Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1074 ( Wednesday 4 March 2015 )

MELANESIA

1) Getting PNG connected
By Online Editor
9:50 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

State -owned PNG DataCo Ltd is moving to connect Papua New Guinea to the world through its Melanesia cable project, which is expected to start this month.

Chairman Reuben Kautu said Tuesday following his return from the Solomon Islands where a joint communiqué was signed between PNG and the Solomons.

Kautu said the understanding reached between the two countries would pave the way for an investment decision by DataCo this week.

The Melanesian cable project is expected to cost millions of kina.

“PNG DataCo has already signed a business partnership with Inter Change of Vanuatu on this project and my board will approve investment into this viable project which will get IPBC (Independent Public Business Corporation) approval before we begin this major communications infrastructure project linking Vanuatu to PNG and a cable into the Solomon Islands,” Kautu said.

“We are hopeful all will go according to plan and we launch the beginning of the undersea cable this month and work towards the launch of this service in June next year which will then be ready for the all-important APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in 2018 and other international meets and activities in the country.”

He said PNG DataCo had started  discussions with the Solomon Oceanic Cable Company (SOCC) on the link into the Solomon Islands.

“PNG DataCo Ltd is happy to inform the people of Papua New Guinea that our calculations show that once we complete this project we will bring down significantly the costs of internet and data transmission and enable super speed data connectivity from the world into PNG and from PNG out,” he said.

Kautu said PNG DataCo is happy with the outcome of discussions between the governments of the Solomon Islands and PNG.

He the state-owned entity was committed to assisting SOCC  connect in the domestic market in the Solomon Islands.

DataCo was established to operate and maintain the National Transmission Network (NTN). It supplies NTN bandwidth to network licence holders such as Digicel, Telikom PNG, Bmobile and internet service providers on a wholesale basis.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

2) McCully pushed to raise abuses with Indonesia

Alex Perrottet, Radio New Zealand International – alex.perrottet@radionz.co.nz

4 March 2015

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully has been criticised for not raising concerns over human rights abuses with his visiting Indonesian counterpart.

Retno Marsudi has been in New Zealand holding talks with Mr McCully who was pressed by other New Zealand MPs to raise concerns over abuses in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

In December, Indonesian security forces opened fire on a peaceful demonstration, killing five school students in uniform.

The Greens MP, Catherine Delahunty has raised in Parliament the matter of human rights abuses in Papua and says Murray McCully must communicate those concerns. She said it is hypocritical for the Government to have the ‘guts’ to address abuses in Iraq while ignoring closer neighbours.

“This is a quiet war against the people of West Papua. It’s very disappointing to have on the one hand the government saying we must participate in a war to protect human rights and yet the war in our region, the attack on West Papuan people, they are really not doing anything about it,” said Ms Delahunty.

Maire Leadbeater, from West Papua Action Auckland, says Mr O’Neill has raised documented violations, and Mr McCully should do the same.

“Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill didn’t say anything about necessarily wanting a change of sovereignty or anything but he’s talking about a voice at the table, I think, of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. And why should that not be granted, because it’s very clear that that’s what the united leadership of West Papuan leaders want,” said Ms Leadbeater.

PNG’s Foreign Minister, Rimbink Pato, has confirmed that PNG respects Indonesia’s sovereignty, but says there are proper channels to raise concerns, if and when abuses occur. But he confirmed he still hasn’t raised the December shooting with his Indonesian counterpart.

“Human rights is clearly a concern to all of us but as to the specifics, it’s a matter that we have to deal with case by case. During the meeting I had that was not one of the specific matters that was not one of the matters that was raised on our part, and neither was it raised on the part of the Indonesians, because I did not receive a brief in relation to it,” said Mr Pato.

Mr McCully could not respond to requests for comment, but Catherine Delahunty says the Government is facing increasing pressure to take a stronger regional stand.

“The West Papuans are very clear that they are relying on countries like New Zealand as regional neighbours to stand up and say very clearly to INdonesia, you need a peace negotiation with West Papuan leadership, you need to stop allowing the military their abusive control and you need to be prepared to discuss not only human rights but self-determination,” she said.

Rimbink Pato says his office will make enquiries and look into the shooting of the school children.RNZI

3) GJP i tekem-bak posisen blong Presiden blong Malampa Provins

Long moning tede (namba 3 March 2015), ol kaonsela blong Malampa Provins oli elektem bakagen GJP Kaonsela William Fred Tasso olsem Presiden blong Malampa Provinsel Gavman. Tasso i bin holem posisen blong President blong las 2 yia finis.

GJP i bin tekem posisen blong Presiden blong Malampa Provins afta long las provinsel eleksen long 2013, mo naoia hemi karem bakagen blong holem kasem en blong 4-yia term blong Provinsel Gavman.

Ol 4 narafala pati we oli formem gavman wetem GJP i gat NUP, PPP, UMP mo MPP.

NUP i karem posisen blong Vaes-Presiden, UMP i karem 1st Vaes Presiden mo PPP i karem 2nd Vaes Presiden.

Ta, Ralph Regenvanu//Websaet: www.graonmojastis.org

4) GJP i tekem posisen blong Presiden blong Shefa Provins

Long moning tede (namba 2 March 2015), ol kaonsela blong Shefa Provins oli elektem wan niufala Presiden mo kabinet blong Shefa Provinsel Gavman.

Ol sem politikol pati we oli bin putum Presiden mo gavman blong Shefa afta long las provinsel eleksen long 2013, oli joen tugeta bakagen blong putum niufala gavman blong kasem nekis provinsel eleksen long 2017.  Ol pati ia i gat Green Confederation (GC), Vanuatu National Development Party (VNDP), Iauko Group (IG), Graon mo Jastis Pati (GJP) mo Vanuaaku Pati (VP).

Blong luksave sapot we wan-wan political pati i givim long niufala gavman blong Shefa Provins, ol pati i agri blong sherem ol posisen long kabinet olsem:
(a) GJP (Kaonsela Max Johnny) i karem posisen blong Presiden blong Provins;
(b) GC (Kaonsela Bape Vatoko) i karem posisen blong 1st Vaes-Presiden blong Provins;
(c) VNDP (Kaonsela Edward George, outgoing Presiden) i karem posisen blong 2nd Vaes-Presiden blong Provins;
(d) VP (Kaonsela Bob Homu) i karem posisen blong 3rd Vaes-Presiden blong Provins.

Eleksen blong Kaonsela Max Johnny olsem President blong Shefa Provins hemi makem wan histri olsem fes taem we wan kaonsela blong East Efate hemi kam Presiden blong Provins.  Mo tu hemi nambatu taem nomo we wan kaonsela blong northern part blong Efate hemi kam Presiden blong Provins.

