Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1100 ( Thursday 25 May 2017 )

MELANESIA

1) Guadalcanal leaders bae mitim descendants blong olketa long Fiji

Updated 23 May 2017, 16:42 AEST
Sam Seke

Long tunaet, wanfala delegesen blong Guadalcanal Province wea hem stap distaem long Fiji bae hem go mitim and duim kastom kaikai or chupu wetem olketa pipol blong Kalekana komiuniti kolsap long capital, Suva.

Kalekana hemi ples blong olketa pipol blong Guadalcanal wea olketa tekem fo go waka long olketa plantesen long Fiji stat long early 1880s kasen 1911.

Premier blong Guadalcanal Province, Anthony Veke hem se mein tingting nao hem fo delegesen ia fo go stori and trae fo faedem aot wea stret long Guadalcanal nao pipol blong olketa ibin kam from.

Delegesen blong 25 memba blong Guadalcanal Province Executive, samfala memba blong provinsol assembly an 4 fala chief ia, hem bin go long USP Campus long Suva tu an stori wetem olketa student an lecturer las naet.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner long Fiji, Patteson Oti wetem olketa staff blong hem i stap tu long taem ia.

Senior lecturer long politics and international affairs long USP, Dr Gordon Nanau hem se niu Constitution blong Fiji hem luksave long olketa Solomon Islands descendants ia olsem pipol blong Fiji, bat olketa no garem eni rait long saet long land long kastom blong Fiji.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-05-23/guadalcanal-leaders-bae-mitim-descendants-blong-olketa-long-fiji/1673522

2) French Overseas Minister Criticized By New Caledonia Anti-Independence Politicians

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 14:39

Girardin said France would stand be outcome of referendum regardless of choice

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 23, 2017) – Anti-independence politicians in New Caledonia have rebuked the new French overseas minister Annick Girardin for her first ministerial comments about the upcoming independence referendum.

Ms Girardin said France would stand by New Caledonia irrespective of its choice.

Pierre Frogier, who is a member of the French Senate, accused her of being a coward, saying she could do better than repeat what her advisors tell her.

He also alleges that the Macron administration wants to get rid of New Caledonia.

Another leading New Caledonian politician Philippe Gomes said at a time when the territory belongs to France, her words are either poorly chosen or a sign of poor judgement.

Under the Noumea Accord, a plebiscite is to be held by November next year, with Ms Girardin restating the French government stance that it will organise it should the New Caledonian Congress fail to do so.

An opinion poll this month showed a majority of those questioned and eligible to vote are against independence.

Radio New Zealand International

3) Bougainville Vice President Accuses National Government Of ‘Deliberatly Strangling ABG’

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 15:14

Masono says no money from 2017 budget has been provided; urges Bougainvilleans to unite for independence

By Romulus Masiu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 24, 2017) – Bougainville has not received any money from the 2017 National Budget, says Bougainville vice-president Raymond Masono.

He accused the National Government of deliberately holding back Bougainville’s development grants as agreed under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

“The National Government is deliberately strangling ABG. There is no revenue for this year from the National Government. It does this on purpose, it knows Bougainville is breaking away so its reluctance to give money,” Mr Masono told Bougainvilleans gathered at Manetai, Central Bougainville.

He said that if Waigani continues to treat the government and the people of Bougainville this way then that is a clear message for Bougainvilleans to rise up and start printing its own money.

Mr Masono said that the government and people of Bougainville are so frustrated with such treatment that they have to be united on June 15, 2019, to make a decision that will shape the future of the island region.

“That future nation too must have money thus people must start to free up their resources in order to generate income for the Bougainville Government and in return the government will better help the people.

PNG Post-Courier

4) PNG politician says decision to review Labour Department operations an ‘election gimmick’

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Questions are being raised about the timing of a PNG government decision to suspend the country’s Labour Department head and investigate what’s been described as an ‘influx in illegal foreign workers’.

The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s office has released a statement, announcing it’s appointed former Chief of Staff, George Bopi to the position of Acting Secretary for the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations.

“The Department of Labour and Industrial Relations has been criticised for mismanaging work permits, with related allegations of nepotism, lack of accountability and control in departmental functions,” Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was quoted as saying.

“There are ongoing concerns from the business community of foreign workers entering the labour market without proper scrutiny, as well as illegal foreign workers in the country.

“The department has six key programs and seven statutory offices, each with its own incomes streams through levies and fees. The operation and function of these programs and agencies will be reviewed and accountability restored,” the statement said.

But long-time outspoken politician, Gary Juffa says it’s all come too late – and comes in the middle of an election campaign.

Mr Juffa, who’s again campaigning for the position of Oro Governor this election, says the decision to launch a review and install a new Acting Secretary is a political gimmick.http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-05-24/png-politician-says-decision-to-review-labour/8555568

5) Fiji’s $4.5b debt level

8:44 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Fiji

Fiji’s total outstanding debt stood at $4.5 billion (US$2.1 billion) at the end of April, out of which $1.3b (US$622 million) were external loans and $3.2b (US$1.5 billion) were domestic loans.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this while responding to a question from Government MP Mataiasi Niumataiwalu on Fiji’s debt level in Parliament Tuesday.

Sayed-Khaiyum was asked to explain what Fiji’s debt level- meant for Fiji’s reserves, borrowing and investments- – as well comments made by the World Bank on it .

In an exclusive Fiji Times story last week, the World Bank had said that Fiji’s debt level — pegged to be $5billion (US$2.3 billion) by this July — was manageable and reasonable.

“We welcome the statement by the World Bank representative who made these comments in one of the local dailies,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“As the World Bank representative did highlight, the debt situation in Fiji is very manageable. In fact the debt to GDP ratio has significantly decreased.”

Sayed-Khaiyum said, while the nominal value of Fiji’s debt had increased, the debt to GDP ratio had declined.

“On a nominal basis, government debt has increased over the past few years, but as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) is where we need to focus our attention on,” he said.

“From a debt management perspective, the debt indicator shows that Fiji’s overall debt portfolio is managed in a prudent manner.”

Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka however, refuted, to this and said the debt, in their opinion, was unmanageable.

“In 2013, the burden per capita was $4,400 (US$2,105), if you use $5b (US$2.3 billion), and 900,00 people, it has now increased to 5.5 per person,” he said.

“That to us is a more meaningful way of measuring our debts.

“Because GDP can easily be wiped out. It can grow but it can be wiped out by 25 per cent and the ratio can change dramatically and thus endanger this country.”

Meanwhile, Sayed-Khaiyum added that at the end of April 2017, the debt ratio stood at 44 per cent.

“Our medium target is to keep this ratio below 50 per cent,” he said.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

6 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/vanuatu-rural-electrification-program-benefits-remote-communities/article_23cf1dfb-473f-59a8-a3ce-2d46b43b1831.html

POLYNESIA

7) Work To Clear American Samoa Landslide, Repair Road Could Take Months

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 16:04

Massive slip between Malota and Fagamalo blocked off access to western part of Tutuila island

By Blue Chen-Fruean

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, May 23, 2017) – It’s been two weeks since the massive landslide between Malota and Fagamalo blocked off access to the western most part of the island and while crew members from the Department of Public Works (DPW) have continued to work on clearing the road so motorists can pass through, residents there say it is something that can’t be ‘fixed’ overnight.

Longtime Malota resident Donna Gurr who spoke to Samoa News yesterday, praises the efforts of the DPW crew, whom she says have been at the site continuously, trying to address the situation but she added that “it could take months for everything to get fixed.”

According to Mrs. Gurr, the area in question was “the last place we thought would slide.” She said mud continues to come down from the mountainside and flow towards the stream next to their house.

“People need to be extremely careful when passing the area and I would advise everyone to stay away, unless they have to pass by for emergency reasons,” Gurr cautioned.

