Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1035 ( Thursday 16 October 2014 )


MELANESIA

1) MITING WETEM VANUATU KOMUNITI LONG NOUMEA

Olgeta –
Mi stap naoia long Nouvelle Caledonie.

Bae mi gat 2 miting wetem ol Vanuatu komuniti long Noumea:
1.  Wetem ol Vanuatu student long Maison de l’étudiant (Residence universitaire) lo UNC lo 10h long Fraede 17 Oktoba
2.  Wetem ol Vanuatu komuniti long L’Eglise Assemblée de Dieu long Montravel long 9h long Satede 18 Oktoba

Bae mi tokbaot ol jenis long loa blong graon, mo tu bae mi save tokbaot eni topik we oli wantem askem long mi blong mi tokbaot.
Pasem toktok long eni ni-Vanuatu long Noumea we maet i intres blong kam harem infomesen mo askem kwestin.

Bae MP blong Santo Alfred Maoh i stap wetem mi tu.

Vanuatu Minister For Lands : Ralph Regenvanu – Websaet: www.graonmojastis.org

2) Vanuatu daily news digest | Vanuatu and ACP-EU cancel Assembly

by bobmakin

  • As mentioned two days ago, the Speaker of the Vanuatu Parliament has been in Brussels to discuss the planning for the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly scheduled for 26 November – 3 December. This was to bring some hundreds of delegates and officials to the capital. Prime Minister Natuman has just now spoken over national radio saying that the ACP-EU Assembly here at this time is cancelled and a time in June next year is being offered. The Ebola virus, which has so interfered with the lives of the people of Africa, is the reason. Many West African delegates will be amongst the visitors. The PM and Government are concerned that delegates should run no particular risk by coming to a small island developing country, lacking many facilities. PM Natuman said the VanuatuGovernment decision, agreed in the Council of Ministers, is understood by the ACP-EU organizing committee which will organise another meeting in November for Brazil.

3) Vanuatu daily news digest | 16 October 2014

by bobmakin

  • The European Commission has saluted Vanuatu and Fiji in their efforts to tackle illegal fishing after warnings two years ago. The Commission says, and RNZI and Radio Vanuatu report, the two countries have taken concrete measures to address shortcomings and shown commitment to complete structural reforms in order to address illegal fishing. New laws and better control, monitoring and inspection are required. Sri Lanka has failed to begin compliance and is likely to lose the ability to import Sri Lankan fish catches. PNG has now received a formal warning.
  • Prime MInister Natuman has praised the small island companies of Ifira Wharf and Stevedoring for the dividends which have just been released by Chief Mantoi Kalsakau III. Natuman said that their agreement “remains a positive example of public / private partnership which maintains the confidence of the Government to continue to support the new development initiatives including the Lepatasi multi-purpose wharf terminal.” Daily Post reported VT 25 million going to the Vanuatu Government which is shared with the Municipality, Shefa and Tafea, Daily Post reported today.
  • SPREP is assisting Vanuatu delegates to the UN Climate Change Conference to set the priority issues. The Conference is in Bonn, 20 – 25 October. Local experts are being assigned issues to address. Climate Change DG Jotham Napat told participants they must take action because climate change continues to affect us, VBTC News reported.
  • On VBTC News and in Daily Post, Foreign Minister Kilman’s speech to the Bali Democracy Forum is highlighted by the Minister’s referring to the continually evolving nature of governance, to “meet the growing demands of a nation at a local level. He also spoke of the “quality leadership which a democratic political system promises to everyone.”

4) Vanuatu daily news digest | 15 October 2014

by bobmakin

  • The Maewo Island Council of Chiefs has asked the Government concerning the 165 mineral prospecting licences granted for the waters of Vanuatu, whether in the absence of significant surveillance the government can be certain what the prospectors are actually doing. Their Chairman raised the question at the Deep Sea Mining Conference last week, Radio Vanuatu News reported. The Commissioner of Mines, Tony Tevi, responded that chiefs of areas concerned were always approached in the first instance by his staff for permission for such mining before the minister signed the licence. Tevi said the company is required to inform government of the extent of the mineral deposit sought. The company is then advised of the permitted extraction.
  • Pacnews has reported the Kiribati Government shocking the fishing world by revealing that without warning it has forced most of the American tuna fleet out of its waters and is letting Chinese and Taiwanese vessels take over. The move is seen as a threat to the viability of the New Zealand tuna fishing operations as the Americans will be forced into crowded alternative fishing grounds. The United States had agreed to pay 90 million USD to member states of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) for US flagged purse seine fishing vessels for 8,300 catch days in the region.
  • The Second Youth Symposium presently underway is expected to inform participants concerning climate change. The government and private sector are instructing the youth delegates from all islands in relation to climate change and adaption of activities to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Radio Vanuatu News tells us.
  • The Chinese community has donated generously to flood victims of the Prima and Teouma River Bridge areas. Post shows large quantities of rice and other daily requirements, after a letter was received from Port Vila MP Jean-Yves Chabod. Chinese Community Association President, Jean-Baptiste Leong, made the handover of the VT 300,000 worth of goods.
  • Daily Post headlines today with MP Robert Bohn saying he and his business associate, Tom Bayer, confirm they have funded political parties, but he dismissed claims they assisted in funding motions of no confidence. Bayer and Bohn are naturalized citizens.
  • Post also highlights the cervical cancer screening unit temporarily closed until one or two expatriate volunteers are in place.
  • The Daily Post Customs and Inland Revenue page helpfully indicates how “zero rated” for VAT can be applied with approved aid projects.

POLYNESIA

5) Akilisi Pohiva’s eligibility in doubt

By Online Editor
10:35 pm GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Tonga

Doubts have been cast over the eligibility of ‘Akilisi Pohiva, the People’s Representative for Tongatapu Constituency No. 1, to register as a candidate in Tonga’s November 25 General Election, while a TOP$22,000 (US$11,000) costs award against him, ordered by a Magistrate, remains outstanding.

It is understood that the veteran Member of Parliament needs to clear his outstanding court costs before the candidates registration takes place on October 23-24.

Clause 65 of Tonga’s Constitution requires that candidates for election must be free of debt.

On September 29, ‘Akilisi’s legal counsel, R E Harrison QC, SC filed a Memorandum for the applicant to the Lord Chief Justice Scott of the Tonga Supreme Court in support of ex parte summons. He is seeking leave to make an application for judicial review and for directions. A chambers date was scheduled for today, but R E Harrison did not appear, so it was rescheduled for 2:00pm today.

The overview of the application for leave stressed ‘Akilisi’s personal circumstances and the need for urgency, and stated: “…23 October 2014 is the deadline for him to register as a candidate and thus stand for re-election in his constituency for the General Election. As he is the President and leader of the Friendly Islands Democratic Party, any inability on his part to register as a candidate has major ramifications and consequences, not only for the applicant personally but also for his political party and other candidates who are members of it.”

The situation arose out of the appeal and judgement in the case Pohiva v Tu’ivakano, when the applicant (‘Akilisi Pohiva) took unsuccesssful private prosecutions against four respondents, Lord Tu’ivakano, HRH Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita, William Clive Edwards and the Friendly Islands Satellite Communications Ltd.

The prosecutions were unsuccessful in the Magistrate’s Courts and he appealed to the Supreme Court.

‘Akilisi’s counsel stated that the other parties “have not taken any of this lying down”, and that all except Edwards had applied to the Court for costs in relation to the unsuccessful appeal. “They have also sued the applicant in tort for malicious prosecution.”

Principal Police Magistrate Selesi Mafi had ordered on 10 September that ‘Akilisi pay $22,000, comprising awards of costs for both senior and junior counsel.

‘Akilisi is now challenging the grounds on which those awards were made. His counsel is submitting that applicant’s grounds for review “are at least arguable and accordingly warrant a grant of leave.”

They seek to have a substantive hearing no later than 21 October 2014 for his application for leave and direction.

SOURCE: MATANGI TONGA/PACNEWS

6) Strike threat

Pacnews
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NUKU’ALOFA – Tonga’s Public Service Association (PSA) is threatening strike action on Friday, October 17 demanding that the Tongan Government agree to a 20-22 per cent salary rise for civil servants.

The PSA’s demand was spelled out in a letter to the Public Service Commission dated September 26. A copy of this letter was also attached to a petition that was presented to the king on the same day.

Copies of the same letter were also forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, Members of Parliament, the Acting Solicitor General and the Auditor General.

Many Businesses Fail To Register For Tonga Retirement Fund
Nearly 40% of firms yet to contribute to retiree pension fund

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 15, 2014) – Over 300 businesses and 4,000 employees are yet to be registered with the National Retirement Benefits Fund (NRBF), according to the NRBF Annual Report for 2014 released last week, for its second year of operation.

The National Retirement Benefits Fund formed under the National Retirement Benefits Scheme Act 2010, is a welfare scheme that provides pensions to retired workers. The pension age accorded by law is 60 years.

To finance the retirement fund, the Act requires compulsory contributions from all employees and employers in Tonga. The compulsory contributions are drawn from 5% of wages from the employees and matched with 5% of wages from the employer. Members are all provided with individual accounts into which the compulsory contributions are recorded.

According to the Act, benefits are provided to members who have either reached the pension age of 60 years, or who are permanently disabled before pension age or who have died before pension age (allocated to beneficiaries).

Penalties for breaching the Act are severe. According to the Act, anyone who fails to pay their contributions “commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,500”.

Any person who obstructs officers of the organisation in the exercise of their duties “commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both”.

A total of 5502 members were registered and contributing to the Fund at 30 June 2014, an increase of 27.83% from the previous year. However, “according to the ongoing reconciliation exercises with the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour and the Ministry of Revenue more than 4000 employees are yet to be registered,” the report stated.

A total of 451 employers were registered but the reconciliation “revealed that more than 300 businesses are yet to be registered.”

According to the Annual Report for 2014, the total members fund and net assets available for benefits was $12,830,903. Administration expenses were $663,875, while board administration expenses were $103,524. Investment income was $274,216 for the period.

The board members are Rev. Dr Tevita Havea (Chair and employees rep.); Lata’ifaingata’a Tangimana (employees rep.), Peseti Ma’afu (employers rep), ‘Aisea Taumoepeau (Minister of Finance’s appointee) and Dr S. Leimoni Taufu’i (CEO and Secretary).

Matangi Tonga Magazine

7) Tonga Opposition Leader’s Debt Casts Doubt On Candidacy
Pohiva must clear attorney costs from failed court case to register

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 15, 2014) – Doubts have been cast over the eligibility of ‘Akilisi Pohiva, the People’s Representative for Tongatapu Constituency No. 1, to register as a candidate in Tonga’s November 25 General Election, while a $22,000 [US$11,900] costs award against him, ordered by a Magistrate, remains outstanding.

It is understood that the veteran member of parliament needs to get this sorted out, before the candidates registration takes place on October 23-24. Clause 65 of Tonga’s Constitution requires that candidates for election must be free of debts to any of the courts.

On September 29, ‘Akilisi’s legal counsel, R E Harrison QC, SC filed a Memorandum for the applicant to the Lord Chief Justice Scott of the Tonga Supreme Court in support of ex parte summons. He is seeking leave to make an application for judicial review and for directions. A chambers date was scheduled for today, but R E Harrison did not appear, so it was rescheduled for 2:00pm tomorrow, October 16.

The overview of the application for leave stressed ‘Akilisi’s personal circumstances and the need for urgency, and stated: “…23 October 2014 is the deadline for him to register as a candidate and thus stand for re-election in his constituency for the General Election. As he is the President and leader of the Friendly Islands Democratic Party, any inability on his part to register as a candidate has major ramifications and consequences, not only for the applicant personally but also for his political party and other candidates who are members of it.”

Appeal dismissed

The situation arose out of the appeal and judgement in the case Pohiva v Tu’ivakano, when the applicant (‘Akilisi Pohiva) took unsuccessful private prosecutions against four respondents, Lord Tu’ivakano, HRH Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita, William Clive Edwards and the Friendly Islands Satellite Communications Ltd. The prosecutions were unsuccessful in the Magistrate’s Courts and again on appeal to the Supreme Court.

