Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1074 ( Monday 4 July 2016 )


1) New Caledonians pay tribute to Rocard

Tributes have been paid in New Caledonia to Michel Rocard who helped craft the Matignon Accords, putting an end to years of violence in the French territory.

The former Socialist Prime Minister of France died on Saturday aged 85.

A leading New Caledonian politician Philippe Gomes praised what he called the “Rocard method” which helped a return to peace following the 1988 Ouvea hostage crisis in which two soldiers and 19 independence activists were killed.

Mr Rocard sent a mission to New Caledonia including senior officials and church representatives which led to the signing of the Matignon Accords the following month in Paris.

Mr Gomes said New Caledonians owed an intractable debt to Mr Rocard.

The President of Congress Thierry Santa hailed him as creative and pragmatic and able to come up with an original solution for New Caledonia.

France’s newly installed High Commissioner in Noumea Thierry Lataste said Mr Rocard continued his links with the territory, phoning him only a few weeks ago to tell him about his interest in New Caledonia and its future.

The president of the Southern Province Philippe Michel also paid homage to a statesman he described as a highly cultured humanist who played a leading role in New Caledonia’s history.

The Republicans said his vision, wisdom and tenacity encouraged them to build solidarity for New Caledonia within the French republic.

In an interview in 2013 Mr Rocard said the Matignon agreement was one of the finest moments of his political life.4 July 2016 RNZI

2) Papua New Guinea Government accused of threatening Bougainville peace agreement

Updated 4 July 2016,

By Papua New Guinea correspondent Eric Tlozek

Rio Tinto is set to hand the PNG Government an equal share of the mine that triggered 10 years of armed conflict, ignoring the key demand of Bougainville’s Government for a controlling interest.

The President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government has accused the Papua New Guinea Government of endangering the Bougainville peace agreement and lying about its dealings with mining giant Rio Tinto.

The company announced on June 30 that it was giving up its share of Bougainville Copper Limited, the company which ran the Panguna Mine that triggered 10 years of armed conflict known as the Bougainville Crisis.

Rio Tinto is giving 68 per cent of its BCL shareholding to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, but is adding the remaining 32 per cent to the PNG National Government’s existing minority shareholding.

The deal will give an equal amount (36.4 per cent) of the majority shareholding to both the PNG and Bougainville Governments, and ignores the key demand of Bougainville’s Government for a controlling interest in the mine.

Bougainville President John Momis says PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told him on July 2 he had not discussed the share divestment with Rio Tinto and had not met with company executives.

But a notice to the Australian Stock Exchange shows a subsidiary of PNG Government company Petromin PNG Holdings Limited accepted the share transfer on June 30, the morning after Rio Tinto told the Bougainville Government of its decision.

Mr Momis said that directly contradicted what Mr O’Neill had said.

“Our lawyer checked the stock exchange in Sydney and found out in fact the Government had accepted 17 per cent of the shares that was offered to them, contrary to what the Prime Minister had assured me,” he said.

“So it’s duplicitous, he was telling me one thing and in the same breath the Government was doing something else.”

The PNG Government is yet to respond to the ABC’s questions about the share transfer or the Bougainville Government’s statements.

Governments ‘must adhere’ to peace agreement

Mr Momis said the PNG Government could retain its original minority shareholding, but he wants it to transfer the extra shares from Rio Tinto to the Bougainville Government so it will have a controlling interest in the company.

Bougainville has passed a new Mining Act which could prevent BCL from ever exploiting the remaining gold and copper at Panguna Mine, but the company holds the resource data for the site.

The future of the Panguna Mine remains the most sensitive issue in Bougainville, which is preparing for an independence referendum in 2019.

Mr Momis said the PNG Government was risking the Bougainville peace agreement by hiding its dealings with Rio Tinto.

“The peace agreement is the benchmark that both governments must adhere to and the peace agreement rejects the kind of behaviour and action that the national government has embarked upon in the recent times,” he said.

Mr Momis said he was writing to the Prime Minister to seek another urgent meeting and was recalling the Bougainville Parliament to discuss the issue.

3) Bid to contain issue

Sunday, July 03, 2016

INDONESIA – Indonesia’s campaign to contain issues of West Papua has entered a new phase.

As diplomatic activity on behalf of the indigenous people of West Papua has recently surged, Jakarta has responded by taking steps that it says will address human rights abuses in Indonesia’s troubled region.

This includes establishing a team to lead investigations into historical rights abuses in Papua.

The rights problems, however, are not confined to Papua’s troubled past.

The leading Indonesian human rights organisation, KONTRAS, recently confirmed it had reports of more than 1200 cases of people suffering from harassment, killings, torture and ill-treatment in the past year.

“We haven’t put the other issues into this number — the economic and social rights issues,” said the organisation’s head co-ordinator, Haris Azhar.

He said those abuses were often made by security forces against Papuans for exercising their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and movement.

Now, as Papuan human rights becomes part of the Indonesian discourse, Jakarta becomes more proactive about responding to its critics.

Concern about human rights abuses in West Papua was given prominence at the UN Human Rights Council’s recent 32nd session in Geneva.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association mentioned it, as did a range of civil society groups.