GJP Kaonsela Willie Ben Kalmasei hemi holem yet posisen blong hem olsem Jeaman blong Social Welfare Komiti.

Yumi ekspsktem tu se tumoro bae ol kaonsela blong Malampa Provins i elektem bak GJP kaonsela Tasso Fred olsem Presiden blong Malampa Provins blong nambatu term.

OL FOTO blong niufala kabinet blong Shefa Provinsel Gavman bae i stap long websaet blong pati i no long taem.

Ta, Ralph Regenvanu//Websaet: www.graonmojastis.org

5) Vanuatu daily news Digest | 4 March 2015

by bobmakin

  • In Daily Post today, Godwin Ligo very reasonably questions what happened to the 1986 Physical Plan for Port Vila created by British planner David Corscaden. There are also four additional photos of the floodwaters in the main streets. This morning, Wednesday, four days after the worst of the flooding, there was still one-way only in the main road through Man Ples. Ligo is of course unable to answer what did happen with the Plan which covered long-term solutions to a range of problems. Public discussions were to provide wider consultation and involve government, the private sector, municipality, PWD, Police and residents’ representatives. The Plan was sought by the Ministry of Home Affairs. And it is surely only reasonable the Plan be re-located and form part of discussions which are surely needed before the aid-funded road and drainage work we have so recently been again promised by a Vanuatu government.
  • Post highlights 38 government agencies being investigated by the Public Accounts Committee headed by MP Marcellino Pipite. Included are contracted development, aid-funded projects like the Inter-Island Shipping Support Project of New Zealand and thePort Vila Urban Development Project and Transport Sector Support provided by Australian Aid. The VNPF, VBTC and VFSC are amongst the high profile SOEs.
  • Post is also particularly interesting on the Australian funded hours of maritime aerial surveillance to protect the country from illegal, un-reported un-regulated – IUU – fishing activities. Samoa Air offers special aerial services from Bauerfield to enable reports to the Tukoro for its surface patrols.
  • Radio Vanuatu News today led with the government planning a department to be concerned with water. There is presently duplication of many activities concerned with water supply. There are two Acts of Parliament and two authorities dealing with water, regionally and municipally, Lands Minister Regenvanu advised through the national broadcaster.

6) Vanuatu daily news Digest | 3 March 2015

by bobmakin

  • Provincial presidency elections led news bulletins today. Daily Post carried the news of East Efate and the Graon mo Jastis Pati taking the Shefa presidency – not South Efate as confidently predicted by that area. Councillor Johnny Max won for GJP.
  • Radio Vanuatu’s mid-day news bulletin had the Tafea presidential election yesterday erupting in chaos and having to be postponed until later today. The poll is still to take place.
  • News just in says GJP’s councillor William Fred Tasso has win the Malampa presidency.
  • Of considerable interest beyond our shores was Daily Post reporting a recovery unit from Hawaii to dive and seek the remains of the two who died in wartime when the US troop carrier President Coolidge struck US mines in the well protected Santo harbour area. Over five thousand men got safely ashore. The Coolidge sank off Million Dollar Point.
  • Both major media news outlets report the Ambrym alert level being reduced from 3 to 2.
  • Japan is to fund five projects with a total value of VT 38 million. They comprise a new fire fighting facility for the Vanuatu Maritime College at Santo and a garbage compactor truck, also for Luganville, as well as school renovations at Lenakel, Rentabau and Tautu. (Daily Post, today.)
  • The hospital Outreach Programme providing clinics and minor operations, Post reports,operated on 13 patients at Lenakel on Tanna last week. Doctors on the first such visit to Tafea said they hope to be able to make a return visit in about a month to continue to provide such treatment where it is needed.
  • MSG central bank governors have decided to set up an emergency and stabilisation fund at a meeting here in Port Vila last week. It was previously discussed in 2013. It seems to be mostly concerned with emergency relief. (Radio Vanuatu News.)

POLYNESIA

7) Court eases sentences in Wallis tax fraud case

4 March 2015

The Court of Appeal in New Caledonia has eased the sentences of two men convicted of massive tax fraud in the French territory of Wallis and Futuna in 2007 and 2008.

A former policeman Marc Revault and and an overseas tax specialist Jean-Marc Etchebarne who masterminded the scheme were sentenced to three years in prison, with one year suspended.

They were also banned from practicing and fined 470,000 US dollars for fraud and misuse of corporate assets.

At trial they were sentenced to five years in prison.

The scheme involved finding investors in metropolitan France who wanted to benefit from France’s tax law for overseas territories via various projects in Wallis and Futuna.

The court said the fraud amounted to 26 million US dollars in fake invoices and insurance receipts.RNZI

8) Tahiti due for fresh French Senate election in May

4 March 2015

The French High Commission in French Polynesia has confirmed that a fresh election of the territory’s two members of the French Senate will be held on May the 3rd.

Teura Iriti and Vincent Dubois were elected last September but last month the French constitutional court annulled their election.

It had found that a march by hundreds of supporters of the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party to the polling station amounted to undue pressure on the electoral college.

The party leader, Gaston Flosse, has said the same two candidates will be standing in May.

However, rifts have emerged within the ruling party since Flosse lost his office because of a corruption conviction that included a suspended jail sentence.

His successor as president, Edouard Fritch, has had major policy differences with Flosse in recent months and reports from Tahiti say other Tahoreaa candidates may be nominated.

Ms Iriti is an assembly member and a former minister while Mr Dubois, who is Flosse’s son-in-law, is a lawyer.RNZI

9) Tonga works towards fisheries agreement implementation

4 March 2015

Tonga says it hopes a workshop on Port State Measures will help them combat illegal fishing in their waters.

This week a Forum Fisheries Agency workshop is being held to inform and train local authorities.

The Minister for Fisheries says illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is a global threat to sustainable fisheries.

The Head of Fisheries in Tonga Nunia Mone says the workshop is preparation it prepares to fully implement the Global Agreement on Port State Measures to prevent and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“There are many things to be done. Regulations, inter-agency colloborations but this is one of the steps taken to work through it. The public awareness and empowering us how to do it, going about the port inspections, what we should do when there are illegal fishing vessels arriving.”RNZI

10) Tonga PM approves appointment of new Chief Secretary

By Online Editor
6:44 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Tonga

Dr Palenitina Langa’oi has been appointed Tonga’s new Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet after the Prime Minister sought legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General.

Dr Langa’oi, formerly Chief Executive Officer of the Public Service Commission was among 11 applicants for the top civil service job. She replaces ‘Aholotu Palu.

Radio and TV Tonga reports that Prime Minister Pohiva sought legal advice after an unsigned complaint letter surfaced questioning the procedures followed to appoint Dr Langa’oi.