‘Akilisi’s counsel stated that the other parties “have not taken any of this lying down”, and that all except Edwards had applied to the Court for costs in relation to the unsuccessful appeal. “They have also sued the applicant in tort for malicious prosecution.”

Principal Police Magistrate Selesi Mafi had ordered on 10 September that ‘Akilisi pay $22,000, comprising awards of costs for both senior and junior counsel.

‘Akilisi is now challenging the grounds on which those awards were made. His counsel is submitting that applicant’s grounds for review “are at least arguable and accordingly warrant a grant of leave.”

They seek to have a substantive hearing no later than 21 October 2014 for his application for leave and direction.

Matangi Tonga Magazine

8) Tonga Contracts Am. Samoa Shipyard For Vessel Repairs
Patrol boat to be dry docked at Satala shipyard


By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Oct. 14, 2014) – The Tongan government is the latest client of the American Samoa Shipyard Services Authority, with its patrol boat being dry docked at the Satala shipyard facility for at least one more week.

Earlier in June, a delegation from Tonga that included officials from their government owned shipping company was in the territory. The delegation met with local ASG officials including those from the shipyard, which the governor has called to be privatized before the end of the year.

Shipyard board chairman David Robinson said the Tongan government boat went up on the slipway two Sundays ago for two weeks to have mechanical work done, along with welding and painting as part of its routine maintenance program.

He says the vessel was alongside the dock area for over a week prior to going up on the slipway so they “could carry out some internal work prior to dry docking.”

“We are coordinating the work with Australian naval personnel who are here with the vessel. We should put it back into the water for sea trials on or about 20 Oct,” he said and shared more good news. “We have arranged with the Tongan Shipping Agency to dry dock two more government vessels early in the new year” for work to be carried out at the Satala facility.

Previously those vessels were all sent to Fiji for repairs, but the Tongan government has not been happy with the quality of work carried out there, or the charges that they have been paying, Robinson said.

The Tongan government sent a delegation here recently and it was hosted by the Commerce Department director, who introduced the delegation members to our shipyard and “assisted with the negotiations leading to the agreement to send their vessels here,” Robinson said.

When the two ferry boats arrive here next year, they will bring with them fruit and vegetables from Tonga to sell through the Tongan Market in Tafuna and they will buy a range of merchandise items from wholesalers here to send back for sale in Nuku’alofa and other towns in Tonga, he said.

“Hopefully this two way trade will develop into regular business,” Robinson said.

Meanwhile, Robinson said “we have a full order booked at the shipyard for dry docking of fishing vessels, purse seiners and longliners till the end of April next year, and we are staring to increase our workforce again to accommodate all this work — and that is good news.”

The Samoa News

9) Cooks PM: Politician Integrity Must Precede Political Reform
Puna, Bishop trade accusations about ‘playing games,’ ‘excuses’


By Emmanuel Samoglou

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 15, 2014) – Politicians must improve their integrity before the nation’s political system can be reformed, says Prime Minister Henry Puna.

In an interview with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation, PM Puna was asked by Radio Australia’s Richard Ewart on political reform – prompting the Leader to issue pointed remarks towards Aitutaki Member of Parliament and One Cook Islands founder Teina Bishop.

“With all respect, for me, the biggest issue is not political reform, but rather it’s political integrity,” said Puna. “Reform is second to politicians having to undergo some form of reform.”

“There’s no point in having a system where politicians are the same and they continue to play games,” he said. “That’s exactly what Bishop is doing.”

In the interview, Puna referred to what he says was a commitment by Bishop to support the Party with the most MPs after July’s elections.

With 12 out of 23 MPs – the current majority in a Parliament that awaits a by-election in Mitiaro next month to fill in the final seat in the House – Puna said he has the numbers and has earned the support of Bishop and Tupapa Member George Maggie, One Cook Islands’ two elected MPs.

Prior to July’s elections, Puna said Bishop made a commitment to support the party with the most MPs. Despite the declaration, he said he was not approached by OCI.

The PM told Ewart he was not averse to political reform, but said it “… has to be done at the right time… timing is very critical”.

“Before elections, timing was perfect, but in any event the opposition didn’t have a bar of it,” he said.

With a “completely different landscape”, Puna said it would now be difficult to pass a constitutional amendment on reform.

When reached on phone in Aitutaki, Bishop laughed off Puna’s public remarks about “playing games”.

“What I stated is that I would support the government of the day,” he said. “He only has twelve MPs and, in fact, I can prove that he only has the support of 11.”

Bishop was referring to a list believed to contain the names of 12 MPs and their signatures that he recently brandished in Parliament, and said could prove that he commands a majority of the House’s members.

Alluding to a series of meetings earlier this month between a number of OCI and CIP officials, Bishop said, “They don’t want us. They don’t even turn up at the meetings”.

He further added that the Mitiaro by-election could swing in favour of a potential OCI-Democratic Party coalition, reducing Puna’s Cook Islands Party to minority status.

As a former CIP party president, he said Puna has been involved in coalition building and “… should know this is what happens in politics”.

Bishop said he intends to follow through with a pre-election commitment and table political reform legislation as a private member’s bill, during an upcoming sitting of the House later this month.

On Puna’s stance toward reform, he said, “It’s just another excuse … I’d rather focus on something achievable”.

Increasing the stakes, Bishop said he is willing to put up the costs for a live one-hour debate on political reform and political integrity with the PM.

CINews lodged an interview request with the Office of the Prime Minister earlier this week to seek Puna’s insight on a number of issues.

Cook Islands News

10) Tahiti appeals for French financial support

16 October 2014

French Polynesia’s president, Edouard Fritch, has appealed to France’s financial solidarity to help sustain the health care system.

Mr Fritch has been in Paris and met the prime minister, Manuel Valls, who has reportedly promised to find a solution to the problem by the end of the year.

He says there are concrete considerations, but technically the envisaged solutions have not been finalised.

Mr Fritch also wants France to help the territory cope with the fall-out of the increase in unemployment as French Polynesia never introduced the benefits available to the jobless in other parts of France.

The French Polynesian president has also announced that Mr Valls will visit Tahiti next year.

Earlier this week, it was announced that President Francois Hollande would also visit French Polynesia next year.RNZI

11) Young on Niue looking for more self reliance

Updated at 5:09 pm today

As Niue counts down to its 40th anniversary of independence there are signs islanders are looking to become less reliant on former colonial power, New Zealand.

Niue is independent in free association with New Zealand and aid from New Zealand has been vital for the economy.

A former politician and Niue’s first high commissioner to New Zealand, Hima Douglas, says right from the start it was made clear New Zealand would never abandon Niue.

He says this may have fostered an over-dependence and a different approach from the beginning might have been better.

“We may have been forced to become a little less reliant on aid from New Zealand. Younger people now are beginning to realise that and I think they have taken on board that we have got to try and help ourselves first. And perhaps we may not be able to do it but at least let’s give it a good go.”

MICRONESIA

12) Appeal court reserves decision on Nauru case


16 October 2014
An Australian court has reserved its decision in an appeal which has seen a continuing freeze on Nauru’s bank accounts.

The US-based fund management company Firebird has been trying to recover 27 million US dollars owed in government bonds issued in the late 1980s.

Earlier this month the Nauru government won a court challenge to the freeze on its accounts, saying as a sovereign nation it was immune and Firebird has been appealing against the decision.

Nauru has been unable to access its accounts pending the appeal which was heard this week by a three-judge bench of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

Nauru says its services, including those for asylum seekers, would be affected without access to the money which includes aid funds from both Australia and New Zealand.RNZI

13) U.S. Marine Monument Expansion Limits Fishing In 60% Of Area
Despite opposition from island leaders, Obama sets aside more ocean


By Richelle Agpoon-Cabang

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 16, 2014) – Despite opposition from a majority of the leaders and environmentalists from the CNMI, Guam, American Samoa, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, President Obama has expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to six times its current size, resulting in 370,000 square nautical miles of protected area around these tropical islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific Ocean.

The expansion, according to the White House, aims to “fully protect the deep coral reefs, seamounts, and marine ecosystems unique to this part of the world, which are also among the areas most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.”

Included in the proclamation is a Regulation of Fishing and Management of Fishery Resources section which bans commercial fishing in more than 60 percent of the protected areas.

“The secretaries of the Interior and Commerce shall not allow or permit any appropriation, injury, destruction, or removal of any object from the Monument Expansion except as provided for by this proclamation and shall prohibit commercial fishing within the boundaries of the Monument Expansion,” the proclamation stated.

Non-commercial fishing, recreational fishing and scientific exploration and research may be permitted, but will be subject to the approval by the secretaries of the Interior and Commerce.

Pacific leaders opposed to the expansion said commercial fishing is important and plays a significant part in the culture, heritage and livelihood of islanders.

“It is a natural reaction for us to protect what little we have,” John Bolis Gonzales, a volunteer with the Northern Marianas Descent Corporation said in an interview.

According to the mayors of Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Northern Islands:

“Slowly but surely the Antiquities Act is being used to close our marine waters to fishing and other extractive purposes for political reasons that have nothing to do with us…. We believe this monument expansion proposal is just the first step in expanding the Marianas Trench, Rose Atoll and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monuments.”

Asked for comment yesterday, acting Secretary of the Department of Lands and Natural Resources Manny Pangelinan said they do not yet know what the impact of Obama’s declaration will be, but did note that he will be meeting with the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council to discuss the expansion.

Kitty Simonds, executive director of the council, in an interview with the National Geographic News, expressed her concern about the expansion, saying “there is no other country that restricts fishing to that extent.”

In a statement yesterday, Saipan resident and environmentalist John Gourley said the U.S. government is “handicapping” its own fishing fleet and forcing U.S. fishermen to fish in smaller and smaller areas.

He believes the expansion will do nothing significant to “protect” the stocks of highly migratory tuna that transit these open ocean areas.

“The U.S. high seas fishing fleet is probably one of the more environmentally responsible fleets in the world, yet they are demonized in the public arena by well-organized anti-fishing campaigns orchestrated by certain Environmental NGO’s. Marine monuments simply decrease available areas to fish without addressing more appropriate management measures, such as the need to decrease fishing or landings (if necessary),” he said.

In a statement yesterday, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan reiterated his support for the expansion, saying it will have little impact on any subsistence, recreational, or commercial fishermen of the CNMI.

“Protection of the oceans for future generations is consistent with the cultural traditions of the people of the Pacific,” Kilili said.

White House officials informed him that Obama does not intend to expand the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.

CNMI leaders earlier expressed the fear that the expansion of the Pacific Remote Island Marine Monument will be a step toward the expansion of the Marianas National Marine Monument.

According to Sablan, the protection of the ocean is consistent with the actions of other Pacific nations including the Republic of Palau and the Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati.

He said Obama only made his decision after inviting and receiving extensive public comment and holding a well-attended town hall meeting in Hawaii.

In August, the Pew Charitable Trust, an environmental non-profit organization, said it had gathered over 100,000 signatures from all over the world supporting the expansion.

But Gourley said “this was the same justification that the Pew Environment Group used when they tried to sell us the idea for the Marianas Trench Monument in 2008. We all know how well that is going. Expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Monument for conservation purposes via the Antiquities Act is not conservation as it runs counter to the science-based decision-making process. Instead, U.S. mainland politics is the driving force behind the monument expansion. It is this action that rewards the environmental community that helped the president get elected.”

Gourley said creating marine monuments takes minimal effort and it does not cost anything as it is an unfunded mandate.

“It also takes no planning on the U.S. administration’s part as deep-pocketed environmental advocacy groups simply tell the president what they want. What could be simpler?”

Marianas Variety


AUSTRALIA

14) Poverty on the rise

Abc News/Pacnews
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SYDNEY – Poverty is on the rise in Australia, with more than 2.5 million people — and one in six children — struggling to fulfil their daily basic needs, statistics suggest.

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) revealed in its latest national poverty report that more than 600,000 children, and one third of children in single parent families, lived below the poverty line.

The report analysed figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 2012.

To be considered “below the poverty line”, a family of four needed to be surviving on less than $841 a week, and a single adult on less than $400 a week.

The 2014 ACOSS poverty report also revealed more than 40 per cent of all people on social security benefits fell below that line.

