Smol Melanesian Na Pasifik Nius Digest Summary # 1118 ( Sunday 22 October 2017 )



Oct 21, 2017

The Ambae Volcano Disaster Committee in Port Vila and Santo would like to sincerely acknowledge all Business Houses, Individuals, Communities, Schools, Churches and Volunteers, and everyone else who have kindheartedly donated and contributed one way or another towards the Ambae Victims.

It is through your support, that we can see our families having greatly benefited from these resources, despite having a few loss of loved ones during the period. We’d like you to know that your thoughts and hearts is truly making a difference in the lives of so many Victims of Ambae.

We are grateful and thankful for your generous and continuous support! Our prayer is that our Heavenly Father will continue to bless and prosper each and every businesses, households, individuals, communities and Churches in the years to come.

To all, thank you for being part of our community through your involvement in contributing resources, we wish you all continued growth and

prosperity in the months and years ahead.

2) Mariners warned of strong winds

Sunday, October 22, 2017- Fijitimes

Update: 2:20PM MARINERS are being reminded that there is a strong wind warning remains in force for all Fiji waters.

The marine weather bulletin issued by the issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre Nadi at 11:00am this morning states a high pressure system to the south of the group directs strong southeast winds over Fiji waters.

Meanwhile a trough of low pressure remains slow moving just to the northeast of Fiji.

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4) Tension lingers in Papua’s Tolikara after election 20 October 2017 

Tensions remain high in Tolikara in West Papua’s Highlands amid ongoing election-related unrest.

Tolikara is one of a number of regencies in Indonesia’s Papua province that have conducted local-level elections this month.

It even spread to the national capital Jakarta, where dozens of supporters of one losing candidate attacked the office of the Home Affairs Ministry.Discord between supporters of various Tolikara candidates repeatedly boiled over into rioting or fighting in recent weeks.

Supporters of John Tabo hurled projectiles at the building and ministry vehicles in protest at the re-election of Usman Wanimbo as regent.

Two people were seriously injured.

Police are maintaining a heightened security alert in Tolikara itself, where authorities have urged all candidates to calm their supporters.

Earlier this week, up to 500 police and army officers stood guard during Mr Wanimbo’s inauguration in Papua’s capital, Jayapura.

5) Reports of ashfall as Solomons volcano erupts 

Authorities in the Solomon Islands are trying to work out if there’s been any damage after a remote volcano erupted early this morning.

The volcano, Tinakula, which forms an uninhabited island in the northern Temotu province, roared to life at about 2 o’clock this morning.

Villages on nearby islands have reported heavy ashfall.

The director of the National Disaster Management Office in Honiara, Loti Yates, says a police patrol has been deployed from the provincial capital, Lata.

He says information has been slow to trickle out of the remote area, and it could be some time before the full situation is known.

An aviation warning has been issued for the Santa Cruz area.

6) New Caledonia fire destroys vegetation, closes highway20 October 2017 

A fire in New Caledonia has destroyed about a dozen square kilometres of vegetation north of Noumea.

The blaze prompted the authorities to close the main highway for several hours north near Paita and Tontouta.

The fire also restricted access to the international airport at Tontouta, prompting the rescheduling of an Australia-bound flight.

For safety reasons, power was cut to several neighbourhoods in the area.

The fire was reported to have overwhelmed a farm and killed dozens of animals.

50 firefighters and helicopters were deployed the battle the blaze which broke out amid a prolonged period of drought.

Much of the main island has been on heightened alert.

7) Budget delay raises concerns in Noumea

19 October 2017

A coalition of New Caledonia’s loyalist politicians says it is now too late to have a budget ready for 2018.

This follows the political impasse which has left New Caledonia without a government for two months.

The four anti-independence parties have told a media conference that the government was due to have a budget outline ready by mid-November.

They say the process has been so badly delayed that for the first time in 27 years, a new year will begin without a budget in place.

One politician Philippe Michel said this means that provinces, communes and public enterprises will be forced to operate with preliminary budgets and won’t be able to commit to any investment.