After clarifications from the office of the Attorney General and the Public Service Commission, the Prime Minister informed Cabinet on Friday of Dr Langa’oi’s appointment.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip received Tonga’s King Tupou the 6th and Queen Nanasipau’u at the Windsor Castle over the weekend.

The discussion centred on bilateral relations as well as diplomatic ties of the two nations as member countries of the Commonwealth.

Their Majesties are in Europe in preparation for the upcoming coronation in July.

SOURCE: RADIO &TV TONGA/PACNEWS

11) Samoa calls for more money for renewable energy

4 March 2015

Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi says Samoa wants to be generating all its energy from renewable sources by 2017.

He says currently 30 percent of Samoa’s electricity is from a combination of renewable sources such as hydro, solar and wind.

Tuilaepa says the Pacific recognises the importance of energy efficiency especially now with the demand to cut fossil fuel use and reduces greenhouse gases.

He says Pacific countries, while they know the impacts of climate change place additional burdens on their national budgets, they lack the funds for adaptation and mitigation projects.

He says sustainable sources of energy mean sustainable development in the small island states.RNZI

12) Two unopposed seats for Tuvalu election

4 March 2015

Two of the 15 seats in the next Tuvalu parliament have already been decided with the single candidates for the two seats on Nukufetau returned unopposed.

The country goes to the polls on the 19th March.

Nominations closed last week and the two Nukufetau MPs, the caretake prime minister, Enele Sopoaga and the caretaker natural resources minister, Elisala Pita, will not have to campaign.

The caretaker foreign minister, Taukelina Finikaso, is being challenged by former prime minister, Apisai Ielemia, and new candidates Melton Paka Tauetia, Foliaki Paolo and Muau Monise in the Vaitupu seat.

In the capital, Funafuti, the former speaker of parliament, Sir Kamuta Latasi and sitting MP, Kausea Natano will face two new candidates Kalepou Tili and Pugameau Naseli Kaituumana.

Two candidates are contesting the one seat for Nukulaelae Electoral District.

They are the caretaker minister of home affairs, Namoliki Nemia Sualiki and former police commissioner Motulu Jack Pedro.

The Nanumaga electoral district has nominated three candidates – the current speaker of Parliament, Otinielu Tauteleimale Tausi, the caretaker communications minister, Monise Laafai and a retired public servant Lutelu Faavae.

Niutao has a total of six candidates – the caretaker deputy prime minister, Vete Sakaio, caretaker Minister of Education, Fauoa Maani and former MPs Samuelu Penitala Teo, Tavau Teii, Sir Tomu Sione and Iopu I Kaisala.RNZI

MICRONESIA

13) Nauru whistleblowers being investigated

4 March 2015

Guardian Australia reports the AFP has been called in by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to investigate Save the Children staff who anonymously wrote a submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s inquiry.

That submission said they believed that the children had been subjected to multiple violations of their human rights and wrongdoing from multiple parties.

The submission detailed specific allegations – including names and dates – of sexual abuse of child detainees, violence and bullying of children, suicide attempts by children and medical neglect.

The commission’s inquiry has been intensely controversial since its report, The Forgotten Children, was launched last month.

The commission was refused permission to visit Nauru and relied on first-hand professional accounts and testimony from detainees.

The Australian prime minister Tony Abbott called the report a transparent stitch-up.RNZI

TOK PISIN

14) Sevenpla i dai long PNG highlands long bikpela ren

Updated 4 March 2015, 16:17 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Sevenpla pipal idai pinis long Highlands rijan blong Papua New guinea bihaenim ol bikpla ren em oli kamapim ol tait wara oa floods.

Odio: Pius Kari, disasta ofisa long Mount Hagen long Western Highlands i toktok
Wanpla meri na sikispla pikinini ibin dai taem ol floods ibin wasim ol igo long ol bikpla wara long Jiwaka provins long wik igo pinis.

Ol despla bikpla ren iwok long bagarapim tu planti hap blong Highlands Highway na stopim ol kar igo kam long Highlands rijan na ol provins long nambis olsem Morobe na Madang.

Western Highlands provins na Jiwaka provins i kisim bikpla bagarap tru na ofis blong disasta long Western Highlands itok oli salim pinis ripot blong ol igo long National disaster ofis na nau oli wet.

Pius Kari emi disasta ofisa long Mount Hagen na emi tok, narapla samting emi wok long kamapim heve long ol pipal em bikpla ice i pudaon na bagarapim ol gaden kaikai.

Ol ripot ikam long PNG itok Praim Minista Peter O’Neill bai go lukim ol ples long Highlands em oli kisim taem long ol despla bikpla ren na floods.Radio Australia

15) Vanuatu na Solomon i painim pipol blong tubuna blong ol long Australia

Postim 4 March 2015, 15:18 AEDT
Sam Seke

Planti wok i gohet nau ia long Vanuatu na Solomon Islands long painim ol pipol blong ol we ibin kam wok long ol plantesen long Australia long taim bipo.

Odio: Professor Clive Moore blong Australian na Pacific History long Queensland University i toktok
Samting olsem 62 tausan pipol, planti blong ol ikam long Vanuatu na Solomon Islands, na sampela blong New Caledonia na PNG nau ol ibin kam.

Ol i bin bringim kam ol pipol ia long Blackbirding taim namel long 1863 na 1904.

Professor Clive Moore long Australian na Pacific History long Queensland University itok Vanuatu i lid long painim ol pipol blong tubuna blong ol long Australia.

Professor Moore i tok ol igat ol asosiesen we i wok gutpela na gavman tu i givim bikpela sapot long ol.

Em i tok Vanuatu gavman ibin kamapim pinis tu dual citizenship wantaim Australia aninit long dispela wok.

Tasol em i tok Solomon Islands i slou tumas long kamapim wanpela asosiesen blong painim ol pipol blong ol long Australia.

Na Professor Moore itok nau Solomon Islands i wok long kamapim wanpela asosiesen long wokim ol wok long dispela.Radio Australia

16) World Bank i helpim Vanuatu long bringim klin wara long ol komiuniti

Updated 4 March 2015, 16:13 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Department blong Geology, Mines na Rural Water Resources itok oli mekim planti wok blong helpim ol pipal long olgeta hap blong kantri long ol water saplai blong ol, maski sampla communiti isave bungim heve.

World Bank i helpim Vanuatu long klin wara
Odio: Rosette Kalmet increasing vigilance on climate change and natural hazards program officer i toktok
Oli mekim despla toktok bihaen long laen blong World Health Organization i autim wanpla ripot olsem planti pipal long ol rural eria isave sot long gutpla wara blong dring  taem ren ino save pudaon oa drought.

Despla ripot blong World Health Organization itok tu olsem planti femili isave dringim kokonas tasol, taem oli nogat wara na oli save wasim ol kolos, na waswas long solwara.