“Overtime, as it rains, the mud continues to flow downward and the stream washes the debris towards the ocean so it’s not only dangerous, it is also causing so much damage to the ecosystem – the coral reefs, the ocean water, etc.”

“DPW has done an amazing job and the workers still come back to check up on things but the landslide was so massive that it could be some time before everything can be cleared up,” Gurr said. DPW equipment is still parked at the site and the while the road is no longer blocked off, Gurr said the hazardous conditions remain.

“Drivers can get past but it’s still very dangerous because we don’t know when another slide will occur,” she continued. “My advice would be to avoid going down there until such time that the soil dries up.”

Mrs. Gurr and her family reside not far from the landslide site and she said her concern is for the school children of Fagamalo – who attend Alataua Elementary and Leone High School – and those who have to drive back and forth into town for work.

“A picture can’t capture the depth or height of the mountain, or the seriousness of the mudslide,” Gurr said.

“We’re very fortunate that nobody got hurt when the landslide occurred. We should be very thankful for that,” she concluded.

A headcount of the Fagamalo residents was conducted recently by government officials — following the landslide — and everyone has been accounted for.

The Samoa News

8) Tonga government told to be wary over power grab plan
5:09 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Tonga

A political scientist says it would be a big risk for Tonga’s government to take on the appointments of key public servants.

Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva’s government is now drafting amendments that would allow it to control the appointments for roles such as the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General, which is currently handled by the Privy Council with the King.

There has been opposition to the government’s push from widely differing sectors and the director of Massey University’s Pacific Research Centre, Malakai Koloamatangi, agrees, saying it would be about the balance of power, accountability and transparency.

“These things are considerations that were previously voiced by the Prime Minister and his party, so one would expect that that is carried out presently.”

“So to want to control a number of these things or not to be accountable is problematic, democratically,” he said.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

9) Date set for $1million lawsuit against Samoa Police
5:12 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Samoa

The $1million (US$387,000) lawsuit against the former Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati, Commissioner of Police, Fuiavailili Egon Keil and the Ministry of Police is set for a full hearing.

The development comes after a Judiciary Settlement Conference (JSC) failed to reach a compromise.

The hearing is now scheduled for 13 November 2017.

The lawsuit was filed by Suitupe Misa, who was wrongfully arrested at gunpoint at the Fugalei market two years ago.

The matter had been postponed several times since it was first filed in Court.

This week it surfaced before Chief Justice,  Patu Tiava’esu’a Falefatu Sapolu.

State Solicitor David J. Fong, of the AG’s office represented the defendants while the plaintiff was represented by Sarona Ponifasio.

During the Civil mention, it was revealed that the JSC was not successful.

A Judiciary Settlement Conference is held behind closed doors between the parties.

Misa’s lawsuit targets as first defendant, Sala Fata Pinati, second defendant the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil and the Ministry of Police as the third defendant.

Misa is suing the Minister of Police for a breach of statutory duty.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiff argues that the first defendant breached his duty under section 13 (3) of the Police Powers Act.

In particular, Sala is accused of failing to consider any exceptional circumstances to establish whether or not a police officer(s) ought to be armed when the police arrested the plaintiff.

The second cause of action against the Commissioner is an alleged abuse of process.

“The second defendant received information from the first defendant that a person by the name of Suitupe apparently made threats to kill the first and second defendants, and other senior government officials (alleged threat),” says the statement of claim.

“The first defendant had also informed the second defendant of a witness who may verify the alleged threat. The second defendant however failed to verify the reliability of the alleged threat through direct enquiry with the witness referred to.

“The second defendant could have easily found out the truth regarding the alleged threat if he had made reasonable enquiries with the witness.

The second defendant used and relied on the apparent validity of the Minister’s approval by ordering certain police officers including Officer Iosefa to be armed and to arrest the plaintiff upon confirmation of the plaintiff’s presence at the market.”

Fuiavailiili is accused of using the legal process in order to accomplish an ulterior purpose of oppression against the plaintiff.

Misa claims that the Commissioner abused the process to effect an improper purpose.

The third cause of action is against the third defendant or the Ministry of Police for unlawful arrest and unlawful detention.

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS

10)Early warning where there is no internet

11:17 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Tuvalu

Living on an island in the middle of the ocean with no internet, television or mobile phones is a real-life disaster risk nightmare for one Pacific nation.

Yet, the prospect of reaching the last mile – a phrase with true meaning in this part of the world – has inspired the tiny band of disaster risk reduction policymakers and practitioners of Tuvalu to establish an early warning system to protect some of the world’s most isolated communities.

The Director of Tuvalu Meteorological Service, Tauala Katea, outlined how the country has deployed a solar-powered technology called “Chatty Beetle” that is able to send and receive short data messages via satellite.

“In Tuvalu we have many challenges but one of the biggest is in terms of communications on, and with, the outer islands,” Katea said.

“But with the ‘Chatty Beetle’ we now have a way of ensuring that if there is threat of a tsunami, storm surge or cyclone we can activate an alarm and provide a warning message to people living there.”

Tuvalu is located roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Its nine islands cover 26 square kilometres yet its exclusive economic zone covers an enormous 900,000 square kilometres of ocean.

Half of the country’s 12,000 population lives in the capital Funafuti, with the remainder spread thinly around the outer islands. A fortnightly boat service links the farthest of these via a 24-hour voyage from the capital.

Katea was speaking to a gathering of 80 representatives from 34 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the eve of the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun, Mexico, organised by various UN agencies along with the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery.

In a media briefing after the meeting closes, Habiba Gitay, of GFDRR’s SIDS Initiative, said that technologies such as mobile phone networks which were taken for granted in other parts of the world were entirely absent from many atolls and small islands in parts of the Pacific and the Caribbean.

She said FM radio and ham radio were often the only channels available for communicating early warning of king tides, storms surges and tsunamis.

SOURCE: UNSDIR

MICRONESIA

11) Trump’s Budget Would Cut Millions In Federal Funding For Guam

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 14:56

Compact Impact, brown tree snake control funds slashed in proposal

By Jerick Sablan and Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 24, 2017) – President Donald Trump’s budget would cut millions of dollars in federal funding for Guam, including $3 million that helps offset the impact of regional migrants to the island and $650,000 to control the invasive brown tree snake.

And it does not provide funding to pay war claims for Guam, according to Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo, in a written statement Wednesday morning. If there is no separate funding source, the payment of war claims will come from the island’s annual Section 30 funding, according to a war claims law written by Bordallo.

“I continue to work to find an alternative funding solution that does not rely on Section 30, but the president’s budget does make that case more difficult,” she stated. “I hope that Governor Calvo will weigh in with the administration and support my efforts on war claims.”

The president’s fiscal 2018 budget “decimates critical programs administered by the Office of Insular Affairs,” she stated.

“Significant military construction investments proposed for Guam will strengthen our military’s presence in the region, and contribute to Guam’s economy. While I do believe that we need to strengthen our national security and protect our country, his proposal guts our national security apparatus that goes well beyond DOD investment.”

Pacific Daily News

FRENCH

12) ACCIDENT À HOUAÏLOU : LE CONDUCTEUR DÉCÈDE DES SUITES DE SES BLESSURES

jsjsjs.png

Crédit Fond cartographique issu de Géorep.nc
Crée le 24.05.2017 à 17h30
Mis à jour le 24.05.2017 à 17h37

Il n’a malheureusement pas survécu.

D’après nos informations, un jeune homme de 19 ans est mort mardi après-midi au Médipôle où il avait été hospitalisé souffrant de graves blessures à la suite d’un accident de la circulation samedi sur la commune de Houaïlou.

Ce jour-là, l’automobiliste, qui circulait sans permis de conduire, avait perdu le contrôle de sa voiture dans un virage, percutant violemment une autre voiture qui transportait cinq personnes dont deux enfants, non loin de la tribu de Nédivin.