A new government was elected in August but it failed to choose a president.

Under New Caledonia’s rules this means there is no properly constituted government and that the previous government is returned in a caretaker capacity.

The French High Commissioner has told a local radio station that he will convene the new designated government on Tuesday for a fresh attempt to elect a president.

In three attempts so far, the sole candidate Philippe Germain got only five of the 11 ministers to vote for him.

Two years ago, New Caledonia had no government for three months.See photo –


8) NEC approves 5yr extension for registration of land groups

October 20, 2017The NationalNational

THE National Executive Council (NEC) has approved a five-year extension for the registration of Integrated Land Groups(ILGs).
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko told The National that it would be welcomed by the business community, especially in the agriculture sector, resources sectors and industries.
The extension is expected to give time to landowners to clearly identify their land.
The deadline lapsed in February.
“NEC has approved for the five-year extension for the ILGs to be identified and certified as requested by the industry and business houses, especially the New Britain Oil Palm, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, Oil Search and the big companies that deal with landowners in their developments and activities,” he said.
“Whether it’s agriculture, mining or development, whatever the area is, the ILGs can now be properly and correctly identified.”
Tkatchenko said a lot of ILGs had still not been clearly identified when the deadline lapsed eight months ago.
“Customary landowners and ownership of this ILGs have not been properly identified,” he said.
“So there was a request for the business side of things and for our big corporate companies that deal with customary land and landowners in our country.”
Tkatchenko said it was part of the 100-day plan that Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel had put forward.

9) Respect us

Mere Naleba
Sunday, October 22, 2017-Fijitimes

MEMBERS of the Fiji Trades Unions Congress took to the streets in their hundreds yesterday in a protest march demanding the restoration of their rights.

Cheers erupted from the large crowd gathered at Ratu Sukuna Park, in Suva when FTUC national secretary Felix Anthony spoke on the five issues union members and unionists had been tirelessly fighting for.

Mr Anthony said the five main reasons behind the march were collective bargaining/individual contracts of civil servants, right to secret ballot/right to strike, minimum wages, review of labour laws in the country and public holiday pay for workers under the Wages Council.

Mr Anthony said the individual contracts “imposed” on civil servants and workers in Government owned entities must be removed and the collective bargaining process returned.

He said the FTUC, Government and the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation had signed an agreement that workers’ rights in this country would be respected.

“We want the Government to respect that agreement, to respect what they signed with us, the word they have given to the International Labour Organisation that they will respect collective bargaining,” Mr Anthony said.

“Collective bargaining is a critical part of the Employment Relations Act, a legislation that this Government must respect. Collective bargaining is an integral part of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution, Section 20.”

For more on this story, purchase a copy of today’s the Fiji Times or subscribe to our e-Edition.


10) PNG Genda Art

Updated 19 October 2017, 14:29 AEDT

John Papik

Wari blong family vailans oa papa i save paitim meri na ol pikinini i stap yet olsem bikpela wari long Papua New Guinea na Pacific.

Igat ol wok rere i stap nau long University blong Papua New guinea “Creative Arts Strand we ol sumatin blong Skul of Humanities na Social Science bai putim kamap wanpela art show long mun bihain.

Duputy Dean blong Skul of Humanitarian na Social Science David Kombako itok dispela Art Show bai soim trupla piksa stret long ol bagarap ol meri na pikinini i save bungim long olgeta de long laif blong ol.

Long sait blong loa David Kombako itok loa i stap pinis long lukautim ol meri, we ol meri mas stap fri long mekim wok blong ol, lukautim famili na kantri.

Emi tok bikpela tingting em long kamapim awareness long komuniti wai na dispela genda-based vailans  i stap yet olsem bikpela wari long Papua New  Guinea na  dispela art show i wanpela wei long traim mekim pipol i sensim pasin blong ol.