Rosette Kalmet emi support ofisa blong Increasing vigilence lo climate change na natural Hazards, progrem blong World Bank insaet long Department blong Geology, Mines na Rural Water Resources itok drae season oa taem we nogat isave pudaon long Vanuatu isave stap namel long mun June igo long mun September.Radio Australia

FRENCH

17) Des journalistes mélanésiens priés de ne pas poser de questions sur la Papouasie occidentale

Mis à jour 4 March 2015, 16:19 AEDT
Élodie Largenton

Ces derniers jours, la ministre indonésienne des Affaires étrangères, Retno Marsudi, était en tournée dans plusieurs pays mélanésiens. Une tournée lors de laquelle les sujets qui fâchent ont été volontairement éludés.

Ainsi, en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, il a été demandé aux journalistes de ne pas poser de questions sur les indépendantistes de la Papouasie occidentale, alors que le dossier a connu des développements, récemment : début février, le Premier ministre papou, Peter O’Neill, a déclaré pour la première fois son soutien « aux frères papous d’Indonésie ».

Alexander Rheeney, le président du comité de la presse, demande des explications au gouvernement papou :

« J’ai envoyé un courriel au département des Affaires étrangères, en leur demandant de clarifier la situation, de donner une explication rationnelle au fait qu’ils ont en quelque sorte censuré les journalistes locaux. Avoir été muselé sur cette question de la Papouasie occidentale nous préoccupe vraiment. »

Alexander Rheeney souhaite notamment savoir qui a pris la décision d’intimer aux journalistes de ne pas aborder le sujet : est-ce une demande de l’Indonésie ou une initiative du gouvernement papou ? Le président du comité de la presse espère obtenir une réponse des autorités et l’assurance que les journalistes puissent faire leur travail à l’avenir :

« J’espère que ça ne se reproduira plus, parce que ce qui se passe en Papouasie occidentale continuera d’intéresser les habitants de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, et pas seulement eux, mais aussi tous les habitants de la région et même du monde. »

Aux Îles Salomon, également, les reporters n’ont pas pu poser de questions à la ministre indonésienne sur la question papoue. Ils n’ont en fait pu lui poser aucune question, puisque la conférence de presse a été annulée à la dernière minute, dénonce Ofani Eremae, le directeur de publication du Solomon Star :

« Ce qui se passe en Papouasie occidentale est une tragédie humaine, c’est un problème que l’Indonésie ne peut plus garder secret. Je pense que si l’Indonésie veut vraiment se rapprocher de la Mélanésie et des îles du Pacifique, elle devrait s’ouvrir aux médias, accepter les questions des journalistes, parce que c’est ce qu’il faut faire. »

Depuis 2011, grâce à la pression exercée par les Îles Fidji, l’Indonésie a obtenu le statut d’observateur au sein du Groupe mélanésien Fer de Lance. Une organisation régionale qu’aimeraient rejoindre les indépendantistes papous. Ils ont déposé une nouvelle candidature, qui est examinée en ce moment. Radio Australia

18) Brèves du Pacifique – mercredi 4 mars 2015

Posté à 4 March 2015, 16:09 AEDT
Élodie Largenton

En Australie, près de 700 koalas ont été secrètement abattus dans l’État du Victoria, ces deux dernières années.

Une campagne menée par l’ancien gouvernement libéral de la région, qui cherchait ainsi à résoudre un problème de surpopulation. Trop nombreux, beaucoup de koalas mourraient de faim et des maladies se propageaient parmi les animaux. Le problème se pose de nouveau aujourd’hui, mais le gouvernement ne sait pas encore comment il va y répondre. « L’expérience a montré que déplacer ces koalas ne marche pas, et ça peut les faire souffrir encore davantage », explique la ministre de l’Environnement, qui cherche une solution « humaine et efficace ». L’ancienne équipe gouvernementale avait utilisé des sédatifs pour réduire la population de koalas.

  • La Cour suprême australienne ouvre la voie à des sanctions judiciaires contre la station de radio 2DayFM. En décembre 2012, deux animateurs de la radio avaient effectué un canular, qui avait tourné au drame : se faisant passer pour des membres de la famille royale britannique, ils avaient réussi à obtenir des informations confidentielles sur l’état de santé de Kate Middleton, alors enceinte. L’infirmière qui était tombée dans le piège s’était suicidée quelques jours plus tard. Pour le Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel australien, la station de radio a enfreint la loi en diffusant ce canular. Un jugement que 2DayFM contestait, estimant que l’institution ne pouvait pas se prononcer sur de telles affaires. Si, elle peut le faire, a donc statué aujourd’hui la Cour suprême.
  • Le président de Nauru s’en prend aux militants australiens des droits de l’homme. Ils attisent la violence dans l’île, estime Baron Waqa. Selon lui, les groupes de défense des réfugiés fomentent des troubles pour servir leurs propres agendas politiques. Des déclarations faites alors que des réfugiés manifestent depuis plusieurs jours pour dénoncer la manière dont ils sont traités par l’Australie et par Nauru. Vendredi dernier, cinq manifestants ont été blessés par la police, selon une organisation de défense des réfugiés, ce que dément le président nauruan, qui accuse les réfugiés d’avoir blessé trois agents de police. Il est impossible de savoir ce qu’il en est réellement, le gouvernement de Nauru ayant banni de fait les journalistes en augmentant le prix du visa de 3 900%, l’an dernier.
  • Un homme a été condamné pour avoir tué un dugong à Palau. Il a écopé d’une peine de deux ans et demi de prison avec sursis, et d’une amende de 6 400 dollars. Les dugongs, souvent surnommés « vaches des mers », sont menacés de disparition. Il en resterait moins de 200 dans les eaux de Palau.Radio Australia

PASIFIK


19) Cook Islands, New Caledonia share marine park ideas

By Online Editor
9:37 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Cook Islands

New Caledonia and the Cook Islands are in the same boat when it comes to marine conservation and this week the two island nations have had a chance to share their experience of planning national marine parks.

Marae Moana project manager Jackie Evans and ‘ambassador’ Kevin Iro met on Rarotonga with three New Caledonian people who have worked closely in their own country to create a Coral Sea nature park.

But New Caledonia is a step ahead of the Cook Islands, as a park that protects 1.2 million square kilometres of marine ecosystems has already been established.

New Caledonia Maritime Affairs director Eric Mevelec said the two countries have shared similar experiences in this sector, and New Caledonia can learn a great deal from the Cook Islands.

“We hope to use a similar questionnaire that was used in the Cook Islands in New Caledonia to gain public consultation,” he said.

Although the marine park has been established, no regulations have yet been put into place to protect any specific sea life, he says.

Evans says the Cook Islands can also learn much from the New Caledonian project management structure, which incorporates non-government organisations, traditional leaders and industry representatives at every stage of the decision-making process.

