Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1059 ( Wednesday 16 March 2016 )


1) MSG aviation and tourism experts set eyes on multi- tourism destinations and aviation upgrade

9:35 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Vanuatu

Aviation and Tourism experts of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) have set their eyes on improving multi-tourism destination packages and aviation upgrades within the sub-region.

The experts from Government Ministries and Agencies of MSG Member States held their second Aviation and Tourism Dialogue at the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila, Vanuatu, last week.

The two-day meeting was a follow-up to provide a platform for members to continue discussions on key issues, challenges and opportunities faced by member countries including Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.

“The MSG being a growing aviation market is now a leader in handling domestic and international passengers with international airlines operating within the MSG sub-region with carriers connecting over 20 countries in this region,” Director General of the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Industries, Tourism and Cooperatives of Vanuatu, Marokon Alilee told participants.

The meeting provided members with an excellent platform to allow technical and policy makers to interact, discuss and make relevant decisions on aviation and tourism matters that affect small economies in the MSG region.

Chair of the MSG Aviation and Tourism Dialogue and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Communication and Aviation of Solomon Islands, Moses Virivolomo said this partnership and information sharing between airlines played a crucial role in ensuring that airlines connectivity between members continue to grow.

“Ongoing discussions on issues such as airfare reduction and tourist packages continue to help members increase tourist and investor interests among member countries,” Virivolomo said.

Officer in Charge of the MSG Secretariat John Licht said aviation has been a growing industry for the people of Melanesia and visitors to move around easily and increasing economic activities for the region.

“Given the emerging challenges faced in terms of aviation safety and competing tourism markets, and the need to boost trade, it is important that MSG aviation and tourism stakeholders continue to dialogue and remain open to and explore and agree on feasible options for further cooperation towards improving air services agreements, reduce costs and continue to enhance intra-MSG connectivity,” said Licht.
The meeting also deliberated on current Air Services Agreements as a way forward in enhancing airline connectivity between MSG countries.

The outcomes of the meeting will be forwarded to the Sub-Committee of the Economic and Finance Officials Meeting (EFOM) before it is brought to the attention of the Trade and Economic Officials Meeting (TEOM) scheduled for April this year.


2) Institute calls for special Papua envoy

11:04 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Indonesia

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has suggested that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo appoint a special envoy to prepare a dialogue aimed at pursuing peace in the easternmost region.

In a 2009 study LIPI promoted a dialogue between the central government and residents of Papua and West Papua as a way to formulate peace in the area. A dialogue involving every party, which LIPI called a “national dialogue”, is seen as the most promising way to pursue peace.

LIPI political analyst Cahyo Pamungkas on Monday said a special envoy would represent Jokowi in approaching local communities before the commencement of the national dialogue.

During his first visit to Papua last year, Jokowi said he was ready to open talks between the central government and Papuans. “However, what is not clear yet is the concept of the dialogue itself. Therefore, LIPI is trying to devise a concept on which the president would base his proposal for Papuan communities,” Cahyo said during a discussion in Jakarta.

LIPI recommended that the colloquy involve a wide range of parties, from the central government to religious communities, investors, political parties and scholars specializing in Papuan affairs.

LIPI cited examples of similar dialogue to resolve conflicts in other countries. “In different contexts, a national dialogue also took place in Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan and Libya,” Cahyo said.

Cahyo added that the 1945 UN Charter stipulates in its Article 33 that a dialogue is a primary solution in resolving a dispute or conflict that could jeopardize international peace and security.

LIPI researcher Adriana Elisabeth said the institute had proposed a number of yardsticks for choosing the special envoy. “The criteria would be a standard to appoint an envoy, so that he or she could work effectively in talking to the communities,” she said.

One of the criteria LIPI suggested is that the candidate would need wide-ranging knowledge on Papua, including on the roots of all problems in the two provinces.

Adriana said the government should not overlook anybody for the special envoy position, including people from other countries. She pointed as one possible candidate to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who had paid a visit to the State Palace in Jakarta earlier this year to offer help in dealing with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

The ULMWP, formed in December 2014, coordinates the activities of resistance movements in collaboration with external parties. The organisation has a status as an observer in the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG), a sub-regional grouping in the Pacific comprising Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Indonesia itself is an associate member of the group, which is now chaired by Manasseh. “However, it was reported that Jokowi refused to accept Manasseh’s offer,” Adriana said.

LIPI suggests that in pursuing national dialogue, the government should proceed in phases.

First, Jokowi should meet with the Papuan and West Papuan provincial administrations, local legislative councils as well as people’s assemblies. Second, there should be dialogue between every ministry and non-governmental organization in the country to find compromises on Papua. Third, a dialogue should also be carried out between every community within Papua.


3) Catholic Church Report Documents Abuses In West Papua
Indonesian military, police beating, torture, kidnapping, murders

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 14, 2016) – Allegations of recent Indonesian military and police intimidation, beatings and torture, kidnapping and murder in West Papua, have been documented in a new report.

The Catholic report says Muslims are being radicalised in the once predominantly Christian Papuan provinces, and very active militias are burning down Papuan houses.

The report was compiled by the Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission’s Shadow Human Rights Fact Finding Mission to West Papua, following a visit last month.

It has not yet been publicly released, nor comment sought from Indonesian authorities.

The report documents religious, social and economic discrimination, including the carving up of land for major developments, which benefit multinationals and exclude Papuans.

It refers to a slow-motion genocide and states that the Indonesians want to replace the Christian religion with Islam.

More than 200 community leaders in Jayapura, Merauke, Timika and Sorong were interviewed during the visit.

Radio New Zealand International

4) NGO seeks help

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A CHARITABLE organisation providing social welfare care in the Solomon Islands is asking for more help amid growing demand for its services.

Hearts of Hope works with orphans, widows, people with disabilities and the elderly in Malaita Province.

It covers 29 communities there, caring for about 400 children and more than 100 elderly.

Founder Janet Justice Aihari said there were virtually no welfare services in the Solomons and traditional cultural support models were no longer a substitute.

“Like we have big families in the Solomon Islands and then they try to look after these orphaned children but then some times they left over on things. And it is very hard here until parents or those that look after the orphans have a job or like we see that they are in need.”

Ms Aihari said she had 10 staff who did their best to serve the needs of their members, even going out to the villages to provide live-in care for families but she said there was only so much they could do with their limited resources.

5) Nyus

Olgeta –

Sori mi no sendem sam nyus long taem lelebet from mi stap bisi blong go bak long wok blong Ministri bakagen.

Sam smol nyus nomo olsem:

1. I gat ol elektoral petisen agensem sam MP blong yumi, MP Albert Williams long Ambrym, MP Tasso William Fred long Paama, mo MP Andrew Napuat long Tanna. Petisen agensem MP Albert Suprim Kot i sakemaot finis las wik. Ol narawan i stap gohed yet.

2. Foma-MP Gillion William i mekem wan elektoral petisen blong askem wan “recount” blong ol vot long wan polling stesen long Efate konstituensi, mo Suprim Kot i givim oda finis blong recount i gohed, mo bae recount i hapen long Tasde mo Fraede long wik ia.

3. Folem advataesmen blong posisen blong 2nd PA long Ministri blong Intenol Afeas, yumi kasem 9 aplikesen.  I gat fulap aplikesen we oli gud tumas (ol kwailiti kandidet) be yumi mas jusum wan nomo, so mifala i jusum Mrs Tusavaka Nishai-Marango blong tekem posisen ia. Mrs Nishai-Marango hemi gat bigfala ekspiriens blong wok long administresen – hemi bin wok 10 yia long Air Vanuatu mo afta bitim 10 yia long VNPF. Hemi bin tekem ol kos long saed blong politik mo tu hemi wan komuniti lida long Port Vila, mo hemi bin kandidet blong GJP blong riserv seat long Sentrol Wod long 2014 Port Vila Munisipol Kaonsel eleksen.


Sanma Provincial Council i bin form long Mande 4 Januari wetem 5 Kaonsela blong GJP, mekem se niufala Presiden blong Sanma i kamaot long GJP, Kaonsela John Olo Aru.
2 manis mo 2 wik afta long fomesen blong Kaonsel, long Fraede 19 Febuari 2016, Kansela blong Vanuatu Presidential Pati (VPP) long Saot Santo Eria 1, Hon. Vutnaia Efu, i mekem wan kastom seremoni blong kam joenem GJP. Kaonsela Vutnaia i mekem muv ia wetem Jeamen blong hem Jif Michael blong Benmol mo ova 500 sapota blong tufala we i muvaot long VPP mo kam joinem Graon mo Jastis Pati. Hon. Alfred Maoh, Minista blong Internal Afeas, GJP Sanma Eksekutiv Jeaman Jean Vincent Rocroc mo GJP Kaonsela blong Malo, Hon. Thomas Vora oli bin risivim kastom seremoni ia long bihaf blong pati. Wetem muv ia, ol Kansela blong GJP long Sanma Provinsel Kaonsel naoia i nomo 5 be i kasem 6.
Kaonsela Vutnaia hemi wan festaem kaonsela long Sanma Provins mo semtaem hemi stap olsem Jeaman blong Disasta Komiti insaed long Sanma Provinsel Gavman. Kaonsela hemi kamaot long vilij blong Tanavusvus mo hemi wan rispekted lida insaed long komuniti blong hem long Saot Santo Eria 1, espesli long level blong jioj mo komuniti. Kansela Vutnaia hemi kandidet we i skorem haest namba blong vot long Sanma Provinsel eleksen long Disemba 2015.


