Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 968


1) Vanuatu daily news digest | 22 April 2014

by bobmakin

  • Daily Post carries the shock horror story of the day – the Government’s over-spend on financial assistance to scholarship holders of VT 318 million more than budgeted for in this year 2014. The total scholarships budgetary commitment has now soared to VT 778 million. The Pacific Institute of Public Policy website for government financial management accountability, mentioned yesterday –, makes the revelation which Post has published. It is frightful to think that the government has burdened the country with such colossal debt, scholarships costing more than the entire budgets of the ministries of internal affairs, foreign affairs, agriculture or trade. MPs voting this catastrophic amount should be made to pay for at least part of the scholarship allowances from the increases they voted themselves with their last allowance increase, as GJP MPs have been doing.
  • VBTC news today, however, says there are good prospects for the Vanuatu economy. They claim to be quoting an IMF team leader, here for a month, in saying economic activity is “coming up”. It will need to rise rapidly if huge budgetary holes have to be filled, and we should not be having to sell citizenship or land to pay for these shortfalls.
  • VBTC also has news of the RVS Tukoro being fitted with equipment for hydrographic mapping. This comes about with NZ and UK assistance. Luganville, Champagne Beach, a Pentecost harbour (possibly Bay Ohmo) and Wala are being so mapped. The exercise is said to be extremely costly.

The Utilities Regularity Authority is working on improving Port Vila street lighting. The present government is said to be concerned and raised the issue in campaigns. The municipality has taken up the issue and is supported by Unelco.


2) Pacific Island gang member shot dead in court in Utah

22 April 2014

A United States marshall shot and killed a Pacific Islander, who was a gang member, in the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City in Utah after he tried to attack a witness with a pen.

The FBI is quoted by USA Today as saying 25 year old Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, was shot several times in the chest after charging the witness in an aggressive, threatening manner.

The witness, a Utah prison inmate, was testifying about the gang and how it operated.

Angilau was on trial for racketeering, robbery and assault, including shooting two US marshalls seven years ago.

Angilau had been in Utah state prison since September 2007 until being handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service last week for the trial.

He was not restrained in the courtroom.

3) Cook Islands calls early election amid opposition claims government faces no confidence

By Online Editor
8:19 pm GMT+12, 22/04/2014, Cook Islands

Cook Islands’ Opposition leader says Prime Minister Henry Puna has called an early election because he fears being thrown out of office.

Puna last week visited the Queen’s Representative to dissolve parliament and Cook Islanders will go to the polls on July 9.

The government’s term was due to end in November.

Opposition Leader, Wilkie Rasmussen, says the Puna government has lost the support of some of its members.

He says the snap election was called with several bills still waiting to complete their passage through Parliament.

“Internally, he has lost the confidence of two, possibly four, MPs in the Cook Islands Party,” Rasmussen toldPacific Beat.

“Just a few days before, he was in Parliament using ministerial speech privilege time to boast about the success of his party and of his government … and then all of a sudden, this decision.”

Rasmussen says he believes the Opposition has a strong chance on election day, and he hasn’t ruled out forming a coalition.

“We’re confident that we’ve done enough preparations for the upcoming election,” he said.

“The practicality of it is, we will have to form a government, if it comes to having to form a government and say, for example, we have 11 members and we still need two, we simply will then sit down and talk about forming a government.


4) Tahiti Journalist Dismisses Government’s Economic Plans
Everything in French Polynesia is subsidized: du Prel

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 22, 2014) – A journalist in Tahiti says a new raft of measures proposed by the French Polynesian government won’t succeed in reviving the territory’s failing economy.

The government’s 50 point recovery plan includes boosting housing initiatives and construction, airport development, promoting tourist attractions, and creating employment opportunities.

But the publisher of the Tahiti-Pacifique monthly magazine says it’s just talk from the government, which has made similar promises since 1991.

He says the problem with French Polynesia is its reliance on the public sector.

“Everything that is being proposed is either subsidised or reliant on public money. We have become, thanks to the nuclear tests, a consumer society with no production behind it.”

Alex du Prel says those in power are happy with the status quo because they have very high wages, subsidised by France.

Radio New Zealand International


5) CNMI Development May Impact Historic Sites: Archaeologist
Developers cautioned to work with Historic Preservation Office

By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 22, 2014) –With the Northern Marianas at the cusp of major developments, historic sites are threatened.

As the CNMI proceeds to dealing with these developments, University of Guam-Micronesian Area Research Center’s research associate Dr. Mike T. Carson recommends caution.

Dr. Carson is presently involved in major archaeological work on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam focusing on early human settlements in the Marianas.

“Threats to sites most often occur in the form of new land developments. In these cases, construction work involves heavy machinery for removal of the vegetation, along with layers of sediments and of course any existing structures, road paving, and so on. Some excavations can be quite deep, where structural foundations and utility lines require digging down to the bedrock of the island or even intruding deep into the bedrock,” said Carson.

Such kind of construction work lead to destruction of many sites.

“The land-developing parties are obligated to work with the Historic Preservation Office to ensure that sites are avoided and preserved to the extent possible. When preservation in place is not realistic, then HPO can help in developing responsible management, recovery of important information, and communication of the results with the public,” he said.

Recently, there have been various infrastructure development projects proposed.

On Tinian alone, there are three major construction projects eyed.

Residents on Saipan have yet to see the construction of a 2,000-room casino-hotel.

There are three housing projects on Saipan being developed for low-income families.

On Rota, an investor group is proposing to build five-star casino-hotels, revival of the Paupau Hotel.

Another group is heading the development of the port facility on Rota East Harbor.

Efforts are also underway on Saipan to create more hotels and add more rooms to existing ones in view of the increasing demand as evidenced from the significant increase in tourist arrivals.

“For land-developments such as utility lines, roads, hotels, housing projects, and shopping malls, typically the construction work is constrained within a limited footprint of the available real estate. The construction work typically will call for 100 percent use of the available real estate, meaning that any sites within the footprint probably will be destroyed. This has been the case for numerous projects in high-density developments such as Tumon in Guam and Garapan in Saipan,” said Dr. Carson.

He cautions that proponents of these major development projects should work closely with the CNMI government and the Historic Preservation Office.

Recently, his work on Tinian turned up exciting finds about the pre-Contact Period culture and a vast array of pottery and other artifacts that lend credence to the theory that perhaps the first settlers on island may have migrated over 3,500 years ago by making a 2,000 km transoceanic crossing — the longest of its time — from the Northern Philippines.

Developers are cautioned to proceed with prudence and consider that most ancient archaeological sites could not be easily detected by an untrained eye.

“Most ancient archaeological sites can be deeply buried and hidden from view, often in places where many of us might not expect, so it is wise to plan accordingly when considering new land-use plans and actions. Second, many sites are significant for their historical context, such as the numerous sites of Japanese and WW II periods in the CNMI, wherein the most important information comes not necessarily from archaeology but rather from historical documents and oral traditions. Third, sites throughout the CNMI potentially are threatened not only by US military build-up but also by new plans of other government agencies, private land-developers, and even unintentionally by changing climate and sea level.”

Further, the CNMI is also facing major military developments.

But he said historic and archaeological sites are preserved in places of military installations.

Dr. Carson said, “For U.S. military actions, typically very large parcels of land are involved. Within these large parcels, the direct impacts can be organized for the least amount of negative effects on sensitive resources. At least in the Marianas Region, archaeological sites mostly are preserved in place in the U.S. military installations, or else they are studied rather extensively with U.S.-funded resources that otherwise are not available for other land-developers. Other significant impacts, however, involve the reduction of public access to the sites, increased noise and pollution, and other factors that all will need more careful consideration as the plans take shape for the military build-up.”