As part of a memorandum of understanding between the Cook Islands and New Caledonia, Cook Islands researchers have been invited to take part in New Caledonian research expeditions this year which will help the Marae Moana project, says Iro.

“The establishment of the marine park in New Caledonia was also a way of them mitigating the impact nickel mining is having on their country. That’s something we could learn from in the future,” he said.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS

POLITIC

20) Bougainville approves K2 million for polls security
By Online Editor
9:42 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

A budget of K2 million (US$756,998) has been approved by the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) for police to provide security during the election.

Bougainville assistant commissioner Chief Supt Paul Kamuai said security funding would be sourced from the special intervention fund provided by the Government in the K100 million (US$37 million)-a-year programme.

“The police are tied up with the preparation for the election but are yet to access the fund so that other planning can be carried out,” Kamuai said.

“We made a submission last year for this budget and we were assured by the election steering committee that the budget has been approved and is forthcoming.

“We need to have access to this money so that we can make planning for the election and see how we can get assistance from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and other counterparts.”

He said they might need additional manpower.

“There are only 184 regular officers in the region and a total of 328 community auxiliary police.

“This should be ok since we have provided security but we need to conduct internal training for officers.

“Logistics are not good but we will work on what we currently have. We will be looking at improving the police communication network within the work force.

“When we have the budget in our hand, we can execute other plans we have for the election period.”

Bougainville acting electoral commissioner George Manu said the electoral office was waiting for its K1.5 million (US$567,700) allocation.

“This will be used to carry out certain activities before the issue of the writs at the end of this month, said Manu.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

21) PNG opposition slams emergency response

4 March 2015

PNG’s opposition leader has criticised the government as he says it has been slack in responding to emergencies.

Mr Polye says he has heard of deaths claimed by floods and properties and roads destroyed and the National Disaster office calling for relief funds.

He says the government’s response to all types of emergencies and disasters has been appalling and deficient.

Mr Polye says the socio-economic effects of natural disasters are devastating and government inaction in addressing it should be condemned.

He says the National Disaster office should be isolated from the Department of Inter-Governmental Relations and a new authority created specialising in emergency response and disaster mitigation.RNZI

22) New Caledonia best off with France – Sarkozy

4 March 2015

A former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, says it should be in the interest of New Caledonia’s pro-independence parties to stay with France.

Mr Sarkozy made the comment in a wide-ranging interview with the Noumea daily, Les Nouvelles caledoniennes.

He says New Caledonians benefit from the support of the French state against the brutality of the international mining speculators and the brutality of an increasingly more violent world.

Mr Sarkozy called for a renewed focus on collegiality in the running of the territory, urging in particular the anti-independence camp to seek a consensus and to let go of what he terms artificial disagreements.

This comes amid a stalemate within the dominant anti-independence camp that has left the territory without a president for nearly three months.

Mr Sarkozy is open to a new deal to follow the Noumea Accord which would avoid a referendum outcome that renders the pro-independence side to be losers.

He has described the controversy over who is eligible to vote in provincial elections as a political and not a legal one, adding that people who arrived in the territory before 1998 should be allowed to enroll.

Last week, France’s highest court said eligible voter had to be enrolled by 1998 as set out in the Noumea Accord.RNZI

LAND

23) Solomons PM calls for more land to be freed up

4 March 2015

The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare has called for Solomon Islanders’ support in freeing up their land for development.

He says only 30 percent has been freed up from customary ownership for development.

Mr Sogavare says the release of land is necessary to ensure economic prosperity and reduce aid dependency.

The prime minister made the comments during a visit to Choiseul province and he said the theme for his trip was fostering unity between political leaders and the people.

He said Solomon Islands international ranking as one of the least developed countries and the second highest aid dependent country in the world is a slap in the face when the country has so many natural resources.RNZI

MEDIA


24) PNG media watchdog queries ‘gagging’ order over West Papua issue, Solomons reporters also silenced

By Online Editor
4:00 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s media watchdog has demanded an explanation for why local journalists were blocked from asking questions about West Papua during an official visit by Indonesia’s foreign minister, Retno Marsudi.

Marsudi has just wrapped up a three-country tour through the Pacific aimed at strengthening relations with PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

Journalists in Port Moresby were told by PNG officials they were not to raise the sensitive issue of the Indonesian province, where a pro-independence movement has existed for decades.

Alexander Rheeney, the president of the Media Council of Papua New Guinea, has demanded clarification from PNG’s foreign ministry.

“We are concerned local reporters were actually gagged from asking any questions relating to the issue,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat.

“The West Papua issue will continue to be a story of interest not just to ordinary Papua New Guineans but to the region and the world as well.

“The fact that the department did give out instructions asking reporters not to ask questions is unfortunate.

“I would welcome an opportunity to sit down with the PNG department of foreign affairs to look for a way forward.”

Ofani Eremae, a senior journalist at the Solomon Star newspaper, said the media had initially been allowed to attend a session with Marsudi but the invitation was withdrawn at the last minute.

“West Papua is a human tragedy; it is a human rights issue that Indonesia can no longer keep secret,” he said

“When you look at how both the Indonesian and Solomons government kept the media from engaging in this visit, it is something that is quite sad especially when it comes to freedom of the press.

“I’d like to think that if Indonesia really wants to get engaged with Melanesia and with the Pacific, they should open up to the media, take questions from the media, because I think that is the right thing to do.”

PNG prime minister Peter O’Neill said the issue of West Papua had been discussed during Sunday’s meeting with Marsudi and PNG foreign minister Rimbink Pato.

“After many years of bilateral engagement, ours is a relationship where we can express our views in an open and honest dialogue,” O’Neill said in a statement.

“We appreciate Indonesia’s understanding that our concern on this issue relates to human rights, and this is not linked to issues of sovereignty.

“I further expressed my desire for Indonesia to support the application of the Papua provinces to have membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).”

The MSG leaders are expected to meet to make a decision in the middle of the year.

Apart from Vanuatu, governments in the Pacific in the past have been reluctant to raise human rights issues or speak on behalf of Melanesian separatists.

Last month, O’Neill told a PNG leaders summit that the time had come to highlight the “oppression and brutality” faced by Melanesians in Indonesia’s West Papua.

SOURCE: ABC/PACNEWS

BUSINESS

25) PNG may become ‘waste basket economy’
By Online Editor
4:12 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is fast moving into becoming a ‘waste basket economy’ if it continues to rely on foreign investors and not utilise the natural resources and the potential it has.

The University of Natural Resources and Environment vice-chancellor Philip Siaguru said this in his address to students at the university campus in East New Britain, during the official opening of the 2015 academic year, on Monday.

Professor Siaguru told the students to receive the training they need and venture into creating their own businesses and employment for fellow Papua New Guineans.