Solomon Islands’ diplomat in Geneva urged Indonesia to safeguard the basic rights of West Papuans.

Barrett Salato said his government received regular reports from Papua about arbitrary arrests, summary execution, torture, restriction of freedom of expression, assembly and association, committed mainly by Indonesian police.

“Not much information goes out to the international commmunity about what’s happening (in Papua) so we take it here to the right body of the UN to raise the voices of our fellow human beings that does not have a voice in the human rights council,” he said.

The concerns were echoed by the Vanuatu Government.

4) Border alert for PNG

Sunday, July 03, 2016

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea has been warned to be on the alert for asylum seekers who may come through the borders in Western and West Sepik, before later crossing over to Australia.

Chief migration officer Mataio Rabura sounded the warning when he visited areas near the border with Indonesia last week with members of the citizen advisory committee.

“We have to be mindful of third-country citizens coming through from Indonesia with the (ultimate) interest to enter Australia,” he said.

“Australia is now turning refugees back to Indonesia. So West Sepik and Western are now the provinces to enter Australia.”

Formation Continue du Cycle Secondaire à l’USP

**  Programme de bourses scolaires de Port Vila  **


Le programme de bourses scolaires est ouvert à tous les étudiants Ni-Vanuatu, résidents de Port Vila, inscrits en Formation Continue du Cycle Secondaire à l’Université du Pacifique-Sud, Campus Emalus pour le Semestre 2, 2016.

Les bourses couvrent uniquement les frais de scolarité du Semestre 2 pour la Formation Continue du Cycle Secondaire.

Les bourses seront octroyées en fonction des résultats scolaires.

D’autres critères pourront se rajouter, tels que les conditions financières de la famille du postulant et le sexe.  Toute décision est à la discrétion du Comité de sélection.

Les formulaires d’inscription sont disponibles au Service de la Scolarité (Student Academic Services Office) et à la Coordinatrice du programme francophone à l’UPS, Campus Emalus, Port Vila.

Date de clôture des inscriptions : vendredi 8 juillet 2016.

Date de publication des bénéficiaires de bourse : vendredi 29 juillet 2016.

Ces bourses font partie du “Programme de bourses scolaires de Port Vila”, créé et parrainé par le député de Port Vila, Ralph Regenvanu

Ta, MP Ralph Regenvanu and Vanuatu Minister For Land

5b) Vanuatu Government reinstates controversial Capital Investment Immigration Plan
Posted: July 4, 2016 Author:  | Filed under: The Daily Digest |The Salwai Government has removed the suspension of the Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) program, Radio Vanuatu News reports. The CIIP was terminated by the outgoing government of Sato Kilman. PM Salwai said that the suspension was lifted so that government could continue the dialogue with the parties to the CIIP scheme. The suspension led the Hong Kong agents for the CIIP program to sue the Vanuatu Government, claiming that Government had breached the agreement. The agreement was re-formed. If it had not been, the applicants in the first instance would only have paid the agents, not the Government of Vanuatu, said PM Salwai. Forty applicants were said to be affected.

Livestock professionals have advised cattle farmers in Malampa and Tafea provinces to have their grazing properties ready before the Livestock Department offloads their breeding stock. The schedule for the deliveries of cattle has now been released and starts with Ambrym this month, Malekula in August, and October has deliveries to Tanna and Aneityum. Senior Livestock Officer Steveson Boe said that the timing gives farmers who have already paid to start their herds the time they need to put up fences and ensure good pasturage and ready water supply. (Radio Vanuatu News at noon today.)

Daily Post leads today with the Vanuatu officer in charge of compliance, William Naviti, telling journalists on a fisheries workshop that New Zealand wants to recruit fishermen to work for its fishing vessels in the same way as that country employs RSE workers for farms. Until now seafaring skills and knowledge have not been appropriately sought Naviti stated. Regulations are being put in place with help from the Labour Department.

The same journalists were told by the CEO of the Sino-Van Fish Processing Plant that fish processing will not cause contamination in the Blacksands area. Wastewater is treated before running into two ponds, 800 and 600 metres from the sea. Thereafter the wastewater is subjected to filtration processes. Manager Shenli said the arguments so far put forward concerning environmental pollution are baseless. Most of the processing takes place whilst vessels are at sea. Only 5–10% of the catch is treated at Blacksands.

Huarere has opened its new nakamal at Tagabe after regrouping with Ben Siro and Edgar Hinge. The nakamal is built from completely local materials and will also be a Raga cultural and kastomcentre. Tourist visitors are being encouraged. And the Huarere band is back in business again.


6) EU and Tuvalu sign visa-free waiver

Tuvaluans visiting European Union countries won’t need visas for short stays under a new agreement signed in Brussels.

The agreement provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to Tuvalu and for citizens of Tuvalu when travelling to EU member countries, for a period of 90 days in any 180-day period.

The two parties say the agreement will encourage people-to-people contact, boost tourism, and invigorate business between the EU and Tuvalu.