Marianas Variety


6 ) By Online Editor
5:13 pm GMT+12, 22/04/2014, Indonesia
Indonesia expects Australia will agree to limit its spy operations in the country but says it is not ready to sign off on the final terms for a code of conduct.

Foreign minister Marty Natalegawa says negotiations towards resuming full diplomatic cooperation with Australia are progressing, but are yet to be formalised.

Indonesia suspended cooperation in November after revelations that Australian spies had tapped the phone of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and members of his inner circle.

It recalled its ambassador from Canberra, announced a review of all agreements with Australia, and suspended cooperation on people smuggling, military exercises and intelligence sharing.

It was in response to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s initial refusal to explain the spying revelations. The attempts to tap phones happened under the previous government but were revealed in leaked documents obtained by Guardian Australia and ABC News two months after the Coalition took office.

A key condition of Indonesia agreeing to resume full diplomatic relations is Australia signing up to a code of conduct.

Dr Natalegawa said a return to full cooperation was “not too complicated”.

“We are having the more important process of having a similar expectation of what a code of conduct would entail,” he said.

Dr Natalegawa says he has met his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop, on a number of occasions recently and they have been discussing what the code should include.

“And as I had said before, essentially, what we foresee is a reiteration of the basic principles of our bilateral relations, especially the Lombok Treaty,” he said.

“And then we will have a commitment to do certain things, and most importantly a commitment not to do certain things.”

Dr Natalegawa says it is clear that the latter part of the agreement will include a commitment to “refrain from the employment of intelligence resources” in a manner that would be “inimical” or damaging to the other country.

“This was a point which was made on many occasions by the current Australian Government and we just wish to put that on a piece of paper,” he said.

But he has not said how long it was likely to take before any agreement could be formalised.

Yudhoyono wants final approval of code of conduct

Last November President Yudhoyono reserved the right to give final approval to the code of conduct.

“I will check the draft myself, whether it’s been done properly and answered all the wishes of Indonesia – after the tapping that occurred,” he said.

“After the protocols and ethical codes have been approved, I would like to have the signing of the codes be done by the heads of states, I as the president and Prime Minister Abbott, as prime minister.”

Only once that is completed, will Indonesia be willing to resume full diplomatic relations.

But Indonesia is preparing for a presidential election on July 9, with a potential run-off in September if the first poll is inconclusive.

Yudhoyono has reached his two-term constitutional limit and is therefore ineligible to run again.

His party has also been plagued by corruption scandals and falling popularity.

Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party performed so badly in this month’s legislative elections it is now languishing in the ranks of the minor parties and has abandoned plans to run for the presidency.

If diplomatic relations are not mended in the next few months, the Australian Government could be facing negotiations with both a new president and government in Jakarta.



7) Auckland still reeling from effects of storm

Nz Herald
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DOZENS of residents in pockets around northern and western Auckland remain without hot water following last week’s bruising storm that crashed into the country.

A Vector spokeswoman said all the main pilots were reconnected, bringing hot showers back to most residents and they were now hearing from a handful of homeowners who were not connected to those main pilots.

Everyone in Auckland who lost electricity during ex-cyclone Ita’s fury have had their power reconnected, she said.

About 500 homes on the West Coast in the South Island remained without power after last week’s storm, RadioLive reported.

Meanwhile, MetService said some rainy days with westerly winds were in store for the country in the lead-up to Anzac weekend.

“The westerly flow will bring some wet days along with some dry ones but overall it will not be as active as the start of the Easter holiday,” meteorologist Daniel Corbett said.

A large anticyclone in the North Tasman Sea would gradually build across the country over the next several days but ahead of this a couple of passing troughs would slide up the country today and tomorrow, bringing showery rain in places especially to western coasts.


8) PNG Freedom of Speech i bikpla samting

Updated 22 April 2014, 13:01 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol politikal lida blong Papua New Guinea ino ken brukim mama loa blong kantri long saed blong  Freedom of speech.

Odio: Siaman blong Transperensi International PNG Lawrence Stevens itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Igat wanpla askim olsem ol politikal lida blong Papua New Guinea ino ken brukim mama loa blong kantri long saed blong  laik blong wanwan long mekim wonem kaen toktok em oli laik mekim.

Siaman blong Transperensi International PNG Lawrence Stevens i mekim despla toktok bihaen long sampla Palaman memba i laik  rausim bosman blong Institute of National Affairs long PNG.

Ol ripot ikam long Port Moresby itok Mr Paul Barker ibin tokaut olsem gavman ibin kisim bikpla dinau em gavman itok bai bekim wantem moni em bai kisim long ol bisnis bihaen taem.

Despla ibin hatim bel blong ol politisan na oli laikim Mr Barker imas lusim PNG.

Planti pipal long commnunity long PNG na ol narapla hap long wold ino wanbel wantem despla kaen toktok blong gavman na oli tok gavman ino ken pasim maus blong ol pipal.Radio Australia

9) PNG-Indonesia boda ino seif iet

Updated 22 April 2014, 16:57 AEST
Pius Bonjui

Igat wari olsem security long Papua New Guinea na Indonesia boda ino seif tumas.

Odio: PNG Indonesia security

Sidaon na securiti oa wok lukaut long bodamak blong Papua New Guinea na Indonesia ino kamap iet bihaenim ol trabal long boda.

Long Stat bilong dispela mun, ibin gat sut aut namel long ol memba bilong OPM long West Papua na ol Indnesian soldia klostu long bod krosing.

Bhianim dispela ol gavman otoriti long tupela sait ibin wok hat long stretim long lukim olsem pipal bilong PNG na Indonesia igo ikam long boda krosings bai ino bungim heve na birua.

National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) journalist long Radio West Sepik long Vanimo Salina Korei ibin wanpela long ol igo stap long miting namel long ol gavman ofisal long boda bilong tupela kantri.

Salina Korei itok ol laen blong Free Papua muvman ibin statim despla trabal long soim strongpla laik blong ol long bruk lusim Indonesia.

Despla ibin mekim tupla kantri long pasim rot igo ikam long PNG oa long Jayapura.Radio Australia


10) Présentation de la liste UCF en province-sud

Par Gonzague de La Bourdonnaye
Publié le 22/04/2014 | 20:06, mis à jour le 22/04/2014 | 20:06

L’Union pour la Calédonie dans la France présentait officiellement ce mardi la liste que le mouvement présentera le 11 mai prochain dans le sud pour les élections provinciales en Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Est-ce pour prendre de la hauteur avant une campagne qui s’annonce dure, voire impitoyable? C’est en tous cas depuis le Mont Koghi, dans un lieu surplombant le grand Nouméa – que l’UCF (Union pour la Calédonie dans la France) a présenté son programme et les cinquante colistiers qui affronteront le verdict des urnes, le dimanche 11 mai prochain.
Une union de trois mouvements politiques qui a, pour la mandature qui s’annonce, deux ambitions: faire de la politique autrement et améliorer la vie quotidienne des Calédoniens.
Avec la volonté affichée d’en finir , au plus vite, avec l’incertitude institutionnelle qui prévaut en Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Présentation de cette liste avec Thierry Rigoureau et Robert Tamanoggi (Montage: Claire Barré) :

Provinciales 2014: présentation liste UCF dans le sud-

11) PNG: l’enquête sur la chasse aux sorcières piétine

Mis à jour 22 April 2014, 18:23 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

En Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée lundi dernier, près de 500 habitants de Raicoast, ont fait une descente dans le village voisin de Sasiko. Ils y ont tué 6 personnes, dont deux enfants de moins de 5 ans.

