Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest # 1114 ( Friday 22 September 2017 )

Bonjour everyone,

Hope you all well.
Just a note to say a Massive thank you to the
1) President of Papua NiuGini – Sydney Wantok  Mr Steve Gagau- You did a great job with the Papua New Guinea 42nd Independence anniversary in Kensington/Sydney last Saturday 16 September 2017.
2)  Dr Michael Mel from the Australian Museum- Sydney- Welkam to Sydney City & Thank you for accepting the job with The Australian Museum ,looking after the Art Collection of Western Pacific ( Our Melanesian archive ) Blessed to have a Wantok ( Melanesian ) looking after our priceless/valuable Art Collection.From the Highlands of PNG.
And last but not least the Sydney Papua New Guinea community – Thank you everyone, for making us Melanesian Wantok’s feel Welkam at the event- My group includes Vanuatu/New Caledonia/Torres Strait Islands/Fiji and The South Islanders Of Australia.
Teng yu tru.
Looking forward to the next event : 
 
SYDWAN – 2017 KRISMAS PATI
 
Saturday 25 November (Time 6pm – 11pm )
Venue : Celebrity Lounge,City Tattersalls-Club
194-204 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
 
Dress: 80’s & 90’s theme; dress as your favourite 80’s or 90’s celebrity
Tickets: $50 pp ( include finger food )
Entertainment: Moonshine Drive Band.
 
This event is for Wantoks and Friends Of The Pacific.
 
I will be there, got me ticket last night! Its going to be fun so please do come along by yourself or with friends.
 
If you want a ticket- Please email me : voiceofmelanesia@gmail.com
 
You all have a great weekend! BON WIKEN!
 
Kind regards- Phil.
 

MELANESIA

1) PNG diplomat takes up role at MSG

The Papua New Guinea diplomat Peter Eafeare has been appointed as the deputy director-general of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Mr Eafeare, who was PNG’s representative in Fiji for a decade until 2015, officially took up the position late last month.

The MSG secretariat headquarters are in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, where Mr Eafeare will be based as deputy to the secretariat’s head, Fiji’s Amena Yauvoli.

Mr Eafeare has vast experience representing PNG at regional organisations such as the Pacific Islands Forum, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and within the MSG itself.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339870/png-diplomat-takes-up-role-at-msg

2) Strong Vanuatu quake a timely safety reminder 

The manager of Vanuatu’s geo-hazards department says this morning’s 6.4 magnitude quake is a timely safety reminder.

Esline Bule said there were no reports of damage or injury as a result of the quake centred in Erromango, and no warnings were issued.

She said it was a tectonic event and was not related to the recent increase of volcanic activity further north.

Ms Bule said although this morning’s quake was without incident, more severe events can cause a sudden tsunamis.

“If they feel a big earthquake, that they cannot stand, it means that the earthquake is big with a magnitude higher than seven. So when they feel an earthquake like this they have to move to higher ground. That’s the only advice that we can give to people now.”21/9/2017 RNZI

3) PNG’s Goroka Show attracts record crowd 

Over 5000 tourists attended last weekend’s Goroka Show in Papua New Guinea creating what’s been reported as the biggest crowd in the show’s 61-year history.

The Post Courier said tourists from Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Italy and Africa traveled to the Eastern Highlands for the annual three day event, the longest running cultural festival in PNG.

Started in 1957 by Australian patrol officers known locally as kiaps, the idea was for tribes across the region to forget their differences and come together to share their identity as one during independence day celebrations.

But while the famous Asaro mudmen of Goroka thrilled the crowds the show was marred by the death of a man competing in the slippery pole competition.

The man fell from the top of a 12 metre pole while reaching for a prize prompting calls for the competition to be removed from next year’s show.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339939/png-s-goroka-show-attracts-record-crowd

MELANESIA AFFAIRS/LAND+

4) PNG Police frustrated at lack of help from villagers over sorcery killing

Tuesday 19 December 2017

PNG Police investigating an incident in which two women in a remote village were tortured on suspicion of practising sorcery are frustrated at the lack of cooperation from local people.

One of the women died and the other is in hospital after being rescued by Police.

Epenes Nili, commander of the Police station at the Enga provincial capital, Wabag and leader of the Enga Sorcery Response Team tells Bruce Hill everyone at the village claims they saw nothing, and he blames this on fear.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-20/png-police-frustrated-at-lack-of-help-from/8964864

5) Solomon Islands vulnerable to cyber-crimes 

The Solomon Islands Director of Public Prosecution, Ronald Bei Talasasa says the country does not have any existing laws to prosecute people who are engaged in cyber-crimes.

The Island Sun reports he made the statement at a national awareness workshop on promoting information and communications on cyber-crimes and laws in the capital, Honiara.

Mr Talasasa said there was an international law called the Budapest Convention that can be used to penalise offenders involved in cyber-crime activities.

However he said Solomon Islands cannot use the law when apprehending cyber-crime criminals, and that his office can only prosecute cyber-crime offenders based on what is available in the country’s penal code.

Mr Talasasa said the starting point for Solomon Islands would be to legislate cyber-crime in the national ICT (Information and Communications Technology) policy.21/9/2017 RNZI

6) Fiji’s public sector unions to go ahead with ‘illegal’ strike ballot

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Fiji’s Confederation of Public Sector Unions says it will proceed with a secret ballot to see if its members want to strike over the government’s controversial reforms to the public service, despite being told the move is illegal.

The Confederation is made up of unions representing public servants, teachers and nurses with some 14,000 members.

It had notified the Registrar of Trade Unions of its intention to hold a secret ballot but the Registrar has refused to conduct the vote, and labelled the move illegal.

The Confederation’s general secretary, Rajeshwar Singh, says the registrar has taken the government’s side on the issue instead of remaining impartial.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-21/fijis-public-sector-unions-to-go-ahead-with/8968922

7) PNG govt wants to reduce billion dollar imported food spend 

Papua New Guinea’s national planning minister says the country currently spends about US$1.25 billion on food imports each year, an amount he wants to reduce.

Richard Maru said the government was focused on replacing imported food with local produce making a project on the Sepik Plains high on their list of priorities.

The Post Courier reports Mr Maru recently visited the Sepik Plains with Israeli investors who are set to develop the region through an agricultural project.

The so-called ‘Innovative Agro Industry’ was aiming to set up an egg farm and a broiler meat farm as well as grain production.