It also showed that women, people with disabilities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were among the worst affected.

Australia’s peak social services body said the new poverty figures should force a rethink of proposed budget cuts to welfare payments.

“For us to find that we do not have the right policies, the right measures in place for us to turn the tide on the rise in poverty in Australia, is a wake up call for all of us,” ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie said.

“We have to take this issue seriously. This is not the idea of if we just have economic growth, then everything will be all right.

“The reality is we need a really strong set of policies and we know what they are in order for us to make sure that every person — and importantly every child — in Australia has a decent chance to a decent start, and that we are a country that does not need to have one single person living in poverty.”

15)Norfolk Island wants say in Canberra’s plans

16 October 2014
The government on Norfolk Island fears it will lose its democracy if Canberra pushes ahead with plans to reduce the powers of its parliament.

It says it must consult the island’s people.

The Chief Minister, Lisle Snell, says the changes the Australian government has in mind would end the island’s ability to legislate on education, policing, social welfare, health and other matters.

He says Norfolk has controlled these aspects of government since 1979 and any change should only be made with input from the islanders themselves.

“If they reduce us down to the lowest level of local government we will probably not have any basis for a legislature in the affairs of ‘Peace, Order and Good Government.’ We may have the rights of authority over such things as garbage collection, mowing lawns and things like that but it would certainly be a retrograde step in Norfolk Island to lose the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.”RNZI

NEW ZEALAND

16) Key backtracks on colour scheme for new NZ flag

By Online Editor
00:13 am GMT+12, 15/10/2014, New Zealand

Prime Minister John Key appears to be backtracking on his preference for an updated New Zealand flag.

After previously preferring a silver fern on a black background, Key told an RSA National Conference today that while he’s still keen on the fern, he’s now leaning towards a different coloured background.

But PM Key denies the change is related to criticism his previous motif looked similar to the ISIS banner.

The Prime Minister said any proposal will be passed through the public.

A referendum on the flag is expected to take place within the next three years.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

TOK PISIN

17) PNG Polis i brukim loa egensim ol pipal ken

Updated 15 October 2014, 14:22 AEST

Caroline Tiriman

Ol pipal i sutim tok long polis i brukim human rights blong ol pipal long Port Moresby long despla wik

Odio: Caroline Tiriman i ripot long bikpla wari blong ol polis isave kamapim bikpla trabal na faitim natingting ol PNG pipal

Caroline Tiriman i ripot long bikpla wari blong ol polis isave kamapim bikpla trabal na faitim natingting ol PNG pipal (Credit: ABC)

Ol pipal blong Papua New Guinea itok oli les tru long polis i kamapim trabal na heve long ol pipal bihaenim dai blong wanpla lapun meri long Port Moresby long Mande.

Oli sutim tok long polis olsem oli bin ronim wanpla lapun meri long Hohola long wonem emi bin wok long salim buai na emi bin ronowei na wanpla bus ibin bamim em na emi bin dai.

Narapla samting em ol pipal i wari long em, em pasin we sampla polis ofisa ibin go na bagarapim na stilim ol samting long Juha College, wanpla skul long Port Moresby na ronim na kamapim heve long ol staff na ol sumatin long despla skul.

Despla emi no nambawan taem blong ol polis long brukim loa em oli bin tok oraet long bihaenim taem oli bin kamap olsem ol polis ofisa.

Planti taem long ol despla yia igo pinis, ol i save sutim tok long polis long paitim nating nating ol pipal, maski sopos ol pipal i brukim loa oa nogat.

Na planti pipal isave  dai nating long han blong ol polis.

Esther Igo blong Women Arise PNG em oli save toktok egensim Vailans itok, i luk olsem polis igat wanpla loa blong en iet na ol pipal igat blong ol iet.

Tasol Metropolitan Superintedent blong National Capital district, andy Bawa itok wanpla liklik laen polisman tasol isave bagarapim nem blong PNG polis fos. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/

18) Ol sutim tok long ol PNG man i reipim tupla NBC ofisa

Updated 15 October 2014, 14:50 AEST

Sam Seke

Ol despla ofisa ibin wok long go bek long haus taem ol man ibin stopim kar blong ol na bagarapim ol.

Odio: PNG ABC ripota Wesley Manuai itoktok wantem Sam Seke

PNG ABC ripota Wesley Manuai itoktok wantem Sam Seke (Credit: ABC)

Polis long Port Moresby i wok long mekim ol wok painimaut long keis blong sampela raskol lain ibin kidnapim tripela meri husat i wok long National Broadcasting Corporation blong Papua New Guinea.

ABC ripota long Port Moresby, Wesley Manuai itok ol i holim tripela meri ia long Mande nait taim NBC bas i go lusim ol long wanpela setelmen ol i stap longen.

Wanpela long tripela meri ia ibin ronwe, tasol ol raskol ia i holim tupela long samting olsem tupela aoa.

Ol investigesen i gohet long painim aut gut long ol tokwin ol ibin reipim tupela meri ia.

Papua New Guinea igat nem nogut long loa na oda we igat planti vailans isave kamap long ol meri na ol pipal long communiti.

Despla emi no nupla taem we ol man i reipim ol meri long Port Moresby. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/ 

19) PNG Gavanas i laikim mo otonomi

Updated 16 October 2014, 15:45 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Sampla Gavana i laikim National gavman long givim ol planti moa paua long lukautim ol provins blong ol iet

Odio: PNG West New Britain Gavana Sasindran Muthuvel itoktok wantem Caroline Tiriman

Gavman blong Papua New Guinea imas givim planti moa paua igo long ol provins blong lukautim ol iet sopos oli laikim autonomy.

Despla toktok ibin kamap long bikpla miting blong ol Gavana emi bin pinis aste long Kavieng, biktaon blong New Ireland provins.

Klostu olgeta Gavana blong 22 ol provinsas blong kantri ibin stap long despla miting em Praim Minista Peter O’Neill ibin opim long tunde.

Wanpla bikpla samting em oli bin lukluk long en em ol senis long Organic Law we emi save lukautim wok blong ol provinsal na lokal level gavman.

Bougainville tasol igat wanpla autonomas gavman, tasol sampla ol narapla provins long New Guinea Islands rijan iwok long askim long kisim autonomi.

Sasindran Muthuwel, gavana blong West New Britain provins itok Papua New Guinea emi bikpla kantri tumas, na gavman long Waigani ino nap lukautim olgeta tupla ten ol provins olgeta taem.

Emi tok East New Britain na New Ireland provins i laikim bai National gavman i larim ol long kisim planti moa paua long ronim na lukautim ol gavman blong ol iet.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/ 

20) Planti Bougainville pipal i wanbel wantem Human Rights Festival

Updated 16 October 2014, 15:39 AEST
Sam Seke

Human Rights Festival i pulim planti pipal i laik save long Human Rights blong ol.

Odio: Agnes Titus UN Women Coordinator long Bougainville i toktok wantem Sam Seke

Ol lain husat igo pas long dispela Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival emi i kamap nau long Bougainville, i hamamas tru long komuniti interest  oa laik blong ol pipal long save moa long human rait blong ol.

Dispela kempein long Autonomous region blong Bougainville ibin op long Buka long last Friday na tede em i stap long Arawa long Central Bougainville, na tumora bai em i long Buin long South Bougainville.

Agnes Titus husat i UN Women Coordinator long Bougainville na memba blong North Bougainville Human Rights Committee itok ibin gat bikpela interest long ol komuniti long save long ol rait blong ol.

Em i tok long olgeta komuniti, ibin gat plenti diskasin oa toktok na planti askim i kam long ol man, meri na ol pikinini wantaim.

Ms Titus i tok Bougainville ibin bungim bikpla heve long taem blong bikpla fait oa crisis em planti tausan pipal ibin dai long en, na planti pipal ino bin save tumas olsem pasin nogut oa heve em oli bin mekim egensim ol narapla pipal emi bin brukim Human Rights blong ol despla pipal.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/ 

FRENCH


21) Brèves d’Australie et du Pacifique – jeudi 16 octobre 2014

Mis à jour 16 October 2014, 17:42 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

Papouasie indonésienne: après 2 mois de détention, Valentine Bourrat et Thomas Dandois devraient comparaître devant les juges lundi à Jayapura. 
Après plus de 2 mois d’enquête, le procureur a décidé d’organiser un procès contre Valentine Bourrat et Thomas Dandois, les deux reporters d’ARTE arrêtés début août. Ils sont mis en examen pour infraction à leur visa de touriste, car ils avaient commencé un reportage sur les indépendantistes papous. Les deux reporters comparaîtront devant les juges lundi à Jayapura.  

  • Australie: toujours pas de décision sur les comptes bancaires de Nauru. Les juges de la Cour Suprême de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud ont siégé hier mais ils s’octroient quelques jours supplémentaires pour rendre leur verdict. L’État nauruan doit 31 millions de dollars à un bailleur américain, le fonds Firebird, une somme qu’il ne peut pas rembourser. Firebird veut donc faire saisir les comptes nauruans, qui sont tous hébergés dans des banques australiennes. Cela signifierait la banqueroute de l’État nauruan, qui ne pourrait plus faire fonctionner le centre de rétention. Entre autres.
  • Vanuatu: le sommet de l’Union européenne avec les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique a finalement été annulé. Il devait se tenir fin novembre à Port-Vila, mais le pays n’a pas l’infrastructure hospitalière pour traiter de potentiels malades infectés par l’Ebola, a expliqué le Premier ministre Joe Natuman. Un risque trop grand donc, du coup le sommet sera organisé au Brésil.
  • Fidji refuse d’envoyer des casques bleus au Libéria, ce pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest où le virus ébola a déjà fait près de 4500 morts. Les 27 Casques Bleus fidjiens déployés là-bas finissent leur service, ils sont en bonne santé et ont bon moral, selon l’ONU, mais la police fidjienne ne les remplacera pas au terme de leurs 12 mois de service. Les premiers rentreront à Fidji fin octobre.
  • Coûteuse boulette: aux Îles Salomon, les 50 députés sortants reçoivent une indemnité de 53 000 dollars chacun.Car les élections auront lieu le 19 novembre. Une jolie somme qui serait due à une erreur, volontaire ou non, de la Commission des Indemnités Parlementaires. Une erreur irréversible, car inscrite au Journal Officiel. 53 000 dollars, cela représente une augmentation de 300% par rapport aux indemnités offertes aux députés sortants il y a quatre ans. L’erreur va coûter en tout 2.7 millions de dollars aux Îles Salomon, qui vivent principalement grâce à l’argent de l’aide au développement. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2014-10-16/br%C3%A8ves-daustralie-et-du-pacifique-jeudi-16-octobre-2014/1379927

22) Pacifique: le braconnage assumé du China Industry Group

Mis à jour 15 October 2014, 18:27 AEST
Caroline Lafargue

L’entreprise chinoise exploite une flotte de 24 palangriers dans le Pacifique. Elle ambitionne d’entrer à la bourse de Hong-Kong. Pour convaincre la commission boursière, elle doit détailler ses activités. Dans son dossier de candidature, China Industry Group précise qu’elle va augmenter ses prises de thon dans le Pacifique. 
 
Mais l’entreprise ne tient compte ni des quotas imposés par la Commission de la Pêche du centre et de l’ouest du Pacifique, ni  de la réalité scientifique – car les stocks de thon obèse sont au plus bas. Greenpeace accuse donc le China Industry Group de braconner et de désinformer les potentiels investisseurs qui pourraient acheter des actions lors de l’entrée en bourse de l’entreprise. 
 
Le gouvernement chinois précisé qu’il n’a jamais donné l’autorisation au China Industry Group d’aller pêcher à l’étranger. Et Pékin demande à l’entreprise de suspendre sa candidature à la bourse de Hong-Kong. On écoute la réaction d’Elsa Lee, responsable du bureau de Greenpeace en Asie de l’Est : 
 
« Nous accueillons très positivement le geste du gouvernement chinois et nous espèrons que la Chine continuera à prendre des mesures fortes contre la pêche illégale. » 
 
Le gouvernement chinois aura justement l’occasion de prouver son engagement lors de la conférence de la commission des pêches du Pacifique centre et ouest en décembre, dont le principal objectif est de protéger les stocks de thon. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/french/2014-10-15/pacifique-le-braconnage-assum%C3%A9-du-china-industry-group/1379475
 
WORLD

23) IS kills journos

Bbc
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Two Iraqi journalists have been killed by Islamic State (IS) in the past four days, Reporters Without Borders says.

