Thursday, April 29, 2010

Education should be main priority-Tui Namosi

Fiji Village News - 29 April 2010

Tui Namosi Ratu Suliano Matanitobua

The Turaga Tui Namosi has stressed that if education levels drop within the province, then it is the fault of the parents.

Ratu Suliano Matanitobau made the comments while opening the Namosi Provincial Council meeting today at the Ro Koroduadua house in Navua, stressing to members of the council that education of their children should be the main priority within the province.

Tokasa Rainima with this report.

Earlier in the day Ratu Suliano called on chiefs to support Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's government.

Ratu Suliano has called on the chiefs to write a letter to the Prime Minister to show the Province's support on the work currently being carried out by the Government.

Unite, Rewa chiefs told

Fiji Live News - April 29, 2010 

Delegates at the Rewa Provincial Council meeting have been urged to unite and work together for the betterment of the province.

At the end of the two-day meet in Suva, the Turaga na Vunivalu of Rewa, Ro Epeli Mataitini urged the district representatives to be considerate of each other’s needs and look out for one another.

He emphasized the importance of children’s education, saying it must be given priority.

“After all our children are the ones who will replace us and lead our province into the future,” he said.

He also urged them that as parents, they must be careful about the language and tone they use in teaching their children.

“They (children) must know that when they are disciplined they are merely being corrected and still very much loved,” Mataitini said.

The Gone Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi was also present at the meeting.

Rewa Province expected to venture into dredging business

Fiji Village News - 29 April 2010

Pita Tagicakiverata

The Rewa Province is expected to venture into the dredging business and supplying raw sand to construction companies in order to fundraise for their future generations.

Assistant Chairman of the Provincial Council Pita Tagicakiverata said the business arm of the Province, the Rewa Provincial Holdings has purchased a dredging machine from China.

Tagicakiverata added that as a result they are now in talks with various cement companies to supply sand. 

The money will then be used to assist in the scholarships for the students in the province.

The Rewa Provincial Meeting being held at Suvavou villages ends today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bible for children

by Ifereimi Nadore

Fiji Times - Thursday, April 29, 2010
ALL Class One and two students of Rewa Province will be given a Bible to spiritually guide them in their daily program.
The new initiative is part of Rewa Provincial Coun-cil's effort to help parents raise their children.
Burebasaga paramount chief Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, in opening the council meeting at Suvavou Village yesterday, said parents must ensure that they provided proper guidance to their children so that they could become better people in the future.
She said a total of 800 bibles were distributed to Class One and two students of Rewa Province early this month.
The bibles were sponsored by the students of Adi Cakobau School.
Ro Teimumu said the education of the child should start at home and parents should make an effort to guide their children to achieve their goals.
She said parents should teach their children about their roles in the vanua.
"Parents must clearly tell their children who they are and what role they should play for the vanua," said Ro Teimumu.
She also urged parents to provide healthy food for their children, saying that they must provide lots of fruits and vegetables to avoid unwanted diseases.

New laws for villagers

Fiji Times - Thursday, April 29, 2010

THE daily affairs of each village in Fiji will be governed by a new set of laws to be introduced soon.

The new laws, which are being reviewed by the Ministry of Fijian Affairs, has the input of all village headmen from all 14 provinces of Fiji.

Rewa Provincial Council chairman Pita Tagicakiverata told the Rewa Provincial Council meeting yesterday that the Fijian Affairs Board was satisfied with the set of laws submitted by Vunisinu Village in Rewa.

He said this set of laws would be used as a guide for all villages.

However, Mr Tagicakiverata said, the new village laws would be within the ambit of the laws of Fiji.

"We wouldn't like to see that the new laws oppose the law of the land," he said.

"The village headmen had been reminded of this." It is anticipated that the new laws will help improve the standard of living in every village.

All village headmen will be given the responsibility to see that all villagers adhere to the new laws.

Similar types of laws were introduced in the colonial era whereby those who broke them had to stand trial in a Fijian court system.

Unlike the criminal court system, those who offend will serve his or her punishment within the community.