Long Sande 21 Febuari, foma MP blong Luganville, George Andre Wells, i mekem kastom seremoni blong Joinem Graon mo Jastis Patis (GJP). Foma MP George Andre Wells i kam joenem GJP wetem ful Eksekutiv blong hem mo wetem 2 kaonsela blong Luganville Munisipol Kaonsel, Kaonsela Renata Netaf long Sentrol Ward mo Kaonsela Felma Sam long East Ward. Foma MP George Andre Wells i bin stap olsem MP blong Luganville blong 19 yia kasem long yia ia taem hemi no bin manej blong sikiurim bak seat blong hem long snap eleksen. Long las Luganville Munisipol eleksen long Julae 2015 hemi manej blong winim 3 kaonsela wetem sapot blong Unity Front for Change.
Kastom seremoni i bin tekem ples long eria blong foma MP long Sarakata mo plante pipol blong Luganville mo ol reprisentetiv blong ol defren politikol pati oli bin stap long taem ia blong witnesem seremoni ia. Hon. Alfred Maoh, Minista blong Intenol Afeas mo GJP MP blong Santo mo GJP Kaonsela long Luganville Munisipol Kaonsel Hon. Wala Rongo tufala i bin risivim kastom ia long bihaf blong pati. Wetem seremoni ia i minim se naoia Graon mo jastis Pati i gat 3 kaonsela evriwan insaed long Luganville Munisipol Gavman.


Bambae i gat wan pablik konsaltesen miting wetem komuniti blong Freswota long saed blong wan proposal blong Vanuatu Futbol Federesen (VFF) blong lisim part blong Freswota Fil blong bildim wan nasonal soccer stadium long hem.
Pablik konsaltesen miting ia bae i stap long 6 klok long aftenun TEDE Tyusdei 15 Majlong stej blong Freswota Skul (insaed long yard blong skul).
Evriwan i welkam blong kam harem mo givim tingting.


Tumoro bae mi wetem Lord Mayor wetem ol reprisentetiv blong Switi komuniti i saenem wan agrimen blong handemova manejmen blong Park ia i kam long han blong komuniti. Las yia finis thru long wan disisen blong Kaonsel blong Minista mi bin diklerem graon ia olsem wan “community reserved area” folem ol niufala loa blong graon. Saening blong agrimen mo handova bae i hapen long grin spes blong Switi long 5.30pm tumoro.

Ta, MP Ralph Regenvanu and Vanuatu Minister for Land.


6 ) Tahiti Party Rejects Change To Associated State Of France
Modification of autonomy status won’t be considered

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 15, 2016) – French Polynesia’s ruling party has roundly dismissed a proposal to turn the territory into an associated state of France.

The rejection by the Tapuna Huiraatira comes after Gaston Flosse of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira again outlined his vision of changing the autonomy status.

The proposal for his Tahiti Nui would provide for direct presidential elections and for the local government to be able to dismiss French officials.

The Tapura accuses Flosse of trying to settle a score with those who put a stop to his megalomania, saying he still fails to understand he was pursued for his wrongdoing and not for political reasons.

Flosse lost office because of a corruption conviction two years ago.

The French High Commissioner has told the local newspaper that the Polynesians should get what system they want.

There has been no comment from the pro-independence camp which is trying to decolonise the territory through the UN process.

Radio New Zealand International

7) IMF warns Tonga of weakening fiscal position
11:55 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2016, Tonga

Tonga has been warned that despite government’s strong revenue collection, Tonga’s fiscal position is expected to weaken in near term due to a large increase in the wage bill, an increase in current spending, and potential cost overruns related to Tonga’s preparations to host the 2019 South Pacific Games

These factors in turn will weaken the government’s fiscal sustainability, and raise public debt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated in its 2016 Article IV report on the state of the Tongan economy.

The preliminary findings were released at the end of an IMF mission, led by Elena Loukoianova who visited Nuku’alofa from February 29-March 11 to conduct the consultations with government.

The IMF also warns the Tongan government of possible drop of aid, remittances, and tourism receipts, particularly from Australia and New Zealand because of a protracted period of slow growth in their economies.

However, over the medium term, the fiscal position is projected to improve “provided that revenue continues to grow steadily, the wage bill is held in check, and the cost of the South Pacific Games is under control.”

On a slightly more positive side of things, Tonga’s External Balance and International Reserves have improved substantially, thanks to low oil prices and stronger remittances.

“Real GDP is projected to grow at 3.1 percent in 2015-16, driven by agriculture and construction sectors, as well as private consumption.”

Overall the reported concluded that “the balance of risks is tilted toward the downside.” and advised ” Staff welcomes the authorities’ commitment to rein in the wage bill, complemented by civil service reforms, and to seek grant finance for the South Pacific Games.

“Continued progress in improving tax and customs administrations and strengthening public finance management is also important to preserve fiscal sustainability.”

Other advice to the National Reserve Bank of Tonga was to introduce “macro prudential” tools to avoid excessive credit growth.

The mission also encouraged the authorities to improve Tonga’s economic resilience from climate-change shocks.


8) 362 suspected Zika cases in American Samoa

9:31 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, American Samoa

The Zika virus continues to spread in American Samoa.

The latest Zika report presented at a meeting in Pagopago of the Zika Response Unified Health Command is there are now 362 suspected cases of Zika.

Out of 70 blood samples sent off island for testing since the outbreak of the Zika virus, 14 are confirmed to have Zika and 6 of these confirmed cases are pregnant mothers.

The Zika Response Unified Health Command meeting was for each agency to present a report of what they are doing in response to the outbreak.

Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua and officials of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) were present at the meeting.

Last week Zika protection kits from the CDC were distributed to pregnant women at the health centers and LBJ Hospital OBGyn Clinic.

CDC official Karrie Ann Toews, who is in charge of Maternal and Child Health surveillance, reports that a total of 550 women are registered for pre natal care with Department of Health (DOH).

Of the 205 women who are currently pregnant, 25 have been tested for Zika and six are confirmed to have the disease.

DOH has distributed Zika protection kits to 25 pregnant.

Health officials say the Zika outbreak peaked in January and the median age of those who’ve contracted Zika is 18.

Dr Richard Brostrom, the CDC’s TB Medical Officer for the Pacific Region says they have developed a protocol for the management of Zika patients including babies.


9) Niue to get better internet service – at a cost

4:00 pm GMT+12, 15/03/2016, Niue

A private internet service provider on Niue that has not charged the public for the past 17 years says it is being forced to levy a fee from next month.

Rocket Systems said three quarters of Niuean internet users had been using its free wifi connection, which had been made was possible only because of a subsidy from the business controlling the .nu domain name.

Emani Lui of Rocket Systems said that subsidy had been reduced and the company now had to charge for the service.

But he said it would mean a more comprehensive service which people had long sought.

“Knowing that we couldn’t deliver that service because it was free. But now that we are able to charge for our services they have been forthcoming with encouraging feedback. Some have been a little bit hesitant.”

Emani Lui said those upset at the costs of NZ$50 (US$33) a month for 10 gigabytes needed to know it was competitive, especially given the costs of the satellite link, Niue’s isolation and small population.



10) Trump wins CNMI Republican caucus

Donald Trump has won the Republican caucus in the Northern Marianas.

Mr Trump took home 73 percent of the vote and will win all nine delegates.

Ted Cruz followed with 24 percent, while John Kasich and Marco Rubio only secured two respectively one percent of the votes.

Last week, the CNMI governor, Ralph Torres, threw his support behind Mr Trump.

As an unincorporated commonwealth of the United States, the CNMI can participate in the candidate selection process but its resident are unable to vote in November’s presidential election.16/3/16 RNZI

11) New Cabinet Ministers in Kiribati Sworn-in

3:57 pm GMT+12, 15/03/2016, Kiribati

Ten new cabinet ministers including the Attorney General from the ruling Tobwaan Kiribati Party (TKB) have been sworn-in by Kiribati’s Chief Justice Sir John Muria at a swearing-in ceremony held at the Kiribati State Maneaba in Bairiki.

The ten new ministers were  Kourabi Nenem – MP for South Tarawa (TUC) – is the new Vice President of Kiribati and Minister for Public Works and Utilities, Alexander Teabo – MP for Butaritari – is Minister of Education,  Atarake Nataara – MP for North Tarawa – Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA), David Collins – MP for Maiana – Minister for Women, Youth and Social Affairs (MWYSA), Kobebe Taitai – MP for Tabiteuea North – Minister of Health and Medical Services,  Ruateki Tekaiara – MP for Marakei – Minister of Labor and Human Resources Development,  Tauanei Marea – MP for Nikunau – Minister of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MCIC),  Tebao Awerika – MP for Betio (BTC) – Minister of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD),  Tetabo Nakara – MP for Beru – Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development (MFMRD),  Dr Teuea Toatu – MP for Abaiang – Minister of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) and Kiribati’s new Attorney General  Natan Teewe Brechtefeld – MP for Abemama.