Mohanad al-Akidi, the correspondent for the Sada news agency in the IS-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul, was shot dead at the Ghazlani base on Monday.

Akidi was abducted in July while he travelled to Dohuk province.

On Friday Raad Mohamed al-Azzawi, a cameraman for Sama Salah Aldeen TV, was beheaded by IS militants in the city of Samarra.

He had been held for a month.

Reporters Without Borders, which promotes and defends world media freedom, said it was “horrified by the jihadist group’s constant crimes of violence”.

“Islamic State is pursuing a policy of indiscriminate criminal violence that shows no pity towards journalists and does not hesitate to kidnap, torture and murder them,” said its program director, Lucie Morillon.

“Media personnel need the support and protection of the local authorities more than ever,” she added.

The vast majority of foreign journalists have fled the large parts of Iraq and Syria controlled by IS because of the danger, leaving local reporters to document events.

IS has beheaded the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in the past two months, and is holding the British journalist John Cantlie, who has appeared in a series of propaganda videos.

Earlier this month, IS issued guidelines for journalists operating in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour.

HEALTH

24) MINISTER J. USAMATE: HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES

Health Centre Pharmacy Hours Extended – The opening hours of the Valelevu Health Center and the Makoi Health Center pharmacies have been extended. Assistant Health Minister Veena Bhatnagar says these two health centers provide extended hours of general outpatient services, however the pharmacy operated on normal hours.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23760/health-centre-pharmacy-hours-extended
http://fijivillage.com/news/Valelevu-Health-Centre-pharmacy-opening-hours-extended-k5r29s/

25) Many children in the North suffer from nutritional deficiencies – Out of the 90 children in the eleven communities in Labasa and Seaqaqa areas who have had full nutritional assessments, 45% have been found to be suffering from stunting while more than 30% were underweight. These statistics come after the Save the Children Fiji conducted a baseline survey in 22 informal settlement communities across the country.

http://fijivillage.com/news/Many-children-in-the-North-suffer-from-nutritional-deficiencies-92r5sk/

26) Breaking barriers

Shayal Devi
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WHEN the Pattan Health Clinic in Nadi began 14 years ago, only one per cent of women were getting regular breast examinations.

Today, that number has grown to 35 per cent, says clinic co-founder Damyenti Chandra.

According to Ms Chandra, nearly 40 per cent of the women they see have never been screened before.

“Some of the barriers seem to be a lack of knowledge, lack of time and access to clinics, lack of money and the fear of getting screened,” she said.

The notable increase in the number of women coming forward for screening was pleasing, she said.

“Women who have attended the clinic spoke about their experience.

“One brave young mother spoke about finding a lump on her breast and going to the hospital. After persistent door- knocking for the right information and advice, she followed through.

“Finally, she went along to the Pattan Clinic.

“We were very concerned after we examined and booked her into the breast clinic, where she was seen in a few days.

“A year of not knowing and living in pain, she finally was diagnosed and will begin her treatment.

“I hope her bravery to speak about her experience will shine the light on both medical practitioners and the public at large.”

The clinic also screens patients for high blood pressure and diabetes. http://www.fijitimes.com/

27) Health Ministry looks into Ebola – The Health Ministry has activated its Communicable taskforce and has been meeting with other agencies such as the Ministry of Defence, World Health Organization to ensure they are well prepared for the deadly Ebola virus. There is no vaccine cure for the deadly Ebola virus and to date a total 8,399 of which 4,033 people have died. Assistant Minister for Health Veena Bhatnagar says the ministry has a preparedness and response plan.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23720/health-ministry-looks-into-ebola#sthash.UJ4KG206.dpuf

EDUCATION

28) Sweeping changes to education system – A scathing report of Fiji’s education system has been presented before parliament by the Minister responsible, Dr. Mahendra Reddy. Ranging from the quality of education to the attitude of school leavers – Dr. Reddy has promised sweeping changes through an Education Commission.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23754/sweeping-changes-to-education-system#sthash.spozerqp.dpuf

POLITIC

29a ) Huge jump in payout for Solomons MPs – n the eve of elections the 50 MPs in Solomon Islands are being given individual payouts of more than 53,000 US dollars through an irreversible error by the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission. The payment is a 300 percent increase from that received by MPs just before the last election four years ago when they got just over 13,400 US dollars. The Solomon Islands Attorney General, Billy Titiulu, says to his knowledge some MPs have already received their payments. “The PEC had reviewed the entitlements and they agreed to pay them 400,000 (SBD) dollars each, the regulations were gazetted so they become law. So that’s legal, the 400,000 (SBD) is legal. Now they want to decrease it, but the constitution does not allow it. It does not allow the PEC to secure a decrease in the entitlements.”
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/256999/huge-jump-in-payout-for-solomons-mps

29b ) Attend parliamentary sittings, Speaker tells MPs

By NASIK SWAMI
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Update: 10:46AM MEMBERS of Parliament have been warned to attend parliamentary sittings on time.

Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni says it is an obligation for parliamentarians to attend parliamentary sittings when ever it’s held.

Dr Luveni also told parliamentarians not to leave the chambers for too long and ensure they seek leave of absence if they cannot make it to Parliament.

She also urged parliamentarians to be mindful of the language they use while the Parliament is in progress. http://www.fijitimes.com/

29c) PM urges former citizens to consider coming back to Fiji – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has once again urged former Fiji citizens to consider coming back to their homeland. While opening the Fiji Muslim League Sports Federation tournament at Ratu Cakobau Park yesterday, Bainimarama highlighted that Fiji has been transformed and it is a wonderful time to be a Fijian.
http://fijivillage.com/news/PM-urges-former-citizens-to-consider-coming-back-to-Fiji-2ks5r9/

29d ) Restrictive decrees out, make democracy work – Fiji’s National Federation Party (NFP) parliamentary leader Biman Prasad says decrees that restrict people’s rights and freedom must be removed to achieve transparency and accountability the head of state alluded to in his speech in parliament a week ago. Prasad said the Media Industry Development Authority Decree, the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree, the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Decree must be repealed by parliament “because they curtail the rights of the media, ordinary workers, trade unionists, and ultimately our people.”
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/restrictive-decrees-out-make-democracy-work/59350.Fijilive

29e ) Standing orders to be adhered to: Nadalo – Standing Orders needed to be adhered to otherwise members of the House of Representatives should not be referred to as honorable members, says Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rupeni Nadalo. Nadalo said not honoring the standing orders would mean undermining the public in the institution that they have been entrusted with. “As deputy speaker of the house, it is my duty under our constitution to perform my duties to the best of my ability, I must of course be assistance to the Speaker but I must also ensure that I provide decisive leadership to this house,” Nadalo said.
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/standing-orders-to-be-adhered-to-nadalo/59351.Fijilive

29f) FRCA collects $1.54bn – The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has collected one point five four billion dollars in revenue in the last nine months. This is ninety nine point five million dollars above target. FRCA Chair Ajith Kodagoda says the economy is growing well, tax reforms are bearing fruit and tax compliance is improving. The revenue growth to September is one of the highest in the last 10 years.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23745/frca-collects-1-54bn#sthash.vBCf1tip.dpuf

29g) Biman Prasad supports government for democracy – Opposition MP Biman Prasad has called on the fifty members of parliament to remember the purpose they were elected by the people. He says every Member of Parliament has two obligations – make democracy work and ensure it works for all Fijians. To make this happen, Prasad says people should able to freely comment, support and criticize policies and programs.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23746/biman-prasad-supports-government-for-democracy#sthash.3adpbPC3.dpuf

29h) Auditor General’s reports from 2007 to date will be released tomorrow – All the Auditor General’s reports from 2007 to date will be released tomorrow. Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has revealed this in parliament a few minutes ago. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had assured people before the elections that the Auditor General’s reports on how tax dollars have been spent will be released in the first parliamentary sitting.
http://fijivillage.com/news-feature/Auditor-Generals-reports-from-2007-to-date-will-be-released-tomorrow-2s59kr/
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/auditor-generals-report-tomorrow-a-g/59355.Fijilive

29i) Zero tolerance for any disruptions to our new democracy – Natuva – The Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence, Timoci Natuva said that his ministry will not tolerate any attempt to disrupt the country’s new democracy and the will of the Fijian people. While delivering his first speech in parliament, Natuva said that Fiji’s national security landscape is currently stable and firmly under control. Natuva has also assured the nation that law and order will be maintained and that they will have zero tolerance for any disturbances or disruption.
http://fijivillage.com/news/Zero-tolerance-for-any-disruptions-to-our-new-democracy—Natuva-s92k5r/

Nanovo highlights challenges faced in rural areas – Opposition Member of Parliament Ratu Sela Nanovo has called on government establish national policies and strategies to address the plight of Fijians living in rural and maritime areas. He said challenges faced by Fijians living in these areas ranged from high cost of living, lack of development, health issues, high transportation costs, weaker purchasing power and lack of infrastructure development. He mentioned as an example the roads in Gau where some villages board an outboard motor boat to get to the airport because roads that once existed, facilitating island produce for sale in Suva and Lautoka and Nadi, were now impassable. He says this is the same for Kadavu where the road linking Vunisea to Nabukelevu-i-Ra is treacherous in bad weather condition.
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/nanovo-highlights-challenges-faced-in-rural-areas/59352.Fijilive

29j) Auditor General’s report tabled tomorrow – Attorney General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has confirmed in Parliament in the last hour that the Auditor General’s reports will be available tomorrow. Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment in his maiden speech.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23756/auditor-general%E2%80%99s-report-tabled-tomorrow-

29k) FNPF Decree 2011 to come into effect – The provisions and regulations relating to the FNPF decree that were postponed – will now come into effect from 1st of November. In a statement the Fiji National Provident Fund says the FNPF will transit into these new provisions and regulations with changes to its systems and processes from 28th October to 24th November.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23763/fnpf-decree-2011-to-come-into-effect

29L) Ro Teimumu awaits Auditor General’s report – Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has welcomed the announcement by the Finance Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about the tabling of the Auditor General’s report in parliament tomorrow. Speaking to FijiLive, Ro Teimumu said it was a welcomed development.
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/ro-teimumu-awaits-auditor-generals-report/59357.Fijilive

29 M) NFP takes a swipe at A-G, defends seats – National Federation Party parliamentary whip and opposition member Prem Singh today took a swipe at the Attorney General and Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s over remarks he made about NFP’s ability to win seats in parliament. Sayed-Khaiyum in his speech had suggested that if the 4000 odd voters had not mistaken 297 for 279 in the recent election and had those votes gone to 279, “then the numbers (number of FijiFirst seats) would have been greater and indeed NFP would have been likely absent from this honorable house.”
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/nfp-takes-a-swipe-at-a-g-defends-seats/59356.Fijilive

29N) Nawaikula cautioned by the Speaker repeatedly during his maiden speech – Opposition member, Niko Nawaikula was cautioned three times while delivering his maiden speech in parliament yesterday. Nawaikula started his speech by remembering those who lost their lives or those whose rights were abused as a result of the coups in the country.
http://fijivillage.com/news/Nawaikula-cautioned-by-the-Speaker-repeatedly-during-his-maiden-speech-s95rk2/

29O ) Put Christianity into the Constitution – Gavoka – SODELPA parliamentarian, Viliame Gavoka said he wants Christianity to be reinstated in the Constitution. Gavoka said he is troubled by the Constitution that says religious belief is personal. He said Christianity must be recognized for what it has accomplished and continues to accomplish.
http://fijivillage.com/news/Put-Christianity-into-the-Constitution—Gavoka-s952rk/

30) Fiji removed all doubts – Ratu Inoke

By Online Editor
00:04 am GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Fiji

Fiji’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in his maiden parliamentary address said Australia had once doubted Fiji could return to democracy by 2014.

Ratu Inoke said at a high level meeting in 2010 at the Pacific Island Forum Ministerial Contact Group which included Australia and New Zealand, certain statements were made by the then Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.