The investors are also planning a cocoa plantation using Israeli technology they say would produce up to 500 percent more beans than an average plantation.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339960/png-govt-wants-to-reduce-billion-dollar-imported-food-spend

TOK PISIN( Papua NiuGini/Solomon Islands & Vanuatu )


8) Singaut long ol PNG lain long Australia long sapotim on Hunters long grand final

21 September 2017, 15:58
Caroline Tiriman

Gavana blong National Capital District, i askim olgeta pipal blong Papua New Guinea long Australia long go na sapotim ol PNG Hunters long Brisbane long QRL Intrust Super Cup grand final long Sande.

Powes Parkop, i tokaut tu olsem Air Niugini i daonim prais blong tiket lusim PNG igo long Brisbane long lukim despla Intrust Super Cup grand final.

PNG Hunters bai pilai agensim Sunshine Coast Falcons long Suncorp Stadium em oli ting planti tausan pipal bai lukim.

Gavana Parkop i tok tu olsem, emi hamamas long wanpla tingting blong wanpla biknem NRL player bipo, Andrew Johns husat itok emi laik lukim PNG Hunters igo insaet long National Rugby League kompetisan long Australia.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-09-21/singaut-long-ol-png-lain-long-australia-long-sapotim-on-hunters-long-grand-final/1703462

9) Host Vanuatu bae chalengim gut ol sports powerhouse long Pacific

21 September 2017,
Sam Seke

Olgeta taim long ol Pacific Games or Mini Games, yumi save lukim olsem ol sem kantri olsem New Caledonia, Fiji, Tahiti na Papua New Guinea i save winim planti long ol gold medal.

Samoa tu i save win gut sampela taim – na sampela taim, ol host kantri tu i save win gut.

Stat long namba 4 igo inap long namba 15 long December, Vanuatu bai hostim Pacific Mini Games long Korman Stadium long Port Vila.

Moa long 2,000 athletes na offisol long 22 kantri na territory nau bai kompit long 14 pela sport long mini games.

Acting director blong Sports long Vanuatu, Paul Nalau i tok Vanuatu olsem host, bai em i traim best long salensim ol sports powerhouse long Pacific.

Mr Nalau i tok China i wok long helpim ol Vanuatu athletes na coaches long divelopim ol sports long kantri, na kompit gut long Pacific Mini Games.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-09-21/host-vanuatu-bae-chalengim-gut-ol-sports-powerhouse-long-pacific/1703476

10) Politikol stabiliti long bikpela namba ino minim gud gavman: Kerenga Kua

19 September 2017,

Papua New Guinea National Party lida, Kerenga Kua i tok stabiliti long bikpela namba insait long gavman, em ino wankain olsem gud gavman.

Em i tok stabiliti long namba em i ken kamapim bad gavman, korapsin, na ol lida long gavman i ken yusim long exploitim oa yusim ol pipol long benefitim ol lida yet.

Mr Kua i mekim dispela toktok taim Radio Australia i askim tingting blongen long hau O’Neill gavman i nau gat stabliliti long bikpela namba, bihain planti memba blong Pangu Pati i lusim oposisan na go joinim gavman.

Mr Kua i autim wari tu long planti komiuniti long PNG i nomoa gat respek long ol institusin blong gavman olsem ol kot na polis, na i gohet long kisim loa long han blong ol yet.

Em i tok ol dispela i kamap long wanem pasin we pipol i lukim ol pasin nogut long society olsem ol i nau orait.http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/tokpisin/2017-09-19/politikol-stabiliti-long-bikpela-namba-ino-minim-gud-gavman-kerenga-kua/1702808

FRENCH ( New Caledonia and Vanuatu )

11) Aircalin : grève de pilotes, deux vols annulés

Social. Sur fond de revendications salariales, le syndicat Unac avait déposé un préavis la semaine dernière. Hier, la rotation Nouméa-Sydney-Nouméa n’a pas eu lieu.

Gilles Caprais
Crée le 22.09.2017 à 04h25
Mis à jour le 22.09.2017 à 04h25

L’A320 qui aurait dû effectuer une rotation Nouméa-Sydney-Nouméa est resté à La Tontouta, hier. Le commandant de bord et le « copilote » ont suivi l’appel à la grève lancé une semaine plus tôt par l’Union des navigants de l’aviation civile (Unac), syndicat affilié à la CFE-CGC.

Deux autres pilotes – qui ont été remplacés à temps pour que leur vol soit assuré – ont fait de même. Le principal grief de l’Unac : « l’érosion de la rémunération ».

La direction d’Aircalin conteste la réalité de cette érosion et indique qu’au cours de « six rencontres », elle a « fait des propositions qui n’ont malheureusement pas permis de lever le préavis de grève illimité ». Les négociations salariales doivent s’inscrire « dans un cadre strict de maîtrise [des] charges », ajoute-t-elle.

« Variable d’ajustement »

L’Unac conteste le chiffrage de l’impact d’une augmentation salariale sur les comptes de la société, et « ses » pilotes « refusent d’être la variable d’ajustement » vis-à-vis des autres catégories de travailleurs de l’entreprise. « Sur les huit dernières années, on atteint 10 % de décalage dans l’évolution des rémunérations, affirme Dominique Manate, vice-président de l’UT CFE-CGC. Par ailleurs, chez Aircalin, le taux de personnel administratif est supérieur à celui de compagnies comme Air Tahiti Nui ».

« Nous n’assurons pas les mêmes missions, la comparaison n’est pas pertinente », balaye Lionel Adrian, secrétaire général d’Aircalin.

L’Unac avance également deux revendications mineures, qui peuvent être « travaillées à moyen terme » : une amélioration du plan de départs en retraite et une participation financière de la compagnie pour régler un litige avec la Cafat. Les deux parties se rejoignent sur un point : elles présentent leurs excuses aux passagers des deux vols annulés, qui n’ont été informés qu’à leur arrivée à l’aéroport.

Pas d’autre annulation prévue

« La situation ne pouvait pas être anticipée », regrette la direction. « Les personnels grévistes peuvent se déclarer comme tels au moment de leur prise de service, 1 h 45 avant le vol », explique Aircalin. Dominique Manate se dit « étonné » par cette justification. « Le pilote en question est le délégué syndical qui a mené les discussions avec la direction. Il a signé le préavis de grève qui entrait en vigueur mercredi soir à 22 heures. Il était évident qu’il serait gréviste le jeudi matin, je ne comprends pas pourquoi la direction l’a inscrit au planning de vol ».