He said the step taken by students to study at UNRE was noble, and it was important that they gain experience for two to three years of employment, and take the risk of starting their own businesses.

He said students should grasp the mentality of creating jobs and not choose the comforts of employment and good jobs.

“PNG is rich in natural resources, but yet we crawl to multi-national companies from overseas for jobs and become slaves to international investors and work seven days a week nonstop,” he said.

He said the country was investing heavily on imported food items while the local organically fresh grown food are being pushed aside and ignored.

He challenged the students to do away with their parents’ expectations of getting good jobs, but rather receive training in agriculture, fisheries and logging.

Meawhile, there seems to be literally nothing to show on the ground from huge commercial investments in PNG, despite reports of billions of kina being invested from the entire resources sector, a resource advocate said.

Reacting to Oil Search Limited’s reports on investing more than K25 billion (US$9.4 billion) in the last 10 years as reported in various media and financial results, President of Mama-Papa Graun Association Simon Ekanda said, “there is literally nothing, especially on the socioeconomic lives on the communities impacted by the operations of various commercial activities.”

“Let me tell you some classic examples of this. Oil Search operates a gas plant at Hides that has been supplying electricity to Poregera gold mine for over 25 years. Very interestingly the communities living at Kulu villages; few metres away from the plant site has no electricity connected to their homes,” the PNG LNG Project challenger in various court proceedings told Post-Courier.

“If large corporate entities tell us that they have pumped billions of kina into the economy of this country, where is the evidence? Such investments by large corporate giant could be true but it’s not reflected on the ground.

“The impacts of such billion kina investments are not being felt by the communities around the country let alone the various tax credit schemes where only a few benefit from in the name of resource development. How many of these investments are being felt by communities where major foreign corporations operate? And how much of the country’s natural resource extracted is yet to be measured,” the collective indigenous ownership advocate said.

Ekanda stressed that the country is host to many world class resource developments like PNG LNG Project, Ok Tedi Mine, Lihir Gold Mine, Porgera Gold Mine, Misima Gold Mine, Bougainville Copper Mine, and those under development stages, but the returns that all these resources extracted cannot be measured by the impacts felt and seen on the ground by communities and general Papua New Guineans at large.

The outspoken Tuguba chairman from Hides LNG project area also called on the Government to account for and do a resource audit and revenue audits on all resource projects for the last 40 years and so forth, to ensure transparency as well as to correlate that figures released by various corporations is real.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

26) Fiji’s economy to achieve another positive growth
By Online Editor
9:10 pm GMT+12, 02/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji’s economy is poised for the 6th consecutive year of growth this year.

That’s if the country achieves its target growth of four percent.

This was part of the presentation by the Finance Ministry to the Parliament Standing Committee on Economic Affairs.

Dissecting the economy in their presentation today, the Finance Ministry says there are positive indicators that Fiji will achieve another positive growth this year.

“A number of sectors are contributing to this growth including building and construction , manufacturing , wholesale and retail , financial sectors are also contributing positively to this growth,” said PS Finance Filimoni Waqabaca.

Committee members also questioning our debt level.

The Finance Permanent Secretary revealing last years total debts had 14.5 percent of GDP from external borrowing.

“I think the bulk of that is coming from the international bond component which is 39.6 percent which matures in 2016 and that’s followed by the Exim Bank of China around 34.7% and the ADB of 21.3 percent.”

Waqabaca reassured the country’s sinking fund which is close to $100, 0000 (US$500,000) is able to meet payments also with support from development partners.

“We have an influx of interest now so we’re talking with them on how best to address this issues of global bond but the sinking funds is able to meet those interest payments and to meet them in 2016.”

The domestic market has also seen a high level of liquidity.

“Interest rate has really fallen so that’s favorable for government so we can come in borrow at a low rate and even pay off some of the expensive loans we had so restructuring of debt gives us ample space,” said Waqabaca.

SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS

27) Fiji Revenue Customs Authority aims for increase in tax dollars

By Online Editor
4:13 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Fiji

The importance of tax compliance by everyone has been stressed by the Fiji Revenue Customs Authority.

The call comes as the Tax Authority aims to achieve a $300 0000 (US$146 million) increase in revenue this year.

A target of $2.4 billion (US$1.1 billion) in revenue has been set for this year.

This will be a $300 0000 increase in revenue.

FRCA Chief Executive officer Jitoko Tikolevu says this can only be achieved through aggressive compliance.

“We must inform people the benefits of paying taxes. We all want good hospitals , good roads , whose going to pay for that, its the money. Everybody do their part, no problems,” said Tikolevu.

While the country’s tax regime has undergone reforms, FRCA says they are ensuring the country’s engine of growth – the private sector is not overtaxed

“We are not overtaxing the business community but if we compare ourselves with the bigger economies, there’s a benchmark to have a tax to GDP ratio, if its over 30 percent , you’re overtaxing the economy.”

On the issue of transnational crimes, the Tax authority says Fiji is indeed used as a transit point.

“The challenge is a big mountain for us as you know the tool is nothing , we need to educate our people , intelligence and work more closely with our local enforcement agencies and partners from abroad.”

The Parliaments standing committee on economic affairs will continue to hear presentations from stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has completed its assessment of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority identifying a number of critical areas that need improvement.

Tikolevu says the assessment gives FRCA a better picture of its strengths and weaknesses in tax administration systems and processes.

The report, he said will help the Authority set up its reform agenda,objectives, priorities, initiatives, and an implementation timeline.

FRCA’s strengths were in its taxpayer awareness and initiatives.

Fiji is the 4th country in the world to be assessed by the IMF using the new Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool.

SOURCE: FIJI TV/PACNEWS

28) Fiji employers want labour impasse solved
By Online Editor
9:51 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji’s Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) has neither rejected nor accepted the draft tripartite MOU prepared by the Fijian Government on the future of labour relations in the country.

It has instead offered an alternative it feels will be pleasing to all the tripartite partners including the workers’ rep, Fiji Trades Union Congress.

Responding to queries, FCEF chief executive Nesbitt Hazelman insists the parties’ need to make progress and solve labour relations impasse that has come about following FTUC’s rejection of government’s draft MOU.

“The MOU was supposed to be a tripartite view agreed to by all social partners, but with one party having chosen not to accept the draft then it means we are back to square one. It means we can’t progress,” Hazelman said.

“It has to be agreed by all parties. With one party rejecting it, the matter is left hanging so we, the employers federation have offered an alternative.

“We have not rejected it, but we have offered an alternative we felt both the Ministry and FTUC will accept.”

The FCEC has communicated its views and presented Minister for Employment Joji Konrote the alternative MOU for his consideration.