Source: Fiji Times

Dont forget the younger generation - Ro Teimumu

Fiji Village News - 28 April 2010

Rewa High Chief Ro Temumu Kepa has called on leaders in the province not to forget the younger generation and to ensure that more women are given scholarships from the provincial scholarship fund.

Addressing the various Mata ni tikina=s as well as Government representatives at the Rewa Provincial Council meet at Suvaou village today, Ro Temumu praised the setting up of the Scholarship provision in 2007 up until now.

She added that the young children of Rewa have been able to get good education and many of them now occupy good posts.

However, she adds that out of the total number of scholarships only 46.75 percent has been given to girls and calls for them to consider giving more emphasis to girls as they are the ones who are very disadvantaged in society.

She said that the education of women is important as they are the ones that raise the future generation and more needs to be done for them.

Ro Temumu also said at the recent Pacific Food summit, it was revealed that malaria and mal-nutrition was an issue as the mothers were not aware of the right type of food to eat and this could have been avoided if the ladies had a good education.

The Rewa Provincial council meeting at Suvavou Village will end tommorrow.

Asaeli picks up pieces

Fiji Times - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

LIKE other victims of Hurricane Tomas, Asaeli Matanitoakula lost everything in the disaster -- from his six children's clothes to their home at Matanadrave settlement in Tunuloa, Cakaudrove.
Disturbed by the natural disaster, Asaeli moved his family to a relative's home a week after Tomas left our shores but that didn't keep him from getting on with life.
Picking up the pieces, Asaeli built a new home for his wife and children from the remains of his old home, which was taken down by Tomas on the eve of March 14.
With broken pieces of wood and roofing iron, Asaeli nailed the pieces together -- joining them to make longer pieces of wood to help rebuild his home.
In Fijian, he softly said: "Au sa tara ga na neitou vale baleta na bula ni noqu matavuvale e bibi cake mai na waraka tiko na veivuke (I have just moved on with life because my family's life is more important then waiting for help)."
Asaeli, whose wife is sickly, said he had no choice but to build his new home because he needed to provide shelter for his family.
Being a victim of such a loss is not an easy experience as he explained the heartbreak he endured -- seeing his children standing homeless outside their devastated home.
"E dua na ka mosimosi, ia au sa vakaukauwa ga me'u tara tale na neitou vale vakamatavuvale baleta me rawa kina na toso (It is such a painful experience but I had to gather the strength to rebuild our lives and move on).
"Meda raica na luveda, mera duri tu e tuba ka davo tu na vale e dakudra e a kauta ga mai na tagi, ia au vakavinavinakataka na Kalou ena nona veitaqomaki (For us to see our children standing outside their fallen house only brings tears to our eyes but I thank God for his protection," Asaeli said.
Three weeks after Hurricane Tomas struck parts of Cakaudrove in the north and islands in the Lau Group, Asaeli built a one-bedroom home for his family.
He also built a kitchen adjacent to the house with materials he could find.
His old home had three bedrooms with a spacious kitchen inside.
But that has not affected Asaeli, who believes that self reliance and independence help bring a better tomorrow.
He said that because of his strong belief in always looking forward to a better tomorrow, his life has not been badly affected by Tomas.
Instead he has taken the hurricane as a way of improving his building skills to provide his family with a better home.