The visa-free travel applies to everyone except those carrying out a paid activity.4/7/16 RNZI

7) Samoa PM defends tax haven role

Samoa’s Prime Minister has defended its role as an offshore tax haven, claiming the ravages of climate change have left the islands increasingly reliant on the revenue it brings.

Samoa was named in the Panama Papers tax scandal in April when documents were leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

During a state visit in Brussels, Tuilaepa suggested that royalty payments from trustee companies likes Mossack Fonseca fund social programmes for young people vulnerable to drug abuse.

Tuilaepa says the Samoa International Finance Authority or SIFA, which registers companies not actually in Samoa, is very important for financing youth in sport.

He says on top of the increase in force and frequency of storms, Samoa has a new problem of drugs coming in on boats.

The Guardian reports the Prime Minister denied any wrongdoing by SIFA, arguing their operations are legal and regulated and Samoa has signed up to three out of the four anti-money laundering standards.

Tuilaepa was meeting with officials in the EU to secure a 22.4 million US dollar subsidy for Samoa.4 July 2016 RNZI

8) Tonga in need of clear tsunami evacuation plan

The need for a tsunami evacuation route from low-lying Nuku’alofa has been brought up as a major concern by a Noble Representative in Tonga’s parliament.

Matangi Tonga reported that this week MPs debated the budget which includes a 36 million US dollar allocation for the ministry responsible for disaster management.

During that debate Lord Nuku pointed out that there is already heavy traffic congestion on the main road starting from the village of Veitonga into the capital of Nuku’alofa from eastern and central Tongatapu.

He said in case of a natural disaster he would hate to think what would happen.

Lord Nuku said that there was money in the budget and sirens had been set up but there was nowhere to run in the case of a tsunami.

The Minister for MEIDECC, Siaosi Sovaleni, told MPs the government was aware of the problem.

He said that they have identified some high ground in Nuku’alofa where people could find shelter, including the New Zealand High Commission residence and the Sia Ko-Veiongo.2/7/16 RNZI


9) CNMI gets more disaster relief, a year after typhoon

The Northern Marianas has received more United States federal disaster-recovery funds, a few weeks out from the anniversary of Typhoon Soudelor.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved four grants under its hazard mitigation programme, a total of US$9 million for projects that aim to reduce the territory’s long-term risk and protect lives and property

FEMA has so far distributed more than US$25 million in housing and personal assistance, and $7.6 million for public assistance and the rebuilding of infrastructure.

Funding is expected to increase once the total cost of Typhoon Soudelor’s damage has been counted.

The typhoon struck the territory in early August, 2015, causing significant damage to infrastructure and leaving hundreds homeless.4 July 2016 RNZI


10) Nambawan Indiginis meri i winim ileksan

Updated 2 July 2016, 22:10 AEST

Linda Burney, husat ibin memba bifo blong New South Wales Palaman i winim sia blong Barton.

ABC i toktok wantem Mrs Burney husat i sanap makim Labor Pati i kamap tu olsem nambawan indiginis meri long go insaet long House of representatives.

Mrs Burney itok emi hamamas tru long sanap makim ol pipal long ilektroate blong en husat ibin wok hard tru long lukim emi winim despla sia.

Mrs Burney husat ibin wok bifo olsem deputi lida blong Labor pati long New South Wales bai stap long  lower house blong  Federal parliament.

Emi memba blong Wiradjuri laen wan pisin na emi bin lusim  NSW Palaman long March na emi bin tokaut olsem em bai resis long Federal sia blong Barton.

Long ol narapla nius long ileksan, Praim Minista Malcolm Turnbull i winim sia blong en long Wentworth long New South Wales.

Narapla lida husat i winim ken despla ileksan em lida blong Greens Pati Richard Di Natali, taem narapla Greens Pati memba, Adam Bandt ibin winim sia blong en long Melbourne.ABC