11) Ol Ambae pipal blong Vanuatu bai go bek long ples

Updated 20 October 2017, 15:19 AEDT
Caroline Tiriman

Bai oli stat long go bek tumora long ol ship em gavman i redi-im blong bringim ol igo bek long ples bihaenim Manaro volkeno i pairap

Gavman bai surikim ol pipal blong Ambae long Vanuatu husat bai stat long go bek long ples blong ol tumora bihaenim ol wari blong Manaro volkeno ibin pairap.

Gavman ibin rausim samting olsem 11 tausan ol pipal na putim ol long ol care senta long ol narapla island olsem Maevo,  Pentecost na Santo.

Tede Praim Minista Charlot Salwai ibin go long Santo long tok thank yu long ol pipal long lukautim ol pipal blong Ambae.

Oli tok samting olsem wanpla ten seven ol ship bai bringim ol despla pipal igo bek long ol ples blong ol.

Minister blong Geology na  Mines long Vanuatu Ralph Reganvanu itokim Radio Australia olsem ol pipal i laik go bek long ples na lukautim ol ples na ol animal blong ol.ABC

12) PNG International fashion savemeri

Updated 20 October 2017, 14:08 AEDT

Caroline Tiriman

Papua New Guinea nau igat namba long soim fashion oa ol kolos na bilas long ol narapla kantri, na despla i mekim planti meri lida long kantri i hamamas.

Despla toktok i kamap tede taem, planti ol fashion designers blong Pacific i redi long soim fashion blong ol long Pacific International Runway em bai stat tumora long Sydney.

Tupla fashion designers blong PNG, Florence Jaukae Kamel, na wanpla model, Andrea Yuki bai stap long despla show.

Oli bin makim despla tupla meri long sanap makim PNG long PNG Fashion & Design Week long stat blong despla mun long Port Moresby we planti fashion na designers ibin soim ol bilas, art na kalsa blong ol.

Despla Pacific International Runway  i kamap pinis olsem wanpla bikpla show we ol fashion designers blong Pacific isave bung na soim ol samting em oli save mekim olsem ol kolos, jewelery, na art.

Na planti laen blong fashion na midia blong Australia nau isave go lukim despla show we isave soim style blong ol Pacific Island pipal.

Tasol long PNG iet, oli ting wonem long tupla lida meri blong Fashion, Florence Jaukae Kamel husat i wanpla savemeri blong mekim bilum, na Sarah Haoda Todd husat i wanpla bisnis meri na fashion designer tu olsem tupla i soim pinis ol bilas blong ol long America na long England.

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  • Crée le 21.10.2017 à 04h30
    Mis à jour le 20.10.2017 à 04h30

    Transports. C’est aujourd’hui que doit être signé entre Aircalin et Air Vanuatu un accord de partage de code sur la ligne La Tontouta Port-Vila. Une première pour les deux compagnies, qui permettra aux voyageurs plus de souplesse : Aircalin vendra des billets Air Vanuatu et vice-versa. La compagnie calédonienne bénéficiait déjà de « code share » avec Qantas, Air New Zeland ou Air Tahiti Nui pour les trajets jusqu’à Los Angeles. Cet accord, qui doit être signé par les deux directeurs des compagnies à 14 heures, permettra aussi aux voyageurs fréquents de cumuler des miles Flying Blue sur les vols d’Air Vanuatu.



  • Païta. Les collines et la végétation ont laissé place à un paysage de désolation dans Bangou, à la suite du violent feu qui s’est déclaré jeudi. Hier, les habitants sinistrés étaient partagés entre tristesse et colère. De son côté, la mairie dénonce un acte criminel.
    Anthony Tejero
    Crée le 21.10.2017 à 04h25
    Mis à jour le 21.10.2017 à 04h25

    «C’est complètement ridicule… », murmure, abasourdie, Joceline, dominant à bord de son quad les collines et la plaine de Tontouta depuis l’une des hauteurs de Bangou. La veille, les abords de la tribu ont été frappés par un incendie d’une rare violence qui a ravagé plus de 1 200 hectares de brousses et de végétation en une demi-journée. En ce vendredi matin, le décor est tout simplement méconnaissable. Partout où le regard se porte dans la vallée, le paysage, carbonisé, revêt un aspect lunaire. Tandis que dans la Chaîne voisine, les flammes lèchent encore des pans entiers de montagnes, malgré les inlassables rotations de l’hélicoptère bombardier d’eau.