Levée du corps d’une des six victimes de la chasse aux sorcières sanglante qui a eu lieu lundi 15 avril près de Madang. (Photo: EMTV, Papua New Guinea)
Un des corps portait des traces de brûlures. Les 6 victimes étaient soupçonnées d’avoir pratiqué la magie noire. Cette chasse aux sorcières a eu lieu près de Madang, sur la côte nord du pays. On écoute la réaction de Richard Eves, spécialiste de la Mélanésie à l’Université Nationale Australienne:

« Ce qui est choquant, c’est que cette chasse aux sorcières ressemble beaucoup aux attaques qui ont lieu d’habitude dans les Hauts-Plateaux. Alors qu’avant, c’était très rare dans les régions côtières, et il n’y avait qu’un ou deux morts. »

Mais l’enquête reste compliquée, entre autres parce qu’une majorité de la population soutient encore la pratique des chasses aux sorcières. Le révérend père Jack Urame est directeur de l’Institut Mélanésien, un centre de recherches basé à Port-Moresby :

« Les villageois se serrent les coudes. Ils ne collaborent pas avec la police. Quand toute la communauté est impliquée, la police ne peut pas mettre tout le monde en prison et les poursuivre en justice. »

La chasse aux sorcières de Sasiko est la plus meurtrière en Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée depuis celle de février 2013, qui avait attiré l’attention d’Amnesty International et de l’ONU. À l’époque, la police avait arrêté 100 personnes. Mais elles n’ont jamais été poursuivi en justice. Dans cette nouvelle affaire, les forces de l’ordre ont arrêté 180 villageois. Richard Eves:

« Nous verrons si ces gens sont mis en examen. Jusqu’à présent, l’État papou s’est montré incapable de poursuivre les coupables. Il procède à des arrestations, mais c’est tout. Cela signifie que ces gens agissent en toute impunité. »

En 2013, le Premier ministre Peter O’Neill a annoncé qu’il allait appliquer la peine de mort pour tous les crimes très violents, dont les chasses aux sorcières. Le projet est toujours en suspens. Radio Australia

12) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique

Mis à jour 22 April 2014, 18:32 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

  • Lundi les secours ont découvert ce message adressé au ciel par cinq navigateurs dont le bateau était parti à la dérive. 
  • Queensland: cinq navigateurs sauvés grâce à un SOS écrit dans le sable. Lundi ils ont fait une excursion à 30 kilomètres au large de Mackay. Arrivés près de l’île de Wigton, ils ont quitté leur bateau pour rejoindre la plage à la nage. Mais l’ancre s’est rompue, et le bateau est parti à la dérive. Les cinq passagers ont alors écrit un SOS sur le sable de la plage. Ils ont attendu plusieurs heures avant que les secours n’aperçoivent le voilier à la dérive, puis le message. Les cinq navigateurs ont été hélitreuillés et ramenés sur la terre ferme.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: pénurie de nourriture dans la province de la Baie de Milne. C’est l’une des conséquences du passage d’Ita sur l’extrême est du pays, début avril. Le bureau des catastrophes naturelles a enfin pu survoler la zone pour voir l’étendue des dégâts. Le cyclone a endommagé plus de 1100 maisons et près de 5400 jardins vivriers. Plus de 54 000 habitants seront donc touchés par une pénurie de nourriture ces deux prochaines semaines.
  • Avant la Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée, Ita a aussi fait des dégâts aux Îles Salomon. Elle n’était alors encore qu’une tempête tropicale. 78 écoles ont été inondées. 10 autres ont servi de centre d’hébergement d’urgence. Et aucunes d’elles n’a pu rouvrir ses portes ce mardi, malgré les prévisions du Bureau salomonais de Gestion des Catastrophes naturelles. Il faudra encore une semaine de travaux.
  • Jakarta demande aux gouvernements de la région « d’arrêter de se décharger de leurs responsabilités vis-à-vis des demandeurs d’asile ». Ce sont les mots de Marty Natalegawa, le ministre indonésien des Affaires étrangères. Il accueille la Conférence internationale sur la circulation maritime illégale des individus jusqu’à mardi soir. La critique, à peine voilée, vise particulièrement l’Australie. Sa marine a repoussé au moins 7 bateaux de clandestins dans les eaux indonésiennes depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir de Tony Abbott. Les hauts-fonctionnaires australiens présents à la conférence n’ont pas fait de commentaire.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: les Papous doivent éviter de franchir la frontière pour aller en Papouasie indonésienne.« La situation au poste frontière de Wutung, tout au nord de l’île, est toujours très tendue, nous ne pouvons pas garantir la sécurité des Papous », a déclaré un officier papou. La frontière a pourtant finalement été rouverte mercredi dernier après une escarmouche entre les forces indonésiennes et des rebelles indépendantistes papous, qui se seraient réfugiés côté papou.
  • Fidji: Franck Bainimarama demande un délai. Le Premier ministre doit réunir 5000 signatures pour pouvoir créer son nouveau parti, Fiji First, et obtenir ainsi le droit de se présenter aux élections du 17 septembre prochain. Franck Bainimarama devait déposer les statuts de son parti demain mercredi. Mais il attend toujours des formulaires d’adhésion en provenance d’îles très isolées de Fidji. Un délai lui a été accordé.
  • Papouasie Nouvelle-Guinée: les répliques continuent à Bougainville. La région autonome a subi un séisme d’une magnitude de 7.5 sur l’échelle de Richter samedi dernier, avec un épicentre à seulement 75 kilomètres au sud-ouest de Panguna, au centre de l’île. Pour l’instant on a peu d’éléments sur le bilan et les dégâts. Il y a eu des glissements de terrain. Et les villageois qui vivent le long des surfaces de rupture ont peur qu’il y en ait d’autres. L’eau courante n’a toujours pas été rétablie.
  • À Guam, finalement la population passera à 10 000 habitants, et non à 80 000 comme annoncé initialement. Le transfert sur Guam d’une partie des Marines actuellement basés au Japon sera moins important que prévu. L’armée américaine a publié vendredi dernier son rapport sur l’impact environnemental de cet accroissement soudain de la population. Principal changement : l’agrandissement de la base militaire et tous les travaux sur le réseau d’électricité et de d’eau courante seront étalés sur 13 ans au lieu des 7 initialement prévus.

Radio Australia


13) Whale hunt in our waters

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

JAPAN’S decision to send a whaling fleet into the Pacific for “scientific research” faces strong opposition in the region.

Whale advocates in the Pacific, including Fiji, said the move was not justified after a court ruling by the International Court of Justice last month banned the Japanese fleets from whaling off Antarctica because Japan was whaling commercially, not for scientific reasons as it had previously claimed.

According to international media reports over the weekend, the fleets will likely begin their “scientific” whale killing some time this week.

Pacific Islands Program for Whale and Dolphin Conservation co-ordinator Dr Cara Miller yesterday told this newspaper the court’s ruling was a clear indication that whaling activities did not have appropriate scientific merits.

“Some of the main problems were that there was no valid reason justifying the number of whales that were killed for the study, very few scientific publications were released despite a more than 20-year research program, and data could have been obtained by non-lethal means,” Dr Miller explained when asked about whether such research was necessary.

“The justification for the number of whales is clearly lacking. Not only is the number not at all justified, there are other non-lethal ways to collect data on whales.

“In total, there have been around 13,000 whales taken in the scientific whaling programs in Antarctica and the North Pacific.”

The Japanese fleets, according to the article, intend on taking 210 whales in the name of scientific research.