Hazelman did not elaborate on the contents of the alternative MOU but it is understood to have considered both the original draft signed by the employers and workers group during the ILO Contact Mission in October last year, and the draft MOU prepared by government as well as an undertaking given by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in his letter to the Director-General ILO, Guy Ryder last month.

Bainimarama made mention of the draft MOU prepared by Government and indicated the Government’s willingness to review labour laws and practices including the Essential National Industries (Employment) Decree 2011.

He also gave an update on work done on the amendments to the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1978.

The FTUC, on the other hand, says government needs to fully comply with ILO Core conventions including the Right to Freedom of Association and consider the report of the ILO Committee of Experts, do away with decrees that limit workers’ rights and not limit itself only to the constitution when considering industrial relations in the country.

The FTUC said it “cannot agree” to be party to government’s draft MOU because the document “does not correctly reflect the position of all social partners and the undertaking the Prime Minister gave the Director General of ILO in his correspondence of 23 May 2013.”

Hazelman says the FCEF “wants this impasse settled.”

“We need to progress, he said.

He further says the FCEF strongly believes the Article 26 Complaint against Fiji need not progress to the Commission of Inquiry stage of the ILO’s forthcoming deliberations next week.

The FCEF has also written to the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) that also sits on the ILO Governing Body to ask the reps to be on hand to raise the employers’ concern and views, if there is a need, at the forthcoming 323rd session of the ILO Governing Body Meeting.

The ILO Governing Body meeting is scheduled for 12-27 March.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

 LAW&ORDER

29) Australian pleads not guilty in heroin case

By Online Editor
8:52 pm GMT+12, 02/03/2015, Fiji

An Australian national accused in relation to what Fijian authorities called the biggest drug bust in the country’s history which netted $F30 million (US$15 million) of heroin has pleaded not guilty to charge of illegal drug importation.

Ethan Kai pleaded not guilty when he appeared in a high court in Lautoka today. The matter has been adjourned to Tuesday, March 17.

It is alleged that between December 1 and December 21 last year, in Lautoka in the West, the duo imported 29.9 kilograms of heroin, what is also considered as Fiji’s biggest drug raid, without lawful authority.

Fijian authorities discovered about 80 packets of heroin inside a consignment of quad bike tyres at the Queen Elizabeth Wharf in Lautoka.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION,ENVIROMENT

30) Millions needed to help thousands after PNG flooding

4 March 2015

The National Disaster Office in Papua New Guinea says about 100,000 people have been affected and may need assistance after heavy rain and floods struck many parts of the country.

Acting Director Martin Mose says his teams are carrying out assessments in Jiwaka, the Western and Southern Highlands and the Central Province.

Mr Mose says he has applied for more than three million US dollars of relief funds from the treasury and hopes to receive the money soon.

He says the amount is the bare minimum needed and more requests may follow as thousands of people have suffered.

“Through loss of food gardens and of course roads have been seriously affected as well. The National Disaster Office is pretty much looking at immediate relief to assist them with due respect to life. Mostly food gardens and of course a few have lost their homes.”

There have also been reports of at least half a dozen deaths over the past week but Mr Mose says it has been hard to confirm the loss of life.RNZI

WOMAN.YOUTH,CHILD

31) United call to ratify UNCAT
By Online Editor
6:40 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) and the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) wants the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture to be done without any reservations.

They made the statement with special regard to Articles 21 and 22 of the convention which allows victims of torture or any other outside the nation to take perpetrators to the international criminal court if UNCAT is violated.

FWRM executive director Tara Chetty said this was part of a joint submission by the two organisations to the Parliament Standing Committee on the ratification of UNCAT.

“We believe that the ratification of UNCAT must be without any reservations or exceptions,” Chetty said.

She said their reasons were “exceptionally for human rights treaties, UNCAT contains a mechanism for individual communications to the Treaty Body (the Committee Against Torture) within the treaty itself (in Article 22, provided a declaration to that effect has been made by the State party).

“That means that there is no need for the ratification of an Optional Protocol to enable individual citizens to make complaints to the Committee Against Torture about the violation of UNCAT by State agents.”

She adds UNCAT also contains a mechanism whereby other States may raise complaints against fellow State parties (Article 21 — also provided that a declaration to that effect has been made by the State party concerned) about systemic torture being practiced in that state.

“The procedures established by the two above articles are fundamental and core accountability mechanisms in UNCAT. Reservations to these articles, or any others, will lessen the effectiveness of UNCAT and will diminish the ability of Fijians to hold the Government accountable for incidences of torture.”

Meanwhile, the ratification and adoption of the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) should see reservation on Articles 21 and 22 as when it was put forward to Parliament.

Solicitor-General Sharvada Sharma says this is his understanding on the issue when it was put before Parliament.

In his submission made last week to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, he was asked by Government member Semi Koroilavesau on his thoughts about the articles as the committee was receiving mixed reactions. “As I understand it, when the Convention was put before Parliament for adoption and ratification, a reservation was put forward and in that reservation, it deals with Articles 21 and 22,” Sharma said.

He said Article 21 provides that a State could complain against another State before a committee and Article 22 provided that any individual could go and complain.

“My response to that and of course Government’s position is that, there will be a reservation but what is important is to ensure that you have the domestic regime whereby a complaint can be investigated, prosecuted and brought before an independent judiciary, as well as having a regime in place whereby a person can sue the State for compensation.”

Sharma said this was done not because of complaints that might be made against Fiji by other States but individuals who might want to complain directly to the UN that they had been tortured

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

SPORTS

32) Karembeu confident UEFA on top of racism

4 March 2015

Olympiakos strategic advisor Christian Karembeu expressed confidence that UEFA are getting to grips with racism in football after suffering abuse during the recent Greek derby against Panathinaikos.

Panathinaikos have vowed to identify and punish the supporter who made racist gestures directed at the New Caledonia-born Karembeu, who was on the sidelines during the game.

The former France international says the events in Athens are not so much about the strong rivalry between the clubs but a mirror of the problems of discrimination and intolerance faced across Europe and beyond.

He says the best response is to unite and promote messages of inclusion, education and respect, as UEFA’s new campaigns are doing.RNZI

33) Pacific Games statues start to sprout in city

By Online Editor
9:59 pm GMT+12, 03/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

While construction of venues for the coming Pacific Games in Port Moresby continues, several new structures are slowly being completed.

Some of the statues to be put up recently are already bringing the spirit of the games to Port Moresby and are on display around the city.

At Konedobu, at the bottom of the Poreporena Highway roundabout is the mighty display of power and enthusiasm portrayed in the sculpture of a weightlifter.

The statue has been erected at a walking distance from Hanuabada which boasts two of the best Commonwealth weightlifters today in Dika Toua and Steven Kari.

It is also a home to many upcoming weightlifters.