11a) Brèves du Pacifique – lundi 4 juillet 2016

Mis à jour 4 July 2016, 19:30 AEST

Élodie Largenton

  • Les Îles Marshall et la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée figurent dans la liste noire américaine des pays qui ne combattent pas assez le trafic d’êtres humains.
Selon le département d’État américain, « des jeunes Marshallaises sont recrutées par des entrepreneurs étrangers pour se prostituer dans le port de Majuro. Parmi les pêcheurs qui ont recours à leurs services, certains sont, eux aussi, soumis au travail forcé dans les eaux marshallaises. » Et d’après les États-Unis, les autorités ne montrent pas de réelle volonté de lutter contre ces problèmes.
L’esclavage et la prostitution forcée en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée sont aussi pointés du doigt. Les enfants représentent 19% de la main d’œuvre du pays, selon le rapport. S’appuyant sur les observations d’ONG locales, les autorités américaines affirment que « le nombre d’enfants forcés à se prostituer a augmenté de 30% en 2013 ». Là encore, les responsables locaux sont accusés de laxisme : ils facilitent le trafic d’êtres humains « en acceptant des pots-de-vin pour fermer les yeux ».
  • À quelques jours des élections à Nauru, des observateurs internationaux commencent à arriver dans l’île. L’équipe chargée de superviser le scrutin est composée de membres du secrétariat du Forum des îles du Pacifique, de pays de la région et de pays du Commonwealth, dont l’ancien président des Kiribati, Anote Tong. Ils vont avoir du travail : les élections auront lieu samedi, mais des polémiques ont déjà éclaté. Sprent Dabwido, député de l’opposition et ancien président de la petite République, accuse le gouvernement d’utiliser les médias locaux « pour sa propagande tout en empêchant l’opposition d’être reçue à la radio ou à la télévision ». Il affirme aussi que les députés de l’opposition n’ont pas pu organiser de rassemblement, faute d’autorisation.
  • Les Samoa assument leur statut de paradis fiscal. Au cours d’une visite à Bruxelles, le Premier minsitre Tuilaepa Sailele a ainsi déclaré que « l’administration financière samoane internationale (Sifa), qui enregistre des entreprises qui ne viennent pas aux Samoa, était très importante » pour l’économie du pays. Elle permet de financer des programmes sportifs pour les jeunes, de plus en plus tentés de consommer de la drogue, d’après lui – des propos rapportés par le Guardian. Selon le Premier ministre samoan, les conséquences visibles du changement climatique dans l’archipel rendent nécessaire l’apport de fonds extérieurs. Tuilaepa Sailele précise tout de même que la Sifa agit « en toute légalité ».
Les Samoa font partie des pays touchés par les révélations des Panama Papers sur la finance offshore et les paradis fiscaux. Selon ces documents, des membres du gouvernement samoan ont fait en sorte de repousser la signature d’accords d’échange de renseignements fiscaux avec l’Australie et d’autres pays, à la demande du cabinet Mossack Fonseca.
  • Une tête de cheval remplie de cocaïne en Nouvelle-Zélande. Il ne s’agissait pas d’une vraie tête de cheval, mais d’une sculpture recouverte de faux diamants, qui avait été envoyée du Mexique. La police a découvert 35 kilos de cocaïne à l’intérieur – une saisie record. Selon les autorités, la drogue était principalement destinée aux étrangers venus travailler à la reconstruction de la ville de Christchurch, en partie détruite par le tremblement de terre de 2011.ABC

11b) Le président de Bougainville dénonce une « entente douteuse » entre Rio Tito et le gouvernement papou

Mis à jour 4 July 2016, 19:18 AEST

Élodie Largenton

Colère du président de la province autonome de Bougainville, en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée : John Momis dénonce la manière dont Rio Tinto se retire de la mine de Panguna.
Le groupe minier anglo-australien a annoncé la semaine dernière qu’il cédait sa participation majoritaire (53,8%) dans la mine d’or et de cuivre à un fonds indépendant, chargé de redistribuer les parts au gouvernement de Bougainville, mais aussi au gouvernement du pays. « Une fois que le partage sera fait, les deux gouvernements seront des actionnaires minoritaires à parts égales, chacun détiendra alors 36,4% de Panguna. Les parts restantes seront toujours détenues par des petits actionnaires à travers le monde », selon le président de Bougainville.
Et pour John Momis, c’est une « décision absolument honteuse, amorale et malveillante »« Le problème dans cette décision de Rio Tinto, c’est que cela constitue une ingérence injustifiée dans les affaires politiques de Bougainville et dans les relations compliquées qu’entretiennent notre gouvernement et le gouvernement de Port-Moresby. Tout ce qui concerne la mine de Panguna est très sensible. La mine a été imposée à Bougainville pour le bénéfice de la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée dans son ensemble. C’est le ressentiment lié à l’injustice de la situation qui a conduit au conflit », rappelle le président de la province autonome.
John Momis affirme que si les parts de Rio Tinto sont redistribuées comme annoncé, cela menacera le processus de paix signé il y a 15 ans entre les autorités du pays et les rebelles bougainvillais. Rappelons que cet accord prévoit l’organisation d’un référendum d’autodétermination d’ici 2020. Les préparatifs ont déjà commencé ; la population pourrait être appelée à se prononcer le 15 juin 2019.ABC


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13) A partnership that could open NZ’s door for Pacific foods

By Indira Stewart, RNZ International

A new trade partnership could see more food products from the Pacific sold in New Zealand.

The partnership between Pacific Trade and Invest and The Produce Company, a New Zealand food supplier, is hoped to help lift tourism, the economies and sustainability of island countries.

To promote the new partnership, products from twelve Pacific companies were showcased this week at a trade exhibition in Auckland.

“I think it’s excited a lot of the cafe owners and the restauranteurs that have come across our stand,” said Joe Fuavao, the manager of Pacific Trade and Invest, which is the trade arm of the Pacific Islands Forum.

“They see a lot of exotic products and want to see what they could source that would give them a little bit of an edge in the market.”

Among the products on display were gluten-free breadfruit flour, cassava flour, cocoa cubes from Samoa, organic spices from Vanuatu and unique coconut candy. The crowd favourite? Flavoured kava shots from Fijian brand Taki Mai.