Le conducteur, grièvement blessé et contrôlé positif au cannabis, avait été héliporté au Médipôle tandis que les deux enfants, blessés légèrement, avaient été transportés à l’hôpital de Poindimié.

Ce nouveau drame porte à 24 le nombre de tués sur la route depuis le début de l’année.http://www.lnc.nc/breve/accident-a-houailou-le-conducteur-decede-des-suites-de-ses-blessures

13a ) http://www.lnc.nc/breve/miss-nouvelle-caledonie-passez-le-qcm-de-culture-generale

13b ) http://www.lnc.nc/breve/suspicion-de-pollution-maritime-entre-l-ile-laregnere-et-l-ilot-maitre

13c ) http://www.lnc.nc/breve/plan-d-economies-du-conservatoire-reunion-reportee-au-20-juin

NEW ZEALAND

14) First Pacific framework for suicide prevention launched
11:09 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, New Zealand

A Tonga academic says recording the stories of Tongan families who lost a family member to suicide has been a difficult task.

Heilala Malu is the first system to specifically focus on suicide prevention among Tongan youth in New Zealand.

Auckland University of Technology graduate student, ‘Aulola Fuka-Lino, says she hopes it helps lift the taboo on suicide in the Tongan community.

She says the resource is a tribute to the Tongan families and the stories they’ve shared.

“I think with families they needed to feel that you weren’t just there to collect data. You know, you were very interested in that you empathized and even though I cannot really say that I could understand what they were going through, but you could feel the realness of the pain and what they actually went through.”

13 Tongan families from New Zealand were interviewed to produce the pamphlet that’s offered in both the English and Tongan languages.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

PACIFIC

15) Pacific search and rescue conference in NZ for first time

Rnz
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Search and rescue workers hope a gathering in New Zealand this week will help develop a culture of safety across the Pacific.

100 people from 26 countries are expected to attend the Pacific Search and Rescue Conference which opens in Auckland today.

Mike Hill of New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre said New Zealand search and rescue authorities wanted to build stronger relationships with Pacific island countries.

He said that would lead into important discussions.

“How do we grow more of a safety culture right across the Pacific so that there’s less likelihood of people getting into difficulties. So some of the issues we are dealing with in search and rescue prevention is making sure that there is some sensible planning, that there is safety equipment, through to reasonable forms of communication.”

The conference will run until the 26th of May at Auckland’s Maritime Museum.

ASIA


16) Missile production

Reuters
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

North Korea said on Monday it successfully tested what it called an intermediate-range ballistic missile, which met all technical requirements and could now be mass-produced, although US officials and experts questioned the extent of its progress.

The US, which has condemned repeated North Korean missile launches, said Sunday’s launch of what North Korea dubbed the Pukguksong-2 was of a “medium-range” missile, and US-based experts doubted the reliability of the relatively new solid-fuel type after so few tests.

US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the test did not demonstrate a new capability, or one that could threaten the US directly.

But the test was North Korea’s second in a week and South Korea’s new liberal government said it dashed its hopes for peace.

US officials have been far less sanguine about the test of a long-range KN-17, or Hwasong-12, missile just over a week ago, which US officials believe survived re-entry to some degree.

North Korea said launch tested the capability to carry a “large-size heavy nuclear warhead” and put the US mainland within “sighting range”.

17) China funds Niue

Rnz
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The reconstruction of Niue’s roads is to be paid for with Chinese aid money.

The island’s premier, Sir Toke Talagi, said engineers and consultants from China have been on the island preparing for the fix-up which would cost nearly $US14 million ($F29m).

Sir Toke said the money was a grant, not a loan.

“It’ll be a grant based on what they give us on an annual basis, all accumulated over the past ten years or so, because we haven’t been able to draw on those funds therefore they’ve agreed that perhaps that’s how it should be funded,” he said.

Sir Toke said China would start work on the roads in December next year.

Sir Toke had outlined other plans for infrastructure development on the island, as he heads into his fourth term as premier.

He said aid would be sought to replace the island’s water reticulation system projected to cost about $US1.4m ($F2.9m).

He said capital would be put aside to replace all of the island’s ageing power transformers within the next ten to 20 years.

Some money had been committed by New Zealand and the UN to repair them but about $US1.4m ($F2.9m) more was needed.

He said the planned undersea internet cable to Niue would be paid for partly by New Zealand and partly with borrowings from the interest of the Niue Trust Fund, established by Australia, Niue and New Zealand in 2006.

Interest from the fund would also be used to inject $US1.4m ($F2.9m) every year into the Niue Development Bank for the next four years to ensure it had sufficient resources for lending.

WORLD

18) UK first as shoppers set to sample certified sustainable Western Pacific tuna
11:21 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, United Kingdom

Eco-friendly shoppers in the UK will have their first taste of sustainable Western Pacific tuna as Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified cans of the fish hit shelves this month.

The tuna will be added to the Princes range, making it the first brand in the country to offer MSC tuna from this region.

Princes tuna chunks 160g and selected tuna chunks four packs will all now carry the MSC ‘blue fish’ eco label. This follows the recent addition of MSC salmon and mackerel to the Princes range, part of its longstanding commitment to sourcing MSC fish.

Processed in Mauritius, the tuna is sourced from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) fishery, the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery.  MSC certified PNA tuna is caught using FAD-free fishing methods. Comprising eight countries, the PNA members work together to sustainably manage tuna and controls around 50% of the world’s skipjack tuna. Princes cans will also bear the logo of Pacifical, the global tuna marketing organisation set up by PNA.

Neil Brownbill, Marketing Director at Princes, comments, “We are delighted this product has reached consumers after a considerable effort from all parties involved. We are fully committed to the quality, integrity and long term sustainability of the seafood we sell and are very pleased and proud that this product carries the MSC ecolabel”.

MSC Programme Director, North East Atlantic, Toby Middleton adds, “This is a really important step for sustainable fishing. Princes is supporting a groundbreaking fishery that’s working across eight countries to preserve tuna stocks for generations. And by expanding its MSC certified tinned products, it’s also helping to make sustainable fish accessible to all shoppers.

“Great news for fish lovers and the environment”.

SOURCE: NEW FOOD MAGAZINE/PACNEWS

19) Ethiopia’s Tedros Adhanom elected to top UN health post
5:04 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Switzerland

The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the United Nations health agency, today elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017,” WHO said in a statement following the vote.

Among his previous positions, Dr Tedros was Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and, prior, Minister of Health.

He also served as Chair of the Global Fund and of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board (RBM), where he secured “record funding” for the two organisations and created the Global Malaria Action Plan, which expanded RBM’s reach beyond Africa to Asia and Latin America, according to the UN agency.

The incoming health chief was chosen from amongst three nominees presented to the World Health Assembly, along with David Nabarro from the UK, and Sania Nishtar from Pakistan, in a process that began before September 2016.

Dr Tedros will succeed Margaret Chan, who addressed the World Health Assembly for the final time after serving two consecutive five-year terms.

In her final address as head of the organisation, Dr Chan urged WHO to “remember the people” behind the facts and figures, and took personal responsibility for the WHO’s delayed response in 2014 to the Ebola outbreak in East Africa.

SOURCE: UN NEWS CENTRE/PACNEWS

20 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-24/trump-white-house-stands-by-budget-despite-larry-summers-pointing-out-accounting-error/1673718

EDUCATION

21) University opens iTaukei Affairs program

TALEBULA KATE
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Update: 3:22PM THE University of Fiji (UniFiji) is open to interested individuals who have an interest to study iTaukei Affairs and development.

Director for Centre for iTaukei Studies (CIS) at UniFiji Dr Litiana Kuridrani said the centre was using a targeted approach to inform potential students about the iTaukei programs.