The Minister of Communications, Transport and Tourism Development (MCTTD) Willie Tokataake – MP for Abemama and the Minister for the Line and Phoenix Islands Development, Mikarite Temari – MP for Christmas Island will be sworn-in at a later date because they were not available at the swearing-in ceremony this week.

In a brief interview with Radio Kiribati, President Taneti Maamau said the new Ministers have been appointed out of the many who also wanted to fill in this very important role.

He said the people of Kiribati have clearly demonstrated without a doubt a need for change in government through the recent presidential election results and added that it is now time for the new government and its cabinet ministers to do some action and hard work.


12) Despite Some Rain, Drought Conditions Continue In Palau
Water rationing ongoing with extremely low water levels

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, March 14, 2016) – Despite the rains these past two weeks, pictures from Ngerimel river dam show drastic decline in water levels. Pictures show dead fish and crocodile and mud puddles where river use to be. Palau Public Utilities Corporation implemented water rationing schedule last week in response to the extremely low water levels and issued a press release asking the public use water sparingly.

According to John Kintaro, Public Information Officer for PPUC, the reason for water rationing is due to low levels of water at both Ngerikiil and Ngerimel dams to feed Koror and Airai 24 hours a day. The rationing allows the dam to fill the water tanks at Ngeruluobed with enough water to provide both Airai and Koror.

“It has not rained for months now and that is why we are seeing very low water levels at both water sources,” explained Kintaro.

When asked why they waited so long to put water rationing in place, Kintaro said that they’ve monitored the situation and the water was enough before to meet the demand but now, they have no choice but to implement water rationing measures.

“We need those hours so that we can fill up the tanks. Also, weather is beyond our control. We can only conserve and manage what we have so that everyone can have water,” said Kintaro regarding the water rationing.

Asked how long they expect the water rationing to last, Kintaro replied that it is expected to last for some time, although he cannot say exactly when. “We are getting some rain now but the soil is so dry. And while it’s absorbing the water, it is not enough to make a difference at the moment,” he added.

“We have been running conserve water ads and announcements since last year. Even with increase in water rates, people still need to use water conservatively,” Kintaro reminded.

Kintaro further noted that the grant funds from Japan will help with replacing some of the leaking waterlines. He said that most of the ADB loan will go to the improvement of sewer of both Airai and Koror.

On related matter, Palau Chamber of Commerce issued an advisory to business members to take proactive measures in their establishments to help conserve water. Chamber urged the business community to reduce water consumption, power consumption and be mindful of fire hazards, in response to ongoing drought conditions.

Island Times

13) Palau Secures ADB Loan To Build Submarine Fiber Optic Cable
$25 million supports connection to SEA- US trans-Pacific cable

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, March 14, 2016) – On March 7, 2016, Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang, and Xianbin Yao, Director General, Pacific Department, of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), signed the North Pacific Regional Connectivity Investment Project loan agreements for the loan that the Republic of Palau will use to secure a submarine fiber optic cable.

The signing ceremony was held at the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines. The ADB board formally approved the loan for up to $25 million December last year. The loan is specifically for the SEA-US project.

The proceeds of the loan will be lent to Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC) under the same terms and conditions pursuant to the Subsidiary Loan Agreement between the ROP and the BSCC that was also executed on March 7, 2016 by Minister Sadang and George Rechucher, Chairman of the Board of the BSCC. The BSCC will be the implementing agency for the ROP and will be the party contracting for and owning the cable.

The SEA-US project is the trans-Pacific cable that is being constructed from Indonesia to California via Guam and Hawaii. The SEA-US consortium who are the promoters and original investors in the cable is made up of Globe (Philippines), Telin (Indonesia), GTA (Guam), Hawaiian Telecom (USA) and RTI International (USA). The main cable of the SEA-US project will pass just north of Palau and Yap, the governments of Palau and FSM are looking to get those locations connected through the SEA-US project.

The $25 million loan is split up into tranches – (i) a floating rate loan (“Ordinary Operations”) of approximately $16.5 million with an interest rate of LIBOR +.60% / annum with a commitment charge of .15% / annum on any undrawn amounts. And (ii), a fixed rate loan (“Special Operations”) of approximately $8.5 million with an interest rate of 2% / annum without any commitment charge. Both tranches are 25 year terms, inclusive of 5 year grace periods. The first payment will be due June 1, 2021.

Island Times


14) SHP i wok long kamapim wanpela plan blong stopim sanguma pasin

Postim 15 March 2016, 15:03 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Ol komiuniti lida wantaim ol lida long sioa na ol gavman agensi long Southern Highlands Provins blong Papua New Guinea i wanbel long kamapim wanpela plan blong stopim ol kain pasin blong kilim dai nating oa paitim nating ol narapela long tokwin long sanguma pasin.

Oli bin tokaut long despla Provincial plan aste long wanpla miting em oli bin holim long Mendi, biktaon blong Southern Highlands.

Southern Highlands i wanpla long ol provins long kantri we oli save bagarapim na kilim nating ol narapla pipal bihaenim ol tokwin olsem oli Sanguma laen.

Katolik Bishop blong Mendi, Don Lippert, igo pas long despla laen i tok bai ol i putim wanpela provincial plan blong paitim pasin sanguma i go long ol provincial otoriti long mun July.

Bishop Lippert i tok, planti pipol i dai nating oa ol i kukim ol nating long ol tokwin blong sanguna pasin, na ol i laik long dispela pasin imas pinis.ABC

15) Bougainville bai kamapim Kofi na Palm Oil

Updated 15 March 2016, 12:42 AEDT

Ol pipal blong Bougainville nau iwok long lukluk long statim tupla nupla agrikalsa crops blong helpim ol farmers  i growim wantem kakao na kokonas.

Secretary blong  Bougainville’s Department of Primary Industries i tokaut long despla taem ABG gavman i redi long kisim halvim ikam long Australia na New Zealand aninit long wanpla projek em oli kolim Commodity Support Facility.

Bai oli lonchim despla projeck long despla wik.

As tingting blong despla wokbung em blong helpim ol pipal i iusim sampla moni blong luksave na strongim agrikalsa, treining na ol wok painimaut oa research long Bougainville.

Tasol gavman nau i lukluk long statim ol kaen cash crop olsem Coffee na Palm Oil.

Thomas Betitis, emi Secretary blong  Bougainville’s Department of Primary Industries, itok ABC nau iwok long lukluk strong long divelopim ol despla nupla cash crops.ABC

16) PNG lidas ino wari tumas long ol risosas blong pipal

Updated 15 March 2016, 12:36 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Ol kaen risosas olsem ol bikbus, wara na environment.

Wanpla environmentalist na lida meri long Papua New Guinea i sutim tok long ol gavman blong bifo ikam inap nau olsem oli save helpim ol logging kampani long bagarapim ol bikbus na graon blong ol pipal.

Dorothy Tekwie i mekim despla toktok long wankaen we planti pipal iwok long wari olsem oli no lukim wanpla gutpla benefit long ol wok logging.

Toktok blong en i kamap tu long wan kaen taem we wanpla lecturer long  University blong  Papua New Guinea, Dr Topul Rali itok olli mas stopim despla ol wok logging olgeta.

Ol toktok blong ol i bihaenim ripot blong  Oakland Institute blong America we itok PNG i lusim planti milian dola long takis em ol foran logging kampani blong Asia ino save baem igo long gavman. ABC


18) Pemuda Muslim Papua Umar Werfete Berkunjung ke Australia

Diperbaharui 16 March 2016, 10:09 AEDT
Erwin Renaldi

Umar Werfete, peserta pertukaran pemuda Muslim Australia Indonesia, berbagi cerita bagaimana pengalamannya sebagai Muslim di provinsi paling timur Indonesia tersebut.

Menjadi Muslim di Papua tentunya tidak sama saat berada di pulau-pulau besar dengan mayoritas Muslim, seperti di Jawa misalnya.

Umar Warfete adalah salah seorang Muslim di Papua Barat, yang tahun ini mewakili pemuda Muslim dari Indonesia untuk berkunjung ke Australia.

“Kalau dilihat orang asli Papua, [Muslim] memang minoritas, tapi kalau dilihat secara keseluruhan, orang Islam itu sebenarnya [jumlahnya] sebanding dengan pendatang dari pulau-pulau lain,” ujar Umar yang dilahirkan dan dibesarkan keluarga Muslim.

Umar kini bekerja di Pusat Penelitian Pengembangan Komunitas di STAIN Al Fatah, Jayapura. Sebelumnya, ia pernah mengenyam ilmu pendidikan internasional di University of Birmingham, Inggris.

Saat ditanya apakah ada perselisihan antara Islam dengan budaya Papua, ia mengaku jika keberadaan Islam bukan untuk menghilangkan identitas budaya Papua yang ada.

“Saya kira Islam itu datang untuk melengkapi budaya yang sudah ada, bukan menghilangkan budaya yang ada. Kalau budaya tersebut tidak sesuai dengan ajaran, memang bisa ditinggalkan tergantung individu, tetapi tidak berarti kita harus menghapus budaya yang dianggap baik,” ujarnya.