“It’s been a real a winner. I think a lot of people have been quite curious about the effects of kava,” said Mr Fuavao.2/7/16 RNZI


14) Amnesty International announces first Pasifika chair

The new chair of Amnesty International’s New Zealand board wants to lift the lid on issues affecting Pasifika and Māori.

Peter Fa’afiu is being celebrated as the first chair of Pasifika descent working for the human rights organisation.

He said that rather than focussing on his ethnicity he would like to get on with the job and make a difference.

“When you get appointed something you become the first Pasifika of something, and I can’t wait ’till the day we don’t have to say the first Pasifika, we can just say ‘someone got appointed for their skill set’.

Peter Fa’afiu said human rights needed to become part of every day conversation in New Zealand and the Pacific region.4 July 2016.RNZI


15) Brexit will impact on EU trade agreements and future relations with ACP, European think tank

10:47 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2016, Belgium

A European think tank group in Brussels believes the departure of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) will have direct consequences on all EU trade agreements.

The head of Economic Transformation and Trade Programme at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), San Bilal says developing countries including the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states ‘will no longer have preferential access to the UK.’

“Neither under an EU free trade agreement (FTA), nor under economic partnership agreements (EPAs) or the EU general system of preferences (GSP), including the duty-free quota-free market access under the Everything-But-Arms (EBA) initiative. This might be a small loss for some, but will have major consequences for others, said Bilal.

For countries like South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius, the UK accounts for about 25-30 percent of their exports to the EU, and up to 75 percent for a small island like Fiji.

The Caribbean relations with Europe are also largely dominated by the UK. Yet, the EPAs are unlikely to be re-negotiated.

“The UK might wish to sign bilateral deals with some ACP countries, but could be more selective than the EU was, also to avoid another round of contentious negotiations.”

Trade-related support for these agreements, in the forms of aid for trade, is also likely to fall, as the UK will no longer contribute to EU endeavours.

“However, it is doubtful that Brexit will affect the overall dynamics around EPAs and their implementation. Still, it will require more attention from developing countries, and the ACP in particular, to assess the consequences and steps forwards, including in terms of possible new bilateral negotiations with the UK, said Bilal.

Bilal’s views provides some initial thinking by the European Think Tank group to analyse the ramifications of the withdrawal of the UK from EU.

Another ECDPM analyst, Geert Laporte thinks, “Brexit could have a major impact on the future of ACP-EU relations post-2020.”

He said the UK would no longer engage in the discussions and negotiations on a Post-Cotonou successor agreement. Moreover, a future European Development Fund (EDF) would lose the UK contribution, which currently stands for almost 15 percent of the total EDF, which is approximately 500 million Euro/year.

Laporte said even more important than the declining aid levels would be the further loss of influence of the ACP in the European Union.

“If the UK, being a former colonial power, withdraws from the EU, it might be particularly difficult for the ACP countries to find new allies in Europe that will defend their case in Brussels, said Laporte.

The United Kingdom is one of the main contributors to the EU development aid budget, representing 14.8 percent of the overall commitments to the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), by far the largest development aid instrument of the EU.



16) Fiji Opposition SODELPA to adopt a new approach under Rabuka

10:44 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2016, Fiji

Fiji’s i-Taukei culture and traditions are not under threat says newly elected leader of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Sitiveni Rabuka.

Speaking on FBCTV’s 4 The Record Programme last night, Rabuka said that the political stand taken by his party before the 2014 elections was misguided.

He adds that while i-Taukei issues will remain central to the party’s concerns, there will be no racist elements.

“If they had wanted to project an indigenous support image, and found out that they only received – at most – 46% of the vote they should have changed and mellowed down on that area.”

Rabuka was elected SODELPA leader on June 24th but his position is already under threat as Party members have filed complaints against him.

He confirmed that a number of complaints are now with the party President and will need to be considered by the SODELPA management board.

Rabuka also confirms that his appointment as party leader is still in limbo because the Board can decide to remove him based on the complaints.

Rabuka was elected SODELPA leader just over a week ago.


17)  PNG High court rejects PM’s bid

10:42 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2016, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court has rejected an application by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and two other MPs to join as parties in a case filed by Opposition leader Don Polye seeking the recall of Parliament before July 27.

O’Neill, Finance Minister James Marape and Southern Highlands Governor William Powi last Friday moved an application for intervention to join Polye’s case. But the court rejected it because the substantive issue did not affect them.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika and Justice Colin Makail said O’Neill, Marape and Powi did not have sufficient interest in the main issue before the court.

The court said it would get bogged down with a lot of issues if O’Neill and the two MPs were allowed to join the case.

Lawyer Mal Varitimos QC, representing O’Neill, moved an application to intervene to have his client join as a party to the case.

He said O’Neill had an interest in the matter because the motion of no confidence was made against him.

Lawyer John Griffin QC, representing Marape, said Marape had an interest in the matter too as he was the Leader of Government Business.

Powi’s lawyer Emmanuel Asigau argued that the allegations have been raised against his client.

Lawyer Cook Marshall representing Polye objected to the applications for intervention because O’Neill, Marape and Powi could have moved it earlier.

Polye is asking the court to recall Parliament to debate a motion of no confidence against O’Neill.