    « Ne pas attendre qu’il y ait des Morts »

    Au détour des pistes, au cœur de la tribu, les quelques fleurs et palmiers sauvés in extremis, côtoient désormais les cendres et les troncs brûlés. Ces rares oasis de verdure autour des maisons témoignent de la puissance du feu mais aussi de l’efficacité de l’intervention des pompiers qui ont réussi à épargner ces habitations cernées par les flammes. À une exception près. « Cela s’est produit vers 14 heures. J’avais fait évacuer ma femme et les petits enfants. Il y avait un vent de fou. Les pompiers luttaient déjà pour sauver ma maison et celle de nos voisins. Il a fallu faire un choix, ils ne pouvaient pas être partout. » Callixte Marengo raconte, amer, cette journée infernale, au milieu des décombres de tôles brûlées de ce qui était la maison de son neveu. Cela fait mal au cœur. En soixante-dix ans, je n’avais jamais vu ça. Le bruit du feu, c’était comme celui d’un avion qui décolle. Et aujourd’hui, je suis inquiet car le feu s’est déplacé dans les montagnes là où il y a les sources. »

    Devant l’ampleur du sinistre, cet habitant ne mâche pas ses mots. « Il ne faut plus que ça se reproduise. Il ne faut pas attendre qu’il y ait des morts ! C’est vraiment triste quand on sait que c’est volontaire. Il y a deux ans, c’était pareil. Ce sont toujours les mêmes jeunes. Ça m’énerve. Et leurs parents devraient aussi faire des efforts. »

    « La Répression est le seul moyen »

    La piste criminelle est également avancée par le premier adjoint, Willy Gatuhau, prodigieusement agacé par ce fait divers. « Dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, il y avait déjà eu cinq départs de feu à l’entrée de Bangou. Ce dernier incendie ne peut donc être qu’intentionnel, estime l’élu. Ces gens-là sont des criminels. Au-delà de ce que ça coûte à la collectivité, ils provoquent une véritable mise en danger des gens et de leurs biens. Quand on voit qu’ils recommencent, on se dit que ça les amuse. Mais il va falloir leur en faire passer l’envie. Si l’enquête de gendarmerie les identifie, il faudra en faire un exemple. Le seul moyen dont on dispose pour sortir de cette bêtise c’est la répression. » Le premier adjoint en appelle « à la responsabilité de chacun » afin de communiquer toute information qui pourrait faire avancer l’enquête de gendarmerie. « Le pays part en fumée. Je ne peux pas croire que personne n’ait rien vu. »


15) Lawyer claims Tonga govt controlling media19 October 2017 

A lawyer says ousting two journalists from the Tonga Broadcasting Commission’s newsroom is a political move designed to control coverage of the upcoming election.

live Edwards Photo: Edwards Law

The new chair of the public broadcaster Tu’i Uata began his tenure by moving editor Laumanu Petelo and news manager Viola Ulakai into the marketing department.

Both journalists had run-ins this year with prime minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage.

Mr Uata said the move was because the TBC was in financial crisis and content was unpopular.

However the journalists’ lawyer, Clive Edwards, said it was unlawful and he was preparing breach of contract proceedings.

Mr Edwards said the move appeared to be strategic as the country headed into an election on November 16.

“The situation is somewhat dangerous and precarious because of the attitude of this chairman of doing what he wants to do unrestrained and use his position for campaigning,” he said.

“In other words they are trying to control the media in Tonga for the election, and that’s bad.”RNZI

16) More high ranking Honolulu officials arrested by FBI 21 October 2017 

A high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor and a former Police Chief have been arrested by the FBI following the completion of a federal grand jury investigation into public corruption and abuse of power in Hawaiian law enforcement.

Deputy chief prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and her husband and former Honolulu chief Louis have been at the centre of a criminal probe, which so far has led to the arrest of four other Honolulu police officers.

Katherine Kealoha has been placed on leave without pay by the Honolulu prosecutor’s office.

The Kealohas, and the other officers, are accused of trying to frame Katherine’s uncle as part of a family dispute over hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Details about the charges faced by the Kealohas have yet to be made public by the FBI or the U.S. Attorneys Office, which has been spearheading the grand jury investigation.RNZI

17) French Polynesian mayor sentenced to jail for corruption

20 October 2017

The appeal court in French Polynesia has given a one-year prison sentence to a local mayor for corruption.

The court has also declared the mayor for Tumara’a Cyril Tetuanui ineligible to hold public office for two years after finding him guilty of the inappropriate use of his office for business dealings.

In a second case judged at the same time, he was given a suspended eight month prison sentence for favouritism.

The mayor is free because he has still the option of appealing to France’s highest court.

Five years ago, Tetuanui was given a suspended sentence and declared ineligible for public office for a year by France’s highest court.

However, he didn’t quit the office because the court document was never sent through to the French High Commission, which meant that the sentence lapsed.

He and his wife Lana Tetuanui had been found guilty of using municipal employees in 2002 to work on their private residence.

She is now a member of the French Senate for French Polynesia.

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20) CNMI’s Rota to incinerate 30 rhino beetle infested trees

21 October 2017

The Department of Lands and Natural Resources in the Northern Marianas is closing off part of Rota after identifying 30 coconut trees where the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetles is living.

The Department then plans to burn the coconut trees.

It will also transfer all the green waste from the area to prevent the spread of the invasive beetle species, which has decimated the coconut population of neighbouring Guam the past few years.

Early last week CNMI officials said over 14 coconut rhino beetle-breeding traps have been deployed and that an island-wide assessment is underway.

The presence of coconut rhinoceros beetles on Rota was discovered only last week after a coconut tree fell to the ground and 20 adult beetles and many grubs were found in its rotting trunk.RNZI



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29) MP to take PNG govt to court over district funds

The new MP for Madang in Papua New Guinea plans to file court proceedings against the government for frustrating access to district funds for the opposition.

Bryan Kramer said the legal case, in relation to the District Service Improvement Programme funds, will be against prime minister Peter O’Neill and department heads.

Until last year, each MP was allowed up to 10 million kina annually.

However the government had significantly reduced this year’s allocation to 1.2 million amidst a fiscal shortage.

But Mr Kramer said for years the government had delayed delivery of the funds to opposition MPs.

“So it’s become a convention during Peter O’Neill’s term of government where DSIP funds are always given preference to the government members, and the opposition gets it on a later part, and sometimes that can drag out.”

“So they use it as a political carrot. I’ve formed a view, and I’ve sought advice, that it’s actually unconstitutional,” he said.

Bryan Kramer said he expects to launch the case in the next month.

Mr Kramer said it was well established how opposition MPs were disadvantaged regarding district funds, citing the recent defection of his party leader to the O’Neill-led coalition government last month as proof.

Sam Basil said move by he and the majority of the Pangu Pati, apart from Mr Kramer and three others, to join the government was about getting access to district funds, in the interests of their constituents.

Mr Kramer said he didn’t agree with Mr Basil’s position on this, given that Pangu’s support in the recent election was towards removing the government of Mr O’Neill.

“So if you campaigned on a policy of the principle to fight corruption and fight the O’Neill government, then that’s what you’re supposed to stick to,” he said.

“If people got elected on a different policy – to just go in, become a member of parliament and just do your part for your electorate – then that’s fine. Every member took a position when they campaigned. Some are upholding their policies, and others are backflipping on their policies.”

Meanwhile, Mr Kramer said he had instigated internal audits of the expenditure of district funds over previous years in his electorate.