NLTB works on land use

Fiji Times - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

CONSULTATIONS between Native Land Trust Board officers and landowners are still ongoing says Native Land Trust Board General Manager Alipate Qetaki.
He said they wanted to focus on the issue of better utilisation of land when discussing lease extensions or renewals.
"What is required is a proper balancing of all interests and to ensure that we reach a win-win situation," Mr Qetaki said.
He said no problem had been been encountered by the NLTB consultation team, which have been discussing with farmers on issues and Government's expectation with the landowners.
Mr Qetaki said they were aware of expiring and expired dairy leases.
"Farmers are advised to talk to NLTB in good time. NLTB also discusses landowner issues with farmers so that they are aware of these. NLTB is part of the effort to see that agricultural leases, including dairy leases, are extended," he said.
"There are landowner issues that need to be addressed. Some of these issues are now being addressed and resolved by the Government like the rent subsidy scheme."
He said there was a problem of rent arrears which someone had to pay and there was also the question of premiums and farmers had been advised that a win-win situation was to be achieved for all.
Mr Qetaki said it was normal for the tenant to indicate an intention to have a lease extended and this would trigger renewal mechanisms set out in the NLTB regulations.
"Most of the dairy leases are for 99 years so it is normal procedure that the landowners are consulted on the matter after the land has been alienated for so long," he said.
Last week, Rewa Co-operative Dairy Limited chairman Josefa Serulagilagi said most of the farmers whose land leases expired at the end of this year supplied between 1000 to 2000 litres of milk to the company every day.
He said these were "big- time farmers" with large farms and were major suppliers to the company.
"These farmers are from the Korovou, Waimaro and Wainivesi areas and if their leases are not renewed, it could add further problems to the company," he said.
He said there was a team in place to liaise with landowners and the Native Land Trust Board on the expiry of land leases issue, its effects and the need to renew these leases.
Head of Govermment Voreqe Bainimara was briefed by dairy farmers on the expiry of leases.
At least seven leases will expire by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, consultations will be held between the Public Service Commission and Ministry of Agriculture senior officers on complaints raised by the Rewa Dairy farmers.
PSC chief executive Parmesh Chand said he was aware of the issues raised by dairy farmers during their meeting with Commodore Bainimarama two weeks ago. "We will consult on deficiencies in manpower or work practices and how it can be rectified," Mr Chand said.
He said it was their duty to see if there was " lack of resources and we will attend to that".

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strict village bylaws face review

by Theresa Ralogaivau

Fiji Times - Monday, April 26, 2010
EXISTING village bylaws that infringe on personal rights or expose people to harm and contradict State laws will be removed.
A consultation process on a set of village bylaws being proposed by the Fijian Affairs Board has covered 105 villages in the province. Roko Tui Cakaudrove Ro Aca Mataitini said villages had their own bylaws and these laws whether generated by the village or proposed by the province must be in line with government laws.
Laws forbidding same sex encounters, premarital legal age sex or extra marital sex were proposed for implementation at the council meeting last year and may be abandoned.
A law at Nukubalavu Village forbids the wearing of shoes in the village. Mr Mataitini said villagers have been told that laws that infringe on rights or expose people to harm would be removed.
or injury will have to be reconsidered.
"They can come up with any law but the final say rests with the government," he said.
The issue is up for discussion at May 25th and 26th provincial council meet at Yaroi village in Savusavu.
The consultation process on the laws proposed by the Fijian Affairs Board is expected to end in June.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yaqona Sale to go Online

Fiji Village News - 23 April 2010

With the government calling on all industry stakeholders to look at new initiatives and ideas to develop Fiji's industries and increase export dollars, a leading local kava outlet is now getting ready to start selling kava online.

Lami Kava which has been in the kava retail business for the last 24 years said the overseas market for kava is now getting bigger with many Fijians living abroad.

Lami Kava Managing Director, Donnie Yee is hoping that he will get the necessary assistance to start off this new initiative.

Yee also said the company has come up with a unique style of packaging that will preserve the kava for months.

Fiji's kava industry is hoping that the government provides the necessary assistance to regulate the industry and try to boost kava exports.

Hopes are also high that the kava ban in some countries will be lifted.

There are some positive indications.

A few months ago a team conducted a Queensland University study on kava and it is advocating the establishment of a regional Kava Quality Control Mechanism to ensure that the quality of the kava to be exported meets the necessary standards.

Researcher Jerome Saris said they have also established that the kava pills that resulted in the overseas bans were really concentrated. 

Saris said the university is now looking for support to conduct an even bigger trial to test kava's depression relieving properties against standard anti-depressant medication.

The Agriculture Ministry is expected to comment on Lami Kava's new initiative and the future of the kava industry later today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Messiah Flock Defiant

by Serafina Silatoga

Thursday, April 22, 2010
FOLLOWERS of the Messiah Movement founded by the late Sairusi Nabogibogi have refused to move out of Nakawakawa Village in Bua.
Instead, they have called on the Tui Wainunu, Ratu Orisi Baleitavea, and the turaga ni yavusa (clan head), Naniu Drau, Ilieasa Ratusaki, to resolve the matter through dialogue.
The followers were told to move after arsonists burned a home built in Mr Nabogibogi's memory at the weekend.
Mr Nabogobogi, who was from Nakorotubu in Ra, formed the movement in the 1960s to promote communal living and farming.
Profits from communal farms were shared and used to build homes and develop a settlement at Selemi on the north-eastern coast of Viti Levu.
His mother was from Nakawakawa.
The group's senior member, Samuela Sigatokaicake, said the traditional leaders had not informed them about the ultimatum.
Ratu Orisi told the Fiji Times he gave the group two weeks to move out of the village as they had continued to treasure the property of Mr Nabogibogi.
Nakawakawa Village headman Tevita Kubi said the group should respect the wishes of the chief and move out.
But Mr Sigatokaicake claimed that his members had brought major changes to the lives of poor families in the village.
He said the group had opened a shop and started a dalo farming program aimed at improving living standards in the village.
Mr Sigatokaicake said the farming program had returned good earnings to their members and enabled them to afford educational expenses.
He added that Jesus Christ remained their God and they were members of the Methodist Church.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cabinet Approves New Village Guidelines by FAB

Fiji Village News - 20 April 2010

A number of guidelines proposed by the Fijian Affairs Board for the registration of I Taukei settlements to be officially recognized as villages has been agreed to by Cabinet.

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and these guidelines will be adopted as a By Law under the provisions of Regulation 2 of the Fijian Affairs(Tikina and Village) Regulation, 1996.

The Prime Minister said that over the years, requests have been received by the FAB for the official recognition and registration of indigenous settlements to be registered indigenous villages.

He added that no decision has ever been taken on these applications because no guidelines or rules have ever been developed and adopted, to be used as the criteria for assessing such requests to facilitate their registration, or otherwise as villages.

Meanwhile these guidelines are as follows:
  • the proposed site must be on native land within the land boundary of its Parent Yavusa,
  • the proposed village must be sited on native land where the landowning unit of the land concerned has agreed to surrender, in the traditional manner, ownership rights to such land and which would after registration be owned communally by the village, 
  • the inhabitants of the village must be from the one Yavusa, and
  •  have recognized and accepted a leader of the new village.

Over 80% in Rural Fijian Communities in Debt

Fiji Village News - 19 April 2010

Jeff Liew - UNDP Advisor

More than 80 percent of people living in rural Fijian communities are in debt as a recent study has found that borrowing in Fijian communities is pervasive and financial literacy is very low.

That is the revelation from the financial capacity Advisor for UNDP, Jeff Liew at the launch of the Financial Capability, financial Competency and well being in rural Fijian households survey carried out by the UNDP.

Liew said the survey which was carried out in a total of 14 villages in Naitasiri highlighted that in Fijian communities the ability to manage debt was very low, with 50% of the villagers not even understanding the meaning of loans.

Liew said this lack of financial literacy would see people falling victim to "get rich quick" schemes and other fraudulent activities.

Meanwhile, ANZ Chief Executive for Fiji Norman Wilson said that as part of their community program they are undertaking the Rural Banking Initiative which has seen over 70 thousand people take advantage since it started in 2004.

The research which was undertaken in 2007 and was this afternoon released jointly by ANZ and UNDP.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Vanua installs Turaga Na Ratu of Dawasamu

Samuela Loanakadavu

Fiji Times - Saturday, April 17, 2010
THE tikina of Dawasamu in Tailevu officially installed Ratu Peni Waqa Veilave, 73, as their chief after 28 years of confusion and uncertainty.
On Thursday, more than 300 people from the eight yavusa under the title of the Turaga na Ratu gathered at the village of Delakado to witness this historic occasion.
The eldest in the king-maker clan of Voni, Nacanieli Lagilagi, told the Fiji Times the vanua of Dawasamu had been under a curse in the last 100 years because of a dispute over who should be in charge of the official installation of chiefs.
Speaking in Fijian, Mr Lagilagi said they knew what was going on because so many relatives of the title holder had died because of the king-maker's wrongdoing.
Ratu Peni is only the second chief to be traditionally installed by the yavusa Voni who are the rightful king-makers.
Mr Lagilagi said the past four chiefly title holders were installed by another group from the same yavusa and the result was death to the title holders and his family members.
He said Ratu Peni's father, Ratu Seva Veilave, had seen the worst of it in the 1970s when his brother died prematurely along with a sister-in-law and his 18-year-old son.
Mr Lagilagi said only a few weeks ago, Ratu Peni was admitted at the CWM Hospital but the cause of the sickness could not be determined.
He said it was only after the last meeting to confirm the installation ceremony was held, did he become well again.
The newly-installed Turaga na Ratu will spend four nights with all of the eight chiefs of the yavusa before he is taken back to his residence in Driti to assume his chiefly seat.
Assistant Roko Tui Tailevu Veresi Sakunitoga was also present at the installation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

'Where are the Elders'

Maneesha Karan

Fiji Times - Friday, April 16, 2010
People have lost their traditional culture which once helped raise respectful responsible youths.
This is the view of the president of Reclaiming Youth International, Dr Larry Brendtro, while conducting a workshop for youth workers and professionals concerned with the support and development of young people in communities at a three-day workshop at Studio 6 that ended yesterday.
"While the traditional culture can be identified as more close-knit, the Western culture depicts more of individuality," Dr Brendtro said. "In all traditional cultures, the kinship system was not the nuclear family. In the indigenous system, our father's brother was considered our father and likewise the mother's sister was considered the mother. So if something happens to the either of the parents, their kin would be there to protect and provide for the kid."
Unfortunately, such cases were rare in the present society, he said. The youngsters were under the elders constant guidance in the olden days, he said.
"The elders taught kids how to be respectful. However, in the Western culture, kids have two or one parent and the kid spends more time with their peers rather than at home.
"In the traditional culture, kids spent only 10 per cent of their time with their peers. Tradition taught how to respect the child and teach the kid to become responsible. They considered children as their property.
"Elders were expected to get the children to learn values. But now, where have all the elders gone?"
He said the lack of connection between children and elders made all children all the more vulnerable to be involved in unwanted activities such drugs and sexual activities.
"We have to create a system that will help do a better job to connect adults and move away from juvenile delinquents," Dr Brendtro, who is also a dean at Starr Commonwealth, a school for difficult youths, said.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Village Dream Takes Shape

Fiji Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE realisation of having their own school and a nursing station may come sooner rather than later for villagers of Nasivikoso.
The villagers, along with project managers of Fiji Dreaming, recently held a sports day fundraiser in aid of the school and the nursing station.
Children of Nasivikoso attend the neighboring village schools in Bukuya and Natutale Primary School.
When weather conditions are unfavorable, students do not attend classes because they have to cross nearby streams which are prone to flash-flooding.
Fiji Dreaming project manager Clint Miller said talks on setting up this project have been in the pipeline for the last two years. Fiji Dreaming donated $1000, the village raised around $3000 and the visiting Australian students contributed about $500.
Mr Miller said the funds collected were not enough, adding they needed the assistance of business houses.
"From my perspective there has never been any understanding of how we do this project and learning about how the government designates a nursing station or a primary school for that matter," he said.
"Businesses could get in touch with us on
"After completing kindergarten, the young children would have to go away to school. We want to give their parents to share the education with the children."
Mr Miller said the project would start with classes one and two.
Fiji Dreaming local project manager Alifereti Nasokia said the one thing they had been teaching the villagers was the placement of their priorities.

Lomaivuna Landowners Evict Farmer

Fiji Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A FARMER had a rude awakening early yesterday morning after angry landowners ordered he vacate a piece of land that his family had been leasing for the past 40 years.
Setareki Bogidrau, 49, of Lomaivuna, Sector 8 in Naitasiri, said landowners from Nabaitavu Village wanted the immediate removal of his belongings despite the assurance of the Native Land Trust Board that he would be granted an extension of lease.
Mr Bogidrau said his wife's family had applied for the renewal of their lease after it expired in 2008 which was approved by the NLTB.
"We have been offered a 30-year lease but the landowners wanted us to move out because they wanted to use the land," said Mr Bogidrau.
He said that despite the assurance from the NLTB the landowners took the law in their own hands and erected a fence around the 10-acre farm.
"They wanted to graze animal on this land and since then they've released some cows into our compound," said Mr Bogidrau.
He said the presence of animal would spoil a reliable water source they had using since their arrival from Lau to Lomaivuna.
Last night, Mr Bogidrau, his wife and their six children were sheltering at one of their relatives' home directly opposite the disputed land.
Attempts to get comments from the NLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki last night proved futile.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Police Arrest 38 Poachers in Macuata

by Serafina Silaitoga

Fiji Times - Saturday, April 10, 2010
THIRTY eight people were arrested by the police yesterday for allegedly poaching, and their catch, five boats and fishing gear were impounded.
The 38 people 29 men and nine women were allegedly fishing illegally at the Vuata reefs, outside Mali Island in Macuata on Thursday afternoon when they were arrested.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said they were in police custody.
He said the villagers of Mali reported the matter to the island's fishing wardens.
"The wardens approached them on Thursday afternoon, took them to the village, kept them overnight, fed and looked after them well until police arrived," IP Sokomuri said.
"The wardens contacted the police on Thursday after taking in the 38 people. That was good initiative."
Inspector Sokomuri said people have been repeatedly told to get a fishing licence and to fish within the designated area.
He said the police was working with Fisheries on the case.
It is understood that the 38 people are from villages in Macuata.
Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere, who heads the Qoliqoli Cokovata Committee in the province of Macuata of which Mali is a member applauded the action of his wardens and police.
"I feel for those villagers but the law is the law and we have always reminded people to get their fishing licences and fish within the licensed boundary.
"The fishing wardens and relevant authorities did a good job and we praise them for their work in keeping watch over our qoliqoli area," he said.
Ratu Aisea said this was not the first time poachers were arrested and questioned by the police and Fisheries.
"It's time we protect our qoliqoli and we thank the media for doing a good job in promoting the need to protect our qoliqoli," he said.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rewa Bridge Landmark to be Assessed

Fiji Times - Friday, April 09, 2010

The Ministry of Works has hired a consultant to assess the structure of the old Rewa Bridge.
This was confirmed by Ministry of Work's spokeswoman Sainiana Waqainabete who said a company was hired for $200,000.
"The ministry has appointed a consultant called Roughton International, they will assess the capabilities of the structures on the old bridge. Concurrent activities will also be taking place whereby engineers are identifying some locations where the bridge's structures can be used.
"The hired company will also work on whether the old structures could be matched to other locations. The assessment report will be released and a tender to dismantle the old bridge will be issued around June this year. Parts which will not be useful purpose will be sold for scrap use," Ms Waqainabete said.
Though the ministry has announced the dismantling, villagers of Nausori are still hopeful the bridge will be left untouched as a historic landmark.
Komai Nausori Ratu Meli Balenaivalu said such a proposal was discussed by the Tailevu Provincial Council last year and it was submitted to the Government.
"We believe the old Rewa Bridge will be a good tourist attraction. Nausori Village was situated where the market and the police station are now. We shifted here in 1935 because the government wanted to build the bridge. The works on the bridge began in 1936 and was opened in 1937," Ratu Meli said.
He said the villagers were hoping for a positive feedback. Ratu Meli said the bridge could be developed into a handicraft market.
"The villagers can sell their handicraft and this will help them earn income for their families. The main reason why the Government wants to dismantle it is because of the high maintenance cost," he said.