And given the relatively low reproduction rates of the majestic creatures, this does not seem ideal.

“Depending on the species, a female may have a calf every two to three years – and this is only after they reach maturity which may be around age five to 10 (depending on species again),” Dr Miller added.

“I think it’s important the ruling and precedent set by the International Court of Justice is followed not just in Antarctica but in the North Pacific Ocean too.”

When asked about Japan’s intentions to begin whaling practices here in the Pacific Ocean given they had just been slammed with a court ruling to cease whaling immediately, Japan’s deputy chief of mission to Fiji Kinzo Nakagun said the Japanese Government was aware of international whaling conventions.

“At the moment what I can say is that our government is still considering research of whales.

“Japanese Government is fully aware of international laws and regulations, and we will abide by international laws and regulations.”C/- Fijitimes


14) University inks deal to turn used cooking oil into bio-diesel

The National, Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

RESEARCHERS from the Pacific Adventist University have signed an agreement with catering facilities to recycle used cooking oil from restaurants, cafeterias and caterers into bio-diesel.
Project manager Elisapesi Manson said a survey in Port Moresby last year revealed that thousands of litres of used cooking oil were disposed of at landfills and sewerage systems which could cause environmental problems.
Manson said since February this year, the bio-fuel project team at the university had been collecting used cooking oil weekly from catering facilities to recycle it into high quality biofuel based on local research testing and experimental results.
“Working on used cooking oil for energy recycling initiatives enables the project to achieve a number of key environmental objectives, including promoting and supporting an environmental pollution reduction programme that encourages the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the country.”
“It is encouraging to see catering facilities in the food and hospital industries in the country agree to the disposal of waste cooking oil for a cleaner environment as it is produced in large quantities in Port Moresby,” Manson said.
He said the team would continue to work with other catering facilities to join the national waste to energy recycling programme.


15) Caledonia Together opposed to Noumea Accord referendum

22 April 2014

The leader of the Caledonia Together Party, Philippe Gomes, says he is opposed to an independence referendum as outlined in the 1998 Noumea Accord.

Mr Gomes made the comment on local television as the territory nears next month’s provincial elections after which such a referendum can be held as part of the decolonisation process prescribed in the Accord.

Mr Gomes says he is opposed to what he calls a frontal vote because nothing is defined of what is behind the two options.

He says some parties want a quick vote to eliminate the independence question while others want a quick vote to get rid of France.

Mr Gomes says after the elections and before any vote, he would like roundtable discussions involving the rival sides and the French state to flesh out what the options entail for a vote.

He says this would prompt parties to explain what sort of link they imagined to maintain with France.

Mr Gomes says being with France, New Caledonia can protect itself against certain people inside the territory and be safe from what he calls external predators that could recolonise the territory economically.Radio NZ

16) National Candidate List by August 25
By Online Editor
5:15 pm GMT+12, 22/04/2014, Fiji

Voters in Fiji will not be pressured to quickly cast their vote on voting day.

Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem said: “No time limit will be given to voters to cast their vote. We are not going to pressure anybody to quickly vote.”

The same applies for voters who will vote in advance of the polling day – pre-polling and postal.

On September 17, as voters entered their assigned polling stations, they will be given a fresh booklet of the candidate list, Saneem said.

The candidate list – where each candidate running for a seat in Parliament is assigned a number, would be made public at least two weeks before September 17.

Saneem said the booklet will come in B5 size (half of A4).

The onus, Saneem said, would be on the candidates to promote their assigned numbers to voters.

He said their priority was the distribution of the candidate list on polling day.

Meanwhile, the ballot boxes that will be used in the general election are of international standard.

“These are United Nations standard ballot boxes and they are transparent,” Saneem said.

“In the 2006 general elections, the ballot boxes were sealed with tapes and the problem with tapes is that with Fiji’s high terrain, they can lose grip or tear off.

“But for the 2014 general elections, we’ll be using tags. These are uniquely numbered tags,” he said.

“Each ballot box has six tags that will be used – after the tags are placed, the additional security feature in the 2014 general election is that the polling station kit is going to contain seals.”

Saneem said there would be no spare seals given to any polling station or presiding officer.

“They (presiding officers) have to account for all the seals. This avoids the opportunity for any person to open the ballot box and insert any paper in the ballot box and then replace the seal.


17) Bainimarama Postpones Registration Of Political Party
Fiji PM says he is still ‘compiling…list of required signatures

By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 21, 2014) – Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will not register his proposed FijiFirst party tomorrow as initially planned.

Confirming the news to FijiLive, he said he was still compiling his list of required signatures.

He needs 5000 signatures to register his proposed party – 2,000 from the central division, 1,750 from the western division, 1,000 from the northern division and a 250 from the eastern division.

Bainimarama stated he was “still consolidating list of registered names and awaiting for forms from the islands.”

“Locally more people want to sign up so we have allowed for more time,” he said.

Bainimarama had earlier revealed to the people of Vanuavatu in Lau during one of his visits that he would register his proposed party on May 22.


18) Fiji Political Group Question Election Supervisor’s Qualifications
Saneem called ‘least qualified’ of those who applies for the post

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 22, 2014) – The political group, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, says the voters have a right to know why the permanent secretary for justice, Mohammed Saneem, was chosen as election supervisor when he was the least qualified among those 13 people who reportedly applied for the post.

The Front, which represents the parties ousted in the 2006 military coup, says applicants were expected to have preferrably 15 years experience in conducting an election and could demonstrate they could organise a one-day poll using best international practice.

The Front says it is not best international practice to choose a person who was not only too young to vote in the 2006 election, but has never participated in one, let alone managed one.

It says it wants to know on what recommendations Mr Saneem was appointed and whether he applied.

It also says it has come to its attention that neither Australia nor New Zealand recommended Mr Saneem for the job as claimed by the minister in charge of the election, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Radio New Zealand International


19) Committee assessing tax regime

The National, Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

THE Tax Review Committee is assessing the different types of tax reform options that Papua New Guinea can undertake, an official says.
Chairman Sir Nagora Bogan said the committee would be issuing its second paper – Diagnostic and tax benchmarking – to cover a whole range of reform processes.
This paper undertakes a disciplined approach to Papua New Guinea’s current tax regime and hopes to ensure the reform process places PNG in a competitive tax position to attract, encourage and retain investment and capital.
Sir Nagora said the first issues paper was on the mining and petroleum sector.
“We’ve started dialogue with mining and petroleum and the LNG sector – that’s going quite well and I believe that Chamber (Chamber of Mines and Petroleum) is very, very receptive.
“We’re pleased that we’ve taken that approach, because it’s one thing to put together the policies but we need to get the practical input, in terms of its implications and impact on that particular sector, both mining and petroleum”.

20) Markets open up

Geraldine Panapasa
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SINGAPORE and Kuala Lumpur have been earmarked as new import destinations for Fiji’s national carrier.

And according to managing director and CEO Stefan Pichler, this is part of the airline’s new cargo partnership and opportunities plan.

He said 19 new export destinations were also part of the plan including partnerships with several airlines such as Korean Air, effective on January 30, Hawaiian Airlines effective from April 1 and Etihad Airways effective April 7 this year.

“We anticipate new partnerships with Malaysia Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines on May 15,” he said.

Mr Pichler said this would open the door for new export destinations to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Guilin, Haikou, Sanya, Nanning, Colombo, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, Dallas, London, Amsterdam, Johannesburg and Dubai.

“Cargo revenue is between eight and nine per cent, which means Fiji Airways is basically a passenger driven business,” he said. “But if you look at cargo load factors, we have a lot of room for improvement because our cargo space hasn’t been filled up properly.