He said he was uncovering significant cases of corruption in the disbursal of public monies, particularly district funds.

According to the new MP, it reflected the problems borne of a combination of having unaccountable members of parliament and inefficient public service systems to implement the funds.

“I’ve actually uncovered in relation to Madang a considerable amount of funds that have been basically misused, mismanaged and misappropriated. So now the onus is on me to actually try and address that within the district level, and hopefully once it’s gone through the district level we can go after them at the national.”

Kramer said he intended to set up a transparent system where MPs upload expenditure details on to an online database for constituents to see.20/10/17

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31) Vanuatu govt steps away from bitcoin payments 19 October 2017 

Vanuatu’s Citizenship Office has distanced itself from reports that it is accepting bitcoins for citizenship of the country.

A short government statement said the office had no legal confirmation on the use of bitcoins.

The government said all payments of fees concerning citizenship were in US dollars.

The statement said any other arrangement by any sub-agent would not be considered by the Citizenship Office.

Last week, the Vanuatu Information Office announced that it was the first country to accept bitcoins for citizenship.

The centre announced that it would allow foreigners to qualify for citizenship through a one-time payment of $US200,000 – or its cryptocurrency equivalent.RNZI

32) Exporters acknowledged for their success

Sunday, October 22, 2017- Fijitimes

Update: 2:05PM EXPORTERS across country were acknowledged during the 2017 Prime Minister’s International business awards last night.

While officiating at the awards night, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama highlighted that exporters have done wonders in putting Fijian made products in markets across the world and acknowledged them for their success.

Mr Bainimarama spoke about the recent Pre-COP meeting and stated that the Fijian presidency is ready to take on the fight against climate change during COP23 and beyond.

He also called on those present to continue with their good work and incorporate sustainability into their economic plan

33) Women’s empowerment

Monika Singh
Saturday, October 21, 2017-Fijitimes

A TRAINING program with the aim to connect market vendors to providers of financial services is expected to build the financial literacy and business competencies of market vendors, especially women.

The United Nations Development Programme’s Levuka Financial Seminar and Fair is being held at the Levuka market for rural and permanent market vendors.

According to UNDP municipal markets in Fiji provide an important space for thousands of small businesspeople from both urban and rural communities, to trade as market vendors.

It says women make up most of these vendors, many of whom face challenges in accessing appropriate financial services that can help strengthen their businesses and protect their income against unexpected shocks such as natural disasters or a death in the family.

The UNDP believes that investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth and that economic empowerment of women is crucial in developing strong societies and strong economies.

A media statement from UNDP yesterday said the training program, Continuing Market Business Education (CMBE) offered learning under two rounds: Round 1. Basic Financial Literacy and Round 2. Improve your Market Business.

It said Markets for Change had been providing CMBE training sessions at 12 municipal markets in Fiji since it started in November 2014 and in 2017, training has included two new markets and will focus on facilitating interventions that connect market vendors to appropriate financial services including microfinance, micro insurance and superannuation.

CMBE training sessions with market vendors are conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with local governments, UN Women, and regional banks, as part of the UN Women’s Markets for Change project.

The Markets for Change project is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. A UN Women project, Markets for Change is implemented in partnership with UNDP and supported by the Australian Government.

34) $1.72b market value

Manasa Kalouniviti
Saturday, October 21, 2017-Fijitimes

THE South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) has reported that the overall market value rose and ended the week at a new all-time high value of $1.72 billion in its market review for this week.

The market cap rose by 1.74 per cent or $29,406,797 consequent to the positive share price increases witnessed in Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd (ATH) and Vision Investments (VIL) shares. ATH shares rose by 2.78 per cent ($0.05) and VIL shares gained 3.17 per cent, both to close at new all-time high share prices of $1.85 and $2.60 respectively.

The SPSE total return index (STRI) also rose by 73.21 points (1.74 per cent) to close the week at 4271 at close of business yesterday.

Meanwhile, 25,665 shares in total were traded this week in 20 transactions for a total consideration of $79,677.

