FDN readers will enjoy this interesting contribution from our friend Navosavakadua.
World Rugby has delivered our A-G quite some basic lessons in the law and how to do business.
First of all, the AS-K decree was enacted without any consultation with the party most likely to be affected by it, ie World Rugby.
Second, when the law came into effect, Fiji TV was obliged to share the rights it had paid for, which was a law with extra-territorial effect. AS-K loves to talk about sovereignty but he doesn’t seem to understand its limits.
Third, the Fiji Sun, slave media outlet of Bai and Khai (my words, not WR’s) claimed that World Rugby had no objections to the airing of the coverage on all three free-to-air networks. This was false. WR was still reviewing the issue. AS-K knew this and simply lied.
AS-K has trouble understanding the central issue here. What he wants to do is take the property of Fiji TV and hand it to their competitors.
Exclusive coverage increases the amount of advertising revenue a broadcaster can expect. Taking it away is theft, pure and simple. It’s the same issue with the proposed changes to the Land Sales Act. It’s confiscation. Kurt and Joanne Zimmerman, American property owners in Savusavu, put it very clearly in a letter of protest to their Ambassador: “By not allowing the sale of our freehold property to other foreigners who can afford such properties, the Government would effectively make our properties near worthless.”
This is no way to do business. It highlights the biggest single obstacle to investment – Government which thinks it can act without consultation and confiscate any property it deems in the national interest.
If there is one good thing that might come from the rugby debacle it would be a challenge to the legality of the part of the broadcasting decree prohibiting any challenge of decisions in a court of law or other tribunal. If a court ruled this unconstitutional it would give a real boost to investor confidence in our court system.