He argues that the case would be futile by July 27 because Section 145 of the Constitution would come into effect then.

Meanwhile, the case filed in court by Opposition leader Don Polye seeking a recall of Parliament returns on Wednesday for hearing.

Parties appeared in court last Friday for the hearing but the matter was adjourned because lawyer Ian Molloy was not ready to proceed.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika and Justice Colin Makail allowed Molloy an additional four days to prepare his case.

Molloy is representing the speaker, deputy speaker and the chairman of the permanent parliamentary committee on private business.

The court was to have heard arguments on whether Polye had the standing to bring his case to the Supreme Court.

The court also ordered the parties to file and serve any further affidavits by close of business tomorrow.

Sir Gibbs said he allowed the adjournment because Molloy had received the court documents late to prepare his submissions.

If the court grants Polye standing, the matter would proceed to the substantive hearing.

Molloy asked for the matter to return to court on Friday to give him an opportunity to have a fair hearing.

Polye’s lawyer Cook Marshall objected to an adjournment because Molloy’s submissions were vague.

Marshall said he was curious as to what the disputed facts were which Molloy intended to adduce evidence for.


18) A-G: Focus

Aqela Susu
Sunday, July 03, 2016

FINANCE Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says it is unfortunate shadow minister for defence, public enterprise and trade Mosese Bulitavu has personalised some of the issues in the 2016/2017 Budget.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to comments made by Mr Bulitavu following the announcement of the budget more than a week ago.

Mr Bulitavu had said it was impossible for Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to deliver and provide quality service to the relevant ministries and departments under his portfolios.

Mr Bulitavu had also raised in a statement that he was concerned such unprecedented power and authority had been given to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum by the Prime Minister.

“It would be nice if people focus on the budget itself rather than personalising the issue. And what really they should be looking at is the amount each ministry has and that’s really what they should be focused on,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We should not be personalising issues, I mean that is his prerogative.

“I’m sure the people of Fiji are more focused on substance rather than personalisation of issues.”

Mr Bulitavu was reacting to the renaming of the Ministry of Finance as the Ministry of Economy and the increasing budgetary control and responsibility given to the Minister for Economy under a new legal notice.Fijitimes


19) Land project to assist 500 members

Aqela Susu
Sunday, July 03, 2016

MORE than 500 members of the Yavusa Matanikutu in Tamavua Village, Suva are expected to benefit from the development of their five-acre land situated just next to the village.

The multimillion-dollar project will involve the development of the land into 15 residential lots and a special use lot.

Yavusa Matanikutu adviser Tevita Bukarau commended Government for their assistance towards the landowners and said landowners were looking forward to the successful completion of the project.

Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Government’s assistance was in line with their vision for landowners in Fiji to develop and benefit from their own land.

“We are very, very keen. We want to ensure that landowners don’t simply become lessors and let other people develop their land and take the cream.

“The idea is that we want landowners themselves to become true landlords in that sense and be able to carry out the development with, obviously in this case, Government’s assistance,” Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

He said the development would not only benefit landowners but contribute to the economy’s growth as well.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also encouraged the landowners to invest in their land because there was a shortage of residential land around Suva.

“There’s a shortage of land in Suva for development and specifically for residential, so you can take advantage of that.

“Apart from assisting the landowners and getting them to become true landlords, it also contributes to economic growth.”Fijitimes


20) Fiji Shadow Finance Minister says budget lacks vision to face economic challenges

10:51 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2016, Fiji

Fiji’s  2016-2017 National Budget was labelled a “small minded budget” by Shadow Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad.

While delivering his response this morning in Parliament on the Budget he said that the Government’s 2016-2017 budget was only big on vote-catching spending promises.

“It offers no vision on how to prepare our country for the many economic challenges before us.”

Prasad backed his statement by using an example of how Fiji would face a crash in economic returns for sugar come 2017.

“From about $192 million (US$92 million) in sugar receipts that we received in 2015, we will probably receive no more than $135million (US$65 million) in 2016.

“This will not just affect cane farmers. It will affect communities, towns, regions and ultimately the whole country.  The social and economic disruption will be severe. We have all known about this for years. And what is the Government’s plan? What is its strategy to prepare us for this? It is a subsidy on fertilizer. That’s it. The same tired strategy that we have had for more than 10 years.”

He said the government’s decision to change the annual fiscal year to July 31 will enable them to bury their economic bad news for a little bit longer.

He stated that the Minister of Economy during his address spoke about all the money that he would be spending but he was strangely vague about how he would raise it.

Prasad said the Minister stated how they would  improve tax compliance thus nothing about asset sales.

“This is the sale of shares in Airports Fiji Limited and the Fiji Electricity Authority which he has promised for two years and which is supposed to raise $500 million (US$250 million).

“Of course it is not good economics to sell assets to pay for recurrent expenditure but he has budgeted to receive this money, and it has not come in. This delay is costing taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments each month,” said Prasad.

Meanwhile,  Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has defended the 2016/2017 national budget as inclusive and will benefit all Fijians.

While debating in parliament , Bainimarama says the government has spent 40% of the budget on capital works.