Menurutnya saat ini masih ada konflik yang dipicu isu keagamaan. Tapi, konflik tersebut bersifat simbolik, seperti klaim kepemilikan rumah beribadah. Ia memberikan contoh konflik yang terjadi di Manokrawi.

“Tapi saya kira ini sebagai akumulasi dari persoalan yang terjadi di tempat lain. Jadi jika ada yang melakukan sesuatu kepada yang minoritas di wilayah dengan mayoritas Muslim, maka yang mendapat imblas adalah umat Muslim yang menjadi minoritas di tempat lain,” jelasnya.

Umar juga mengatakan sebenarnya sudah banyak bentuk toleransi yang sejak lama terlihat. Seperti saling mengunjungi saat lebaran dan natal.

Dari pengalamannya, agama bukanlah hal yang membatasi hubungan dan pergaulan sosial, atau antara keluarga, di Papua Barat.

Umar dan empat peserta lain dari Pertukaran Muslim Australia Indonesia akan berada di Australia selama sekitar dua minggu. Mereka akan melihat bagaimana umat Muslim sebagai minoritas di Australia berinteraksi dan berintegrasi di Australia.

“[Hingga saat ini] yang paling berkesan adalah saat ketemu dengan umat ortodoks Yahudi, belum pernah saya temui sebelumnya. Saat mengobrol, ternyata di Yahudi juga mengenal namanya Kosher, seperti halnya Halal di Islam,” kata Umar kepada Erwin Renaldi dari Australia Plus.

Lewat dialognya bersama umat Yahudi di Australia, Umar mendapatkan pencerahan.

“Ternyata lebih disebabkan masalah politik, karena umat Yahudi sering dikaitkan dengan negara Israel,” katanya.

Setelah kunjungannya ke Australia, Umar berharap bisa membuat sebuah riset soal pendidikan lintas agama di sekolah.

“Kurikulum nasional sudah memperbolehkan, saya melihat sekolah Katolik, misalnya yang memiliki beberapa murid Islam atau beberapa sekolah Islam dengan murid beragama non Islam, ada peluang untuk mengenal agama lain, dan ini bisa mempengahruhi hubungan baik antaragama,” jelasnya.

*Nantikan berita-berita lainnya dari perjalanan peserta Pertukaran Muslim Australia Indonesia lainnya di halaman Facebook Australia Plus Indonesia:



20) Brèves du Pacifique – mardi 15 mars 2016

Mis à jour 15 March 2016, 18:38 AEDT

Élodie Largenton

1. Ce sont finalement les Samoa et non les Tonga qui pourront profiter de deux hélicoptères de sauvetage, fournis par un pilote néo-zélandais, Rodger McCutcheon.

Cela fait pourtant deux ans que le pilote travaille sur ce projet aux Tonga. Il avait prévu de fournir un premier hélicoptère à Tongatapu, puis un deuxième à Vava’u, avec pour objectif d’aider les secours à intervenir plus rapidement. Mais le processus s’est révélé bien trop lent pour lui : « On nous a dit qu’on ne pourrait pas voler pendant au moins trois à quatre mois, parce que les Tonga ont des normes de sécurité aérienne plus strictes », explique Rodger McCutcheon dans un communiqué, rapporté par Matangi Tonga.
Dans le passé, le royaume s’est vu reprocher d’utiliser, pour ses liaisons domestiques, un MA60, un bi-turbopropulseur offert par la Chine. L’appareil est considéré comme dangereux et la Nouvelle-Zélande avait vivement réagi en suspendant son aide au développement du tourisme. Pour éviter de nouvelles déconvenues, les Tonga ont fait passer une loi, en 2014, pour se mettre en conformité avec les normes néo-zélandaises.
Lassé d’attendre ses autorisations, Rodger McCutcheon vient donc de se tourner vers les Samoa, qui sont évidemment ravies. « Quand il s’agit d’investissements privés qui peuvent sauver des vies, le gouvernement doit agir. C’est absurde et ridicule de refuser un tel service », déclare Tuilaepa Sailele, le Premier ministre samoan.
2. L’économie des Îles Tonga devrait continuer de croître cette année, estime le Fonds monétaire international (FMI). Malgré la présence d’El Nino et le ralentissement de certaines économies voisines, le royaume a enregistré une croissance de 3,7% l’an dernier. L’agriculture et le secteur de la construction devraient permettre de maintenir ces bons résultats.
 3. Les Palau obtiennent un prêt de 33 millions de dollars de la Banque asiatique de développement pour se connecter au câble sous-marin qui reliera l’Indonésie à la Californie, en passant notamment par Hawaï et par Guam (câble SEA-US).
 4. C’est confirmé, le zika s’est installé aux Samoa américaines : sur les 70 échantillons de sang envoyés à l’étranger pour y être analysés, 14 ont révélé la présence du virus du zika. Parmi ces 14 personnes atteintes, il y a six femmes enceintes. Les autorités ont commencé à distribuer des kits anti-zika aux femmes enceintes, mais elles soulignent que la clé, c’est la prévention : en l’absence de vaccin, le mieux, c’est d’éviter à tout prix les piqûres de moustique.ABC


22) Civil servants brace as job cuts loom

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NORFOLK – There are reports from Norfolk Island that dozens of government workers are set to lose their jobs when Australia completes the removal of the island’s limited self-rule.

This is set to happen on July 1 when the island’s administration will become a regional council under the New South Wales Government.

Already some Border Force workers from the mainland are on the island with local Customs staff expected to go.

The stand-in administration is yet to say just what will happen to the local state workers but a minister in the Norfolk Government removed last June, Robyn Adams, said there was rising anxiety in the island community.

“They feel betrayed. The agreement with the Commonwealth was there was to be a net benefit for Norfolk Islanders, taking into account local circumstances.

“You cannot say there is a net benefit when the Norfolk Islander is being displaced from his jobs and his homeland.”


23) New domestic violence laws introduced in NSW to recognise DVOs across Australia and New Zealand

Updated 16 March 2016, 8:30 AEDT

New South Wales Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton is calling on other states and territories to follow NSW’s lead by introducing laws that will mean domestic violence offenders cannot escape the law by moving interstate.

Last night the Attorney-General introduced a bill to Parliament to allow Domestic Violence Orders (DVO) to be automatically recognised and enforced across state and territory lines, as well as in New Zealand.

Ms Upton said the scheme would improve information sharing between the states and better protect victims who move interstate or over the Tasman.

“This mean that DVOs can be recognised and forced across Australia,” she said.

Ms Upton said the current systems dictated that if a domestic violence victim wanted to operate a DVO in another state, the victim must go to that state and get the court to recognise that order.

But with the new model law, once a DVO is made in one state, it will automatically operate across Australia and New Zealand.

“There will be a national order, once that’s made in one state or territory, that order will protect the victim and apply to the perpetrator wherever they are in any state or any territory in Australia, and even in new Zealand,” Ms Upton said.

“This is a really practical change to better protect victims and monitor perpetrators.”

The Attorney-General also said the conditions of the DVO would remain exactly the same across the borders.

In December last year at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), all states and territories committed to introducing similar laws by July to create a national recognition scheme.

Ms Upton said the scheme needed the cooperation of all the jurisdictions involved to bring in the laws in order for the system to work.

“The laws need to be adopted by all the other states and territories to make this national system work and that’s why I call on them, all states and territories to do what NSW is doing in adopting these model laws, because it will be then that a victim in one state will have all the protections go with them when they travel interstate or even to New Zealand,” she said.



25) US primaries: Trump wins in Florida, Rubio drops out of race for President

Updated 16 March 2016, 11:45 AEDT

Donald Trump beats Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, with Mr Rubio announcing he is dropping out of the Republican race for the White House.

Donald Trump has beaten Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, with Mr Rubio announcing he is dropping out of the Republican race for the White House.

According to the latest count, Mr Trump has taken 45.5 per cent of the vote, with Marco Rubio coming in at 27 per cent, and Ted Cruz at 16 per cent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton picked up 64 per cent of the vote in Florida, staying ahead of Bernie Sanders.ABC

26) Cyber crime

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hackers using tactics and tools previously associated with Chinese government-supported computer network intrusions have joined the booming cyber crime industry of ransomware, four security firms that investigated attacks on US companies said.

Ransomware, which involves encrypting a target’s computer files and then demanding payment to unlock them, has generally been considered the domain of run-of-the-mill cyber criminals.


27) Institute confirms outbreak

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

RECENT testing by the PNG Institute of Medical Research of patients with fever illness confirmed the presence of a dengue outbreak in Kiunga, Western, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase says.
He said that to provide update on the dengue and Zika virus situation in the country.
He said there was also an outbreak of fever illness in Port Moresby since last month.
He said rapid diagnostic tests identified dengue as the cause.
“Dengue causes fever, headache and body pains, and in some cases low blood pressure or bleeding,” Kase said.
“Dengue can become quite severe, requiring hospitalisation and in worst cases, lead to the death of the patients.”
Kase said Zika virus caused a similar but milder illness, with a slight fever, rash, red eyes, headache and joint pain.
Only one in four people infected with Zika will have symptoms. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.
In relation to the Zika virus, Kase said since the matter had risen to prominence, testing had been undertaken on samples from patients with fever illness from 2014.
He said the results of the testing found no conclusive evidence of cases which should be said that there had been no confirmed cases before 2015.
Kase said it was likely that the increase in mosquito-borne diseases circulating in multiple locations in PNG were due to an increase in the number of mosquitoes brought on by recent rain rather than any new diseases being brought into the country.
He said defence against the mosquito-borne diseases was for people to apply mosquito repellents, wear  clothes and sleep under mosquito nets during daylight hours and use window screens where possible.