“This is why we do these kinds of deals so we can utilise our cargo space in a much better way. The utilisation of cargo space last year was not too exciting but we have room for improvement.”


21) Smuggling Between PNG, Indonesia Becoming ‘Lucrative’
Items such as guns, ammo, cigarettes, liquor move freely across border

By Haiveta Kivia

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 22, 2014) – Smuggling at the Papua New Guinea-Indonesian border is fast becoming a lucrative business and both countries are missing out on taxes, import and export duties in the range of millions of kina and billions of rupiah.

Ironically, PNG Customs had a week-long meeting last week at the Vanimo Beach Hotel which was based on enforcement.

But they refused to be interviewed by this reporter on what their gathering was all about.

While they were there, smugglers told this reporter that they land guns and ammunition at the Vanimo beaches or take them as far as Aitape, Wewak and Bogia.

In Bogia, the smuggled arms make their way into Madang, Lae, Highlands and New Guinea Island regions. It is that easy and simple.

This reporter spent four days from April 14-18, in Vanimo to follow up on the border skirmishes between the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) and the Indonesia forces, which led to the burning down of Indonesian Government infrastructure and the lowering of Indonesian flag, and the raising of Morning Star and United Nations flags.

While in Vanimo, it couldn’t be ignored that the residents smoke Indonesian cigarettes, drink their soft drinks and dress in clothes coming across the border.

These cigarettes are sold in bulk, in packets and as single cigarettes.

This reporter interviewed randomly-picked individuals and what they told him was no secret with how the province’s informal sector operates.

A cigarette seller said he went to Jayapura just last week by boat and bought K2340 worth of cigarettes, and that is 80 inners, and was selling an inner for K50 and a packet for K6.

He will earn over K4000 and make a profit of K1660 or more – and it is all tax free.

A quick scan of the market revealed many others selling the same or more quantities of cigarettes.

The Post-Courier interviewed simple informal sector vendors and they turned out to be involved as bootleggers, contraband smugglers and boat operators, who move the cargoes with ease.

Many are seen as street vendors involved in the informal sector in and around Vanimo, the provincial capital of West Sepik Province, but they are more than that and they have their pockets lined with Indonesian rupiah and PNG kina.

Furthermore, interviews with many young men at Vanimo revealed an illicit industry that is making huge profits without paying any form of taxes, and in the disguise of the informal sector.

They also told this newspaper how they are able to land their outboard motor powered fibreglass boats in places as far as Aitape, Wewak and Bogia.

In Vanimo, the women also help to sell the items and it is seen as normal in the township to be selling Indonesian made goods.

Contraband is sold openly at the main market in Vanimo, on street markets in the town and along road side markets in the province.

Bootlegs (smuggled alcohol) are sold discreetly but licensed premises sell them openly and whether they import it and pay import duties is a big question no one has answers for.

The smugglers and their associates have named the PNG officials from PNG Customs, Immigration, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, Quarantine and even the PNG Defence Force as “kaikai man.”

“We bribe these ‘kaikai man’ with beer and other alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and women for sex,” said one of the interviewees.

They also take over to Indonesia gold, eaglewood roots, sandalwood and manufactured goods such as Ox & Palm corned beef and Twisties snacks, which are of very high demand across the border.

One man earned around K300,000 in just a month and is a traditional border crosser from one of the villages near Vanimo.

He said a kilogram of eaglewood root is now fetching a cool K15,300 per kilo across the border if you go all the way to Jayapura.

“It is enticing,” he said.

PNG Post-Courier

22) Wutung Border Between PNG, Indonesia Still Closed, Unsafe
PNG Defence Force offers no guaranty of protection for citizens

By Haiveta Kivia

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 22, 2014) – Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers have been instructed not to allow Papua New Guinea citizens to cross over to Indonesia at the PNG-Indonesian boarder at Wutung, West Sepik Province.

The commanding officer of PNG forces at the border, Major Peter Waiaki, told the media in Vanimo that the situation at the border is still tense and there is no guarantee that the lives of PNG citizens will be protected.

Maj Waiaki said the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) rebels were attacking the Indonesian establishment at Batas and Indonesian officials randomly and it was still unsafe for PNG citizens.

The border was re-opened last Wednesday by the Indonesians and the acting Governor of Sandaun Provincial Government Paul Negai in a meeting held at the Indonesian government establishment at Batas.

The Post-Courier was not invited to the meeting even though journalists from other PNG media organisations were invited and sat in the meeting.

Maj Waiaki’s point of the border still been risky was further emphasised by the OPMs when they ambushed the Indonesian delegation as they left Batas after the meeting.

An Indonesian national was injured in the ambush and it was later reported that he died from heavy loss of blood.

Maj Waiaki had earlier said that OPM rebels capitalise on special occasions and special people and try as much to disrupt such activities and visits to draw attention to their cause for self determination and independence.

This was exactly what the OPMs did, put a mark on the border meeting, to say that they are still around.

PNGDF soldiers tried to rid the OPMs in and around the Wutung area by burning down bush camps belonging to the Wamena people from the highlands of the Papua Province of the Republic of Indonesia.

The camps were first razed on Friday April 11 and again on April 14 but the Wamena people, regarded as the spear heads of the OPM’s fight against the Indonesian rule and for a free West Papua, are still around the West Sepik province and along the west coast towards the Indonesian border.

Major Waiaki also asked the media, especially Post-Courier, not to sensationalise the issue as it was both a security risk to his men and lives of PNG citizens.

However, a senior public servant in Vanimo confided that all the Post-Courier reports were factual except for the PNGDF reinforcements from Igam, Moem and Port Moresby.

He said the Post-Courier has been on the spot with what was happening on the ground and should be commended.

This reporter also visited the border on Wednesday and it was very quiet, with the Covec Engineering workers working on the PNG Government’s border infrastructures and four PNG soldiers guarding the PNG officials’ vehicles, parked on our side of the border.

Fast asleep on a bench in the waiting area was a lone PNG Citizen, probably from Wutung, glad in his motorcycle helmet and oblivious to his surroundings.

At the crest of the Bougainville ridge is situated the international border with a clearing housing, our Government infrastructures and to the right is the cliff dropping down to the sea at Wutung. To the left is a dense jungle and steep ravine that can’t be easily accessed.

The OPMs are launching their attacks and making their escapes through there.

PNG Post-Courier


23) El Ninoa alert for PNG

The National, Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

THE country is likely to experience a devastating weather situation it last faced in 1997 with another “extreme” El Nino forecast to hit the Pacific region this year, according to the National Weather Service office.
Assistant director for Climate and Special Services Kasis Inape said: “The tropical Pacific Ocean is currently in a state of rapid transition. The waters have warmed considerably in recent weeks.”
Inape said international climate models surveyed indicated continued warming of the central Pacific Ocean in the coming months.
El Nino is a prolonged warm climate which results in prolonged droughts.
The last time PNG experienced that extreme weather pattern was in 1997 which resulted in a severe drought across the country.
Port Moresby and major centres were severely hit by water shortages and extreme hot weather conditions.
Inape said most models predicted that from April to June or during the southern hemisphere winter season in June to August, the sea surface temperature would reach the El Nino threshold.
“El Nino in PNG often brings rainfall that is below normal. It will initially be experienced across larger parts of the Southern region – Western, Gulf, Central, Milne Bay and Northern,” he said.
“Then it will extend to the Highlands region and the remainder of PNG in the second half of the year.”
He said the strength of El Nino did not always indicate how much it would influence rainfall in PNG.
“Historically, there are examples where weak events have resulted in widespread drought across large parts of the country while at other times, events have resulted in relatively modest impacts,” Inape said.
He said El Nino would cause day-time temperature to be warmer than usual at the expense of cooler nights in the Papuan and Highlands region. This could possibly result in frosts occurring in higher altitudes.
However, he said PNG would still expect neutral condition with changes of El Nino.
And more rain is expected in the coming weeks because of active monsoon in the western Pacific region.
Researchers are keeping a close eye on the giant pool of “abnormally warm water in the Pacific Ocean that could trigger another El Niño of epic proportions if it rises to the surface, sending weather patterns into a tizzy around the world”.
Wenju Cai, a climate scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, is the lead author of a paper published in January on Nature Climate Change that predicted the frequency of extreme El Nino events would double this century.
“Averaged across the equatorial Pacific, there is a far larger than normal amount of heat, which is a necessary precondition for an El Niño,” he told NBC News in an email.
“At the moment, the amount of heat is comparable to that prior to the extreme El Niño of 1997-98.”