“Centre for iTaukei studies is using the targeted approach whereby we are going to the villagers and communities to market our programs,” Dr Kuridrani said.

“This is the best approach for community people. We need to explain the details and guide them into filling the forms during the visits.”

Registrations for Semester 2 begins on July 3, 2017 and will continue till July 14, 2017.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=401842

LAND (MELANESIAN AFFAIRS)

22) Legal rot blong ol PNG landowner i ken kisim kompensesan long SABL graun

Updated 23 May 2017, 15:36 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Ol Customary Landowners oa papa na mama graon long  Papua New Guinea nau igat wanpla nupla wok oa framework long  kisim compensation long lusim graon blong ol igo long ol bisnis laen blong ol narapla kantri.

Oli bin lonchim despla wok aste long Port Moresby.

Sampla long ol despla wok divelopmen i olsem special agrikalsa bisnis leases na tu ol wok logging.

Planti pipal long kantri i lusim graon blong ol bihaenim ol korap pasin em sampla gavman ofisa isave mekim we oli givim tok oraet long ol foran kampani long kisim graon blong planim oil palm oa ol narapla samting long ol.

Wanpla mansave blong Sydney University, Dr Tim Anderson ibin kamapim despla wok na em bai helpim ol papa-mama graon long kisim gavman oa ol kampani igo long kot long kisim moni oa compensation.

Dr Anderson i kamapim despla wok bihaenim askim blong  ACT NOW PNG we isave helpim ol pipal long holim graon blong ol.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-05-23/legal-rot-blong-ol-png-landowner-i-ken-kisim-kompensesan-long-sabl-graun/1673524

23) Vaturisu Conference by invitation only

By Len Garae

Chairman of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate, Chief Manlaewia is calling on all the chiefs of Efate and its offshore islands to prepare now, to attend their 11th long awaited Conference saying, important items on the agenda including sensitive issues on procedures for customary marriages and child adoption, will need the approval of the majority of the members of the Council.

All 52 registered members of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs and their assistants are expected to attend the next conference at Takara Village on North Efate next month on June 26-27, since the last event in Pango Village in April of 2014.

Secretary General of the Vaturisu, Chief Jimmy Meameadola stresses attendance will be by invitation only.

The theme of the Conference is “Promotem strong kastom rul blong leftemap Kastom Gavanens”.

During the last conference, the ‘stik faea’ was accepted by the Chairman of the Emau Area Council of Chiefs, Chief George Noupat Makali, to host the next meeting.

Unfortunately the devastation of the islands of Shefa Province by Cyclone Pam on March 13 of 2015, also destroyed the nakamals’ infrastructure in all area councils and delayed the next conference until this year.

Chief Makali has written to the Vaturisu confirming his Council’s decision for Takara Village to host the meeting on their behalf.

Vaturisu was forced to hold its general meetings at Owen Hall in Port Vila in 2015 and in Mele Village in 2016.http://dailypost.vu/news/vaturisu-conference-by-invitation-only/article_debdad3d-7ecb-5c17-9945-0fa475ddd9bc.html

24) Customary land is resourceful: Expert

May 24, 2017The NationalBusiness

CUSTOMARY land can provide greater economic returns if the government does not trade them for agricultural leases, according to an academic.
Dr Tim Anderson, a senior economic lecturer from the University of Sydney, in Australia, told that to a conference during his presentation on the abstract of the report he wrote on the framework for assessing compensation for the wrongful loss of customary land in Papua New Guinea.
“I have been asked by Act Now to prepare an economic evaluation of the compensation for which PNG customary landholders were wrongly dispossessed through Special Agricultural Business Leases (SABL) and if they would be entitled to it if they successfully sued the government,” he said.
Anderson outlined in his report that about five million hectares of customary land in 77 leases (5,155,742 hectares) was leased to corporations.
“Some of these leases were used to obtain forest clearance authorities from the PNG Forest Authority to permit logging in the SABL areas.
“In 2013, the government was made aware through a Commission of Inquiry (COI 2013) that these leases were unlawful for failure to follow proper process under the Land Act and, in particular, for their failure to ensure the free prior and informed consent of customary landowners.”

25) 500-acre land offer

Serafina Silaitoga
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ANOTHER landowning unit in Macuata has offered 500 acres of its land for cane farming.

The mataqali (landowning unit) Sinu of the village of Sogobiau in Nadogo District yesterday met Fiji Sugar Corporation officials to confirm discussions of the joint venture.

Head of the chiefy mataqali, Ratu Ilisaniti Malodali, described the opportunity as the way forward for his people.

He said it was time his people supported Government in reviving the sugar industry.

With the high number of leases that expired in his district about two decades ago, Ratu Ilisaniti said they felt the impact after farmers moved out.

“Businesses dropped, shops closed, our population dropped and everyone suffered in Nadogo, so we will work with the Bainimarama Government to revive this district because they have brought a lot of developments to us,” he said. “This joint venture with FSC is Government-supported and other landowning units in the North have reaped good income for their mataqali members. I want the same for my people and that is why we will give FSC our land so they can train our people to run farming businesses on their own land.”

The officials met the traditional leaders at Sogobiau Village yesterday.

Ratu Ilisaniti said necessary procedures have started with the iTaukei Land Trust Board.

“We have a total of 9000 acres of land in our district and only 2000 acres is being leased,” he said.

“So we are giving FSC 500 acres to plant cane and this is a joint venture between our mataqali and FSC.

“We will, under the supervision and guidance of FSC, start clearing and planting cane this year by October so we can harvest next year.”

The new initiative, Ratu Ilisaniti said, would benefit his people greatly.

“It’s for our future generation and their children, so we will work with Government to revive the sugar industry in my district of Nadogo.”

FSC North manager Karia Christopher said they had similar partnerships with landowners around Macuata.

“This program has not just benefitted a lot of landowners, but faith-based groups who have worked on cane farms under this program and earned an income that has empowered them financially,” he said.

Landowners joined efforts by FSC to cultivate idle land into cash revenue.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=401742

MEDIA

26a ) PNG Media Council igat niu Code of Ethics

Postim 23 May 2017, 15:53 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

Media Council blong Papua New Guinea i kamap niupela rule oa Code of Ethics long il nius ripota long kantri imas bihainim.

Ol niusman-meri oa journalist blong Papua New Guinea imas kisim tupla saed blong ol stori olgeta time na oli mas lukim olgeta stori em oli save raitim oa tokaut long en  i stret na ino ken giaman.

President blong PNG media council, Alex Rheeney i mekim despla toktok bihaen long oli bin tokaut long nupla  code of ethics oa loa ol despla day igo pinis.

PNG ibin gat wanpla olpla media code of ethics bifo, tasol oli mekim sampla senis long en bihaenim ol nupla samting emi wok long kamap long nau olsem na oli mekim sampla senis long en.

Australian Press Council i helpim PNG wantem ol despla nupla senis.

Planti taem ol wok nius long PNG isave bungim heve long wok blong ol, tasol ol despla heve isave go bikpla long ol taem blong ileksan kempein.

Mi askim Alex Rheeney, long tingting blong ol long kamapim ol despla nupla senis long media code of ethics long despla taem.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-05-23/png-media-council-igat-niu-code-of-ethics/1673528

26b) PNG media council urges local journalists to follow new code of ethics during elections
Monday 21 August 2017

Reporting the news in PNG can be fraught at the best of times, but it gets much harder during a national election campaign.

Against that background, local journalists are being urged to follow new guidelines, after the PNG Media Council published a new code of ethics in the middle of the 2017 National Election campaign period.