28) 38 nurses fail exam

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

THIRTY-EIGHT out of the 232 nurses who graduated with a degree in nursing will have to re-sit their registration exam before they can be posted to health facilities across the country.

The 38 intern nurses failed their registration exam, which, if they had passed, would have enabled them to obtain a nurse’s licence and become registered nurses after their internship.

Director Nursing Selina Waqa-Ledua said apart from the 38, all other nurses who had graduated had been posted to the three major hospitals in Lautoka, Labasa and Suva.

She said two of the graduates were regional students who had left Fiji for their home countries.

She said the timing of the intern nurses’ posting to the main hospitals was perfect with the Ministry of Health playing a crucial role in ensuring people’s safety.

“It’s very appropriate (nurses posting), even though we’re still in a State of Emergency, I think the rationale to conduct this induction program is more for the post-cyclone initiatives that will come in place,” Mrs Waqa- Ledua said.

“There may be a need to post senior nurses on the field so these are the interns and we will need to post them as soon as possible to the places where they are needed most.”

She said in that way, it provided cushion staffing to hospitals which had senior nurses out on the field.

The induction program would run for four days before the nurses start work.

This is the first induction program to be conducted at national level.Fijitimes

29) Antibiotics use

Tevita Vuibau
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DOCTORS in Fiji face pressure to use the most powerful antibiotics to treat diseases and while there is often immediate success, there is a risk of creating drug resistant diseases in the long-term.

That was the comment of Fiji College of General Practitioners president Dr John Fatiaki as the country celebrated World Consumer Rights Day with the theme “Stop Misuse of Antibiotics”.

He said a study on hospitals and doctors in Australia on the Sunshine Coast found doctors were disregarding their training and prescribing the strongest antibiotic possible to treat a disease.

“A lot of the doctors were aware that if they used this antibiotic too much, there might be drug resistance developing later, but they felt at that point in time that they needed to look after this patient with the best treatment and not worry about that choice of antibiotic,” Dr Fatiaki said.

And he said doctors in Fiji faced similar pressure.

“If you don’t give your patient the antibiotics and the patient develops pneumonia and dies, you will worry about your other colleagues saying well, you didn’t do the right thing.

“You will worry that this person’s family may sue you, so these pressures are there and unfortunately many doctors become influenced by this.

“Even though they know their training tells them you should maybe use this one and not the strongest one, they are so worried because there is pressure on them to use the very latest drug.”

Dr Fatiaki said society as a whole needed to understand the pressure faced by doctors and not expect to be prescribed the latest antibiotics for all diseases.

“I think society needs to lighten up, allow doctors to use the antibiotics judiciously, to use it in the right way and not have so much pressure should something go wrong. Understand that that happens in medicine and as long as people understand the risks, most people won’t blame the doctor if he’s doing the right thing,” he said during the celebrations.Fijitimes


30) State to bring expat teachers

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

THE Government will employ mathematics and science teachers from India and other countries to fill vacancies in secondary schools, Acting Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra says.
Kombra said the exercise had started with schools in Southern Highlands.
“Our country currently needs teachers in mathematics and science fields so we will have to get more overseas. We have enough in other fields of studies,” Kombra said.
He urged teachers’ colleges to be registered before they could enrol students.
Kombra said requests for upgrading of existing schools and establishment of new schools must be approved by the provincial education boards and provincial executive councils and then submitted to the Education Department before March 31.
He said there were only 14 recognised teachers colleges in PNG and the qualifications of those students graduating from unrecognised institutions would not be accepted.
He was responding to the Catholic Principals’ Conference in Lae last week, which asked for salary increases to compensate for the additional workload brought about by the Tuition Free-Fee policy, and the retirement benefits for retiring teachers to be honoured by the Government.
Kombra said he would take up the request with the Education Department’s review committee.


31) Signs of cracks in PNG coalition government

Papua New Guinea’s deputy opposition leader says the wheels are starting to come off the Peter O’Neill-led coalition government.

Sam Basil said his Pangu Pati has agreed to team up for next year’s elections with a leading party in the government, the People’s Progress Party led by the influential minister for petroleum and energy, Ben Micah.

The ruling People’s National Congress party lured a number of MPs to its ranks this term, but lobbying to remove the prime minister recently intensified since the grace period for a motion of no-confidence lapsed.

The window is due to close again soon, but Mr Basil said that there is a groundswell of MPs dissatisfied with Mr O’Neill’s handling of the economy.

He said this is especially the case with many public servants, teachers and health workers going unpaid for some time.

“The central bank is under great pressure to raise money to meet the government’s commitments which have of course been overspent and mismanaged. That is not a good sign. The public are not supporting this government anymore. So we know that many political parties in the coalition attached to this current government are now talking to the opposition. They’re talking amongst themselves and changes are imminent any time from now until the elections.”

Mr Basil said it is a sign that parties within the ruling coalition are disillusioned with the leadership of prime minister Peter O’Neill and his People’s National Congress party.

“We are all looking forward for the elections but whatever happens in between, we know that the sooner we put a stop to this government, the sooner we can shift this country away from the disaster that currently the prime mnister and his coalition are taking us to.”

Sam Basil said the government lost its public support.16/3/16 – RNZI

32) Solomons MP Allegedly Assaulted By Special Secretary To PM

Men got into disagreement in bar, traditional compensation paid

By Aatai John

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 15, 2016) – Special Secretary to Prime Minister (SSPM) Andrew Muaki has come under the spotlight for allegedly assaulting the Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Makira over the weekend.

Reports reaching the paper said, the incident occurred at the Iron Bottom Sound (IBS) hotel in Rove, West Honiara on Friday night.

It all happened after both men met at the hotel around mid-night. Its unclear whether two of them were heavily intoxicated at the time of incident or not.

Reports said, there were some exchange of words involving politics especially the next national general election. However, it was further claimed Mr Ghiro raised a private issue which may have got Mr Muaki angry.

Because of that Mr Muaki reacted and allegedly assaulted the MP resulting in bleeding to his nose.

Security officers and a number of people close to them intervened and got the situation under control.

Following the incident Ghiro’s family members and relatives approached the SSPM at his home and demanded compensation.

As a result he paid $500 [US$62.50] in cash to settle the matter.

Mr Muaki yesterday said, he received some insulting comments from the MP at that time which resulted in the incident.

The incident since it happened has gone viral via social media and is said to be public knowledge.

Mr Ghiro yesterday told the paper, he had accepted the money as part of Makira’s traditional way to settle any dispute.

However, he added according to Makira’s culture $500.00 is still below the minimum amount of $1000.00 [US$125], which is used to compensate problems that involves blood spill.

But in his case, he accepted what was offered by the SSPM to his brothers and relatives. “This should now settle the problem once and for all,” he said.

In light of the payment, Mr Ghiro has appealed to everyone in the constituency, family members and relatives to remain calm and not to drag the problem further as he had forgiven Mr Muaki and forget about the incident.

Now he wants his people in Central Makira to prepare and concentrate on the upcoming Easter programs including some of the sports events being planned for them.

Solomon Star

33) Vanuatu conspiracy case decision early April

Vanuatu’s chief magistrate will deliver a decision on 7th April on whether a conspiracy case involving the deputy prime minister, Joe Natuman, will proceed.

This comes after a closed court session yesterday.

Mr Natuman is facing charges of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice in 2014, while he was prime minister and minister for police.

It revolves around a directive to suspend investigations into mutiny allegations involving senior police officers.

The then acting police commissioner, Aru Maralau, who was following instructions from his minister, is facing the same charges.

While the case remains with the Magistrates’ Court it can seek the Supreme Court’s opinion if required.16/3/16 RNZI


34) NCSL to start electronic banking

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

NASFUND Contributors Savings and Loan Society (NCSL) is set to introduce electronic banking services for its members this year.
These will include the development of a debit card based transactional account and additional mobile transfer services, according to general manager Vari Lahui.
Lahui said these were part of the society’s focus this year to create more opportunities for its members to have access to its financial services with convenient and faster turnaround times.
“We are looking to get a new system, and based on the initial interactions that we are having with the new service provider,” he said.
“We are going to see a lot of more efficiency in terms of process and hopefully that would translate into much quicker turnaround times.
“We are working to establish a transactional account and having it linked to a debit card.
“Once members get their loans, the funds will get paid to a transactional account that is linked to a debit card and they can use that on a ATMs and EFTPoS.
“That’s something that we are looking to have in place before the end of this year.
“We are also working to do further enhancements to the NCSL app.
“There are some developments that currently we are doing where NCSL members can transfer mobile credits from their phones to their NCSL savings accounts.”
Lahui said it was pleasing to note an increase in the use of its existing electronic channels by members.
NCSL currently has an online banking service that allows members to check their savings balances, make withdrawals, transfer funds and apply for loans.
It also has Biometric Identification Services (BIS), installed at all its branches, except for Manus, which offers similar services
Lahui said over 213,000 member transactions were done online, with most being for balance enquiries.