24) 54,000 face food shortages in PNG due to Cyclone Ita

22 April 2014

Reports from Papua New Guinea say about 54,000 people directly affected by tropical Cyclone Ita face food shortages in the next two weeks.

The Post Courier reports figures provided by the Milne Bay provincial disaster office.

The assessment estimates 54,414 people have been affected with 1159 houses and 5390 food gardens destroyed.

The figures are based on a visit by a National Disaster Office team that carried out a 250-mile radius aerial survey in the cyclone affected islands using a PNG Defence Force helicopter.

The paper reports the south of Sudest Island is the worst affected area, as Ita passed 60km from the island, throwing trees into the sea, smashing houses and wiping out food gardens for about 20 kilometres along the coast.Radio NZ

25) Android App fast tracks relief effort in Solomon Islands

22 April 2014

Smartphone technology is helping speed up the distribution of relief supplies to rural communities in Solomon Islands affected by recent floods.

The android app, fieldTask, is being used by World Vision Solomon Islands to survey affected communties in need of relief assistance.

Its Country Director Andrew Catford says the faster processing of surveys means relief supplies can be distributed more quickly to the people who need them.

“It sort of cuts by about half the time to collect data on how peoples houses have been affected, whether they need to be repaired and shelter kits issued also in terms of what people have lost from their homes as a result of the floods. So we’ve found it’s been a really efficient way of getting that information so we can do more prompt distribution.”

Andrew Catford says he is grateful to the government and people of New Zealand for their ongoing assistance to the relief effort in Solomon Islands.Radio NZ

26) Rebuilding underway near centre of Bougainville earthquakes

22 April 2014

The town of Buin in the south of Papua New Guinea’s Bougainville is requesting building materials and tools from the province;s government after strong earthquakes left homes destroyed.

The 7.5-magnitude quake on Saturday followed other large quakes the previous weekend.

The executive manager of Buin town, John Itanu, says a house collapsed on a woman, who survived but was taken to hospital.

A representative of the Bougainville government stationed in Bana, Sam Roroga, says people will have to help themselves as there is little the government can do to help due to funding issues, but Mr Itanu says his requests are pretty basic.

“We need nails, saws and hammers to try and rebuild the houses. So we are now putting the report together to send it to the government so that the government can look into it. Nails and hammers and saws, and some petrol, some petrol to cut the timber, using saws.”

John Itanu.Radio NZ

27) Food Security Remains Concern In Solomon Islands
Food gardens wiped out by floods, prices up 400% in Honiara

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 21, 2014) – Aid groups in Solomon Islands are raising concerns a lack of food security is stopping many flood victims returning home from evacuation centres.

Devastating flash floods earlier this month killed 21 people and left thousands homeless.

Food gardens were also wiped out by the flooding or buried in silt.

CEO of NZ aid group Tear Fund, Ian McInnes, says that’s seen a 400 per cent increase in the price of food staples in Honiara.

“There’s food in the markets, but not enough, so that elevates the price,” he said.

“And so just as families are hit hard, having lost many of their assets and been in these evacuation centres for nearly two weeks, they come out and find that food is priced out of reach.

“You look at the markets, and some stores have folks manning them and then there are just vacant benches where there would have been men or women selling their fruits and vegetables and they’re just not there.”

Mr McInnes says with schools in Honiara reopening on Tuesday, there is a risk that children and poorer families will suffer a nutrition deficit from being priced out of the market.

“This is one of the issues that is keeping people in evacuation centres,” he said.

“The challenge with evacuation centres is they can attract people to them who are really on the fringes, who need the support that comes from those facilities,” he said.

“But the aid program really needs to migrate home with people to help get gardens up and running again, because people are hanging on to the evacuation centres because of the free supply of food, water and basic household items.”

The Guadalcanal province, outside of the capital, was the most heavily affected area by the flooding.

Mr McInnes says while much of the aid has focused on Honiara, rebuilding food security needs to start in Guadalcanal instead.

“These are villages that have large tracts of land and supply large quantities of fresh produce into Honiara,” he said.

“They’ve always said of the 50,000 people affected in Solomon Islands, 40,000 of those are outside the capital.

“Four in five people affected are outside the capital, and that’s where the aid needs to go.”

Radio Australia

28) Think-Tank: EU Can Help PNG Improve Forest Governance
Illegal logging could be stemmed with Forest Partnership Agreement

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 21, 2014) – A British think-tank says Papua New Guinea could improve its forest governance by negotiating a Forest Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU).

In Chatham House’s report, ‘Illegal logging in PNG’, the organisation found illegal practices in forestry are widespread and transparency in the industry among the worst in the world.

Chatham House’s Sam Lawson says Papua New Guinea should look to follow the lead of other countries that have signed a Voluntary Forest Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade with the EU.

“They are very important in that they harness the assistance of the European Union in a significant manner in helping address forest governance issues within a country,” Mr Lawson told Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific program.

“It is the best thing that PNG could do right now in terms of finding ways to get help to tackle this problem.”

Mr Lawson says even if Papua New Guinea does not negotiate a forest partnership agreement, a fully-fledged timber tracking system would improve its reputation.

“It is about setting up systems which are of an international accepted standard, which guarantee that each log that leaves the country is legally harvested and that involves chain of custody,” he said.

“These are the kind of systems which are being set up by the EU in these VPA (Voluntary Partnership Agreement) countries and are what is increasingly required in order to be able to guarantee the legality of the timber, and ultimately to be able to guarantee that it has a market in the international market.”

Government ‘Slow To Act’ On Commission Advice

The PNG government has been criticised for its management of the timber industry and for being slow to act on the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABL).

However, it has won praise for a new National Responsible Development strategy – which aims to put the country’s many natural resource industries on a sustainable footing.

Mr Lawson says a Partnership Agreement with the EU would also help.

“Other countries have reached out to the international community for their assistance and PNG has not been doing that. PNG has been left behind.”

“There have been numerous bi-lateral agreements involving countries like Indonesia. Most of the countries of South East Asia are now talking to the European Union about this issue. PNG has remained very, very quiet.”

Action Is Being Taken, Industry Says

The executive officer with the Forest Industries Association, Bob Tate, says the EU has little to contribute to PNG’s forestry industry.

“The European Union has a long history of total opposition to commercial forestry in Papua New Guinea, in particular, and the Pacific in the broader sense,” he said.

“The Europeans are intent on the imposition of their view of the world. We sometimes call them eco-imperialists.

“They are more interested in protecting their trading advantages in wood products, especially against the emerging manufacturers in Asia and China in particular.”

Chatham House and others are urging Papua New Guinea to strengthen its certification and chain of custody standards in the timber industry.