“I remember Madam Speaker in 2010 when I was invited to the Ministerial Contact Group in Auckland, after outlining our road map to the MCG the then foreign minister of Australia Hon Stephen Smith came out strongly and said ‘Hon Minister I do not believe in your road map and you will not have elections in 2014’,” Ratu Inoke said.

“And I responded by saying ‘Minister I cannot help you if you cannot believe me’.

“And here we are and I want to thank our PM especially for bringing Fiji back to parliamentary government, Ratu Inoke told Parliament.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

31) Nawaikula: Constitution should have the views of people

By NASIK SWAMI
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Update: 2:00PM OPPOSITION member Niko Nawaikula says the 2013 Constitution is one that has been imposed and does not carry the views of the people of this country.

In his maiden speech in Parliament Mr Nawaikula claimed that the Constitution was imperfect.

He said a Constitution should have the views of the people, provide mechanisms of good governance and separation of power. http://www.fijitimes.com/

32) Opposition Leader Questions Hugh Salary Increase For Fiji PM
Ro Teimumu says leaders get 63%-217% hike while workers see only 16%

By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 15, 2014) – Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has questioned the 217 per cent increase in salary for Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the 197 per cent increase for Attorney General and Finance Minister Sayed-Khaiyum.

Ro Teimumu said at the same time, President’s speech talked about plans to increase the National Minimum Wage from $2 per hour to $2.32 from July 2015, a 16 per cent increase which workers have to wait nine months for.

She said the increase in salaries was 153 per cent for selected Ministers, 134 per cent for other Ministers, and 63 per cent for assistant ministers.

She said the Government has not hesitated in increasing its own pay.

Fijilive

33) Fiji Minister Clarifies Foreign Policy, Relations With China, Russia
Ratu Inoke stresses ‘Friends to all, enemy to none’ approach


By Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 14, 2014) – Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola today answered a question that many have been asking about Fiji’s forging relationship with communist countries like China and Russia.

In his maiden speech, Ratu Inoke said the government’s motto in Foreign policy of ‘Friends to all, enemy to none’ was the driving force behind the decision and the pursuit of expanding Fiji’s diplomatic relations and enhancing International persona.

“As a result Fiji’s relations with the International community have grown considerably in the past eight years, Our International profile has been boosted significantly.

“We are a small and vulnerable country and we can never again permit ourselves to be dependent politically, strategically or economically on a must lie in establishing a broad set of relationships that protects us from the political winds that occasionally blow from one nation or another,” Ratu Inoke said.

He added that this would also give Fiji more sources of trade, cultural exchange, development cooperation, financing technology and military and diplomatic cooperation.

However he said that this does not mean that their priority for having these foreign policies was merely to seek protection but Fiji’s policies would be one that unselfishly and unashamedly pursues national interest based on openness, equality, principle and leadership.

“We will pursue productive relations with as many states as possible under terms that guarantee our equal treatment and that contribute to the well being of the people of Fiji,” Ratu Inoke said.

Fijilive

34) Kepa slams 217% pay rise for PM, 197% for AG – Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has questioned the 217 per cent increase in salary for Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the 197 per cent increase for Attorney General and Finance Minister Sayed-Khaiyum. Ro Teimumu said at the same time, President’s speech talked about plans to increase the National Minimum Wage from $2 per hour to $2.32 from July 2015, a 16 per cent increase which worked have to wait nine months for. She said the increase in salaries was 153 per cent for selected Ministers, 134 per cent for other Ministers, and 63 per cent for assistant ministers.
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/kepa-slams-217-pay-rise-for-pm-197-for-ag/59332.Fijilive

35) Groenewald seeks re-admittance to PICP – Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald has submitted a request to the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police secretariat to seek approval for Fiji’s re-admittance to the secretariat. Fiji was suspended from the PICP since 2007 and after elections; Commissioner Groenewald has taken the first step in the process of re-admittance. Fiji Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed this. “I can confirm that the Commissioner of Police has submitted a request to be readmitted and he has been informed that it will be discussed in the conference.”
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/groenewald-seeks-re-admittance-to-picp/59335.Fijilive

MEDIA

36) Telikom signs deal to acquire EMTV

By Online Editor
10:41 pm GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Papua New Guinea

Telikom PNG and Fiji Television Limited have signed a memorandum of undertaking in relation to the acquisition of Media Niugini Ltd (MNL), the PNG subsidiary of FTV which owns local television network EMTV.

The agreement was signed between both parties recently in Port Moresby.

Telikom said in a statement yesterday it had been in discussion with FTV during the past few months about buying EMTV by the end of the year.

Under the MoU, Telikom PNG will have exclusive rights to carry out a due diligence on MNL and make an assessment of value on Media Niugini.

The company said when this process is completed would it then make the offer and the percentage to be acquired made known.

Telikom said it would then make an offer to acquire Media Niugini businesses before or by November 30.

Telikom PNG chief executive officer Michael Donnelly is excited about the deal.

“We are excited about this business opportunity and see positive synergies between both companies,” he said.

“Now with the Media Niugini acquisition, we will be able to extend our offering beyond voice and data services to include content along with FM100 business unit to the PNG market.

“Telikom PNG also recently acquired Datec PNG Limited, which is the leader in ICT business.

“This investment will be subject to the regulatory approvals in PNG.”

The company did not disclose any details on the percentage it intends on acquiring but said it would be made known when the offer is made.

Media Niugini Ltd chairman Iowane Naiveli said, “We have been exploring the PNG media market for expansion or divestment.

“Based on market conditions and including PNG media legal framework, we have agreed that the best decision would be to divest.

“We have built this company up in the last eight years, and we want to give it back to PNG.”

Telikom PNG is a State-owned entity in PNG while Fijian Holdings Ltd is the major shareholder of Fiji Television Ltd, a listed company in Fiji Stock Exchange.

According to the MNL website: “EMTV is the national television service owned and controlled by Media Niugini Limited.”

It started broadcasting within the National Capital District in July 1987.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

37) French Journalists Detained in Papua Go On Trial Next Week
‘Misusing entry visa’ charge punishable by up to 5 years in jail

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 15, 2014) – Two French journalists being held in the Indonesian province of Papua are to go on trial next week.

The Indonesian authorities say Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat will be tried on a charge of misusing an entry visa which is punishable by up to five years in jail.

The pair who were travelling on tourist visas were arrested in early August while reporting on the separatist movement in Papua for a European television channel.

According to reports, the trial will start on Monday in the provincial capital Jayapura.

Radio New Zealand International

38) All TV stations have the right to broadcast Parliamentary proceedings – Sayed-Khaiyum – The Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has made it clear that all television stations in Fiji have the right to broadcast the Parliament proceedings. Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to SODELPA MP Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu who claimed in his maiden speech today that only FBC had permission to transmit the proceedings. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum stressed that the other two stations, Fiji TV and Mai TV, are free to broadcast Parliament if they choose to do so. He said FBC does not have an exclusive right to carry the proceedings.
http://fijivillage.com/news/All-TV-stations-have-the-right-to-broadcast-Parliamentary-proceedings–Sayed-Khaiyum-259ksr/

BUSINESS

39) Mining views sought

Spc/ Pac News
Thursday, October 16, 2014

PORT VILA – Last week in Port Vila, the Republic of Vanuatu commenced on a national consultation on a draft Deep Sea Minerals Policy.

This is the first in a series of consultations to be held in every province.

Past studies in Vanuatu’s waters revealed the presence of seafloor massive sulphide deposits within its exclusive economic zone, which could contain significant quantities of copper, gold, zinc, silver and other commercially viable minerals.

The presence of such minerals could present a potential economic opportunity for Vanuatu if deep sea mining activity is properly conducted and balanced with appropriate environmental, legal and financial management.

The draft policy sets out Vanuatu’s vision and strategic goals in relation to its deep sea minerals, and will form the basis for future drafting of laws in line with the policy.

40) PNG invests K300m in Fiji

By Online Editor
00:23 am GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Fiji

Twelve companies from Papua New Guinea have investments totalling almost K300 million (F$218.7 million) in Fiji, led by Bank South Pacific, according to High Commissioner Romanu Tikotikoca.

He told Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and guests at the Fiji Day celebrations in Port Moresby on Friday that Fiji exports to PNG rose from F$19 million (K24 million)  in 2010 to around F$63 million (K79.74 million) last year.

He said PNG exports to Fiji “had little movement remaining around the F$7 million (K8.86 million) mark during that period”.

“However PNG investments into Fiji rose between 2002 and 2013 with 12 companies now investing in Fiji with a total of F$218.7million (K300 million) with BSP, Grand Pacific Hotel Ltd and Pearl South Pacific Resort, leading the way,” he said.

He said the Melanesia Spearhead Group trade show in Port Moresby next month “marks another milestone in MSG, PNG and Fiji relations”.

“More broadly, the Fijian and PNG governments with our respective private sectors share a bold vision, which is a truly integrated Pacific, pursuing common goals that grow our economies, increase our regional and global influence and, benefit all our peoples,” he said.

“This transformation has been staggering over the years. The MSG has moved from a three-item list on our trade schedule (tinned fish, sugar and beef) to trade in thousands of goods and service. This has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations.

“PNG-Fiji relationship is now on such solid ground that trying times, both recent and ahead, must not be able to shake. Such a friendship was forged all those years long ago with the early missionaries and the legacy they left behind.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

41) Tourism Fiji appoints PR agency in China – Tourism Fiji has appointed Cohn and Wolfe Impact Asia as its public relations agency in China. The appointment of a public relations agency in China is part of Tourism Fiji’s comprehensive plan to better capitalize on the opportunities presented in the Chinese market.
http://fijivillage.com/news/Tourism-Fiji-appoints-PR-agency-in-China-k5s92r/

42) Bank directors visit Fiji operations

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BANK of South Pacific (BSP) Group board members from Papua New Guinea visited a number of its branches and key corporate customers around the country last week.

BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming says it is not only about the bank’s financial performance being reviewed in every board meeting but also seeing how the business is going and witness how passionate its customers and staff members are.

“As you might have realised, BSP just recently released its half year profit after tax which is 262.5million Kina ($F203.7m),” he said.

This compares with 204m Kina ($F158.3m) recorded for the corresponding period last year.

“BSP Group in the region is more profitable, a larger balance sheet and much better customers as well.” http://www.fijitimes.com/

43) SPSE to work with government

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THE South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) will always work to promote the development of Fiji’s economy, says its chief executive officer Jinita Prasad.

Ms Prasad says SPSE would share ideas and insights with the new elected government.

“At times, there will be policy proposals that might affect some listed companies or investors.

“SPSE will endeavour to provide the necessary information based on its expertise to inform decision-makers so that they have a full account of considerations,” said Ms Prasad.

She said the political arena could exert significant influence on the country’s income distribution, prosperity and investor confidence hence had an impact on the activities on the stock market.

While SPSE remains an apolitical organisation, it acknowledges that listed company performances are also prone to changes in sector-specific policies or regulatory environment.

“We see the election as a positive development for Fiji. Companies and other countries see it as a sign of stability and it enhances a confidence level.” http://www.fijitimes.com/

44) Koya to empower grassroot communities – Farmers, fisherman and traders should have access to technology to be able to immediately determine the price and market for their produce. Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya says he’s determined to ensure Fijians are included in a benefit from the growth of Fiji’s economy. He adds empowering grassroots communities and encouraging rural developments will bring more people into the mainstream economy.

http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23718/koya-to-empower-grassroot-communities#sthash.UAD3xMxV.dpuf
http://fijivillage.com/news/Faiyaz-Koya-determined-to-make-more-Fijians-benefit-from-growth-of-economy-529ksr/

LAW&ORDER ( Western ) 

45) Solomons police looking for new blood

16 October 2014

The new police commissioner of Solomon Islands says the force needs new leadership and he will be advertising positions soon.

Frank Prendergast says people have filled acting positions for too long and it is important for the future to have people settle in specific roles.

Two senior executives, Walter Kola and Nela Mosese, have recently resigned, and Mr Prendergast says it is time for fresh blood.

“Clearly there’s some issues around leadership that need to be addressed and we’re addressing those. We had some very senior officers leave after very long contributions to the RSIPF but we’ve got to now build for the future and one of my key objectives early on is to get a solid executive in place that can give the RSIPF the leadership that it needs and deserves.”

Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

Frank Prendergast says he will shortly advertise the positions of Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Chief Superintendent, as well as superintendent and inspector positions.

He says Juanita Matanga will hold the Deputy Commissioner role for the foreseeable future.RNZI

46) Police chiefs of Pacific to discuss readmission of Fiji

16 October 2014

The police chiefs of the Pacific are set to agree on a new governance structure this week, and to readmit Fiji to the group.

The chiefs are meeting in Auckland and will enact a new five year plan, to work together better.

The outgoing chair of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Conference, Maara Tetava, who is the Cook Islands Police Commissioner, says the new plan should be signed off today.

He says there will be discussion tomorrow on the readmission of Fiji to the conference.

“The feel out there is that it’s not a complete family without Fiji. The Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police comprises of 21 countries and Fiji is included in that 21 and it would be nice to have Fiji back in the family but that will depend on the discussion tomorrow.”

Maara Tetava has handed over the chairmanship of the conference to the New Zealand Police Commissioner, Mike Bush.RNZI

47) Australia, PNG Police Women Address Domestic Violence Prevention
2 officers swap countries to learn about culture patterns of violence

By Bruce Hill, staff

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 16, 2014) – Two female police officers working on domestic violence prevention in Papua New Guinea and Australia have swapped countries, and have been surprised by the laws and culture that dictate domestic violence patterns on the other side.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Officer Michelle Harris is working in Papua New Guinea, while her counterpart, Rachel Pinda, has just finished an AFP funded placement with the Northern Territory Police in Australia, working with their Sexual Offences Unit.

Officer Harris said she was shocked by the extent to which domestic violence is ingrained in PNG culture.

“Domestic violence is actually socially perceived as a normal aspect of a woman’s life, strangely, and in their perspective, remains wholly a family matter and shouldn’t be discussed publicly,” she said.

“It’s a frustrating issue that exists in the country and its relative to the Wantok system, the conversation and the ethnic divisions, there’s cultural beliefs and practices such as the ‘bride price’, which just perpetuates the issues because essentially it condones the men’s control of the women.

“Men literally believe they own the woman, that it’s their right to treat them how they feel and some come into the office and they express pride at times, like “well, I didn’t hit her, you know, I could have, that’s my right, but I didn’t do it on this occasion” but that’s not to say it couldn’t happen on other occasions.”

She said because abuse was so intrinsically linked to culture, women were often ashamed to report violence.

“It is underreported and often women and girls do not know where to seek help,” she said.

Officer Harris said she found there was a serious lack of support services available to the huge number of women who experienced abuse, and they often had nowhere to turn.

Domestic violence in Papua New Guinea is an epidemic, with two in three women having experienced abuse, while half have experienced forced sex.

PNG policewoman Rachel Pinda, who has been serving on an AFP placement in the Northern Territory, agreed that cultural norms prevented women from seeking help.

“They are very strong-willed women but most of them, who are married to those such men, they feel in fear,” she said.

“I think it’s because of the way we were brought up to respect men, and the customary thing within it too, even educated women with the fear inside them, that ‘my husband’s going to this and that and that’ or it’ll be a disgrace to my family if I report that, it’s just these things that they still believe in.”

Gender-based violence in Australia is nowhere near the proportions of Papua New Guinea, but still alarmingly high, with a third of women having experienced physical violence, and one fifth experiencing sexual assault.

But in Australia, domestic violence law is enforced, and abuse is not condoned by society or viewed as the man’s right.

Officer Pinda said working in Australia was eye-opening, and that PNG could learn much from the country’s violence prevention measures.

“The law against [violence against] women here is very strong, very, very strong and effective and that is something I really wish could happen here in Papua New Guinea,” she said.

“The women there are very strong-willed women, just like Papua New Guinea ladies, but I think it’s because of the cultural thing that makes us weak and the women are so free in Australia.

“They’re so lucky and so privileged to have that law that is so effective.”

Problems within the ranks

The attitude of the police towards domestic violence is critical when it comes to enforcing laws against it.

Officer Harris found that despite some progressive members within the force, there was still a long way to go when it came to changing the way many PNG police dealt with the issue.

“The members of the sexual offences squad are very sensitive and very progressive… but there is, throughout the police force, probably still some of these cultural beliefs that do permeate and some members probably are the kind [who say] go back to their families, deal with it within their community,” she said.

“It’s not a police issue, but those perceptions are slowly changing.”

She said she noticed many female officers in PNG were themselves victims of violence.

“There is a police woman that’s come to work recently with a broken arm and a black eye. There’s no doubt that she’s been a victim of domestic violence but she won’t report it, she won’t deal with it, and that’s within the police force, let alone trying to help the external community,” she said.

Officer Pinda said there were not only victims in the police force, but perpetrators as well, which strips public confidence in law enforcement to handle the problem.

“There are police officers working next to us that beat up their wives, [and] police women being beaten up, and it’s kind of like a shame because you’re trying to bring out something, a witness to, telling people not to do that but within ourselves these things are happening,” she said.

“What I really want is to work within ourselves, within the department itself, clean ourselves up and then we start moving out.

“I think there will be a change and respect from the public and they would actually get hold of what we are trying to get across.”

Radio Australia

48) Exchange review

The National
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PORT MORESBY – Australia’s $37million (K78m) a year deployment of 73 federal police officers to Papua New Guinea, hailed a breakthrough last year when it began, is being reviewed by the PNG Government, potentially to wind it down.

According to a report in The Australian, this is in part because of unrealistic “visible policing” expectations — with the AFP officers lacking legal powers to make arrests, conduct investigations or direct PNG counterparts.

A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute argues the need to almost double Canberra’s input of cash and police.

The deployment was agreed between then prime minister Kevin Rudd and his PNG counterpart Peter O’Neill, in the context of a plan to send asylum-seekers to Manus Island.

But just nine months into the new deployment, PNG’s Police Minister Robert Atiyafa wants to review the AFP presence, potentially even to end it.

Police chiefs of Pacific to discuss readmission of Fiji – The police chiefs of the Pacific are set to agree on a new governance structure this week, and to readmit Fiji to the group. The chiefs are meeting in Auckland and will enact a new five year plan, to work together better. The outgoing chair of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Conference, Maara Tetava, who is the Cook Islands Police Commissioner, says the new plan should be signed off today. He says there will be discussion tomorrow on the readmission of Fiji to the conference. “The feel out there is that it’s not a complete family without Fiji. The Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police comprises of 21 countries and Fiji is included in that 21 and it would be nice to have Fiji back in the family but that will depend on the discussion tomorrow.”

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/257044/police-chiefs-of-pacific-to-discuss-readmission-of-fiji

49a) Bilitaki file expected to be given to DPP next week – The file in relation to the arrest of Suva resident Josefa Bilitaki is expected to be submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions next week. This has been confirmed by Commissioner of Police Ben Groenewald who said that the criminal case of the alleged assault was registered by Bilitaki and they are now working on the statements. Fijivillage also questioned Groenewald in relation to the officers who allegedly assaulted Bilitaki.
http://fijivillage.com/news/Bilitaki-file-expected-to-be-given-to-DPP-next-week-r5k29s/

49b) Fijian travel agent arrested in California – A soccer group that paid more than $30,000 for airline tickets to attend a tournament in Fiji has allegedly been defrauded of the full amount by a Fijian travel agent operating in Modesto, California. Modesto Police spokesperson Heather Graham says the soccer players from San Francisco are not the only victims of 39-year-old Sashi Pal with SP Travel Company.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23747/fijian-travel-agent-arrested-in-california#sthash.WAyBysv3.dpuf

49c) Fraud suspect dies in police cell – A 29-year-old fraud suspect allegedly committed suicide in the Nadi Police Station cell yesterday. Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the deceased had been escorted to the Nadi Police Station from Suva on Monday, earlier this week as he was wanted for a series of fraud cases pending against him in Nadi. She said after questioning on Monday night, the deceased was locked in a cell as his interview was expected to continue the next morning.
http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/fraud-suspect-dies-in-police-cell/59339.Fijilive

49d) Fiji detects $1m worth of money laundering – More than one million dollars worth of money laundering has been detected in Fiji over the last three years. The Financial Intelligence Unit says these involved only fifteen cases. Financial Intelligence Unit – Director – Razim Buksh says the fifteen money laundering cases were complex- taking up huge amounts of resources and expertise.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23719/fiji-detects-1m-worth-of-money-laundering-#sthash.ytvLP6uq.dpuf

49e) Pacific Police Chiefs to Discuss Readmitting Fiji – The police chiefs of the Pacific are set to agree on a new governance structure this week, and to readmit Fiji to the group. Radio New Zealand International reports the chiefs are meeting in Auckland and will enact a new five year plan, to work together better.
http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/23759/pacific-police-chiefs-to-discuss-readmitting-fiji-

TRIBAL LAW ( Melanesian traditional beliefs/rituals + ) 

50) Awareness on sorcery dangers

Source: 
The National, Thursday October 16th, 2014

 A GROUP of people in Northern is raising awareness on the dangers associated with sorcery and the practice was creating more fear in communities.
It follows concerns raised by leaders in the Tamata ward, Sohe district, on the impact of sorcery and witchcraft practices on families and the communities.
Three villages in ward seven have linked 16 deaths to sorcery. The most recent death  blamed on witchcraft was of Hagar Begada, a female student attending Ioma Primary School.The group has formed the Kadobupuri Association to advocate against sorcery. Director Norman Atota and vice-chairman Pr Hadley Agapie travelled to Lae on Monday to raise their concerns.
Atota said the group had conducted awareness and public forums educating people about the risks involved with such old practices.
The ward seven villages are Jinododowe, Ioma station, Iaudari One, Iaudari Two, Kobatutu-Ginemai, Barara, Biaga and Manatu where an estimated 7000 people lived.
Atota said the lack of government services and public servants at Ioma station was contributing to the problem.
“We are people living in the dark without government officers at LLG level and no clear vision on how far and which way we are heading towards,” he said.
“Governor Garry Juffa and MP Delilah Gore must realise our plight and the fear in the communities.”
 
INFRASTRUCTURE 

51) City refugees appeal

Source: 
The National, Thursday October 16th, 2014

 WEST Papuan refugees living over a covered drain in Rainbow in the National Capital District (NCD) need basics in life, a member says. 
Community member Samuel Inggamer said since moving there in 2007 under NCD Governor Powes Parkop’s authorisation to temporarily stay there, they filled that drain with soil.
Today when it rains they still face problem with flooding.
“Since moving here we have been living on donations that come from NGOs and churches,” Inggamer said. 
“The makeshift houses we live in were from the United Nations who gave us roofing iron, nails and offcut timbers to build these houses which we still live in today. 
“And because of our refugee status, most of us are not working and our only hope for the basic daily needs come from the mothers who do marketing. 
“As new generations are coming up in each family, we are all squeezed in the makeshift houses we have.” Other services provided to them such as water and electricity are paid.
“We pay K15 per family for water from Eda Ranu that is monitored by our community leader Freddy Waroi to fetch our containers which we fill and budget to use in a week. 
“For electricity, every family member contributes one kina every day to top up easypay that is monitored in one house and distributed to other houses. 
“There is only one pit toilet that the whole community is using and if it is full, we don’t know where to build a new one because of the limited land,” Inggamer said.
Johanah Fonatabe said some of their children did not attend school because of project fees that some schools were charging which they could not afford.
Inggamer said as they were temporally residing there, they would like to thank Parkop for his concern for them and all other donors who had been helping them. 
 
FISHING/AGRICULTURE+

52) Fiji, Vanuatu Removed From Europe Illegal Fishing Warning List
European Commission praises reforms that combat illegal fishing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 15, 2014) – Fiji and Vanuatu are among several countries which have been saluted by the European Commission for their efforts to tackle illegal fishing after being officially warned two years ago.

The European Commission has announced the termination of steps against Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu who all received a formal warning or yellow card in November 2012.

It says the countries have taken concrete measures to address shortcomings and shown commitment to complete structural reforms in order to address illegal fishing.

Among improvements are new laws and better monitoring, control and inspection.