The president of the council, Alex Rheeney, says the timing of the guide, which encourages reporters to be fair and accurate in their work, is no coincidence.http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-05-23/png-media-council-urges-local-journalists-to/8549592

27) Noken paitim nating ol nius ripota long taim blong PNG ileksan

Postim 24 May 2017, 15:47 AEST
Caroline Tiriman

President blong Papua New Guinea media council i askim strong ol candidate em oli resis long 2017 ileksan long tokim ol sapota blong ol long noken paitim na stopim wok blong midia long wonem em i gat bikpla wok long bringim ol stori na nius igo long ol pipal.

Alex Rheeney i mekim despla toktok bihaen long ol sapota blong wanpla candidate ibin traem stopim ol niusman blong EMTV televisan long mekim wok blong ol tupla wik igo pinis.

Ol narapla samting tu emi kamap long despla taem blong redi long ileksan em samla sapota na candidate i i mekim ol strongpla toktok agensim ol journalist na traem fosim ol long bihaenim wonem rot em ol despla candidate na sapota i laikim.

Mr Rheeney itok olsem PNG i gat Freedom of speech long mama loa blong en na despla i karamapim tu wok blong midia.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-05-24/noken-paitim-nating-ol-nius-ripota-long-taim-blong-png-ileksan/1673796

28) Karen Lobendahn’s confirmed as Fiji TV CEO
8:47 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Fiji

Fiji Television Ltd’s board Tuesday confirmed Karen Lobendahn’s appointment as the chief executive officer for the company, effective from June 1, 2017.

Lobendahn had been acting as CEO for the company since February after the resignation of Geoffrey Smith.

Fijian Holdings Ltd group CEO Nouzab Fareed said Lobendahn had more than 20 years of broadcast experience and was no stranger to the business.

Fareed said they were very proud of her leadership and performance and were happy to confirm her position within the company.

A media release from the South Pacific Stock Exchange said  Lobendahn was the first female CEO within the organisation.

It said the organisation had been registering very positive financial performances over the past few months and sees potential growth moving forward with the current skilled team and talented employees led by Lobendahn.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

BUSINESS

29) Vanuatu Coconut Oil Producer Achieves Organic Accreditation In New Zealand

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 13:50

Tanna Farms hopes BioGro certification will expand its export market

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 24, 2017) – Vanuatu’s leading Coconut Oil producer and exporter can proudly confirm its ‘in-conversion to organic’ status with the highly accredited organic certifier, BioGro New Zealand. Tanna Farms will be fully certified from July 4th, 2017.

Strategically, Tanna Farms nominated BioGro to gain their organic certification for their Coconut Oil and products because New Zealand is the company’s’ biggest export market and it reinforces the ‘kiwi’ connection. The BioGro certification label is widely recognised around the world and is also New Zealand’s largest and best-known certifier. Producers carry the BioGro logo on their products to assure their customers that the produce they buy is genuine organic.

Tanna Farms Director, Jono Bushell, said making the significant investment to earn Organic Certification was based on market demand. It is further testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to supplying a top-end Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and products, that support the communities of Vanuatu.

“Organic Certification by a recognised independent industry body is the consumers’ guarantee that they’re getting a pure and safe product,” said Jono.

“Our export market demanded our Coconut Oil and products be Certified Organic – the consumer is calling out for certified produce. We selected BioGro because of its New Zealand association and their certification is so widely recognised.”

The path to reach this milestone has been lengthy and thorough. Tanna Farms contracted Pacific Provender Ltd, to guide Tanna Farms through the process with BioGro.

In preparation for the primary audit with BioGro NZ, the Pacific Provendor team conducted a series of internal audits and workshops with the coconut plantation farmers and peanut growers Tanna Farms work with. The process created opportunities for farmers to learn organic farming methods and practises necessary for compliance to the BioGro Organic Standards.

Jono said that there was no need for farmers or Tanna Farms to change anything too dramatically following the audits by Pacific Provendor and BioGro.

“We’ve always run a tight and efficient operation, but this process has been a fantastic opportunity for us to fine tune our processes and the farmers can now guarantee that their organic produce is authentic,” said Jono.

“We have introduced organic recording systems and the product can be traced back to the farm it was grown. The farmers have also had access to education and training in organic growing and certification – it’s been very worthwhile for everyone involved.”

Tanna Farms is committed to the mentoring of the farmers and associated staff by providing ongoing education and training in organic standards.

BioGro certification guarantees that a product is made without animal testing, genetic modification and the routine use of synthetic pesticides. Their logo is the mark of a genuine organic product. Tanna Farms have met all BioGro production standards and have just a few more weeks of ‘in-conversion to organic’ status before their Coconut Oil and products will be classified as ‘Certified Organic’.

In addition to the farmers and growers, Tanna Farms is gaining BioGro Organic Certification for their processing facilities for Coconut Oil and Peanuts, at Lenakel on Tanna island and Teouma in Port Vila, as well their body care range of soaps and lip balms.

Tanna Farms produce the finest Coconut Oil that nature allows, the good stuff. They also make other products using this oil including Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Coconut Soap, Coconut Lip Balm and Gift Baskets. Tanna Farms products are available for purchase in various locations throughout Vanuatu, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

Vanuatu Daily Post

30) Election will not affect Port Moresby Stock Exchange
5:17 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Fiji

The election period historically has some impact on some sectors, but it normally does not influence the Port Moresby Stock Exchange (POMSoX) activity or trading pattern.

This is from Bank of South Pacific (BSP) chief executive officer (CEO) Robin Fleming.

Fleming was responding to questions put to the bank for its views, given that it is one of the companies that are publically listed on POMSoX.

Last week, similar questions were posed to the CEO of the National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND), Ian Tarutia, who had also stated this national event would have minimal bearing on the local stock exchange.
From the outset.

Fleming said elections are important for every country, and Papua New Guinea is no exception, as they provide an opportunity for the constituents to review the performance of their elected representatives.

Furthermore, to decide who will best serve them in parliament for the next five years.

On the question of its impact on POMSoX, Fleming said; “BSP has been listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange for almost 14 years and now has a market capitalization of approximately K4.5 billion (US$1.4 billion).

“BSP is performing well with an NPAT of K643.5 million (US$200 million) in 2016, an increase of 21 percent on the previous year,”Fleming said.

“The election period historically has some impact on some of the agriculture crops such as coffee, where the voting period coincides with harvesting of the coffee crop.

“Retail activities are likely to increase, although some businesses may defer major investment decisions until after the election, which is also the case in other markets,” he added.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

31 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-24/bank-of-png-investigates-using-blockchain-to-improve-countrys-low-rate-of-financial-inclusion/1673834

32) BSP increases workforce despite tough times
5:18 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

Bank South Pacific (BSP) has increased its staff numbers this year as it positions its business to meet the increasing needs of its customers.

BSP chief executive officer (CEO) Robin Fleming was commenting on how the bank is responding to the tough times and if has meant job losses for its workforce.

The questions put to the bank had been pulled from the findings from the 2017 Quarter 1 Business Report which was released early this month by the Business Council of PNG.

One aspect had been the rightsizing of operations resulting in a reduction of the workforce, particularly the expatriates who for them account for a significant amount of cost.

“BSP’s business crosses across a number of sectors and regional areas therefore BSP has not been as affected as other businesses.

“BSP has increased its staff numbers this year as we position our business to meet the increasing needs of our customers,” Fleming said.

The CEO said BSP’s policy is to promote PNG staff wherever possible and to develop and train its future leaders to manage an increasingly complex business that involves, banking, asset finance, capital advisory and life insurance.

“We have almost 45 staff on our Leadership Management Development Program to develop the future leaders of the business.

“The PNG Institute of Human Resources recently awarded BSP the best employer for large private sector for the 4th consecutive year which reflects our commitment to our staff,” he said.

“Non citizen numbers have reduced by almost 20 over the past four years to around 68 but this is a consequence of our focus on promoting and recognising PNG staff,” the CEO added.