Aucune autre annulation n’est pour l’instant envisagée. « Afin de réduire l’impact de cette grève pour nos clients, la compagnie recherche des équipages pour effectuer son programme de vols » a indiqué Aircalin hier matin. Un nouveau point d’information sera effectué aujourd’hui à midi.http://www.lnc.nc/article/pays/social/aircalin-greve-de-pilotes-deux-vols-annules

12 ) http://www.lnc.nc/breve/video-affaire-carte-jeunes-le-tribunal-annule-la-procedure

POLYNESIA 


13) New APTC graduates celebrate success in Tonga

20/09/2017, Tonga

Over 30 Tongan nationals received their certificates in 12 different programmes during the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation ceremony in Nuku’alofa on 20 September, 2017.

The new graduates join more than 400 APTC Tongan alumni, of which over 220 are women.

In his keynote address, Australian High Commissioner to Tonga,Andrew Ford congratulated the new graduates on their achievements.

“You are now a recipient of an internationally-recognised qualification. This means that you have the ability to shape your future with new and innovative ideas and make a difference in your own spheres of influence. I encourage you to share your new skills and knowledge to serve your employers, families, communities and your country,” he said.

“I am pleased that APTC offers skills and training that is aligned to labour market demand to allow Tongan nationals and other Pacific Islanders to gain Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers.  It is supporting greater opportunities for productive employment and self-employment for Pacific people in national and international labour markets and improving economic growth.”

Ford also congratulated APTC on achieving the milestone of successfully providing technical and vocational education and training across the Pacific for the last 10 years.

Since it was established in 2007, APTC has provided internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications to more than 11,000 Pacific women and men from 14 Pacific Island Forum countries.

“The Australian Government is proud to support the Australia-Pacific Technical College and the work it has done over the last decade in upskilling Pacific Island citizens. The excellent track record of these APTC graduates in employment and communities, especially here in Tonga, speaks well of APTC’s remarkable progress over the past 10 years,” he said.

Ford also made special mention of the women graduates, adding, the skills and training provided by APTC to women is in line with the Australian Government’s development priority of creating equal opportunities for women.

Tongan alumni from 2008 to 2017 held a special procession at the start of the ceremony to commemorate APTC’s 10-year anniversary.

APTC’s 10-year anniversary was launched earlier this month by the Samoan Prime Minister, Afioga Fatialofa Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi at the APTC Samoa graduation….

SOURCE: APTC/PACNEWS

14 ) http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339914/tongan-governor-says-he-did-no-wrong-in-development-spend

15) Samoa PM has talks with Indonesian minister in New York

19/09/2017, United States

In a sign of closening ties between the two countries, Samoa’s prime minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has met with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister in New York.

Tuilaepa had talks with Retno Marsudi on the margins of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly which got underway this week.

The two countries recently forged a trade agreement, ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Apia, where Indonesia offered Samoa increased technical assistance.

According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marsudi said Indonesia was ready to help Samoa facilitate technical and capacity-building training in information, communication and technology.

She also discussed building links in agriculture, fisheries, tourism and disaster management sectors.

Marsudi is pushing for more interaction between senior officials of both countries, to “further promote cooperation in various sectors, especially trade and investment”.

Samoa’s government ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Communication, Information and Technology recently visited Jakarta.

She has also invited young Samoans to participate in the Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship programme.

SOURCE: RNZI/PACNEWS

MICRONESIA

16) Tuvalu buys 5000 tonnes of rock from Nauru 

Tuvalu is buying 5000 tonnes of rocks from Nauru as part of a coastal adaptation project to protect the country’s newly reclaimed Queen Elizabeth II Park.

According to the Nauru government the park is being developed by Tuvalu as part of its preparation towards hosting the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting.

It said a landing craft from Vanuatu will come to Nauru to load and transport the boulders to Tuvalu.

The exact details of the transaction were not disclosed but it is understood Tuvalu made the purchase through the Green Climate Fund.

The signing took place on the margins of the Forum Leaders Summit in Apia.

The Forum secretary general Dame Meg Taylor said the initiative was an example of what can be achieved through cooperation and partnership between smaller island states.RNZI 22/9/2017

17) Nauru to build new home for president

The Nauru government has acquired land for the building of a residence for the country’s president Baron Waqa.

The State House is to be constructed at Cliff Lodge, which began as the home of the manager of the British Phosphate Commission and later became the residence of the manager of the Nauru Phosphate Corporation.

The government has leased the land from the 22 landowners for a 50-year period with a right of renewal.

The government’s Nauru Bulletin said the island had not had a residence for its president for many years.RNZI 22/9/2017.

18) Guam governor warns North Korea would be destroyed 

The governor of Guam Eddie Calvo says North Korea would be destroyed by the United States if it fires missiles at the US territory.

President Donald Trump made a similar threat in an address to the United Nations General Assembly this week in which he referred to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “rocketman”.

Last month, Pyongyang threatened to fire missiles towards Guam which is home to three US military bases.

Mr Calvo told Pacific Daily News he was glad President Trump was using strong language in response to the North Korean threat.

“Any attack on Guam, I want Kim Jong-un to know that would probably mena the destruction of North Korea,” he said.

“I would hate to see so much destruction of life, but for someone as crazy as Kim Jong-un you’ve got to do it in as simple and as primal a sense as possible. And I don’t know how it could more simpler than that.”

Eddie Calvo’s Guam is about 3400 kilometres from North Korea and within range of a missile it recently fired over Japan.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339951/guam-governor-warns-north-korea-would-be-destroyed

AUSTRALIA

19) Tongan-Australian politician speaks in Tongan language in ACT parliament

Tuesday 19 December 2017

After an MP in the Australian Capital Territory used the Tongan language in a speech celebrating International Mother Language Day, the Speaker has asked members to speak English or provide a transcribed copy of their speech beforehand.

Liberal Party Members of the Legislative Assembly, Elizabeth Falemaka Kikkert and Elizabeth Lee spoke in Tongan and Korean respectively.

Speaker Joy Burch said while their speeches in their native tongues were a great contribution to the debate, she needed to understand what was being said.

Elizabeth Kikkert tells Bruce Hill that’s a reasonable request.Audio  – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-20/tongan-australian-politician-speaks-in-tongan/8964866

20) New Australia Pacific labour scheme has pastoral care facility 

An academic says the new Pacific Labour Facility will improve pastoral care for Pacific workers in Australia.

ten to the full report on Dateline Pacific

Australia announced that Pacific Islanders would be able to work for up to three years in certain sectors, such as health and agriculture, under its new Pacific Labour Scheme.

This follows the seasonal worker scheme that provided thousands of Pacific people with visas to work in horticulture and viticulture for about about six months.

Matthew Dornan of the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre said to ensure the welfare of the workers, many of whom will work in rural areas, the new scheme will provide pastoral care.

“There have been abuses under the seasonal worker programme. One of the underlying reasons for that is that employers to a great extent have been responsible for those pastoral care responsibilities and that creates a power imbalance between the employer and the employee,” he said.

“Under this new Pacific Labour Facility it would take over those pastoral care responsibilities.”

Initially the new labour scheme will be for just 2000 people from Tuvalu, Nauru and Kiribati.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339952/new-australia-pacific-labour-scheme-has-pastoral-care-facility

NEW ZEALAND

21) Tongan Consulate denies royal endorsement of Maori Party 

Tonga’s Consulate in Auckland has denied claims by Maori Party candidate Manase Lua that he was endorsed by King Tupou VI ahead of New Zealand’s election on Saturday.

Earlier this week the Maori Party confirmed that Maori King Tuheitia approached his Tongan counterpart to ask Tongans to provide a candidate.

It said Mr Lua, who is standing in the Maungakiekie electorate, had been blessed by the Royal Houses.

The statement raised concerns from the Tongan Advisory Council chair Melino Maka who said seeking royal endorsements was dangerous.

However, Tongan Consul Stafford ‘Aho says that no such endorsement occurred.

Maori Party President Tukoroirangi Morgan has said the royal endorsement is not his business, but the party wants to honour a desire by King Tuheitia to work with the Pacific community.

Six candidates from New Zealand’s Pacific communities are standing in general seats for the Maori Party in the election.22/9/17 RNZI

22a ) Many Cook Islanders may be eligible to vote in NZ election 

The New Zealand High Commission in Rarotonga says many Cook Islanders who are eligible to vote in Saturday’s general election in New Zealand don’t realise they’re entitled to do so.

The High Commission’s first secretary Sarah Short told the Cook Islands News that people who have previously lived in New Zealand and were enrolled to vote are still able to cast a ballot.

Ms Short said if Cook Islanders were not sure if they are on the New Zealand electoral roll they could check online.

She said voters can re-enroll at the High Commission and vote at the same time up until four o’clock on Friday afternoon.

More votes have been cast in the Cooks so far this year than for the previous election.RNZI 22/9/2017.

22b ) 
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339915/nz-political-parties-outline-pacific-policies-ahead-of-election

ASIA

23 ) http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-09-22/north-korea-kim-jongun-denounces-donald-trump-after-us-president-announces-new-sanctions/1703570

HEALTH


24) Cancer common across genders

Vishaal Kumar
Friday, September 22, 2017

CERVICAL and breast cancer are by far the most common comprising 34 per cent of all cancers across both genders in the country.

This was revealed by Fiji Cancer Society board member Makrava Wilson, who said cancer was responsible for 10 per cent of deaths in the country and more than 1200 new cases being recorded annually with prostate cancer being common among men.

“Our challenge is to reduce these numbers through vigorous awareness, screenings and providing timely treatment and counselling,” he said.

“The FCS currently works and partners with the Ministry of Health, various non-government organisations, corporate and faith-based organisations to educate the public on cancer.

“This is a preventative measure, and that is providing knowledge, education, advocacy, diagnosis, treatment, support and most importantly hope.”

Mr Wilson said the cost of cancer treatment was quite high.

“Now because we survive purely from donations, it is extremely important that we maintain financial integrity, which is why our accounts are always audited.”

He said to ensure good governance, there was a governance framework in place.

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=417303 FCS will host the “PINK WALK” walkathon at the end of this month.

25) 90pc births safe

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, September 22, 2017

THE Labasa Hospital has become Fiji’s safest hospital to deliver babies for expectant mothers.

Hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Jaoji Vulibeci confirmed Labasa Hospital had passed the 90 per cent mark in the Mother Safe Hospital initiative audit.

“This is the only hospital in Fiji that has gone pass the 90 per cent mark and it makes Labasa Hospital the safest hospital to deliver your baby,” he said.

“We have the only labour ward with the highest number of midwives per shift and almost all graduated from the Labasa Sangam Nursing School have used the ANZ Labour Ward as their teaching arena. Our stillbirths have been reduced by 50 per cent.”

Dr Vulibeci said the assistance from foreign medical teams boosted the hospital’s supply of equipment and machines in treating patients.

He said early this year the hospital was given the obstetrics and gynaecological equipment by the Friends of Fiji team from New Zealand.

For more on this story, pick up your copy of today’s newspaper or subscribe to our E-edition.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=417264

EDUCATION

26) Vanuatu teachers union talks tough over wage rise 

Vanuatu’s Teachers’ Union is threatening industrial action if the Teaching Service Commission fails to start paying teachers their new higher salaries within two weeks.

More than 1000 teachers are affected.

The union president Willie Abiut told the Daily Post newspaper that in a letter to the Commission the union has said if the payments are not made on time it will order industrial action throughout the country.

But the commission chairman, Derek Alexander, said he had not received the letter.

However, he has told the union the commission hopes to roll out the new teachers’ salary scale this year, at a date which it has yet to set.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339971/vanuatu-teachers-union-talks-tough-over-wage-rise

POLITIC


27) Vanuatu Government MPs defect to Opposition

19/09/2017, VanuatuVanuatu Government MPs Ephraim Kalsakau and Fred Tasso of the Workers Party for Vanuatu Development, have defected to the Opposition group.

The Deputy and Acting Leader of the Opposition bloc, Fred Tasso, told the Daily Post they decided to leave the Government because of alleged broken promises.

He claimed Prime Minister Charlot Salwai had promised to allocate a position of Parliamentary Secretary (PS) for Labour to them three times, but this has never eventuated.

He said they have vast experience to deal with labour matters which have become insurmountable and need political will to deal with these labor issues in the country.

MP Tasso said another reason is that they do not want to be part of any attempt to increase MP salaries, while the ordinary citizens of the country struggle to make ends meet.

According to a press release by the Opposition bloc to the local media Tuesday, the two MPs defected to the Opposition because of the alleged “overspending of unbudgeted funds to unproductive means solely for the unity of the government coalition and the failure of the Prime Minister in managing the overall functions of the government. In addition there have been continued discontent within government backbenchers”.

The two MPs also opposed the signing of the PACER Plus trade agreement, which they say was signed prematurely and without sufficient consultation.

MP Tasso also explained that on July 30, 2017, the name U-Bloc was changed to ‘Workers Party for Vanuatu Development’.

The Opposition bloc now commands 10 Members.

In response to the decision of the two MPs to return to the Opposition, the Government Public Relations Officer (PRO), Hilaire Bule said their move is their democratic right.

He went on to stress that the two MPs joined the Government on their own accord and not at the request of the Charlot Salwai’s Government.

“When they performed a customary ceremony to the Prime Minister, they told him that they came with no conditions but to support a stable government and because being with the Opposition does not allow them to implement their policies objectives,” said Bule.

“The reason for their move back to the Opposition is totally unfounded and untrue.

“They may have an agenda which they did not want to disclose to the public but otherwise the Charlot Salwai government is still commanding the majority of 42 MPs and have carried out numerous economic and social development including major infrastructures this country has ever seen.

“The country is politically stable under the leadership of PM Salwai and this Government remains committed to the nation’s development goals, until the end of its term in 2020”.

The two MPs move back to the Opposition has no effect on the present coalition government, said Bule

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS

28) Mixed messages from PNG government on proposed budget saving strategy

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his deputy, the Treasurer, Charles Abel, appear to be at odds over how to squeeze out enough funds to keep the Papua New Guinea economy afloat.

Mr Abel says provincial governors have agreed to cuts of 80 percent in their funding, as part of his 100-day plan designed to balance a supplementary budget that will be tabled when parliament sits again next Tuesday.

But Mr O’Neill has put out a statement from New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly, saying there will be no cuts to either the Provincial Services or District Services Improvement Programs.

Meanwhile the International Monetary Fund has weighed in suggesting that the figures contained in the supplementary budget are in their words, ambitious at best.

Former PNG Treasury advisor, and now the Principal of PNG Economics, Paul Flanagan says it will be tough for the Treasurer to keep everyone happy including the Prime Minister, with whom he appears to have had a mix-up.Audio –

http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-21/mixed-messages-from-png-government-on-proposed/8966768


29) AG launches Fiji Television Limited New Office

20/09/2017, FijiFiji’s Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum launched the Fiji Television Ltd new office in Suva Wednesday night.

While speaking at the event, the A-G urged all media organisations to collaborate in terms of broadcasting news.

“For example, if Fiji television has an exclusive story when they actually run that story, no other news agency is allowed to run the story even if its important so we need to collaborate,” he said.

“The media in Fiji is free and there are no restrictions to any media organisation, they can report on any news item of course within the media guideline that had been setup by company.”

Since Fiji is developing country, the A-G urged for more training of journalists in order to report better on issues that contribute to economic development.

The A-G also stressed on the need for media organisations to invest in their journalists as this would result in the production of better quality programmes within the organisation.

Fiji Television Limited employees close to 60 staff and according to chief executive officer Karen Lobendahn they will continue to bring more exciting programmes for their viewers.

SOURCE: DEPTFO NEWS/PACNEWS

30) ‘Media free, not restricted’

Filipe Naigulevu
Friday, September 22, 2017

MEDIA in Fiji is free and there are absolutely no restrictions for any media organisation to report on any news.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum reiterated this while officially opening the new Fiji Television Ltd office in Suva on Wednesday night.

“There are absolutely no restrictions, within the media acceptable standards for people to run any stories,” he said.

However, he stressed the importance of development stories which were critical to Fiji as a developing country.

“We have to realise that we are a developing country. Development stories are very important to us,” he said.

“We need to be able to focus on those areas that contribute to economic development.”

For more on this story, pick up your copy of today’s newspaper or subscribe to our E-edition.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=417273

LAW&ORDER

31) Concerns that changes to PNG’s ICAC bill will undermine its effectiveness

Tuesday 19 December 2017

There are concerns in Papua New Guinea that changes to the government’s legislation to set up an Independent Commission Against Corruption will undermine its effectiveness.

At a public seminar last week the Attorney General Davis Stevens indicated a future ICAC would not have powers to arrest and prosecute alleged offenders.

Those powers would remain with the police and the public prosecutor.

Mr Stevens also said the Prime Minister would be in charge of the appointment of ICAC commissioners.

Eddie Tanago from community advocacy group ACT NOW! says the changes to the original legislation that was tabled during the last parliament will weaken the ICAC’s political independence.Audio- http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-20/concerns-that-changes-to-pngs-icac-bill-will/8964862

32) PNG Government welcomes US decision to take 54 asylum seekers

20/09/2017, Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Government has welcomed the approval by the United States to resettle some refugees from Manus, and hopes more cases are resolved before the closure of the centre next month.

A United States Department official confirmed that a “first group” of 54 refugees had been approved and would travel to the US in the coming weeks, and more should be resettled in the coming months. An agreement was struck last year with the Obama administration.

The Manus regional processing centre will be closed on Oct 31 in compliance with a PNG Supreme Court ruling last year that the detention of asylum seekers on the island was in breach of the PNG constitution.

A PNG Government spokesman told The National that the process involving the settlement of refugees in the US had been underway for some time.

“In broader terms, we (Government) look forward to seeing other individual asylum-seeker cases advanced, particularly ahead of the closure of the Manus regional processing centre,” he said.

“Ultimately, the intent of the Manus centre was to do our part to put an end to people smuggling in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani currently held at the Manus centre welcomed the US government decision.

Boochani called on the US and Australia to specify a time frame for sending people to America.

“Their (Australia’s) plan is to close Manus detention centre by the end of October and until now, they could not because the refugees have resisted and refused to leave the detention centre and go to East Lorengau,” Boochani said.

There are 730 refugees on Manus and 1053 on Nauru at the end of August, according to the Australian government.

Many of the refugees have been on Manus since 2012 after PNG and the Kevin Rudd-led Labor government signed an agreement to process their cases at the Manus centre.

Meanwhile, PNG Police want to take over the Manus refugee centre when it closes next month, according to Police Commissioner Gari Baki.

He said he wants to set up a New Guinea Islands regional police training centre there.

Baki said the police needed more officers in view of the increasing population and to avoid situations where officers were outnumbered in violent situations.

“That is why the constabulary will bid for the East Lorengau refugee training centre when it closes next month,” Baki said.

“The constabulary will be tendering for the centre as a government agency.”

He hopes to have more regional police training centres around he country.

Baki said police on Manus were helping with the relocation of refugees from the refugee centre.

The regional asylum detention centre and the East Lorengau refugee training centre will cease operations on Oct 31.  The centre has six buildings and can cater for up to 300 people.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

BUSINESS


32) Wedding market

Monika Singh
Thursday, September 21, 2017

DESTINATION weddings have become a major part of tourism in Fiji with major resorts and hotels carving a name for them in this market.

Warwick Fiji has become a major player in the tourism wedding market with its fair share of weddings over the past few years.

General manager Brad Downton says they hold about 120 weddings per year and they expect the numbers to grow even further.

Mr Downton said Warwick Resorts and Hotels were now actively represented in Australia and their team was quite actively holding roadshows in Australia to attract more guests towards their wedding packages.

He said they had also recruited staff members for their wedding sales division with a sole focus on the wedding market.

According to Mr Downton there are a number of established operators in Fiji that provide wedding services which showed that there was a lot of confidence in the local market.

“We are seeing an increase in weddings out of New Zealand whereby couples come to Fiji and the Warwick for their weddings,” he said.

Cook Islands is the usual destination for New Zealand weddings however Mr Downton said this habit had changed over the past few years whereby more and more Kiwis were coming to Fiji for their weddings.

Meanwhile, he said, the usual practice for most of their wedding couples was to return to Warwick and their other properties to celebrate their wedding anniversaries.

With the great hospitality at the resort, returnee numbers have grown over the years with the resort and its other properties were catering for large numbers of guests this season.

“We are catering for more than 650 guests — right through to November.”

He said this was usually the peak period for the resort as it was school holidays in their main source market — Australia.

The resort also hosted New South Wales Eagles at the resort last week and this week they are hosting the Classic Wallabies.

Mr Downton said they attracted a lot of businesses — conferences and seminars which also boosted occupancy rates at their properties.

said their occupancy rates had increased over the past few years which was a positive sign for the resort.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=417178

33) K4 billion spent on food imports annually


20/09/2017, Papua New GuineaPNG continues to spend K4 billion (US$1.2 billion) in food imports each year announced Minister for National Planning & Monitoring and Member for Yangoru-Saussi Richard Maru.

“But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Government will focus on replacing food imports from here onwards and the Sepik Plains is high on our list of priorities,” said Maru.

Maru said this after a recent visit to the Sepik plains with Israeli investors set to develop East Sepik through an Innovative Agro Industry. The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg laying farm, broiler meat farm, and grain production. The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 per cent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.

CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Kautu Boutua, said with the partnership of Innovative Agro Industry, the Board is keen to see a different result with the new technology and a new way of approaching agriculture development.

“LR Group is waiting for the Government’s equity contribution of K14 million in the joint venture between the State and the LR Group before work commences. We are going to include that in the Supplementary Budget in the next two weeks,” Minister Maru said.

The project is expected to create thousands of jobs for locals and promote wealth creation. The project will also consist of a state-of-the-art training facility that will provide training and extension services to all the farmers in the area.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

34) Government quietly sacks Air Vanuatu’s board of directors

Wednesday 20 December 2017

It has emerged that Air Vanuatu’s board of directors was sacked by the government last month, with news of the move only breaking this morning.

It appears as if the government may have tried to keep its decision under wraps, and the reasons behind the terminations are still unknown.

Dan McGarry, editor of the Vanuatu Daily Post, says the situation raises questions of Government accountability and transparency.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-21/government-quietly-sacks-air-vanuatus-board-of/8968908

CLIMATE CHANGE/CONSERVATION

35) Vanuatu’s small delegation to COP23 climate talks causes concern

Thursday 21 December 2017

The private sector delegation from Vanuatu that will represent the country at COP23 in Germany next month is going to be a lot smaller than anticipated.

Only two of the ten names submitted to the Ministry of Climate Change in Port Vila have been approved, apparently because there is no funding available to send anyone else.

Ministry Advisor, Glen Craig, is now one of a select duo who will be heading to Bonn for the latest UN climate talks, with the other delegate being Dr Chris Bartlett from the National Disaster Management Office.

With the summit being chaired by Fiji, Mr Craig says Vanuatu is not making the most of the best chance yet for the Pacific islands to advocate for funding.Listen to audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-22/vanuatus-small-delegation-to-cop23-climate-talks/8974126

36) Bainimarama calls for new emissions target at the UN

Fiji’s prime minister has renewed his call for a more ambitious target to reduce global carbon emissions at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Frank Bainimarama speaks at the UN Foundations Dinner in New York. Photo: supplied

In his address Frank Bainimarama urged world leaders to strive for more than just the two degrees target set in Paris in 2015.

In November, Mr Bainimarama will take up the presidency COP23 UN climate change conference in Germany.

He told leaders at the General Assembly they should commit to limiting global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“It may be tempting for political leaders to show that they are protecting some national industry or near term economic goal,” he said.

“But at what cost? If we view this as some sort of negotiation in which each country tries to preserve its narrow national interests we will all lose. We will be powerless to protect our own people from the consequences of climate change.”http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339950/bainimarama-calls-for-new-emissions-target-at-the-un

37) Natural disasters cost Pacific $502m

8:32 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2017, Fiji

The average annual direct losses caused by natural disasters in the South Pacific region are estimated at US$284million (FJ$502million).

Citing statistics from the World Bank, International Labour Organisation (ILO) director for Pacific Island Countries (PICs), Donglin Li made the comment while opening the Working Out Disaster workshop in Nadi Tuesday.

Li said recent natural disasters in the Pacific and around the world were testament to the fact that climate change was a reality.

“In recent years, disasters are not only becoming frequent but more intense,” he said.

“The Category 5 cyclones in Vanuatu in 2015 and Fiji in 2016 and Hurricane Irma that hit Florida recently which formed in the Caribbean and affected its islands is a testimony to this fact,” said Li.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS

38) PNG lacks planning for mass evacuation, disaster official says
11:31 pm GMT+12, 19/09/2017, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has no plans or strategies in place for conducting mass evacuation in major disasters.

Evacuations for people affected by natural or man-made disasters so far had been done on an ad-hoc basis.

This was revealed during the first-ever workshop on mass evacuation conducted by the International Organisation for Migration in partnership with the National Disaster Centre (NDC) in Port Moresby this week.

Assistant director for risk management with NDC Kaigabu Kamnanaya, when asked by The National about plans the Government had in place at the national or provincial and district levels for mass evacuation, admitted that there was none.

“To be frank, we do not have in place a mass evacuation strategy or plan at the national or provincial and district levels to conduct mass evacuation if needed during disasters,” he said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

39) Serious disaster threats for Bougainville
5:14 pm GMT+12, 20/09/2017, Papua New Guinea

A new Disaster Risk Assessment report released recently shows the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) is highly prone to multiple hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

AROB is one of five provinces and regions featured in the report conducted by a team of experts from the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) and supported by technical specialists from relevant institutions of Papua New Guinea. RIMES is co-owned and operated by Governments in Asia and Africa and helps its members generate and apply early warning disaster information.