They found that the use of legally flawed Special Agricultural and Business Leases was one of the main problems in the timber industry in the country.

Mr Tate says the industry is already acting.

“The Forest Industries Association commenced the independent certification of legality compliance in PNG. We still strongly support those initiatives,” he said.

“PNG has just completed its own, not government sponsored, but hopefully government-endorsed, legality standard and the FAI has obtained funding from the International Tropical Timber Organisation to build on that legality standard with an internationally acceptable chain of custody standard for PNG.

“[SABLs] are still only a minority of logging operations and we hope as the government ministerial committee works its way through the SABL debacle that many of those SABLs will be either rectified or terminated.”

Radio Australia


29) Hunters survive scare

The National, Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

SUNSHINE COAST: The Papua New Guinea Hunters face a nervous wait as the Queensland Cup judiciary decides if forwards Timothy Lomai and Dion Aiye have cases to answer after both were reported for dangerous throws in their 16-4 win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons on Sunday.
Lomai and Aiye were penalised and put on report by referee Robert Gallacher after lifting and driving opponents past the horizontal in a match marred by a high error rate. Both tackles were deemed reckless rather than intentional by commentators but in light of National Rugby League player Alex McKinnon’s serious spinal injury earlier in the year the game is moving to eradicate any dangerous lifting in tackles.
Hunters coach Michael Marum would also be trying to address his side’s poor completion rate which saw them turn over half their possession in an 80-minute arm-wrestle.
The Falcons were supposed to be soft touches but the Sunshine Coast stragglers competed well to stay within eight points of their more fancied visitors for most of the match.
The win by the Hunters and upset results elsewhere have the new boys just one point from top spot that is now shared by the Ipswich Jets, Northern Pride and Norths Devils.
Both sides were guilty of poor ball handling and a lack of execution in attack but they still managed to entertain the crowd.
Despite launching a late surge towards an unlikely victory, the Falcons couldn’t control the ball for extended periods and looked devoid of fifth-tackle options, ensuring that they remain winless at the foot of the Q-Cup table.
Hunters captain Israel Eliab, who claimed the man-of-the-match award, bagged a double the first of which was a long range effort in the sixth minute. An attacking grubber by Falcons’ five-eighth Brett Doherty ended up in the 23-year-old’s mitts and he raced 95-metres to hand the Hunters a 4-0 lead against the run of play.
The Hunters crossed again in the 11th minute when halfback Roger Laka scooted away to score next to the posts after good lead-up work from Sebastian Pandia, Laka duly adding the extras making it 10-0. In the 18th minute PNG were awarded a penalty and Laka stepped up again to add a further two points, extending the Hunters’ lead to 12-0.
Constant errors crept into the contest from the 20-minute mark until the final five minutes of the half as a result of the free-flowing and carefree style of football created by both sides. In the 35th minute the Falcons were finally rewarded with a four-pointer.
Hunters centre Thompson Teteh fluffed a defensive take and Doherty running the angle touched down 12m to the right of the uprights after being fed the scraps by Rowan Klein. The 21-year-old failed to convert his own try to keep the score at 12-4 heading into half-time.
The razzle-dazzle football continued after the break with both sides coming close to crossing the stripe, however, as was the case in the first 40, a lack of execution ensured the scoreboard would remain unchanged until Eliab scored with 15 minutes remaining.
Hunters 16 (Israel Eliab 2, Roger Laka tries; Roger Laka 2 goals) def Falcons 4 (Brett Doherty try).

30) Loan firm throws lifeline to AFL PNG

The National, Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

ESILOAN will sponsor the AFL PNG senior cup competition this year.
The financier, a subsidiary of Kina Finance Limited, stepped in after Bank South Pacific dropped out as sponsors.
EsiLoan will be the exclusive sponsor for the 2014 Senior PNG AFL Cup.
The announcement was made jointly by AFL PNG Senior Advisory Board deputy chairman Loi Bakani and Kina Group of Companies chief executive officer, Syd Yates at the Colts Football Oval on Saturday.
The partnership marks an exciting period for AFL PNG and Kina Finance in driving the profile of AFL PNG to the next level and showcasing the immense player talent to potential recruiters in Australia.
Yates described the sponsorship as a furtherance of the good progress AFL PNG had made in promoting and developing the profile of Aussie Rules in Papua New Guinea.
He said that Kina Finance has always had a vested interest in supporting the continued development of sporting programmes as it created wider benefits throughout the community.
Yates said Kina was proud to partner AFL PNG and looked forward to a successful and exciting 2014 season and beyond. “We have been helping everyday Papua New Guineans with their financial needs for over 20 years and we see this support and partnership with AFL PNG no differently,” Yates said.
The announcement from Kina follows the recent launch of their EsiLoan Cash Card which has been successfully rolled out from the 21st of March throughout Kina’s branches in Port Moresby, Lae and Kokopo.
The announcement was made in light of the return of the Under-16 Binatangs squad from their successful campaign.

31) Blatter wants winter WC

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PARIS – FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reiterated his desire for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be played at the end of the year in the winter rather than in the searing heat of summer.

He also repeated his belief that football’s world governing body cannot be held responsible for the deaths of construction workers racing against time to complete venues for this year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Pressure has been building for the 2022 tournament to be moved from its traditional June-July slot because of temperatures which rocket to the high 40 degrees in the Middle East.

32) Moyes stays positive

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LIVERPOOL – Manchester United manager David Moyes maintains that there are positives for the club’s fans to cling to despite them being out of contention for the Champions League.

Last season’s champions suffered an 11th Premier League defeat of the season when they lost 2-0 at Everton yesterday.

United were already guaranteed their worst points tally since the start of the Premier League era in 1992 and the result at Goodison Park means that it is no longer possible for them to finish in the top four.

Moyes, however, is adamant that the supporters understand the problems he has faced in taking over from Alex Ferguson and is sure that he can turn the situation around.

“I think everybody knows that we are on track to make changes and do some different things. We are rebuilding. We have got things we want to do,” he said.

“The supporters have been incredibly behind the team and supported the team throughout. They understand it has not been good. I recognise it has not been good. It needs to be better.”

33) Liverpool closes in on EPL title

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LONDON – Liverpool has moved closer to a first league title since 1990 with a 3-2 win at Norwich City which sent them five points clear in the Premier League.

Quick-fire early goals from Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez put the visitors in control at Carrow Rd, before Gary Hooper replied for fourth-bottom Norwich in the 54th minute.

Sterling appeared to have made the points safe with a deflected shot minutes later, but a late Robert Snodgrass header obliged Liverpool to endure a nervy last 10 minutes.

It was Liverpool’s 11th consecutive league victory and means that they are guaranteed to qualify for next season’s Champions League, but Brendan Rodgers’s side now have a bigger prize in their sights.

They need seven points from their remaining three games to win the league and can eliminate Chelsea from the title race by winning at home to Jose Mourinho’s side next weekend.

“It was massive,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.

“We said before the game, every victory at this stage of the season, whether you’re top, middle or bottom, is important, and I thought we showed great courage today.

“We will go into the next three games looking to perform well. We want to continue to fight and now look to Chelsea next week, where it will be an incredible atmosphere at Anfield.”

Chelsea’s shock 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland on Sunday, coupled with Manchester City’s draw against the same side in mid-week, had given Liverpool a huge opportunity to stamp their authority on the title race.

They went ahead in the fourth minute when Sterling scored from 25 yards with a fine shot that took a slight deflection off Michael Turner.

Sterling then teed up Suarez to add a second goal in the 11th minute, making the Uruguayan the first Liverpool player to score 30 league goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1986-87.