Meanwhile,  Fleming said BSP will be holding its annual meeting of shareholders on May 26 where the bank will present its results for Quarter 1 at that forum.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

33) Fiji’s foreign reserves up
8:45 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Fiji

Fiji’s foreign reserves reached an all-time high this month at $2.242 billion(US$1.073 billion), an unprecedented record level equivalent to cover 6.0 months of imports.

Foreign reserves are money or other assets held by a central bank or other monetary authority that allow a country to pay it’s liabilities if the need arises.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this in Parliament Tuesday while responding to questions on Fiji’s debt level.

“Foreign reserves at the end of April 2017 were around $2.05 billion (US$981 million) sufficient to cover 5.5 months of imports,” he said.

“This is way above the international benchmark of four months of imports covered the Reserve Bank follows.

“The good news is that our foreign reserves has risen to an all-time high of $2.242b this month equivalent to 6.0 months of imports.”

Sayed-Khaiyum said this was in a good position when compared with 2004 to 2005 where foreign reserves were around $500 million (US$239 million) with only two months’ worth of import capacity.

“When you have companies like Fiji Airways, for example, when they go and invest in A330s, when they do as an entity for example borrow from offshore banks, what the banks also look at is the foreign reserves of a country,” he said.

“If the foreign reserves of a country are in a good position, it also means that entity such as those and other state-owned enterprises or even FNPF; the interest rates are very, very attractive.”

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Barry Whiteside said the record level of reserves were mainly earnings from exports and tourism, including foreign borrowing.

“It suggests that we are able to pay for anything we import and it means we can actually pay for six months worth of imports,” he told this newspaper.

“That’s the significance of it as it is seen as a healthy level at this time,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

INFRASTRUCTURE

34 ) http://dailypost.vu/news/trial-site-paved/article_dd9d48d5-ba23-5024-bead-74a78d88a51c.html

35) Restricted weight on Taveuni’s bypass bridge

SERAFINA SILAITOGA
Wednesday, May 24, 2017-Fijitimes

Update: 6:03PM CONSTRUCTION works on the bypass bridge on Taveuni has forced contractors to restrict weight of vehicles using the bypass.

Fulton Hogan Hiways depot manager Solomone Nabete said the onsite maintenance crew were monitoring traffic and would report significant occurrences with the Fiji Roads Authority.

“Our maintenance crews are monitoring and reporting on any significant activity, which is then forwarded to FRA for further deliberation before we undertake repairs,” Mr Nabete said.

He said while the site was exposed to tide and flooding, the team had constructed a pavement to ensure stability.

Arrangements, he added had been done for the transportation of steel beams from Suva, which would be used for bridge support.

Naiyalayala bridge serves around 2000 people in the south-end of Taveuni.

LAW&ORDER,CORRUPTION+


36) Commission Of Inquiry Into Misappropriation Of Vanuatu’s European Development Fund Launched

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 15:34

Inconsistent reporting by Task Force, alleged misappropriation to be probed

Compiled by Glenda Willie

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 24, 2017) – Minister of Justice, Ronald Warsal, has launched yesterday afternoon, a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged misappropriation of European Development Fund 2017-2020.

He acted on two consecutive Council of Ministers (COM) decision in November 2016 and May 2017 on setting up independent Commissions to look into and report on the appropriation of the first release of the European Union Development Fund.

In May 2016, the EU and the Government of Vanuatu agreed on the first part of the Action Document for the Vanuatu National Indicative Plan 2017-2020 under Vanuatu Value Chain (VaVaC) Program.

The Government had committed under the terms and conditions of the EDF through action document, financing agreement, reports and programmer which have guaranteed the EDF funding of first stage of the VaVaC program.

A total amount of EUR21 million [US$23.5 million] was an envisioned budget support over the 2017-2020.

“As of today a total amount of VT130 million [US$1.2 million] has been used under the fund administrators.

“The COM is concerned on the inconsistency of the reporting obligation on the use of the fund and the alleged misappropriation by the VaVaC Task Force,” Warsal announced.

He stated that the Government had set up the inter-ministerial coordination as the VaVaC Program Task Force with the composition of the Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Bio-Security (MALFFB) and Ministry of Trade, Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB).

He continued, “As the Minister concern, I wish to state that the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry will be tasked in following the money according to their comprehensive terms of reference and for an independent report to be submitted to the Ministry and COM.”

The Minister of Justice also appointed members of the Commission who are experts in their respective fields.

The members include Edward Nalyal as the Chairman; the Secretary is Mohammed Ritzwan and Professor Donald Paterson as the Assessor.

The Commissioners are; Merelyn Arnhambat, Andrew Tarinatu and Kevin Tari.

In congratulating them on their appointment, Minister Warsal said their role is to assist the Government and the Ministry of Justice in executing the terms of reference of CoI independently and impartially.

The members of the Commission have 90 days to conduct their investigation and file their report to the relevant authorities.

Vanuatu Daily Post

http://dailypost.vu/news/commission-of-inquiry-launched/article_76903b3b-bec8-5034-b00d-fe0b5f9cd1fe.html

37) PNG Police Officer Charged With Unlawfully Recruiting Civilians Had Good Intentions

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 15:38

Assistant Commissioner:  ‘Possibility [illegal force] was for a good purpose’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 23, 2017) – A senior Papua New Guinea policeman arrested for allegedly unlawfully recruiting civilians probably had public interest at heart, according to police hierarchy.

The Police Internal Affairs directorate says Sergeant Jimmy Maiko of Gordons police station in Port Moresby was charged with raising an unauthorised force.

Sgt Maiko was accused of recruiting 17 civilians, acquiring police uniforms for them and deploying them for police duties in the Gordons market area where crime is persistent.

But the capital’s assistant police commissioner, Sylvester Kalaut, said while the police force wasn’t entirely aware of the sergeant’s move, there was a possibility it was for a good purpose.

He said something was required to address the lack of police manpower at Gordons, citing common incidents of theft and rape, and even the killing of a policeman.

“We need to have at that market a police presence,” explained Mr Kaluat.

“The sergeant organised youths from that area, especially the sons of police officers. And they were engaged to provide security, police presence at the market.”

Mr Kaluat said contrary to local media reports, Internal Affairs arrested the sergeant last month, not last week.

The assistant commissioner also suggested local media had jumped the gun by saying Sgt Maiko was forming an illegal police force.

“If that was done in the good interest of the organisation and in the interests of public safety of everyone at the Gordons market, then we can’t say that it is an illegal force.

“Anyway, we respect that the sergeant was arrested by Internal Affairs. Let the matter be sorted out and determined by the courts. When we know the outcome, we’ll take it on from there.”

Sylvester Kalaut said he felt the personnel who Sgt Maiko recruited could still be deployed as special constables by the Police Commissioner for a period of six months, as there was a need for their role.

Radio New Zealand International

CLIMATE CHANGE,CONSERVATION

38) Kaibu, Yacata waters perfect for conservation: Miller

LUKE RAWALAI
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Update: 3:42PM THE area between the two islands of Kaibu and Yacata in Northern Lau Group is perfect for conservation purposes.

Director of the Vatuvara Foundation Katy Miller had been labeled as a taboo area between 2011 and 2015.

Ms Miller said taboo was a traditional temporary closure made by communities for periods of six months to five years for cultural reasons or for maintaining their fish stocks.

“The decision to close their reefs happened after an education and awareness visit by staff from the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network and the University of the South Pacific,” said Ms Miller.

“There are many times when we survey taboo areas that are poorly selected unproductive coral reefs that are unlikely to do much to increase local fish populations.

“But on this occasion, it looks like the taboo area is in the right spot and before we leave northern Lau, we will present our results back to the local community and encourage them to reconsider declaring the area taboo again.”