Khusrav Sharifov, UNDP Technical Specialist for Disaster Risk Management said this Disaster Risk Assessment shows that the Autonomous Region of Bougainville faces serious risks from multiple hazards.

“The region’s seismic; tsunami and volcanic hazard are the highest among the five pilot provinces and regions we have assessed, based on various estimates and disaster modelling. This requires serious attention in terms of risk reduction measures to be implemented in Bougainville,” Sharifov said.

The preliminary results of the assessment report indicate that:

*If a strong earthquake occurs in Solomon Sea, it may generate a large tsunami that would impact the whole of western side of Bougainville (including Buka Island), with most households living in the south-west of mainland Bougainville considered to be highly vulnerable.

*Approximately 47,000 households remain vulnerable to earthquakes of different magnitudes, with varying degree of vulnerability

*Approximately 61,000 households, mainly residing in Torokina and Arawa districts remain vulnerable to the Bagana volcano.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

40) Fiji joins France for Global Summit on climate change pact

5:21 pm GMT+12, 20/09/2017, United States

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama joined newly elected President of France Emmanuel Macron for the ‘Global Pact for the Environment’ at the UN in New York.

A forum for countries to discuss their own climate change agendas, Wednesday’s meeting saw Prime Minister Bainimarama pledge his own support, as incoming President of COP23 “that Fiji will do everything in its power to preserve and protect the legacy of the Paris Agreement.”

“We intend to do our part to bring the Paris Agreement to life, by making great strides towards fully implementing it during COP23 so that we are ready for success in COP24″, PM Bainimarama said.

The forum was also an opportunity for PM Bainimarama and the French President to meet for the first time.

SOURCE: DEPTFO NEWS/PACNEWS

MINING/AGRICULTURE/FORESTRY/TOURISM+


41) Truly Organic

9:07 pm GMT+12, 20/09/2017, VanuatuSome of the 1,000 certified organic farmers on Tanna now link their status to a brand new dawn, on taking organic farming to a new level beyond Vanuatu.

This follows the historic launching of the Regional Brand of Organic Pasifika at Lenakel Laminu Stadium Wednesday.

The decision to launch at Tanna reflects the simple truth that the largest number of certified organic farmers comes from the Southern island.

Not only that but the composer and lead singer of Noisy Boys known by his first name as Thomas, broke through Yasur volcano’s thick volcanic dust with the wordings of his most sung song when he challenged farmers to rise up and till the land to earn a living singing that money comes from hard work. If they do not work hard then they would miss the opportunity as money would slip out of their grasp.

Whether Thomas and Noisy Boys knew 35 years ago of this dawn remains a mystery.

However, everyone who heard Thomas sing his song again connected perfectly to the launch of the new dawn said, “Indeed Thomas penned those words over 30 years ago and yet they are as fresh as if the song was composed only yesterday for Vanuatu to lead the Pacific in organic farming today”.

In the same way that the Yasur volcano keeps dishing out God’s own fertiliser to shower parts of the southern Island with ash to enrich the soil for farmers to plant the biggest vegetables in the country, nothing whatsoever could stop a powerful custom dance that swooped in from the main road into Laminu Stadium to symbolise the spirit of ‘man Tanna’ as the hardest working farmers in the country.

To confirm the truth, Nambo Moses who is the Pacific Region’s Chairman of Poetcom and Benuel Tarilongi, Vanuatu’s Organic Committee Chairman, jointly handed over an organic basket prepared by Vanuatu Syndicat Agricole in collaboration with Tanna Coffee, Nabil and Nasituan, to the President of Tafea Province, Geoffrey Nalau.

The basket consisted of vegetables and products which are already certified organics.

In his message to the President of Tafea Province, the Chairman of the National Organic Committee assured the President that that the contents of the basket are now his responsibility to encourage farmers particularly on Tanna, to continue to work hard to maintain consistency.

The farmers can now work with assistance from Vanuatu Syndicat Agricole as well as Tafea Provincial Agricultural Field Assistant, to qualify other crops to the list to achieve organic certification.

Tanna coffee, potatoes, carrots, onions and peanuts have already been certified organic crops.

Vanuatu Syndicat Agricole Director Peter Kaoh and Director of Agriculture thanked the UNDP for funding the launch along with all other NGOs who contributed towards the historic event.

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS

42 ) 
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339938/pacific-chocolate-and-coffee-on-show-in-auckland

WOMAN/YOUTH/CHILD


43) Women localising peace solutions, 17 years on

Tokasa Bolalailai
Friday, September 22, 2017

AS part of commemorating the International Day of Peace yesterday, femLinkpacific organised a Women’s Peace Table event where they shared thoughts on localising peace solutions.

“It’s bringing women together to talk about peace not just in the context in the presence of war but actually in the context of defining what a peaceful society would look like,” said femLinkpacific executive producer and director Sharon Bhagwan Rolls.

She said it had been an ongoing event for 17 years with the aim of achieving sustainable development goals by 2020.

“In 2020 we know that it will be 20 years since the adoption of security resolutions and we’ll be midway in terms of the implementation of the sustainable development goals,” she said.

For more on this story, pick up your copy of today’s newspaper or subscribe to our E-edition.http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=417272

SPORT

44) Push is on for PNG Hunters to get NRL spot

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Rugby league commentator and former Newcastle and Cronulla player, Matty Johns, wants the PNG Hunters to join NRL and he’s urging officials to give them the green light when they decide the time is right for expansion.

The Hunters are grabbing plenty of attention in Australia at the moment, ahead of Sunday’s Intrust Super Cup Grand Final against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

And the Chief Executive of the PNG RFL, Reatau Rau, says the fact that Johns has taken up their cause, pushing for the Hunters to go on to even bigger things, is a great boost.Audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-21/push-is-on-for-png-hunters-to-get-nrl-spot/8966782

45) Feast of rugby league ahead for PNG fans
Thursday 21 December 2017

Excitement is mounting all around Papua New Guinea ahead of the Hunters’ first bid to take out the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final when they play the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Brisbane on Sunday.

And 24 hours earlier there’s the annual clash between the PNG and Australian Prime Ministers’ XIIIs in Port Moresby, and a first ever rugby league test match for the Papua New Guinea women’s team.

As far as the Hunters’ big game is concerned, many are predicting a record crowd with hundreds of fans making the trip from PNG, and strong support expected from the Papua New Guinean community in Australia.