35) Queensland labour-hire company Maroochy Sunshine ripped off Vanuatu workers, court finds

11:08 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Australia

A Queensland labour-hire company has been found guilty of ripping off seasonal workers from Vanuatu.

The Fair Work Ombudsman took legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against Emmanuel Bani and his company, Maroochy Sunshine, in November last year.

Bani had recruited 22 workers from Vanuatu under the Federal Government’s seasonal workers scheme but did not pay them a proper wage or give them enough work.

They worked picking fruit and vegetables in the Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg.

According to the Ombudsman, more than half the workers were not paid at all and have since returned to Vanuatu.

Bani has failed to turn up to multiple court appearances, and so was found to be in breach of employment laws by default.

The court has adjourned the matter until June, when it will decide what penalty to impose.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie Jones said government inspectors had met Bani five days before the 22 workers arrived from Vanuatu to remind him of the need to pay employees’ wages


36) More Fijians for Australian Seasonal Workers Programme
11:10 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Fiji

More Fijians are expected to take up jobs in Australia under the seasonal workers programme despite reports of workers being exploited.

Last month, ABC reports a number of Fijian workers claimed that they were receiving less than $16 (US$7.60) a week after deductions.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop says the programme is a win win for both countries.

“I discussed with foreign minister Kubuabola the seasonal workers programme. Australia has lifted the cap, we’re delighted that a number of Fijians workers are taking part in the seasonal workers scheme and this benefits both countries, Australia seeks workers in agriculture, in accommodation, in areas where we can’t get local people to take the jobs and the Fijian people get an opportunity to get to work and to send remittances home and hopefully gain some skills.”

Employment Minister Semi Koroilavesau says an investigation into the exploitation allegations is being done by the Australian authorities.

Koroilavesau says once they receive the finalised report from their Australian counterparts, a team from Fiji will be sent to Australia to assess the situation and make recommendations moving forward.

According to the ABC report, of the 20 Fijians who arrived on Seasonal Workers visas in January, 13 refused to sign and have now left the caravan park and quit working for the contractor at the centre of the allegations.


37) Bank improves IT system to avoid likely scams

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

THE oldest commercial bank in the country is working round-the-clock to improve its information technology (IT) system.

With substantial investment in its system, Westpac Bank is working on its card system that will prevent scammers from doing what they have done in the country on the banking system.

Westpac International Banking Corporation general manager Bala Swaminathan says they are investing in the Fijian market right now to make sure they have those capabilities.

Westpac Fiji general manager Brett Hooker says they are quite lucky that their card system is strong and robust in regards to monitoring transactions in the background, which put this as a leader in the market in Fiji.

“That process is something that we invested heavily in,” Mr Hooker said.

The bank scam, he says, is something that is a challenge for Fiji and something that Westpac grabbed and tackled head on.

“We would expect that this would take our system to the next level.”

Mr Hooker said Fiji was not isolated on this issue.

Westpac opened for business in Fiji in 1901 at Levuka after an invitation by then Governor Sir Arthur Gordon.Fijitimes


38) MP: H’way in worst state

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

SUMKAR MP and veteran Highlands Highway trucking operator Ken Fairweather says the highway and adjoining Ramu Highway are in their worst state in 40 years.
Fairweather, who owns Kutubu Transport (formerly Pagini), said yesterday his company was losing up to K1 million a month because of regular problems along the highway.
He said the highway was still closed after the collapse of a culvert at Avani in the Kompri Valley of Eastern Highlands last week.
“The highway is still closed when it should not be closed,” Fairweather told The National.
“The point is it’s only a small slip, but the people have got the police bluffed, the police won’t do anything and the Government’s powerless to do anything because they haven’t paid them (landowners) for the last time.
“They keep making these promises and they never keep them.
“This is the problem of this Government: it’s full of promises but no action.
“The Highlands Highway now is three out of four weeks closed, which means businesses in the Highlands are now running out of food, the transport industry is basically closed down and people are going broke.”
Fairweather said Department of Works in Goroka, which was in charge of the Highlands, did not even have a bulldozer, grader or shovel.
“They rely on contracts,” he said.
“The contractors need to be paid upfront because no-one trusts the Government, therefore, no work gets done because the Department of Works in Goroka has got no money.
“This is all about money.
“The people want money from the Government and are just bluffing them and the Government promises to pay but they’ve got no money.
“You’ve got this whole situation of no-one doing anything and no-one knowing how to do it.”
Fairweather said Government should not be bowing down to landowners.
“You shouldn’t be mediating, you should be napalming them,” he said.
“Who is in charge here? The people or the police?
“Government aren’t. We don’t know what they’re doing.
“Parliament’s on next week but I’m not going, I’m on strike over the Highlands Highway issue.
“The Government is ineffective along the Highlands Highway, the Highlands Highway is wretched.”
Fairweather said the same applied to the road between Watarais and Madang.
“I drove from Hagen to Madang 10 days ago and it’s still impassable,” he said.
“It’s disgraceful. It’s the worse that it’s been in 40 years.”

39) FRA exceeds emergency budget allocation
– The Fiji Roads Authority has exceeded its emergency budget allocation for repair of roads and bridges. Their priority since TC Winston has been to open access to villages which were cut off and isolated by the record-breaking storm. FRA acting Maintenance Works Manager – Aram Goes says the transport infrastructure is severely damaged and estimated repairs are expected to cost around one hundred and thirty-five million dollars.



41) Kidnap victims return to Vanuatu

A Vanuatu mother and daughter, believed to have been kidnapped and taken to Solomon Islands, have been repatriated to Port Vila.

Our correspondent reports sources in Vanuatu as saying the 37-year-old woman and her nine-year old daughter were kidnapped seven years ago.

The repatriation was arranged by the police forces of both countries.

The two arrived at Port Vila airport on Tuesday to be greeted by senior police, the chair of NGO Women Against Crime and Corruption, Jenny Ligo, and Port Vila’s deputy mayor Leimara Malachai.

Vanuatu police are understood to be continuing investigations into the matter.16/3/16 RNZI


43) Fiji ratifies UN anti torture treaty

Fiji has ratified the UN Convention Against Torture.

The government says the instrument of ratification was deposited at the UN in New York today by Fiji’s representative at the UN Peter Thomson.

The final formality brings the international agreement into force in the country.

Fiji has become the 158th country to ratify UNCAT.

The move obliges Fiji to bring its laws into line with the treaty over coming years.

UNCAT obliges countries to prohibit, prevent, punish, provide redress and report on torture and other cruel or inhuman treatment.15/3/16- RNZI

44) Sea piracy on the increase

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

Sea piracy is on the rise along the border of Morobe and Northern, Northern provincial police commander Chief Insp Lincoln Gerari says.
Gerari expressed concern that despite the urgency of the situation on the border, no attention has been given by his counterparts from Morobe.
He said the problem was involving people from the two provinces commuting between Lae and Popondetta trading betel nuts.
Gerari said people from Northern taking betel nuts to Lae were often falling victim to piracy and there were reports of dinghies being stolen.
He said the Popondetta police had a sea patrol unit in the province which was carrying out its work along the coast from the borders of Morobe, Northern and Milne Bay.
“I have sent my team to Lae and they are following up on the situation because the problem has escalated and our people have fallen victim,” he said.
“I am quite disappointed that our counterparts in Morobe have not done enough to address the issue.
“The problem is mainly caused by criminals in Lae who travel to Northern because of the betel nut trade that is booming in the province.
“Our people are suffering at the hands of Lae criminals and if Morobe police step up to support us then we can address these issues together.”
Meanwhile, the three suspects in the University of Natural Research and Environment break and enter and robbery have all been arrested and the stolen equipment fully recovered.
The seven men held up the acting director Cletus Tepaiyan at his residence in Popondetta early this month and made off with the equipment. The three will appear in court next week.

45) Numerous Top PNG Officials Face Legal Actions

Former police chief, PNG Power director arrested

By Donald Willie

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, march 15, 2016) – Former Port Moresby police chief Superintendent Andy Bawa has been arrested and charged with abuse of office and stealing.

In another high-profile development yesterday, police also arrested PNG Power Limited executive director John Mangos as he stepped off the plane and charged him with misappropriation and official misconduct. More surprises were in store at PNG Power late yesterday when recently reinstated chief executive officer John Tangit was suspended for two weeks.

And in the third development, the standoff between the two Correctional Services commissioners Michael Napo and Bernard Nebo ended in a compromise after a meeting yesterday.

According to NCD/Central commander, Sylvester Kalaut, former National Capital District commander Bawa went through normal interview processes yesterday and was formally arrested and charged with abuse of office and stealing.

Mr Kalaut said this follows allegations relating to the use of funds earmarked for police duty allowances during the 2015 Pacific Games hosted by Port Moresby last year.