This was an increase against last week’s trading which saw only 2755 shares traded in nine transactions for $7732.

Buy orders ranked higher by 59.57 per cent this week after $134,451 worth of new orders were recorded on the orders platform.

Shares in ATH, VIL, Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd (PBL), Fijian Holdings Ltd (FHL), and BSP Convertible Notes Ltd (BCN) were traded during the week.


35) Road construction improves connectivity on Lakeba

Sunday, October 22, 2017- Fijitimes

Update: 1:55PM THE standard of living for the eight villages on Lakeba island in the Lau group has improved after the recent road construction on the island by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA).

FRA Programme Manager Capital Works Delivery Johari Abdullah said in a statement the main circular road links the eight villages on the island which will improve the lives of close to 2000 people.

“The FRA understands the importance of proper roads and its powerful impacts it has on the lives of people, especially in the rural areas,” Mr Abdullah said.

This project was under the Eastern Island Roads Upgrade project for maintenance and renewals of the existing roading network, and bridge repairs superstructure replacement, on Moala, Vanuabalavu, Lakeba and Koro Island.


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38) New Caledonia domestic violence “spectacularly” high9 October 2017 

Fresh crime figures for New Caledonia show that break-ins and car thefts are declining but that domestic violence and youth offending is increasing.

The figures for this year so far were presented by the public prosecutor and the French High Commissioner, Thierry Lataste, who is responsible for public safety in the territory.

They show that despite the drop in some categories, the incidence of offending is still higher than in France.

Youth crime has grown and accounts for a quarter of all reported offending.

The prosecutor said domestic violence is spectacularly high and while it remains largely unreported, every weekend half a dozen arrests are made for very serious assaults.

Mr Lataste said to prevent crime, more police have been brought in from France this year, with staffing levels now 20 percent higher than the national French average.RNZI


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41) Former New Caledonian president cops sentence in land case

21 October 2017

A former New Caledonian president, Harold Martin, has been given a suspended two-month prison sentence over a conflict of interest in a land sale.

The criminal court in Noumea also fined him $US50,000 and declared him ineligible to hold public office for two years.

Four years ago, judges had put Martin under formal investigation over the 2008 rezoning of land, which he and his siblings had sold in Paita a year earlier.

The rezoning to clear the land for a commercial development was approved by Martin in his capacity as mayor of Paita.

Martin rejected claims of any wrongdoing.

His lawyer said he would lodge an appeal.

Earlier he said it was his right to sell the land, which had been in the family since 1860.RNZI

42) Second major Fiji sedition trial to start on Monday

20 October 2017

A Fiji court says 14 people accused of sedition have a case to answer, opening the way for the second major sedition trial this year.

The group – which includes several chiefs – are alleged to have conspired to establish a Christian state in Nadroga in 2014.

16 people were originally charged, but two of them have since died.

Their lawyers applied for the case to be thrown out, but in the Lautoka High Court today, Justice Sunil Sharma said they have a case to answer at a trial which will begin on Monday.

Last month, 14 people were jailed for trying to establish a Christian state in Ra province in a separate sedition case.

They are appealing against the sentence, claiming the charges were politically motivated.

The editors and publishers of The Fiji Times are also accused of sedition over an article it published last year.RNZI


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45) Fisheries urged to clarify beche-de-mer exporters

19 October 2017

Author  Editor

THE Parliamentary Opposition Group has called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to clarify why there were no locals granted bechedemer export licenses.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Opposition Group said it was very unfortunate that no locals were selected by the ministry.

“The Opposition calls on the ministry to explain the criteria used which disqualified our local businessmen from being selected,” the statement said.

“Important questions that must also be answered are why and how these recipients were selected and who made the selection. The ministry must clarify all these questions,” it added.

The statement said the selection is regrettable and a slap on the face of indigenous business people.

“As resource owners, locals must and should be given equal opportunity and most importantly first priority,” it said.