Further into Port Moresby to Taurama and the roundabout adjacent to the Murray Barracks Headquarters is another statue, designed as a swimmer.

Though it’s still undergoing completion the statue has been poised towards the newly built Taurama Aquatic Centre.

Another set of statues are being built at the Jacksons Airport.

Recently, the statue of a running athlete was put up at the roundabout along Cameron Road facing the Wardstrip road entrance leading to the Sir John Guise Stadium entrance.

SOURCE: PNG LOOP/PACNEWS

34) Kiwi to coach PNG soccer team
By Online Editor
9:19 pm GMT+12, 02/03/2015, Papua New Guinea

—Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) has set the ball rolling with the hire of an international coach to prepare the Under-23 national team for the Pacific Games.

Former New Zealand professional footballer and NZ head coach Ricky Herbert has been tasked with the biggest assignment as he fine tunes, assess, assemble and put the best team forward for the qualifiers.

Herbert is also a former Wellington Phoenix coach in the A-League competition in Australia.

OFC consultant to PNGFA David Brand told Post-Courier that there were other candidates but they went for Herbert because of his “Island football” experience.

“There were other top candidates but we stuck to what we believe is best and that Herbert with his ‘Island football experience can give us the advantage,” Brand said.

The Pacific Games soccer will be used as the Olympic qualifier with New Zealand also taking part including Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) members. There are about 14 OFC member countries.

Herbert will take the reigns of his new job this month as the Under-23 selected side goes into camp at the PNGFA academy in Lae.

“Fifty-three year old Herbert will arrive for the camp as discussed,” Brand said.

Herbert will be assisted by mentor coach Milan Meric and Reginald Davani as assistant coach.

The Under-23 camp will start on March 16 and conclude on March 19. There are about 30 players selected so far.

The Under-23 team will also tour Solomon Islands for friendly matches a week after the camp. The proposed dates for the matches will be confirmed by PNGFA. The Under-23 PNG team will play Solympics and Western United FC on separate dates as lead up matches.

“At this time the schedule is not confirmed and I am looking to try and switch the games on the 25th and 27th March,” Brand said.

There are plans for more international matches but this will be confirmed at a later date.

OFC president and PNGFA president David Chung said Herbert brings with him a wealth of experience to the team.

“Not many around the world have been to two FIFA World Cups especially in the Pacific region. One as a player and the other as a head coach,” Chung said.

“Herbert has this quality and he has also coached other teams in the Pacific so his experience of Island football and knowledge of other island countries will be a bonus for our preparation.”

Chung said Herbert was specifically hired for the Pacific Games and PNGFA will review his contract after the Games in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers.

Herbert as a player featured in the New Zealand team during the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and helped guided the All Whites to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Herbert is the second manager and the only New Zealander to take New Zealand to the FIFA World Cup for a second time when his side qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup by winning World Cup qualifying play-off against Bahrain…..PACNEWS

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

35) Fiji Pearls take plenty out of Trans-Tasman netball tour

4 March 2015

Fiji netball coach Kate Carpenter says, despite not winning a match, last month’s Australasian tour was invaluable preparation for the upcoming Pacific Games and World Cup.

The Pearls played two matches against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and one against the Melbourne Vixens ANZ Championship sides, as well as games against the Magic and Victoria development teams.

Kate Carpenter says to be able to tour so soon after the Oceania series against New Zealand and Samoa was ideal.

“We found that all the players sort of stepped up again, and we used some different players so they had exposure and experience and got to understand what the expectation was, but to play ANZ teams for the first time too, that was really exciting. Both [ANZ] teams were successful in the weekend as well so we’d like to think it was a really useful opportunity for them to train as well and we did a team review last night and some things that came up again were around conditioning, the intensity and ability of the sides [and] the depth that the sides have.”

Kate Carpenter says the tour highlighted plenty of areas where the team can lift their performance.

They will get a chance to do that when two Fiji teams play Papua New Guinea and Singapore next month.RNZI

36) Pacific Oceania expect to be competitive on Fed Cup return

4 March 2015

The Pacific Oceania women’s tennis team is being backed to hold their own in next month’s Fed Cup tie in India.

Samoa’s Steffi Carruthers is the highest-ranked player selected at 999 in the world, alongside Cook Islands representative Brittany Teei and Papua New Guinea pair Abigail Tere-Apisah and her niece, 15 year old Violet Apisah.

Oceania Tennis vice president Cyrille Mainguy says university commitments in the US meant some players were unavailable for selection but he still believes the team chosen will prove competitive next month in Hyderabad.

“However we’ve got our top two players in Oceania, being Abigail Tere-Apisah, who finished her studies in the US, and Steffi Carruthers from Samoa. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Fed Cup team for Oceania so I think the whole region is pretty excited about it. We wish we could have had other girls like Annie Shannon or Tarani [Kamoe] or Marcia Tere-Apisah as well but they’re all in the States so the timing is not perfect but I’m sure they will do great and make OTF proud”.

Pacific Oceania last entered a Fed Cup team in 2004.RNZI

37) Tough test for Fiji’s U19 cricket team

By Online Editor
9:16 pm GMT+12, 02/03/2015, Fiji

Fiji’s historic qualification for the International Cricket Council 2016 under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh is a success story of overcoming the setbacks to rub shoulders with the best in the sport.

The youngsters arrived in the country from New Zealand Monday with the ICC East Asia Pacific U19 trophy.

Fiji was ranked third going into the tournament but managed upset wins against favourites Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu and then hammered minnows Samoa to claim direct qualification to the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Cricket Fiji’s high performance manager Joe Rika revealed that the team did not have the best build-up for the qualifiers in Blenheim.

Rika said winning the tournament wasn’t their target because they took a young and inexperienced squad.

“We did not get a practice match heading into the tournament,” he said.

“Then our visas arrived late. We could not have a training session together upon our arrival in New Zealand because of the weather.

“It was practically just off the plane and into the tournament.

“Then it was top seed PNG first up and beating them is success story in itself.

“To be honest, we were not expecting this result.

“We were ranked third and had a very young squad with the players ranging from 15 years to 17 years.

“So we wanted to be realistic with our target and finish second and then compete in the global qualifying playoffs for a spot to the World Cup.”

Fiji defeated PNG and Vanuatu by five wickets respectively and Samoa by nine wickets to remain unbeaten in the tournament.

Rika said it was good to beat PNG and Vanuatu after a long time.

“It was very pleasing to see the boys come out on top at the end,” he said.

“t wasn’t easy but the boys managed to pull through against the top seeds and then finished off well against Samoa.

“There is inexperience in the squad. But with the performance, it is a good sign going forward.”

The World Cup will feature 16 countries.

Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, West Indies, England, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, India, South Africa and Pakistan which have full ICC membership qualify automatically for the tournament.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWSw: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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