According to Assistance Commissioner for Crimes, Victor Isouve, the alleged amount involved was K87000 [US$28,000]. Mr Isouve said the money was allowances for police personnel involved in the Games which Mr Bawa had allegedly diverted from its intended purpose.

He said Mr Bawa was interviewed last week and appeared at Boroko police station yesterday with his lawyer to conclude the formalities by being charged. He was released on K1000 [US$321.50] bail.

Mr Bawa had maintained his innocence from the outset, saying that he had been authorised to use the money for operations of the NCD Command.

“I did not use it on my own free will. No-one personally benefitted from this money. The whole Command of NCD benefited.

PNG Post-Courier

46) Security firm in trouble for breaching Wages Regulations

Serafina Silaitioga
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

THE Ministry of Labour has charged a security company in Labasa for failing to adhere to the Wages Regulations.

Minister for Labour Semi Koroilavesau confirmed that investigations were conducted on three security companies.

“The outcome of these investigations and workers interview has led to one company being charged for failing to produce records of wage payment,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“The matter will be called again for mention at the Employment Tribunal in Labasa.

“Another company is currently being investigated for allegedly falsifying the wages and time record payment and making workers sign for lesser hours of work.”

Meanwhile, Mr Koroilavesau said the ministry was completing the calculation of arrears of wages for one of the largest security companies in the country.

“The claim for payment will be given by the end of the month once the audit and verification is completed by the compliance team.”

The investigation followed complaints lodged with the ministry over non-compliance by security companies.

Six workers from a well-known security company lodged the complaint with the ministry early this year.Fijitimes


47) ‘Record-breaking heat shows world ‘losing battle’ against climate change, Alan Finkel tells Q & A’, ABC News Online(Australia), 14.3.16 :

(Dr Alan Finkel is Australia’s chief scientist)

48) NDMO completes assessment on some sectors – The National Disaster Management Office has assessed the cost of damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in some sectors. NDMO Director Akapusi Tuifagalele says an assessment of dwellings around the country has confirmed nine thousand one hundred and seventy three houses were completely destroyed. Sixteen thousand, seven hundred and fifty-seven were damaged; while about 29,000 more were partially damaged. So far about 9.7 million dollars has been spent on rations for storm refugees.


49) Nickel Fund pays stressed New Caledonians

The New Caledonian government says it will disburse 5.5 million US dollars of a special Nickel Fund this year to help exporters and contractors hit by the slump of the nickel price.

The disbursement applies only to staff of companies with fewer than 500 employees, which excludes the territory’s three main companies, Koniambo, Vale and SLN.

The payment is expected to save about 400 jobs.

The exporters’ union says the money won’t save businesses but sustain employment.

New Caledonia’s president Philippe Germain says he has no idea when prices recover from the recent sharp drop but says according to experts, it could take two years.

The Nickel Fund, which was set up in 2009, has about 23 million dollars.16/3/16 RNZI

50) Search for mine worker’s body continues

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

MINING operations at the giant Ok Tedi Mine resumed yesterday following preliminary inspections by mine inspectors as rescue efforts continued into the fourth day to retrieve the body of a mine worker buried in a landslip.
“Following the tragic incident at the Ok Tedi mine last Thursday, efforts have focussed on the safe recovery of our lost colleague,” Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) said in a statement yesterday.
“Unfortunately, these efforts have been hampered by ongoing rain and continuing instability in the area where the rock fall occurred.
“The safety of the recovery team remains the highest priority in recovery efforts.
“Specialised equipment is being brought to site to aid the continuing search. Following a preliminary inspection by mine inspectors, work recommenced today in all areas of the mine other than the centre pit where the incident occurred.”
OTML said work in the Centre Pit was limited to recovery efforts and drainage works, under strict access conditions.
“Work in all other areas of the business resumed last Saturday,” it said.  The company said a haus krai (house of mourning) was organised in Tabubil with large numbers of employees attended to pay their last respects for the deceased.
“Arrangements for the family of our colleague to travel to the site is in progress and a counsellor is on site, available for those seeking support,” OTML said.

51) Govt closer to gaining control of mines

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

THE Papua New Guinea Government’s move to wrest control of gold and coal mines in Western inched forward when the High Court here ordered the Singapore-based operating company to release key accounts for inspection.
The court found the Government had the right to examine the documents based on its contract terms with the PNG Sustainable Development Programme (PNGSDP).
The items for inspection include ledger and management accounts, as well as disputed documents involving expenditure.
Justice Judith Prakash, in judgment grounds last month, further held the PNG state had a right to make copies of the documents.
“Accounting documents are some of the most information-sensitive documents in a company’s records and often require detailed and lengthy study that is not achievable during the physical inspection of documents,” she added.
The Singapore-incorporated PNGSDP is a non-profit firm tasked with developing the mines for PNG’s social and economic benefit.
It was formed in 2001 and is based here so that it can remain independent and unaffected by any potential change in the PNG government, according to the country’s former p rime minister Mekere Morauta, who is the PNGSDP board chairman.
A third of the annual dividends from the company that runs the mines – OK Tedi Mining – was to be used for a fund to support PNG development projects while two- thirds were ploughed into a long- term fund to benefit PNG after the mine closed.
PNGSDP owned 52 per cent of the shares in OK Tedi while the PNG state owned 20 per cent. The judge noted that at the end of 2012, the development fund contained US$158 million while the long-term fund had US$1.35 billion.
PNG claimed PNGSDP had amended its Memorandum and Articles of Association in 2012 without state consent.
The state is suing PNGSDP for failing to provide an account of all its dealings with its assets, claiming PNGSDP had dealt with them in breach of new programme rules.
In denying the allegations, PNGSDP is counter-claiming that the state’s purported removal of PNGSDP’s directors and CEO in October 2013 was void and they had full authority to run the business.
In the run-up to the pending main suit, the state sought this court order to access PNGSDP’s books.
PNGSDP, represented by Cavenagh Law lawyer Nish Shetty, argued the state had no right of inspection and, even if it did, the right did not include the documents sought.
Wong Partnership lawyer KohSwee Yen countered that the state must succeed, “especially in the light of the many admissions PNGSDP has made to the effect that the state has a right of inspection”.
Justice Prakash found there was an enforceable collateral contract between the parties that incorporated the M&A as part of its terms.
“This point is relatively uncontroversial,” she said, in allowing the accounts inspection but making clear the minutes of meetings and disputed papers involving gifts or sale of subsidiaries and assets were excluded.

– The Singapore Straits Times

52) Japanese keen on LNG

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

SEVERAL of Japan’s largest energy importing companies have expressed great interest in becoming customers of Papua New Guinea’s second liquefied natural gas project, Petroleum and Energy Minister Ben Micah says.
He said this from Japan yesterday after meeting with the heads of the companies.
Micah said he was satisfied with the discussions on the next phase of petroleum development in PNG and reaffirmed ongoing commitments to guarantee Japan’s energy requirements. “The discussions have established understanding to build on the strength of the PNG LNG Project, where the focus of the discussions has been on Papua LNG Project,” Micah said.
“The Japanese gas buyers, especially Osaka and Jera – a joint venture between Tepco and Chebu Electric – have expressed strong desire to buy more LNG from PNG
“Other companies that I had very constructive meetings with were JX Nippon and Sojitz Corporation, who are very keen to increase their interest in upstream exploration and development, especially in the new development of the Papua LNG Project and other assets in the Gulf.
“There is also strong interest on development of petrochemical industry in PNG by Sojitz Corporation, Itochu/Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company and Marebuni.
“I met with Japanese Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) and gave assurance that their investment in PNG through Japanese companies in PNG LNG Project will be safe and on behalf of the PNG Government thanked them for their continued support and investment in PNG.”
Micah described his first trip to Japan as Petroleum and Energy Minister as “very fruitful”. “I am confident PNG’s national oil company, Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd, will now follow through with the Japanese corporations and drive the PNG LNG Project expansion, Papua LNG Project and other projects in partnership with ExxonMobil, TOTAL, Oil Search and InterOil,” he said.

Micah left Japan yesterday to attend an LNG conference in Singapore.

53) Short film highlights public engagement on deep sea minerals potential

9:37 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Fiji

Government and community consultations in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu over managing future opportunities and potential risks associated with the nascent deep sea mining industry are featured in a new film.

The short film, “Breaking the Surface: The Future of Deep Sea Mining in the Pacific”, takes a regional focus to highlight the two countries’ consultation processes and efforts to explore this emerging industry’s potential.

It was commissioned by the European Union in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC) through the regional “Deep Sea Minerals Project”.

Papua New Guinea, being the only Pacific nation to issue a deep sea mining license to date, looks likely to be the first country in the world to begin the pioneering of deep sea mining.

This film showcases how its government has been consulting local communities and national stakeholders about its plans to manage the development of this new industry and that it has designated a coastal area of benefit in an effort to recognise coastal communities living nearest to offshore mining activities.

Similarly, Vanuatu has been undertaking detailed consultations with their communities on deep sea minerals management and development and it has just completed a full national consultation process to inform the development of the country’s deep sea minerals policy.

The short film, produced by Flinch Marketing Ltd, features interviews with Papua New Guinea’s Secretary of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geo-hazards Management, the Chairman of the Central West Coast Seabed Mining Landowner Association, and Vanuatu’s previous Minister for Lands and Natural Resources as well as the Executive Director of the National Council of Women.

It is the third in a series of films produced by the Deep Sea Minerals Project, following “Under Pressure” which examined different stakeholders’ perspectives involved with deep sea mineral resources in the Pacific, and “Out of Darkness”, which focuses on environmental impacts of deep sea mining.

The films are available on the Deep Sea Minerals Project website:

While deep sea mining has not commenced anywhere in the world, more than 300 exploration licences for deep sea minerals have already been granted throughout the Pacific. The Deep Sea Minerals Project is working closely with Pacific Island countries in developing national deep sea minerals policies and legislation.

The project has been supporting its 15 participating countries to ensure that the future management of their deep sea minerals resources is built on greater transparency and stronger public accountability, as well as ensuring any mining activity is carried out in accordance with international law, with particular attention to the protection of the marine environment and securing equitable financial arrangements for the benefit of Pacific people.



54) NZ urged to help monitor tuna poachers in Pacific
3:55 pm GMT+12, 15/03/2016, New Zealand

New Zealand is being called on to help monitor tuna poachers in the Pacific Ocean after a new report revealed illegal fishing boats are no longer the biggest problem, but licensed vessels breaking the rules because they’re poorly monitored.

The international study estimates US$616 million worth of tuna is taken illegally out of Pacific waters every year.

“No more than four per cent of fishing may be occurring illegally by pirate boats. So we know now that most of the problem is of unreported and unregulated activities of licensed boats,” said James Movick, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency director general.

It’s the first time the extent of tuna poaching in the Pacific has been valued and the report finds better monitoring is desperately needed.

“We certainly can use more electronic monitoring than we do now – so cameras onboard vessels monitoring activity,” said report author Duncan Souter.

Movick wants New Zealand to do “a lot more background checking and deployment of observers – the new work that is required for us to get a better handle on unreported activities”.

The region’s experts are currently meeting to discuss the study and look at how they can save their fisheries.

“The fight against illegal fishing is one that we cannot afford to lose, said Pita Elisala, Tuvalu Minister of Natural Resources.

The 300 million tonnes of tuna taken illegally in the Pacific each year is a goldmine for small island countries which don’t have a lot.

“This is their principal economic resource, so it is important that we try to maximise the revenues we gain from fishing access,” Movick said.



55) Project to help youths stay away from crime

The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

CRIME is an issue which is affecting lives of most youths in the city, Transparency International’s Youth Integrity Programme coordinator Arianne Kassman says.
Kassman told The National that this  prompted them, along with support from the PNG Correctional Service community relations, to host the Youth Forum under the “Youth Against Corruption Association” that took place last Saturday and saw the participation of students from 10 schools around Port Moresby.
“We realised that crime is such a huge issue here in the city and most of the time when criminal activities take place, young people are blamed for most of them,” Kassman said.
“So we believe that as young people, it’s important for us to discuss these issues and come up with ways which we can make sure our young people don’t get involved in criminal activities, or at least come up with solutions that will keep them out of trouble.
“(We try to) find out what’s really wrong and why young people are getting involved in these activities and try to address the issues.”


56) Fiji mourns loss of former Flying Fijians centre
11:17 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Fiji

Fiji rugby is today mourning the loss of another great son.

Former Vodafone Flying Fijians skipper and centre Seru Rabeni passed away in Nausori today.

Fiji One News received the confirmation of his passing from a family member.

The 37 year old from Nasolo in Bua was born on the 27 of December 1978 and was renowned in both club and international level for his physicality and bone crunching tackles, earning him the nickname “Rambo.

Rabeni played rugby union since his early schooldays at Ratu Kadavulevu School.

He first played provincial rugby for Lautoka in 1998-99 while studying at the then Lautoka Teachers College before moving on to Suva in 2000.

Rabeni made his Sevens debut for Fiji in Dubai in 1998.

He played at both U21 and U23 level for Fiji before making his test debut in May 2000 against Japan in Tokyo during the Epson Cup tournament.

In 2001, Rabeni took up a three-year degree course at the University of Otago New Zealand and the following year played 7 games for Otago in the National Provincial Championship before gaining a Super 12 contract with Highlanders for whom he played a dozen games over the 2003 and 2004 season.

Rabeni toured New Zealand with Fiji in 2002, and the same year played Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

He featured for the Fiji Sevens side at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

In 2004 Rabeni played in all three games for the Pacific Islanders, scoring a try against New Zealand in Albany.

Rabeni started all four of Fiji’s pool games in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, playing at centre and he also played in all the 2007 World Cup matches for Fiji.


57) Hosting of women’s World Cup a milestone: Chung

The National,Monday March 14th, 2016

The staging of the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup will go down as a historic event for football in the country.
PNG Football Association president David Chung said this during the official launching of the 2016 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup logo at Laguna Hotel in Port Moresby recently.
The eighth edition of the FIFA tournament will be held in Port Moresby from Nov 13 to Dec 3.
Chung thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Sports and Culture Minister Justin Tkatchenko for getting Cabinet to back PNGFA host the football event.
PNG’s U20 women’s side will be the nation’s first team to take part in a FIFA World Cup tournament. Chung said that it was beneficial for women footballers in the country to watch world-class players in action in Papua New Guinea.
It is historic for PNG, who will host a FIFA World Cup for the first time, something which many of the 209 FIFA member associations always aspired to and dreamed of.
The PNG soccer chief said PNG would go down in records kept at the FIFA museum in Zurich, Switzerland, as one of the few countries in the world that has hosted a FIFA World Cup.
Chung said hosting the World Cup would help inspire local women and provide them the opportunities to excel in the sport they loved.
“We are sure the tournament will inspire our young women,” Chung said.
Chung, who is a senior FIFA vice-president, said the legacy left behind from the World Cup would be beneficial for the country, especially for women and football.
He supporting agencies for their contributions.

58) FIFA fines PNGFA

The National,Monday March 14th, 2016

The Papua New Guinea Football Association (PNGFA) has been fined K22,000 and issued a warning following the withdrawal of their women’s national team from the second leg of the Oceania Football Confederation qualifying play-off match against New Zealand in Auckland earlier in the year.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee found PNGFA liable for the violation of Article 6 (part 1 and 3e) and Article 7 (part 5) of FIFA Regulations for Olympic Football Tournaments. The relevant parties were notified of the decision last Thursday.
Meanwhile, the PNGFA is yet to disclose the findings of its internal investigation into the failure of its officials to arrange the visas for its women’s team to New Zealand for the game.
It is understood two members of the PNGFA staff involved in the team were suspended (one later resigned) for their part, however to date PNGFA has not made a formal announcement on the matter.

59) Pools drawn for HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

11:13 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2016, Hong Kong

The pools for round seven of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong have been drawn.

Canada Sevens winners New Zealand head Pool A and will face Samoa, France and Kenya, while series leaders and defending champions Fiji will meet Wales, in a repeat of the 2013 final, Canada and Korea.

Runners-up in Canada, South Africa await Scotland, England and Russia, while Australia meet USA, Argentina and Portugal in Pool C.

As well as the main competition, there is also a 12-team tournament with the winner qualifying as a core team for the 2016-17 Series, which was won by Russia in 2015 and Japan in 2014.

The Qualifier teams are Morocco and Zimbabwe (Africa), Hong Kong and Japan (Asia), Germany and Spain (Europe), Cayman Islands and Mexico (North America), Brazil and Chile (South America) and Papua New Guinea and Tonga (Oceania).

Alongside debutants the Cayman Islands, Germany appears for the first time since 1992, and could receive an emotional boost from the recent announcement of David Hasselhoff’s appearance at this year’s tournament. Hasselhoff is highly regarded in the country where his 1989 New Year concert at the Berlin Wall was attended by hundreds of thousands of Germans.

For the 12-team Qualifier draw, the teams were banded into four groups of three teams each by World Rugby, based on their performances on the Series and at other international sevens events over the preceding two years.

Pool E features Zimbabwe, hosts Hong Kong, Germany and debutants the Cayman Islands. Pool F comprises Spain, Chile, Papua New Guinea and Mexico, while lining up in Pool G are Japan, Tonga, Brazil and Morocco.

“With the top 15 teams here, and the Rio Olympics just around the corner, the Hong Kong Sevens is going to be even more exciting than usual,” said Hong Kong coach and former Wales sevens international Gareth Baber.

“In the Hong Kong team, it’s always our aim to get into semi-finals and finals. We did it in the qualifying for Rio against Japan but we’ve not been able to do the same at the last two Hong Kong Sevens. So that’s our ambition this time.”.


60) PNG Hunters close to full strength for home debut

The Papua New Guinea Hunters are close to full strength for their first home match of the season, against Tweed Heads Seagulls.

The Hunters won 24-10 at Wynnum Manly on Sunday – their first ever victory at Kougari Oval – and are one of just three unbeaten teams after two rounds, alongside the Burleigh Bears and Townsville Blackhawks.

Co-captain Adam Korave will make his return from the interchange bench at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, after missing the opening two matches through suspension.

Read More :



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