He said this has been a consistent practice of the government.

“Before 2006, 85% of the budget covered operating costs, no substantive assets were being built and no real effort was made to give our fellow Fijians the means to lift themselves out of poverty and improve their lives so year in, year out 85% of the budget was spent and nothing much was left for it to show in the next fiscal year.”

He said there was also no tangible programme to maintain state assets.

Bainimarama says his goal is to end poverty in Fiji which is why the government is spending 60% to fund operations and 40% on capital expenditures.



21) Reconciliation ceremonies start in Solomon Islands

A week of peace and reconciliation ceremonies has opened in the Solomon Island capital Honiara, aimed at addressing issues arising from five years of ethnic tensions in the country that started in 1998.

The first event was a parade down to the police grounds.

Our correspondent in Honiara said there has been controversy surrounding the events which do not include the two biggest provinces Malaita and Guadalcanal.

The bill for the week of activities is put at US$4.3 million.4 July 2016 RNZI

22) Firearms confiscated

Sunday, July 03, 2016

PORT VILA – Vanuatu’s Customs department has confiscated firearms and bullets smuggled by seasonal workers returning from New Zealand.

The department says three firearms and bullets were confiscated last week from a container registered to seasonal workers returning from New Zealand after taking part in the RSE scheme.

Three more firearms and ammunition were confiscated the week before.

Radio New Zealand International reports Vanuatu RSE workers had been placed as a high risk of smuggling firearms into the country. The police and Customs are investigating.


23) Bougainville hints at legal action after Rio Tinto’s withdrawal

The President of Bougainville, John Momis, says his government may sue the mining giant, Rio Tinto, which he says is walking away from its responsibilities for mining damage.

The firm is a majority shareholder in Bougainville Copper Ltd and plans to give its shares to the Bougainville and Papua New Guinea governments.

Mr Momis said that Rio Tinto, which operated the huge Panguna mine, planned to walk away without paying any compensation for the damage caused by the mine, which was a catalyst for a ten-year long civil war in the 1990s.

He said that Rio Tinto has claimed that it has no ongoing responsibility for environmental and social damage.

“We are considering getting legal advice to sue Rio Tinto for their refusal to address the legacy issues, namely the damage and the deprivation of normal life, destruction of villages and so on, around the mine,” said Mr Momis, who said Bougainville wanted all of Rio Tinto’s shares.

He said the request had been put to Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill.

Mr Momis said the way to solve the Bougainville crisis was for his autonomous government to get the controlling interest in Bougainville Copper, instead of splitting it with the PNG government.

“We know if we want to make the best out of this, if we want to get a positive out of this disastrous situation that Rio Tinto has created by refusing to accept responsibility for the environmental damage, for the impoverishment of the people, by not accepting their responsibility to distribute benefits according to the best regimes of justice and sharing of benefits,” said Mr Momis.

Bougainville is due to hold a referendum on possible independence from Papua New Guinea by 2019.4 July 2016. RNZI


24) Vanuatu welcomes Pacific Fisheries Ministers

5:21 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2016, Vanuatu

Pacific Ministers of Fisheries are in Port Vila this week for talks aimed at ensuring best economic benefits and sustainable futures for the region’s shared tuna resources.

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will be giving the official keynote to Ministers tonight (Monday 4 July) at the Farea Pacifik Convention Centre, at Le Lagon/Warwick, with Minister Matai Seremaia Nawalu to lead the welcoming ceremonies for his Pacific colleagues.

As host of the 13th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial, Vanuatu is also taking on the role of Chair of the FFC for the next 12 months, taking over from Tuvalu.

“The Chairing of the FFC Ministerial and our hosting of regional Ministers is a chance to showcase our work, opportunities and challenges to the region,” says Vanuatu’s Director of Fisheries Kalo Pakoa.

“As the meeting rotates amongst the 17 members of the Forum Fisheries, Vanuatu will not expect to host the ministerial for 16 more years, so I thank the taskforce team helping to organise the work behind the scenes ensuring that we make the most of bringing the regional focus on Tuna Fisheries, to our shores.” he says.

Topical issues on the regional agenda are likely to include discussions of the 2016 launch of a Pacific report quantifying IUU fishing in Pacific EEZs, with recommendations on next steps. The FFA workplan, budget and administrative issues are an ongoing part of the meeting agenda. Ministers will also be looking at outcomes of the recently concluded US Treaty talks in Auckland, New Zealand, and issues to go before the Pacific Forum Leaders when they meet in Pohnpei, FSM, this September.

“Oceanic and coastal Fisheries are a key part of Vanuatu’s resource base, and as a member of the FFA nations steeping into the role of chair, we are keen to develop and enjoy the economic benefits of sustainable fisheries management,” says Pakoa. “We look forward to hosting a productive meeting and showing our Pacific visitors the legendary hospitality of our people.”

Forum Fisheries officials in the Pacific delegations meet today ahead of the formal opening function, with two days of talks rounding off with a Ministerial Retreat, press conference, and closing farewell at the Iririki Resort, on Wednesday.