According to officials within the Ministry of Commerce, most of the companies selected were classified as ‘watched companies’ because they failed to adhere to regulations; thus, failing to return annual returns over a certain period of time which resulted in the companies automatic removal from the registry.

“Company Haus and officials within the ministry have confirmed that company incorporation have shown that these companies do not have any history of active business in fisheries.

“Most have no physical establishment and only registered mobile numbers as their company contact details.

“Even a particular recipient ‘Solomon FVC New Process Import and Export Limited’ was not even registered under the Company Haus.

“Therefore, the ministry must explain clearly if all the recipients’ registration and incorporation background details were considered during the screening process,” it said.

The Opposition claimed that the whole selection process is fishy with hallmarks of political interference written all over it.

“Cabinet and the fisheries ministry must take full responsibility and answer to citizens of this country,” the statement said.

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47 Vanuatu exports impeded19 October 2017 

Exports of two of Vanuatu’s premium commodities, kava and beef, are being impeded by high demand, natural disasters and cultural practices.

The agriculture minister, Matai Seremiah, described the country’s export dilemmas at the Pacific Week of Agriculture conference in Port Vila.

Mr Seremiah said Vanuatu was running short of kava due to increased demand locally and internationally.

The recent El Nino weather pattern and 2015’s Cyclone Pam compounded the shortage by curtailing production.

Islands Business reported plans to boost production of high quality kava were already underway.

On beef, Mr Nawalu said his ministry was continuing with plans to increase cattle numbers.

But he admitted Vanuatu’s cultural practices, in which cattle are slaughtered for significant family events, were hampering these plans.

He said there were not enough bullocks to meet the cultural obligations of a population of 270-thousand.

48) Reports Vale in talks with Chinese over New Caledonia plant

19 October 2017

Media reports say the Brazilian miner Vale is in talks with Chinese companies to sell a stake in its nickel plant in New Caledonia.

Vale is facing a massive drop in the price of nickel and announced in July it was reconsidering the plant’s future, stoking fears in New Caledonia of thousands of job losses.

The Financial Times quotes unnamed sources saying Vale through Canada’s Scotiabank is in discussions with several Chinese companies, including Shenzhen-based Gem Co.

It says Gem Co. recycles cobalt and nickel for the type of batteries expected to become industry standard for electrical vehicles.

Vale, which is the world’s top iron producer, has ruled out investing more money into its plant in New Caledonia.

The nickel price has recovered slightly in recent weeks but is still well off its highs of the past decade when New Caledonia’s multi-billion-dollar plants were being built.See photo –


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50d) Solomon Islands banking on home advantage

21 October 2017

History will be made in Honiara today when Solomon Islands host Vanuatu in their first rugby league test on home soil.

It will be the third test between the Melanesian rivals, with Vanuatu winning their previous encounters in Mackay in 2013 and Port Vila last year.

Solomon Islands Rugby League President, Jerry Maiki Tengemoana, said all but one of their squad lives in the country and they’re hoping familiar surroundings can spur them to victory.

“I think we have the advantage now, having the country behind us on our home court, but Vanuatu is also an experienced side,” Tengemoana said.

“The code is new to us so we have a pretty good team that’s been trained so hard in the last couple of weeks and I’m sure they don’t want to disappoint their country on their home soil so I think that’s the motivation behind them”.

While both countries are among the minnows of the international game, Vanuatu Rugby League President Tom Carlo said the test was a valuable step towards the Emerging Nations World Championship, being held in Sydney next November.

“We pretty much would like to give our boys the opportunity to feature in…the Emerging Nations Cup tournament that we are looking forward to next year,” he said.

“Obviously, after this international test match with Solomon Islands, when the boys get back [home], we will probably give them a break and then they will be back into it again and prepping themselves for the Emerging Nations Cup,” Carlo said.

“We know that…it’s going to be a challenge for them, obviously, and a good exposure for them obviously on an international level as well”.

Vanuatu is currently ranked 37th and Solomon Islands 40th in the latest world rankings.See photo :

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