34) Top NRL surprise packets

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

10. Michael Morgan

When Lachlan Coote — the Cowboys’ major off-season signing and the replacement for legendary club fullback Matt Bowen — went down in the pre-season with a season-ending ACL injury, speculation quickly turned to his likely replacement. Bowen’s cousin, young Javid, appeared to be an option, as did fellow young gun Zac Santo, each of whom performed well in the pre-season Nines tournament. However, new coach Paul Green surprised us all by naming halfback Michael Morgan for a trial match and Morgan impressed all with his zippy pace and support play. After a breakout game including two quality tries in a home win over the Knights the former halfback looks to have nailed down the Cowboys’ fullback gig for some time to come.

9. Josh Starling

When you take a grand final side, then take five front-rowers (George Rose, Richie Fa’aoso, Brent Kite, Joe Galuvao and David Gower) out of the roster, you expect to leave a bit of a gap. Attempting to fill said gap with a handful of up-and-comers, several of whom struggled to get a start at their previous clubs, sounds a dubious strategy at best. We’re only six weeks in but the Sea Eagles are currently in fourth position and have recorded muscular wins over some big packs, including the giant Rabbitohs and hard-hitting Roosters, and a key component has been Josh Starling. The former Rabbitoh hasn’t taken a backwards step, starting all six games in 2013, making 123 tackles and missing just six, running 95 metres per game. The future of Manly, as it usually seems to be, is in safe hands.

8. Gerard Beale

Beale burst onto the scene at Brisbane in 2009, and played 63 games primarily at fullback over the following four seasons, as well as five Tests for New Zealand mostly as a centre. However, after joining the Dragons as a likely replacement for departing fullback Darius Boyd for 2013, Beale played just five underwhelming games before having his season cruelled by a ruptured ACL. With the 2014 Dragons boasting star fullback Josh Dugan, fit-again Kyle Stanley, two Test wingers in Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale and a host of other options in the outside backs including the promising Charly Runciman and Rabbitohs recruit Dylan Farrell, there were questions over Beale’s future at the club. He has laid those to rest as one of the most consistent performers in a strong start to the Red V’s season, including four tries, three try assists and 100 running metres per game.

7. Pat Richards

Remember that big winger who was quite good for Wests Tigers a decade ago when they won the comp? He’s 31 now, has been playing over in the UK and his big thing is he can kick the ball really high from a kick-off and hoof a drop-out a long way. Are the Tigers having a laugh — surely he won’t get a gig with the likes of David Nofoaluma and Marika Koroibete around? Well, yeah, he will — big Patty looks like he’s lost nothing while he’s been away and if anything he might be even better than when he was last here. His big boot has certainly proven a huge asset, especially in respect to his goal kicking (25 goals from 29 attempts so far) but Richards is one of the form wingers in the competition full stop, with five tries and almost 110 running metres per game. In fact he is comfortably the competition’s leading point scorer after six rounds, with 70. Welcome back Patty, we’ve missed you.

6. James Gavet

Warriors junior James Gavet arrived at the Bulldogs in 2012 with some big raps on him after being named 2011’s NSW Cup Prop of the Year, but played just a solitary game, stuck behind a host of big name and representative forwards. Heading to Wests Tigers in 2013 in hope of bigger things, Gavet’s 2013 was an even bigger write-off, spending most of it sidelined with a foot injury and failing to play a first grade match. So even optimistic Tigers fans wouldn’t have been getting too far ahead of themselves when Gavet was named for Round 1 but the feisty prop has been a revelation since, ensuring the Tigers’ go-forward keeps going forward when Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway leave the field. He’s played a key role in aggressive wins over bigger-name forward packs including the Rabbitohs in Round 3.

5. Martin Taupau

New Zealand-born Martin Taupau played just 21 games over four seasons at the Bulldogs as he found himself stuck behind a host of big name and representative forwards, before heading to Wests Tigers in 2014 in hope of bigger things. Hmm, this is sounding a little familiar… Like fellow Kiwi and Tigers bench prop Gavet (above), Taupau has been a revelation in 2014 after being handed more responsibility at his new club. Like Gavet, Taupau has been a key factor in the Tigers maintaining their relentless aggression once their starting props leave the field. Taupau has churned through almost 110 metres per game and notched a couple of tries that has him, like Gavet, being mentioned as possible call-ups for the Kiwis ahead of the upcoming Test against Australia.

4. Nathan Peats

There was no doubting Peats’s potential as a hooker or back-rower based on a handful of games for South Sydney, which included a few 80-minute games when Luke was unavailable. He was too good to be stuck playing 20 minutes per game as a back-up, but was he good enough to cut it as a regular 80-minute hooker in the NRL? Peats has answered those questions in the most emphatic fashion possible, with 41 hard-hitting tackles per game and three tries. Eels fans hoping for a brighter future after two years in the doldrums, and who have been let down by new recruits before, are now singing Peats’s praise from the mountain tops as his relentless aggression and control from dummy-half has helped the Eels to a share of equal second after six rounds.

3. Semi Radradra

The blockbusting Eels winger, the Semi-Trailer, the new Fijian powerhouse of the NRL, has been one of the feelgood stories of 2014 — much like his resurgent club. A rugby sevens junior, Radradra played a handful of games in 2013, showing his promise with five tries in seven outings, but as you’d expect from a then-20-year-old who was completely new to the sport, his positional play was highly suspect and “raw” would have been a generous description of his early games. We’re not sure what form of wizardry new coach Brad Arthur conjured over the off-season or whether it’s all the kava Radradra has reportedly been drinking but he backed up a fantastic campaign in the Auckland Nines (where he was equal-top try scorer, with five, and seemed to benefit from his sevens experience) with a blistering start to 2014. He sits atop the try scoring list with a stunning nine four-pointers in six games and his defence has been outstanding, bundling a flying David Simmons into touch in Round 3 and regularly playing in off his wing in attack and defence. More please.

2. Ben Hunt

Since he was deemed the best player in Brisbane’s surge to the 2008 NYC Grand Final, the former Australian Schoolboy representative has, it’s fair to say, failed to capitalise on his enormous potential. After being a regular feature of Broncos teams over five years from 2009, mostly as an interchange player, it seemed Hunt may never make it as a starting NRL halfback and Brisbane’s starting playmaking pair of Hunt and makeshift pivot Josh Hoffman looked, on paper, just about the weakest combo at the start of 2014. It’s still early days but Hunt has been one of the form playmakers over the opening six rounds. His running game has gone to new levels and his five tries, six line breaks, three try assists and four line break assists have been integral to Brisbane’s strong start to the season.

1. Manu Ma’u

Manu WHO?! Seriously, who is this guy, where did the Eels find him and how have we not seen him in the NRL before his 26th birthday? Well it turns out Ma’u came to the NRL via a more troubled route than most but he’s here now and it is clearly his Parramatta teammates and fans who are reaping the rewards. The unknown New Zealander went pretty well at the Auckland Nines without raising too many eyebrows but when he was unleashed on the Warriors in Round 1, footy fans everywhere were staring at each other with jaws dropped in disbelief. Ma’u tore through the Warriors’ right-edge defence on his way to 168 metres, with two line breaks and six tackle breaks, prompting the club to immediately re-sign him for two seasons. He didn’t need to do much tackling that week but has averaged over 30 stinging hits per week since and barrelled over for a try against Penrith. He’s even brought himself into Test calculations, having been sounded out by Kiwis coach Steve Kearney. Of everyone who’s surprised us this year, the guy we’d never heard of who now has everyone talking surely takes the cake.


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