25) NZ interested in Vanuatu fishermen

8:17 pm GMT+12, 03/07/2016, Vanuatu

New Zealand is interested to recruit fishermen from Vanuatu on its fishing vessels, the Compliance Officer of the Department of Fisheries, William Naviti, told a workshop on fisheries in Port Vila last week.

It is anticipated that this will be realised through the same method of the Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme that started in Vanuatu in 2007.

In the past years fishermen were recruited to work on foreign vessels without seafaring skills and knowledge.

Naviti said the Department of Fisheries will be working closely with Department of Labour (DOL) to regulate the market.

DOL is responsible for the recruitment of fishermen on fishing vessels.

Naviti said the two departments will be signing a standardised policy soon this year to set the regulations in recruiting fishermen.

Fisheries contributes significantly to the national economy of Vanuatu.

It is the main source of income in many islands.

Over the past decades, majority of Vanuatu’s fishermen that go to work overseas in this industry usually end up in boats owned by companies from Asia.

Currently under the RSE scheme introduced by New Zealand in 2007 to meet its labour demands, it recruits ni-Vanuatu to work in the country’s horticulture and viticulture sectors.

New Zealand allows a maximum of 9,000 workers from the Pacific island countries, to work on the farms in North Island and South Island.

In 2014 Vanuatu was leading with 3,070 workers.

That is an increase from just over 1000 workers when the RSE scheme began in the 2007/2008 season.

Employers in New Zealand have expressed satisfaction with the performance of ni-Vanuatu workers under the RSE scheme.

It is hoped that this performance by the ni-Vanuatu workers will be emulated by properly regulated fishermen under the watchful eye of the Department of Labour once the plan becomes a reality.



26) Fiji Women’s Rights Movement director resigns

The executive director of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Tara Chetty, is leaving the organisation next month.
The chair of the organisation’s board, Daiana Buresova, says Tara Chetty has played a pivotal role in further profiling women and their cause at a regional and international level.

Ms Buresova says Ms Chetty skills saw her secure critical international funding for the movement through to 2019.

Ms Chetty started as a board member in 2002 before joining the staff in 2005 as communications officer.

She then moved into management in 2012 as programme director and finally executive director last year.

Tara Chetty is taking up a role at a regional organisation promoting gender equality.4/7/16 RNZI


27) Contestants battle it out

Matilda Simmons
Sunday, July 03, 2016

FROM the sweet melody of gospel singer Seruwaia Masi to the deep expressive vocals of Cambodian Ny Vann, the Kaila! Star Search show had fans erupting into cheers and sing-alongs last night.

The show featured a dancer and duets in the mix. Sixteen-year-old Raijeli Nukutabu was outstanding with her rendition of Adele’s Someone Like You as well as the intense Sainimere Vunakece who sang the haunting song Hurt by Christina Aguilera.

“The contestants were outstanding,” said Kaila! Star Search judge Navi Fong after the show.

“The calibre has really improved from previous years. It’s great to see the different genres represented.”

Fellow judge Jasmine Fong said it was not easy for the contestants to come out on stage and perform.

“However we’ve seen so much improvement from the first round. We’re here to nurture them to grow and be the best they can be,” she said.

Of the 15 contestants who performed last night, only 13 will advance to the next round with names to be listed in Wednesday’s Kaila! newspaper liftout.

The quarter-finals will take place at Suva Civic Centre on July 16.Fijitimes


28) PNG Hunters slap losing streak on the road

The Papua New Guinea Hunters snapped a four match losing streak away from home in the Queensland Cup, thrashing the Tweed Heads Seagulls 40-10.

Tries to Justin Olam and Adex Wera gave the visitors a 10-4 lead at the break.

Sam Irwin darted over from dummy half to level the scores at 10-10 in the second half but the final 20 minutes belonged to the Hunters.

Fullback Bland Abavu started the blitz on the hour mark, with Tuvi Lepa, Thompson Teteh, Butler Morris and a second to Abavu completing a dominant performance for the Hunters, with Ase Boas adding six goals.

PNG climb back up to third in the competition standings after Townsville were beaten at Souths Logan.

The Hunters are level with second-placed Redcliffe, who have played one less match, with the Burleigh Bears three points clear of the field on 27 points.

ael Marum’s side have the bye this weekend before another road match against Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval.4/7/16 RNZI

29) Vanuatu in Suva event for exposure

Mere Naleba
Sunday, July 03, 2016

THE Vanuatu men’s hockey team arrived in Fiji a few days ago confident of a good outing at the FIH World League round one of the competition.

Vanuatu wanted to have their players get more exposure by competing against teams like Fiji and those from around the region.

They won the praises of Oceania Hockey Federation officials and even Fiji men’s coach Hector Smith (Sr) after their excellent performance in the week-long tournament .

Coach Dashiell Hewett said: “We can definitely play against top teams. If we play our best and stick to the game plan, we can push them.

“We’ve never beaten Fiji in hockey, so when we played them and managed to stop at five goals to two, we were happy. The last time Vanuatu played Fiji, they won by nine goals.”

Hewett, an Australian, has been working as a volunteer in Vanuatu for the last eight months.Fijitimes


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