The task ahead for the Hunters’ coach, Michael Marum, is to keep his players grounded, ready to produce their best on the big stage, and Pacific Beat’s rugby league reporter, Melvin Levongo, says the squad have been preparing in a very calm and measured fashion.Listen to audio – http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-22/feast-of-rugby-league-ahead-for-png-fans/8974088

46) Air Niugini’s special flight sells out

11:54 pm GMT+12, 20/09/2017, Papua New Guinea

The special flight by Air Niugini to Brisbane on Sunday morning for rugby league fans to watch the SP Hunters play in the Queensland Cup grand final is full.

The airline said this was because of the high demand by local fans wanting to watch the match against the Sunshine Coast Flacons live at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Air Niugini general manager commercial Dominic Kaumu said this was also due to the subsidising of the flight by National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.

“The special flight to Brisbane is fully-booked with the 90 available seats on the Fokker-100 sold out. There was a rush soon after Parkop made the commitment to subsidise the flight,” Kaumu said.

“People have to understand that there are limited seats available for a flight.”

Because of the high demand, the airline is considering having a second special flight this weekend.

“There has been an overwhelming demand from people to want to watch the SP Hunters game and we are considering ways to have some more flights to Brisbane to cater for this,” he said.

“Those interested can also go through Townsville and Cairns before transiting to Brisbane. Those flight options are still available as well.

“We are also encouraging the public to prepare themselves before rushing to purchase tickets in terms of getting a visa in advance and also buying tickets for the grand final game itself.

“There are already some cases where customers have rushed to get tickets without sorting out other necessary and important requirements for travelling.”.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS

47) PNG Hunters claim underdog tag for final 

The Papua New Guinea Hunters are claiming underdog status for this weekend’s Intrust Super Cup rugby league grand final.

The Port Moresby based club will take on Sunshine Coast Falcons at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Head coach Michael Marum said his team will be at full strength for the title decider, after resting up during a bye last weekend, but, despite finishing as minor premiers, insisted they won’t start the match as favourites.

“A lot of expectations from everyone up here, they always want us to win,”but the good thing is we’re probably rated as underdogs,” he said.

“Favourites is Falcons, they’re the favourites for the title, but that’s what we want and the boys have been preparing well so far.

“They’ve all stuck together and no one is getting ahead of themselves and doing stuff on their own and it’s more of a team effort, everyone putting in.

“Even the players that are not part of the squad but they’re still travelling (with the team) – it’s a good feeling in camp here”.

The Hunters have chalked up a series of milestones this season – securing their first minor premiership and winning their first finals match, at the fourth attempt – but they were outclassed 38-14 in their only encounter with Sunshine Coast so far this season at the start of April.

The Hunters missed the playoffs by one point in their debut campaign in 2014 and have since qualified for the post-season three years running.

Michael Marum’s been in charge the whole way through and said the team continues to improve.

“Over the past three years no one expected us to come this far so to get the minor premiership and then win the major semi-final (and) get into the grand final ahead of the other teams is a big achievement for us,” reflected Marum.

“There’s another football game coming up, which is only 80 minutes of football, so we can add on to that long list of history.

“Definitely the boys are going out there with all their minds clear what to expect from the Falcons and do well for the country”.

A reception was held for the team at Parliament on Wednesday, while it’s a busy weekend for rugby league in PNG, with the Kumuls also taking on the Australian Prime Minister’s 13 and PNG Orchids taking on the Australian Women’s team on Saturday in an international double header at the National Football Stadium.http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339905/sport-png-hunters-claim-underdog-tag-for-final

48 ) http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-09-22/fiji-surfers-hoping-hard-training-regime-will-pay/8974110

49) Waisale Serevi to captain Fiji Legends v Classic Wallabies

21 September 2017

Waisale Serevi will dust off his boots to lead a Fiji Legends team against the Classic Wallabies in a sevens exhibition match in Suva this weekend.

The clash will serve as the curtain raiser for the Fijian Drua’s Australian National Rugby Championship clash against defending champions Perth Spirit at ANZ Stadium.

Rupeni Caucaunibuca will also turn out for the home side while Fiji born duo Lote Tuqiri and Radike Samo will feature for the Classic Wallabies.

Serevi said with the Drua team on their maiden voyage, the Fiji Legends wanted to show their support to the team and showcase that, even though age had caught up with them, they still had it in them to play the game they loved and what they were well known for.

“During our playing days, we never had a lot of opportunities to represent Fiji,” he said.

“It was only in the Fiji Sevens or Fiji fifteens team and if you missed out on selection you had to keep on trying until the coaches spotted you.

“But now there is an established pathway, where you have the opportunity to transition from sevens to the Warriors, the Drua and then the Flying Fijians, which gives a lot of our good players the chance to play for their country and showcase their talent to the world.

“The game has evolved immensely since our playing days and it has become faster, bigger and more professional,” reflected the World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee.

“I am proud of the Fiji Airways Drua team and the impact that they have made in this competition, albeit in only their first year.

“We promise to put on a good show on Saturday and I urge all the fans to come down and support not only us but the Fiji Airways Drua team.”

Fiji Rugby Union CEO, John O’Connor, also urged local rugby fans to come down and support the Fiji Legends and Drua teams at the weekend.

“Waisale Serevi remains everyone’s choice as the finest sevens rugby player of all time, and was Fiji’s hero every time he took to the field, possessing the ability to create something from nothing at any time,” he said.

“The same goes for all the players that make up the Fiji Legends team, they help put Fiji on the map. They have done us proud by agreeing to the match for Saturday and I promise all the spectators, you will get your money’s worth.

“The sight of Waisale Serevi, Rupeni Caucau, Lote Tuqiri, Radike Samo and a cast of other former greats charging around the field this Saturday will give the spectators plenty of scope to reminisce.”

Fiji Legends Team

Waisale Serevi, Rupeni Caucau, Viliame Satala, Sireli Naqelevuki, Semisi Naevo, Lemeki Duidomo, Isireli Bobo, Aporosa Daunivucu, Vilimoni Delasau, David Batiratu, Manoa Satala, William Ryder, Mosese Luveitasau, Nasoni Roko, Neumi Nanuku, Jone Kuruduadua.

Classic Wallabies Team

Radike Samo, Lote Tuqiri, Mark Chisholm, Matt Hodgson, Morgan Turinui, Stephen Hoiles, Pat Phibbs.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339892/sport-waisale-serevi-to-captain-fiji-legends-v-classic-wallabies

w: www.voiceofmelanesia.com

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