.

“The scrum was fantastic and we really built on that,” Higginbotham said.

“The boys had a tough time in New Zealand so to come back here and really put it on, it was good for them.

“It was time for us to get a win.”

Melbourne coach Tony McGahan was also delighted his team had finally been rewarded.

“They’ve trained really well and have had a tremendous attitude and, against a good Force side, we got the fruits of the last three weeks,” he said.

He said he wasn’t concerned about his team’s inability to break away from the Force in the first half, feeling that the workload would count against the visitors as the clock wound down.

Force coach Michael Foley saw it the same way and said his team failed to match the desperate Rebels at the breakdown and scrum, particularly in the opening half.

“We weren’t able to get enough momentum in the early stages of the game and that took its toll in the back stages,” he said.

“We had to do a lot of work than what we should have to make up for the things we weren’t doing proactively,” he said.

He said his team, who host the Bulls next round, weren’t looking for excuses such as the mental and physical drain of their winning run.

“There might be mitigating factors but we have to overlook those and know we could have done better.”

35) Waratahs vow to run with the Bulls

AAP
Saturday, April 19, 2014

Update: 12:00PM Defiant til the end, the NSW Waratahs are pledging to run with the Bulls come what may in Saturday night’s high-stakes Super Rugby showdown in Sydney.

The Tahs’ daring ball-in-hand-style may be putting bums back on seats at Allianz Stadium but it has only yielded four wins from seven outings in 2014, leaving the early-season title favourites clinging to the top six.

A loss to the Bulls would allow the South Africans to leapfrog the Waratahs on the ladder and leave Michael Cheika’s side precariously placed at the halfway point of the competition.

“Last week we felt that was a big game (against the Western Force) in the context of the conference and we didn’t get the result,” skipper Dave Dennis said on Friday.

“We came out of it and thought we’re still there or thereabouts if we get the win this weekend, so the pressure’s moved to this game.”

But refusing to retreat, Dennis insists the Waratahs will live and die by their refreshing style and won’t be drawn into a dour struggle with the heavyweight Bulls.

“As a group, we’ve got a strong belief in what we’re doing and we feel if we play our style as well as we can, we’ll put a lot of teams under pressure and win more games than we’ll lose,” he said.

“That will be the case again tomorrow night. If we can put them under pressure, play our style, run them round a bit, we’ll get a good result hopefully.”

Dennis is also hoping for a big performance from former Bull Jacques Potgieter when the giant back-rower comes up against his old side for the first time.

Potgeiter is champing at the bit to get at his former teammates and Dennis is confident the niggle directed at the South African won’t bother him.

“As long as he stays on the field and doesn’t see a coloured card, I don’t mind what he does,” he said.

“But, yeah, I am sure there will be a lot of Afrikaans flying around the scrum and at the lineout and at the ruck, so it should be interesting.

“He said he’s pretty keen for it and he’s a good team man, Jacques. He enjoyed his time there and has some good mates there, but he’s made it quite clear during the week that his priorities are with us and he’ll be doing everything he can to try and get stuck into his old teammates.

“It’s going to be nice and physical, we spoke about that. They always are, the Bulls, and I am sure Jacques will want to lead the way there against his old mates.”

36) Father, son rule golf

Rashneel Kumar
Saturday, April 19, 2014

FATHER and son, Viliame and Masi Naupoto stood out in the Easter tournament at the Fiji Golf Club course in Vatuwaqa yesterday.

The Minister for Youth and Sports won the C-grade prize on 38 points in the Turtle Club-organised individual stableford event sponsored by the Carpenters Fiji Limited.

Son, Masi managed the B-grade competition on 38 as well followed closely by FMF’s Ram Bajekal in second.

In the A-grade competition, Mark Turner scored brilliant 42 points followed by D S Oh on 36 and J J Oh on 35.

The ladies grade was won by Debbie Gibson who overcame tough competition from Gye Oh and Ana Harvey.

The nearest-to-the-pin prizes went to J B Lee and Masi on the second and twelfth holes, respectively.

“Despite the late notice, the attendance was very good and competition was a success,” tournament co-ordinator Ilaisa Labaibure said.

The club will host its weekly individual stableford tournament today.Fijitimes

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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