Vatuvara Foundation and Wildlife Conservation Society are carrying out a joint survey in waters of Yacata on Cakaudrove and islands in the Northern Lau Group.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=401845

MINING,FORESTRY,AGRICULTURE

39) New Ireland Provincial Government Refuses To Sign Mining MOA Approved By PNG

Submitted by PIR Editor on Mon, 05/22/2017 – 15:57

Province wants national government to live up to previous promises before commiting to new projects

By Sharon Lowa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 22, 2017) – The New Ireland provincial government has refused to sign the Simberi Gold Mine memorandum of agreement recently approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) in April.

Deputy governor and chairman for natural resources in the provincial executive council Ambrose Silul said they are sick and tired of being misled by the state team negotiating the new MoA for both Simberi and Lihir Gold Mines.

Mr Silul insists that the state keep its word, and until it does, the New Ireland government will not sign any new MoA.

The New Ireland team had been renegotiating the Simberi MoA for over four years and a provisional MoA had been agreed in 2013, but that it was conditional on approval by the PEC.

“Our team wrote to the state team and Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) on October 6, 2013 that the draft MoA must include the provisions approved by the New Ireland PEC on May 21, 2013.

“That includes increasing the rate of royalties from two percent (FOB) annual revenues to 10 percent, as well as similar increases in the special support grant and tax credit scheme,” Mr Silul said.

Mr Silul further stated that the state solicitor’s office agreed that the changes the New Ireland government wanted made to the MoA would be included in the draft to go to the NEC.

He said that in a meeting in April 2015 in Kavieng, the state solicitor agreed they would include New Ireland’s provisions in both the Lihir and Simberi MoAs and allow the NEC to make a final decision.

“All we are asking is that NEC – and not the state bureaucrats – decide on the merits of our suggestions. Instead, we have a bunch of bureaucrats making decisions that should be made by NEC.”

“We will not accept this dishonesty on the part of the state team,” Mr Silul said.

Mr Silul is calling on the mining minister to conduct an immediate investigation into this affair.

The MRA mining coordinators and the state solicitor’s office deliberately and willfully misled the NEC by submitting an MoA that did not include the provisions they promised would be included.

PNG Post-Courier

40) Proposed Solomon Islands Bauxite Mine Opposed By Santa Cruz People

Submitted by PIR Editor on Tue, 05/23/2017 – 15:25

Tension rises as families, tribes differ on project

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 23, 2017) – There is tension in Solomon Islands Temotu province as people on Santa Cruz voice their opposition to plans for bauxite mining.

An Australian company Pacific Bauxite has secured a licence to prospect the island and its representatives are in the island’s capital Lata this week.

Some local people are opposed to their presence and have set up roadblocks to stop them from travelling around the island.

A spokesperson for the community, Sir John Ini Lapli, who is also a former governor general of Solomon Islands, said the issue had divided families and tribes, making the situation very tense.

“Because the great majority of people do not want this. Just the few that these people are working with. And there is a real possibility for clashes between the landowners, tribal groups, even relatives themselves if the government is not clear cut about how to deal with this.”

He said the granting of the prospecting license happened virtually overnight after a period of political instability resulted in a change to the leadership of the provincial government.

Radio New Zealand International

41) Temotu polis ino provaedem spesol sekiuriti fo Australian maening ofisol

Postim 24 May 2017, 15:25 AEST
Sam Seke
Police long Temotu Province long Solomon Islands i se olketa ino gohet fo mekem eni security protection for samfala pipol blong wanfala Australian mining company, Pacific Bauxite long Santa Cruz olsem samfala ripot i se.

Provincial Police Commander, Superintendent Frank Mesa hem se, olketa i gohet nomoa fo lukluk gut long samfala landona wea olketa i aigensim eni maening long aelan.

Hem se bae olketa i lukluk gut fastaem bifoa olketa i mekem eni disisin fo letem olketa landona i protest long naba wan long June, or nomoa.

Mr Mesa hu hem Chairman tu blong Temotu Provincial Disaster Committee hem se, wanfala ship bae lusim Lata tomorrow for go givim disaster relief saplae long ppipol wea Cyclone Donna hem spoelem olketa trifala wik igo finis.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-05-24/temotu-polis-ino-provaedem-spesol-sekiuriti-fo-australian-maening-ofisol/1673790

42) Sonk: Oil, gas yet to be tested

May 24, 2017The NationalBusiness

By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
THERE are more oil and gas reserves offshore of Papua New Guinea yet to be tested, according to Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited managing director Wapu Sonk.
Sonk was responding to a statement by Oil Search managing director Peter Botten in The National on Monday that seven billion barrels of oil were yet to be discovered in the country.
Botten told The National that so far, only 40 per cent of the oil and gas resources had been tapped into.
“We think we’ve found about 40 per cent of the reserves in PNG and we estimate that there is a further seven billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be found,” Botten said.
KPHL is the State’s oil and gas company mandated to protect and maximise the value of the country’s petroleum assets so that it can contribute to the wealth of the people.
Sonk said KPHL supported Oil Search’s views.
“KPHL support’s Oil Search view that the country’s oil and gas potential has not yet being fully exploited,” he said.
“We have only discovered close to 30TCF (trillion cubic feet) of gas but there is more to be found, especially offshore of PNG which has huge potential and yet to be tested.
“We need more seismic survey and exploration drilling to find the reserves.”
He said KPHL needed to help in policy-making, especially the third party access policy and promote downstream processing and strategic pipeline to ensure the country had a sustainable petroleum industry.
“All the unexplored areas will be explored if we have strong, stable but flexible policies that encourage exploration and also start diversifying the use of gas so more value-add can be realised,” Sonk said.
“Currently, we only cooling down the gas into LNG and exporting. So we need to be thinking energy security for ourselves by reserving some for power generation and then build the downstream processing, especially the petrochemical industry.”

WOMAN,CHILD,YOUTH


43) PNG lacks database on reported child abuse cases
5:08 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Department of Community Development and Religion Secretary Anna Solomon revealed that except for National Capital District (NCD), the country lacks a database on reported child cases.

This refers to the number of cases reported on children being abused, forced to labor, kidnapped, deserted, adoption and more.

“The importance of having a database helps us to understand how to address specific issues and affected areas in the country,” said Welfare director Simon Yanis.

Meanwhile, UNICEF is working with the department to come up with a centralised database by training data base officers on how best they can be able to expand effectively throughout the country.

Solomon said they are working with a foremost concern on NCD cases so that they work out how best they can use the data to address the nationwide child issues.

The department is likely to have a full data base by mid 2018 or the end of this year she said.

She said with no centrally coordinated system, statistics are usually gained from relevant agencies such as police and education department and NGO’s.

But data collection has been difficult over the years says  Solomon: “There has to be a centralised data base because it has been difficult collecting data from NGOs whose main concern is making money and are therefore likely to safeguard the statistics they collect.”

She said the role of the department is to work at the national level by coordinating resources and policies so that both the regional and district levels know their roles.

“At the national level we utilise the statistics to influence legislations, strategies and policies and that is why we now have the Lukautim Pikinini Act, we have the regulation, the first child national policy, operational guidelines and training manual for the Act.”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

SPORT

44 ) http://dailypost.vu/vanuatu_sports/ceremony-held-to-welcome-vanuatu-athletes-in-china/article_0ac84826-6493-51c2-b9df-5029d9f84739.html

45) Five schools in Port Vila to be Games Village for Pacific Mini Games
11:27 pm GMT+12, 23/05/2017, Vanuatu

Vanuatu will be over populated from the 4th to 15th December 2017 for the Pacific Mini Games.

Preparations are progressing well to accommodate over 2400 athletes and officials coming from 24 countries in the region including New Zealand and Australia.

No budget was allocated specifically for Game Villages, so Van2017 will be using five schools as the games villages.

These schools are Lycee, INTV, Ecole D’Anabrou, Fresh Wota and Central School.

Although there are five schools, Van2017 is looking at them as only 3 village sites because three schools are in close proximity.