The Commission says in contrast it has proposed banning imports to the European Union of fisheries products from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was also yellow-carded two years ago but the Commission says it has since failed to address shortcomings in its fisheries control system.

The Commission is expected to report on Papua New Guinea’s progress by the end of the year after it received a formal warning in June.

Radio New Zealand International

EC commends Fiji on fishing reforms – The European Commission has removed Fiji from its listing of countries on warning for illegal fishing, praising its reforms and commitment to address shortcomings. Fiji is among five countries alongside Belize, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu who were issued formal warnings in November 2012, but have made changes prompting the EC to terminate disciplinary action. “The countries have taken concrete measures in addressing established shortcomings and shown commitment to complete structural reforms in order to address illegal fishing,” the EC said in a statement. “These countries’ positive attitude should serve as a template to other countries in similar situations.”

http://fijilive.com/news/2014/10/ec-commends-fiji-on-fishing-reforms/59353.Fijilive

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION & ENVIROMENT

53) Tax firms that create pollution

Source: 
The National, Thursday October 16th, 2014

 THE National Research Institute has recommended that companies and individuals causing environmental pollution should be held accountable by paying taxes, an official says.
While presenting a report on taxation policies and practices affecting businesses and individuals in Port Moresby yesterday, economic policy research programme senior fellow Dr Francis Odhuno questioned if PNG should be able to impose some fees to deter environment damage.  
“In PNG, some areas you need to have environment conservation measures. But a lot of companies and people operating in some of these areas are really not environment conscious. So those are the suggestions but the tax system should be improved so that you internalise the costs of the environmental damage so that they see that if you pollute more, you pay more.
He said an area that NRI suggested for taxation was the use of old motor vehicles.
“There are a lot of issues to be discussed when it comes to motor vehicles. One of them was that we seem to be having relatively old vehicles running around on the road just because we don’t have age limit for the importation of vehicles.
“Any junk vehicle imported from any overseas country can easily be shipped here.”
 
54) Tuvalu will continue to fight for its survival – PM Sopoaga

By Online Editor
10:36 pm GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Tuvalu

Tuvalu, one of the island nations at the front-line of climate change says it will not give up fighting for its survival.

The will to fight to save Tuvalu from the impacts of climate change was highlighted by Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga in an address to the nation broadcast live on Radio Tuvalu recently.

The address is part of government’s attempt to update the people of Tuvalu on climate change and what government is doing at the national, regional and international level.

In his presentation, PM Sopoaga pointed out the dangers associated with climate change as highlighted in the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)5th Report.

“The issue of climate change had been around and is discussed in Parliament, in government, in church and communities for the reason that it is a threat to the livelihoods of the people of Tuvalu. From our side, we need to work together with the international community,” Sopoaga said.

“Government has established the National Advisory Council on Climate Change chaired by Secretary to Government. The council will advice Cabinet on adaptation measures that the government need to implement. The council is working alongside the Environment Department and stakeholders so that the nation has the same understanding on how to adapt to climate change, said PM Sopoaga.

Climate change is a human right issue, was a message of the Tuvaluan PM when he spoke in New York during the UN Climate Summit last month. He said saving Tuvalu is saving the world.

“It is not a unreasonable plea, it is not an artificial plea but we all know if we address the causes of climate change and its impact on Tuvalu, there will be a great chance of saving the world, Sopoaga said.

SOURCE: FENUI NEWS/PACNEWS

WOMAN,YOUTH & CHILD

55)  celebrate rural women’s day

By SALASEINI MOCEIWAI
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Update: 2:43PM MORE than 500 women converged at the Civic Centre building in Labasa Town this morning to celebrate the International Day for Rural Women.

The centre was filled with excitement and joy as women from around Macuata province to as far as Seaqaqa took time out to be part of the special day celebration.

In her official address Minister for Women Rosy Sofia Akbar says the day signifies the critical role and contribution of rural women in improving agricultural and rural development, food security and eradicating rural poverty. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=283221

EVENTS

56) Traditional food display

Litia Vulaidausiga
Thursday, October 16, 2014

TRADITIONAL food could provide an effective means of combating non-communicable diseases in the country and this will be a central feature of a sports festival organised by the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND Fiji) this weekend.

“FRIEND has been trying to fight against diabetes and other NCDs that have reached a crisis point in Fiji” noted Dr Jone Hawea, associate director of the organisation.

These efforts include a multitude of outdoor activities under a Mela Na Waqe Walk Race scheduled to be held on Saturday at the Natabua High School grounds that will also double as a food display.

“The day will also feature traditional food festival where a variety of local foods will be available on sale.

“The food festival is intended to revive local traditional modes of cooking for health so we can combat the rising challenge of NCDs” Dr Hawea highlighted.

“The clock is ticking on us — one in three people in Fiji has diabetes, every 12 hours there is a diabetic amputation in Fiji and the youngest type 2 diabetic is an 11-year-old. We have to act now” he warned.

The organisation is also inviting membership to its Sustainable Medicine Improving Lives through Empowerment (SMILE) program, which has provided free medical care in various communities for the past four years.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=283242

SPORTS

57) PNG may host 2017 World Cup matches

By Online Editor
00:38 am GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s rugby league mad public are set to be rewarded, with the code’s governing body seriously thinking about adding the Pacific nation as a host in the 2017 rugby league World Cup.

While Australia and NZ will co-host the event, PNG has emerged as a genuine destination for at least one pool game.

Four pools will make up the 2017 tournament. Australia and New Zealand will be based in front of their home crowds, and negotiations are taking place to have PNG as a third host.

Fiji and Western Australia are  being considered.

However, officials are leaning towards PNG, where rugby league is a national sport. .

General manager of league integration and game development, Andrew Hill, said PNG was a realistic destination for at least one pool game.

“Part of our bid to the international federation was to look at how we could assist the broader rugby league strategy in the Pacific,” Hill said.

“PNG have expressed an interest in hosting a game or games.

“We’ve begun discussions with the Sports Minister of PNG and over the next couple of months we’ll get into more detail.

“We’ve had a couple of preliminary discussions. It’s got past the general chat.

“It’s now about the logistics and the contribution PNG would need to make to hosting a match of that status.”

Security, logistics, stadium and broadcast abilities have emerged as major stumbling blocks.

There is little doubt any matches hosted in PNG will be a success, given the reception the Prime Ministers XIII side has received since their arrival on Friday.

Fans crowded the airport while a coaching clinic at a local school attracted about 300 children and at least another 300 spectators on Saturday afternoon.

Those too old for the clinic clung to the fence from the outside, chanting the players names before swarming in on players’ gear as it was tossed out of the team’s bus by the likes of Greg Bird, Josh Papalii and Josh McGuire.

About 300 people attended a sold-out dinner function with the Kumuls and Kangaroos on Friday night.

“It would be great to promote the broader strategy the NRL has for the Pacific,” Hill said. “I don’t think any other Pacific nation has been able to host a fixture of that status. It’ll be great for the region.

“Teams who have come here have been very complimentary with the way in which everything has worked. At the back of the Pacific Games and the PNG Games being held this year and next year, there will be infrastructure built that would be appropriate to host World Cup games.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

58) Selectors stay true

By Online Editor
10:44 pm GMT+12, 15/10/2014, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea coach Mal Meninga has stayed loyal to his Prime Minister’s XIII squad, retaining it for the Kumuls team to face Tonga this week.

The PNG Rugby Football League released the 21-man squad, which included no changes from the side that lost 34-16 to the Australian PMs XIII last Sunday.

The International Rugby League-sanctioned Test match at the Lae Rugby League ground will pit two countries who last met in 2009 during the Pacific Cup in Port Moresby.

The Kumuls beat the Feleti Mateo-led Tongan side 44-14 and went on to win the inaugural cup.

The match is the only international fixture for 2014 for the Kumuls with IRLF ranking points the prize at stake. Meninga said the selectors had decided to stick with the same players because they had performed well against a strong Australian side with most of the players now part of Tim Sheens’ Four Nations squad.

“We sat on Sunday went through performances on the day from the main game and the All Stars match and in the end decided to stay with the 21 players from the Prime Minister’s XIII squad,” Meninga said.

“The players have been together now for three weeks so the preparation is there and of course they played Australia on Sunday so it’s that Hunters combination and experience that we felt was crucial taking it into the game against Tonga.”

“The problem with bringing in new talent is that the players will be raw and new to the system — and that would do them an injustice.”

Meninga said the side had several injury worries for props Mark Mexico and Timothy Lomai, while Dion Aiye and

Gary Lo had minor complaints.

“We have a few niggling injuries to some key personnel that we want to monitor, treat and ensure they are fit for Sunday’s important match. We will give them right up until game day before we finalise our starting 17.”

Meninga said the Tongans will be tough opposition but the Kumuls need to play the best quality opposition they can — on a regular basis — to improve.

“It’s no benefit to us playing against nations who are not top quality. That does nothing to improve us and we will continue to test ourselves against the best international teams.

Meninga said the Tongans had the size and would be a handful particularly with the inclusion of Brisbane Broncos David Hala, Penrith Panthers prop Ben Murdoch-Masila and Parramatta Eels backrower Peni Terepo.

He said the forward pack was not the only danger but a big back line would ensure that the Kumuls were stretched.

“Tonga are a big pack.

“They’ve got big blokes all over the park who will test our defence and that’s where we need to be at our best.

“Our defence has to hold and we have to do the little things well,” Meninga said.

The Kumuls travel to Lae today. Tickets and limited merchandise for the match will go on sale on Sunday morning from 8am at the volleyball courts, behind Lae Rugby League grounds.

Gates will open at 9am with the main game starting at 2pm. Pre game entertainment including a live band will entertain fans.

Kumuls: Dion Aiye, Stanton Albert, Israel Eliab, Adam Korave, Roger Laka, Timothy Lomai, Gary Lo, Rhyse Martin, Mark Mexico, Willie Minoga, Kato Otio, Sebastian Pandia, Brandy Peter, Wartovo Puara Jr, Esau Siune, Jason Tali, Thompson Teteh, Lawrence Tu’u, Henry Wan, Adex Wera, Noel Zeming.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

59) Jarryd Hayne quits Parramatta Eels for NFL

News.com.au
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jarryd Hayne is sensationally quitting the NRL for the NFL. Picture: News Corp Australia

Update: 12:01PM Jarryd Hayne has sensationally left the Parramatta Eels to pursue an NFL career in the United States.

The joint-Dally M winner had been named in the Kangaroos’ Four Nations squad to play New Zealand on October 25, but has withdrawn from the Australian squad to arrange an unprecedented code-swap with the American football code.

In a statement on the Eels’ website, Hayne said he had been granted a conditional release from Parramatta to pursue the chance to play American football.

“Today I can officially announce that I will be heading to the United States to pursue an opportunity to play American football,” Hayne said in the statement.

“I will be withdrawing from the Kangaroos Four Nations side immediately, and accepting a conditional release from the Eels to make the move overseas.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL, and at my age, this is my one and only chance at having a crack at playing there.

“I’m excited about the potential opportunities that lie ahead. I’ve known the deadline has been looming for me to make this call, and I believe the right time is now.

“I’m so passionate about the challenge that lies ahead for me, not only as an athlete but more so as a person. Its the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life.

“I’m leaving my team-mates, friends, and most importantly my family; but for me to grow as an athlete and a person I feel this is the right step to take.”

60a) 7s consistency

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MEMBERS of the Gold Coast 7s winning Vodafone Fiji 7s team have been urged not to rest on their laurels but to work hard to retain their spots for the Dubai 7s tournament next month.

This is according to Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan during an interview after the team arrived in Nadi yesterday.

Ryan said he was happy with the team’s achievement at Gold Coast but at the same time reminded his troops to maintain the consistency during the local competitions to earn a ticket to the Dubai tournament.

The former England 7s mentor said there were lots of room for improvements.

“Even though we have talked about players who performed so well in Gold Coast but players should not rest on their laurels,” said Ryan.

“They have to play their best in the local competitions in Fiji to be on the plane for Dubai otherwise we won’t have a team that continue to improve.

“There are players from the Oceania team who are also eager to win a place in the leg which is a huge test for these boys.”

He said the Fijian rugby gladiators displayed one of their best performances in the history of the IRB 7S Series with an average of 38 points per game.

Ryan said the victory was a good benchmark to the Dubai 7s defence campaign.

“The performance was excellent, we gave England their biggest defeat in 10 years and beat Australia by 30 points on their home ground.

“It’s a great start and we need to have more performances like that to be in the top four and ultimately in still trying to fight for the top of the points table and win the series.

“The next tournament is important and we need to improve our game to automatically earn a spot for the Rio Olympics.”

The soft spoken mentor said the players would be allowed to represent their various clubs during the Bayleys Coral Coast 7s next month where he would select his team for the Dubai and South Africa 7s tournaments. http://www.fijitimes.com/

60b) Dutch beaten

Afp
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PARIS – World Cup semi-finalists the Netherlands’ hopes of qualifying for Euro 2016 have taken another blow as a Gylfi Sigurdsson double gave Iceland a 2-0 win over the European giants.

Iceland — who only just missed out on a place at their first ever World Cup finals this year — now top Group A alongside the Czech Republic with a perfect nine points from three games while the Dutch, who lost to the Czechs in their opening qualifier, are six points adrift in third place.

Croatia and Italy top Group H, also with nine points apiece, but their victories on Monday couldn’t have been more different.

The Croats whipped Azerbaijan 6-0, one short of their record victory over Andorra in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

But Italy, who had eked out a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan last Friday, relied on a goal from Graziano Pelle on his debut to scrape a 1-0 victory over minnows Malta, who played for an hour with 10 men following Michael Mifsud’s dismissal.

Italy coach Antonio Conte admitted there needed to be a big improvement if they are to see off Croatia in Milan next month.

“The big game against Croatia will tell us just how good we are after these first two months,” said Conte, who saw centre-back Leonardo Bonucci sent off late on.

“We need to get down to work if we’re to succeed.”

Wales, who have not been at a major finals since the 1958 World Cup, overcame being reduced to 10 men to edge Cyprus 2-1 in Cardiff and hold a one point lead over Israel, who beat Andorra 4-1, in Group B.

“When I saw the red card I thought it had killed us,” said Wales coach Chris Coleman.

“We never had determination in the last campaign, we were too soft. We are a different group of people this time, the players have really matured.”

Their respective victories gave them some breathing space over two of the favourites to qualify from the group World Cup qualifiers Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium, who drew 1-1.

60c) Tough build-up for Wallabies

Aap
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BRISBANE – The Wallabies face a harrowing back-to-back All Black warm-up for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Compared to their brutal pre-tournament build-up, the pool of death will look like a friendly oasis when Australia gets to England in September for the showpiece event.

SANZAR’s release of next year’s draw for The Rugby Championship shows the battling world No.4-ranked Wallabies will play consecutive Bledisloe Tests at the end of their abbreviated domestic Test calendar.

Australia will kick-off their TRC campaign — reduced from six matches to three due to the World Cup — against South Africa at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on July 18.

They then play Argentina away the following week before clashes with the All Blacks on August 8 and 15.

The first trans-Tasman match, to be staged at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, will count towards the championship while the second will be a stand-alone Bledisloe clash at Eden Park in Auckland.

The Wallabies have not beaten New Zealand since they won the 2011 Tri-Nations decider three years ago, and their last Bledisloe win at the All Blacks’ spiritual home of Eden Park was way back in 1986.

Australia will travel to the United Kingdom less than a month later where they face England and Wales in their final two pool matches after starting against Fiji and Uruguay.

The condensed TRC kicks off a fortnight after the July 4 Super Rugby final, but venues in Argentina and South Africa are still to be confirmed.

The Rugby Championship draw for 2015

ROUND 1 Friday 17 July: New Zealand v Argentina – AMI Stadium, Christchurch Saturday 18 July: Australia v South Africa – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

ROUND 2 Saturday 25 July: South Africa v New Zealand – Venue TBC Saturday 25 July: Argentina v Australia – Venue TBC

ROUND 3 Saturday 8 August: Australia v New Zealand – ANZ Stadium, Sydney Saturday 8 August: South Africa v Argentina – Venue TBC

ADDITIONAL WEEK (not for competition points): Saturday 15 August: New Zealand v Australia – Eden Park, Auckland Saturday 15 August: Argentina v South Africa – Venue TBC

60d) Barbarians select All Blacks

Aap
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WELLINGTON – The Barbarians have added three All Blacks and a handful of other New Zealand-based players to their squad to play the Wallabies at Twickenham next month.

Former flanker Adam Thomson, who last week signed with the Queensland Reds, is included in the squad coached by Blues mentor Sir John Kirwan.

Blues backs Francis Saili and Frank Halai, who have played three Tests between them, are also named in the invitation side who will provide the Wallabies’ first opponents on their season-ending tour on November 1.

The Barbarians will also play Leicester three days later.

Others unveiled by Kirwan on Monday are Chiefs fullback Tim Nanai-Williams, Highlanders wing Patrick Osborne, Chiefs hooker Mahonri Schwalger and Blues hooker James Parsons.

The Highlanders’ Japanese international halfback Fumiaki Tanaka is also named.

It is the second wave of selections from Kirwan who last month selected seven South African forwards and popular Wallabies wing Nick Cummins, who is playing club rugby in Japan.

60e) Selectors stay true

Source: 
The National, Thursday October 16th, 2014

 PAPUA New Guinea coach Mal Meninga has stayed loyal to his Prime Minister’s XIII squad, retaining it for the Kumuls team to face Tonga this week.
The PNG Rugby Football League released the 21-man squad, which included no changes from the side that lost 34-16 to the Australian PMs XIII last Sunday.
The International Rugby League-sanctioned Test match at the Lae Rugby League ground will pit two countries who last met in 2009 during the Pacific Cup in Port Moresby.
The Kumuls beat the Feleti Mateo-led Tongan side 44-14 and went on to win the inaugural cup.
The match is the only international fixture for 2014 for the Kumuls with IRLF ranking points the prize at stake. Meninga said the selectors had decided to stick with the same players because they had performed well against a strong Australian side with most of the players now part of Tim Sheens’ Four Nations squad.
“We sat on Sunday went through performances on the day from the main game and the All Stars match and in the end decided to stay with the 21 players from the Prime Minister’s XIII squad,” Meninga said.
“The players have been together now for three weeks so the preparation is there and of course they played Australia on Sunday so it’s that Hunters combination and experience that we felt was crucial taking it into the game against Tonga.”
“The problem with bringing in new talent is that the players will be raw and new to the system — and that would do them an injustice.”
Meninga said the side had several injury worries for props Mark Mexico and Timothy Lomai, while Dion Aiye and Gary Lo had minor complaints.
“We have a few niggling injuries to some key personnel that we want to monitor, treat and ensure they are fit for Sunday’s important match. We will give them right up until game day before we finalise our starting 17.” Meninga said the Tongans will be tough opposition but the Kumuls need to play the best quality opposition they can — on a regular basis — to improve.
“It’s no benefit to us playing against nations who are not top quality. That does nothing to improve us and we will continue to test ourselves against the best international teams. 
Meninga said the Tongans had the size and would be a handful particularly with the inclusion of Brisbane Broncos David Hala, Penrith Panthers prop Ben Murdoch-Masila and Parramatta Eels backrower Peni Terepo.
He said the forward pack was not the only danger but a big back line would ensure that the Kumuls were stretched.
“Tonga are a big pack. 
“They’ve got big blokes all over the park who will test our defence and that’s where we need to be at our best. 
“Our defence has to hold and we have to do the little things well,” Meninga said.
The Kumuls travel to Lae today. Tickets and limited merchandise for the match will go on sale on Sunday morning from 8am at the volleyball courts, behind Lae Rugby League grounds. 
Gates will open at 9am with the main game starting at 2pm. Pre game entertainment including a live band will entertain fans. 
Kumuls: Dion Aiye, Stanton Albert, Israel Eliab, Adam Korave, Roger Laka, Timothy Lomai, Gary Lo, Rhyse Martin, Mark Mexico, Willie Minoga, Kato Otio, Sebastian Pandia, Brandy Peter, Wartovo Puara Jr, Esau Siune, Jason Tali, Thompson Teteh, Lawrence Tu’u, Henry Wan, Adex Wera, Noel Zeming. 

60f) PNG ‘rock solid’: Tonga

Source: 
The National, Thursday October 16th, 2014

 THE Tonga Ma’a — boasting nearly 90 percent Australian National Rugby League talent — arrived yesterday at the Jackson International Airport, and their first impression of Papua New Guinean Rugby League players was — they are “rock solid”.
Sitaleki-Moala Akau’ola, when asked what he thought about the Papua New Guinean Kumuls, said abruptly: “Yeah, I heard they are rock solid.”
His counterpart, Epeteli Viliami Fine nodded to Akau’ola sentiments, as the team drifted into the arrival lounge to rebook their tickets for the transit onto Lae yesterday.
“It’s our first time in PNG. And it’s quite hotter than Brisbane but not much hotter than Tonga,” Fine said. “It is pretty much the same.”
Tonga is yet to name their captain but all agree this will be one of their hardest matches.
 Akau’ola said they were expecting a hard, competitive game but welcomed the experience.
“It should be a tough game. We don’t know who our captain is as yet but we expect to find that out as soon as we get there — or maybe later. 
“I think today’s schedule will be for us to rest up and then start training tomorrow (today),” Fine said.
Tonga: Sitaleki-Moala Akau’ola (West Tigers), Viliami Fine (West Tigers), Sione Folau (Parramatta), Daniel Foster (Penrith), David Hala (Broncos), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Samisoni Langi (Sydney Roosters), Haveatama Luani (West Tigers), Viliami Manu (Penrith), Benjamin Murdoch-Masila (Penrith), Agnatius Paasi (Warriors), Wellentony Satini (Manly), Ukuma Taai (Huddersfield UK), Siosiua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters), Peni Terepo (Parramatta), Vai Toutai (Parramatta), Bill Tupou (Canberra).

60g) Wallabies ready to counter All Blacks

AAP
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Update: 1:39PM Wallaby Joe Tomane says an on-field call will help them counter New Zealand’s use of turnover ball but their off-field communication may be the key.

There is a rallying on-field call the Wallabies make when they regroup in defence.

Critics could argue they yell it a lot.

But Wallabies flyer Joe Tomane reckons New Zealand are yet to decode it as they look to counter the world champion’s use of turnover ball in Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup dead rubber at Lang Park.

It may prove the difference in a match that will celebrate vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper’s 100th Test – and perhaps determine besieged coach Ewen McKenzie’s future.

However, their performance may yet depend on their off-field communication.

And Tomane is not giving away too much on that either.

Winger Tomane said the Wallabies would telecast a code word when looking to close down New Zealand’s exploitation of turnover ball – a telling factor in Australia’s embarrassing 51-20 Eden Park loss in their last start against the All Blacks.

Just do not call it ‘scrambling’.

“I don’t know about scrambling. We call it trying to find a connection,” he said.

“It’s about trying to find a connection with our team-mates and we’re trying to present a solid line.

“We’re practising all sorts of scenarios.

“I feel we’ve trained really well to counter whenever they get a turnover.

“(Because) they know how to punish you for your mistakes.”

So what’s the code word?

“We have a term but I’m not going to tell you,” he smiled.

Hopefully their off-field talk is not as guarded ahead of what may yet be a make-or-break clash for McKenzie.

The team must find a way to rally in the bitter fallout from Kurtley Beale’s in-flight confrontation with Di Patston, who has since resigned citing stress, and the subsequent leaking of lewd text messages from the playmaker to team-mates about the ex-Wallabies staffer.

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper revealed they would hold a team honesty session in Brisbane to ensure everyone was on the same page ahead of the Bledisloe Test in the wake of the Beale saga.

But Tomane remained coy on what exactly was said.

“It’s sort of something that was done in-house,” he said.

“I think I’ll just keep it at that. I don’t think I should comment on that, sorry.”

However, Tomane hosed down talk that the Wallabies had extra motivation to defeat the All Blacks in order to take the limelight off McKenzie.

“I think the driving factor for us is to actually just win the game,” he said.

“That’s more than enough to drive any team.”

McKenzie certainly hopes so.

www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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