Lycee, INTV and Ecole D’Naburu will be classed as only one village.

The Athlete’s Village will open on the 30th of November and close on the 17th December.

The Games will run for two weeks, starting from the Opening ceremony, on the 4th and closing ceremony on the 15th December, 2017.

The 24 countries have indicated their participation, including Australia and New Zealand who will be participating in only Weightlifting, Rugby 7’s and half marathon in Athletics.

Based on first numerical entry, PGA is looking at 2400 plus athletes and officials.

The process of entry by number is the first process as per Pacific Games Charter to get an indication from the 24 countries if they are participating.

This also helps Games Organising Committee (GOC) in their preparations and logistics.

The final process of entry is called “Entry by Name” which will formalise the numbers and names of participants both athletes and officials, including their responsibilities.

This final process will be in October.

All PGAs like Vanuatu are working hard to finalise their teams, their travel arrangements to and from Vanuatu.

As part of the preparations of the Games, Heads of Delegation called the Chef de Missions (CdM) will be travelling to Vanuatu for an important meeting called Delegation Registration Meeting (DRM) to confirm their teams and finalised their accommodations with GOC before the rest of the teams arrive in the country.

Games host hotel, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, a proud Gold Sponsor will accommodate most of VAN 2017 PGA VIPs.

Vanuatu will not only host the regional sporting event, but it will also be the Host Nation of PGA Ministers of Sport Meeting on the 3rd of December 2017.

This meeting is held at every Pacific Games. Van2017 and GOC are expecting some PGA visits between May to August..

SOURCE: LOOP VANUATU/PACNEWS

46) China boosts Samoa’s Pacific Games bid

11:48 pm GMT+12, 22/05/2017, Samoa

China has signed over $1.8 billion Chinese Yuan (US$261.8 million) to the Samoan government for the maintenance of the Aquatic Centre and the Sports Complex.

The deal was signed between China’s visiting Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zheng Zeguang and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Held at the Prime Minister’s conference room, the signing comes just in time for Samoa’s bid to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

Last week, the Prime Minister made public Samoa’s “eagerness” to host the Pacific Games. He is adamant that Samoa is the “next best country to host.”

During the signing ceremony, Tuilaepa pointed to the importance of China’s contribution to the development of Samoa.

“This is very important to the government, the assistance from China to assure that our sports facilities are continuously maintained,” he said.

He thanked China for their huge contribution to ensure Samoa’s facilities are up to par with international standards.

“The standards of these facilities enable them to host any Pacific and international events.”

He said that through China’s assistance, Samoa was able to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015.

Tuilaepa also pointed out that the Pacific Games Council will meet next week and he wants them to know that Samoa is ready.

“I want them to read on the internet that Samoa has no problems and we are spic and span (when it comes to the Sports facilities),” he said.

Tuilaepa said he was shocked by Tonga’s withdrawal to host the Pacific Games.

Speaking to the media, he said it’s important for Samoa to grab the opportunity since “we have the facilities and capability” to host the event.

“I have already spoken to the President of Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, to reach out to the Pacific Games Council,” Tuilaepa said.

According to Tuilaepa, the most important facilities that must be up to par with international standards are the Aquatic Center and the Apia Park Stadium..

SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS

47) OPINION: Is Hamilton the saviour of the Sevens?

00:29 am GMT+12, 22/05/2017, New Zealand

By Jamie Wall

It’s been mixed news for Sevens rugby over the last 12 or so hours.

Last night, the All Blacks Sevens once again crashed out of a tournament on the World Series, this time handing Scotland their first ever win over a team in a black jersey.

This is pretty much the icing on the unappetising cake of the last 12 months for the men’s programme, who were dumped out of the Olympics and have won absolutely nothing since.

They also don’t have a proper coach for some reason, and have seen their home tournament in Wellington become a sad, pitiful shadow of its former self.

But don’t worry, the other news is that the City Of The Future is coming to the rescue – Hamilton has picked up the tattered remains of the once proud Wellington event, hosting it from next year on.

Is it going to be necessarily good news? A couple of signs would point to yes, but they have nothing to do with the current tournament or even the way the men’s team are playing.

Just a week after this year’s Sevens tournament, one of the reasons for its demise also took a blow.

Having enjoyed a couple of early successful editions, the Downer NRL Nines – which helped spirit away the large Auckland market from the Sevens – suddenly found itself surrounded by the dreaded empty-stand effect as well.

People had fallen out of love pretty quickly with the Nines concept, which wasn’t helped by the fact that the Warriors had about as much success in the tournament as they’ve had in anything else they’ve attempted.

Some good footy was played, but it didn’t mask the fact that some big voices in the NRL couldn’t see the point in it.

Not only that, Nines event promoters Duco then put on a rugby union Tens event in Brisbane in what looked like an empty, cavernous Suncorp Stadium.

This one was a little bit of an optical illusion, to be fair – the cameras were facing the side of the stands that were exposed to the 37°C Queensland sun, so virtually the entire crowd were wisely staying out of sight in the shade.

However, it didn’t make up for the fact that the Tens was unfortunately a bit boring. Billed as the best of Super Rugby over one weekend, the squads turned out to be massively under-strength and had clearly put no effort into preparing for the tournament. This didn’t do Duco’s ailing credibility any good, which hasn’t been helped in recent times by the farcical nature of their promotion of Joseph Parker and very public split of founding partners David Higgins and Dean Lonergan.

Another factor in the potential revival is that while the All Black Sevens have been playing like garbage, the same can’t be said of their female counterparts.

The Black Ferns Sevens have been in fantastic form, winning their last tournament in Japan with a thrilling last play try.

World Rugby has been making serious moves to promote the women’s game of late, which will only get more air time with the upcoming Women’s World Cup later this year. The last edition provided a bevy of highlights, and the prospect of having the athletes of the Black Ferns Sevens team on show at the new Hamilton event in a concurrent women’s tournament should really be pretty high on the organisers’ wish list.

So, with the arch-rival events seemingly out of the way and the prospect of at least one national team that will be a favourite for the title, it seems like the rebirth of the Sevens in Hamilton probably could work. Throw in the easy proximity to Auckland and the fact that Waikato Stadium is a great park to watch footy in, and there are more ticks in the positive column than negative.

Just a couple of things though. Make sure you learn from Wellington’s mistakes; if not, you’ll be doomed to repeat them.

And please don’t expect us out-of-towners to drink Waikato Draught

SOURCE: RNZ/PACNEWS

48) Suva to host women’s rugby

Paulini Ratulailai
Wednesday, May 24, 2017-Fijitimes

THE Suva Rugby Union has sent out an expression of interest to its club to have a team for their women’s 10s competition next month.

SRU secretary Paula Raqeukai said this was in line with the long-term strategic plan for SRU and the parent body Fiji Rugby Union/ World Rugby to support and develop women’s rugby.

“We were looking into areas to foster good relations and gender equality and improve the overall grassroots women’s rugby development in Suva,” Raqeukai said.

“Women’s teams can be the pillar of strength to the SRU support base and improve good social investment to the club and its stakeholders; improve the prospective economic welfare and focus on our social responsibility to the citizens of Suva City and most importantly to strengthen the prospective of a good power base for women’s rugby in Fiji.”

SRU is basically looking at about 3-6 clubs to commence the competitions but will depend entirely with interest received from clubs.

Raqeukai said in order to get the teams in, they needed to get the ball rolling as surely as possible as more interest would build when the competition progressed.

“SRU is the largest union in Fiji and Suva being the home of Fiji’s Capital City, it is only appropriate that women’s rugby begins here to set the trend for other unions in the country,” Raqeukai said.

49) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-05-24/nick-kyrgios-french-open-preparations-hit-snag-with-disastrous-loss-to-qualifier-nicolas-kicker/1673644

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *