Fifty year old pipes

December 10, 2014

With the shock of the millions of dollars in damage done to water and sewerage pipes the Government’s spin machine has been whirring like a helicopter trying to escape blame. They’re saying the pipes should have been replaced or strengthened by the Rabuka or Qarase Governments. Really? Are they saying that because replacement was due before December 2006 Bainimarama had no obligation to do anything? Is that really what we’re expected to swallow? Surely the need to take action got stronger with every passing year? And let’s not forget Bainimarama has had 8 years of running things. Qarase only had 7.

Fijilive December 08, 2014: Cost of repairing broken pipes to hit millions

Khaiyum grilled

December 10, 2014

In Parliament yesterday Khaiyum had a small taste of accountability. He said his aim was to make sure no-one missed out on the Dubai 7s live TV broadcast, but we all know everyone missed out. Hidden in all the self-justification is an admission that he will go back to World Rugby and negotiate properly. Instead of telling World Rugby they’re liars, he will have to give them assurance that Fiji TV will be compensated or their broadcast will be restricted to areas where Fiji TV’s free to air broadcast doesn’t reach. In other words, he’ll have to follow World Rugby’s rules, the same as all other broadcasters. He’d better get busy consulting, not dictating to World Rugby.

Fijilive December 09, 2014: Motion to repeal TV Decree

Lorna Eden in the hot seat

December 8, 2014

The freehold land ban is set to bite the Government. Announced without any consultation, it has got a lot of residents in Savusavu up in arms. Group spokesperson Aren Nunnink claims there was no prior consultation with the public, especially large freehold estate owners in places like Savusavu and Taveuni which holds some of the country’s largest privately owned freehold blocks of land. We know that Frank was boasting about the sale of a large private estate to Kiribati, and now he wants to ban all land sales to foreigners. Lorna Eden and others know that this will scare off investors who were just beginning to dip their toe into the water again, only to find that the sharks are still there. Lorna is really in the hot seat and may be regretting throwing her lot in with the Khaiyum Kamp.

Fiji One TV 7 December 2014: Savusavu residents oppose proposed law on sale of freehold land

The world is still catching up to Khaiyum

December 8, 2014

Khaiyum told the 450 lawyers who attended his Egofest that he will soon be signing the Convention against Torture and getting rid of the death penalty from military law, but he boasted that in other areas where his constitution went beyond “the provisions that exist in some international conventions” it was because “we are ahead”. Yes that’s right he thinks the rest of the world has to catch up to him!

Fiji Times December 07, 2014 Death penalty to go

Land Bank allows withdrawals!

December 8, 2014

Mere Vuniwaqa has made clear that landowners can retrieve their land from the Land Bank if they like. She said if landowners discover they have a need to use the land themselves they can withdraw their land or part of it from the Land Bank. She said, under regulation 6 of the Land Lease Regulation, the trustee of the landowning unit has to make a request formally in writing. It’s good to see that the new Minister is answering questions on the Land Bank.

Fiji Times December 07, 2014: Minister assures landowners can retrieve land from the Land Bank

Time for Frank to bake a Humble Pie for Khaiyum to eat

December 8, 2014

The childish dispute that led us to be cut off from the live coverage of the Dubai Sevens has given the World Rugby Body a taste of the Khaiyum touch. In his role as Acting PM Khaiyum wrote to World Rugby accusing them of “erroneous facts and assumptions” but refused to answer their request to say what errors they’d made. We are all familiar with this style of talking from on high, but World Rugby must find it a new experience. The FRU had to buckle and install officials that Frank approved, but he and Khaiyum may find World Rugby is not so easily bullied. World Rugby rules for broadcasting are accepted by all the other rugby nations. If we have to wait for World Rugby to cave in before we see another Sevens Tournament we might be waiting for a long time. Frank needs to bake a nice big humble pie for Khaiyum to eat so we can again be admitted to World Rugby broadcasts.

Fiji Times December 06, 2014 Engage with us, Fiji Told

Washed away

December 8, 2014

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While Frank was enjoying the highlife of Dubai, the rest of us were finding out that more money should have been spent on maintaining water and sewerage infrastructure. Frank may have thought there’s no votes in maintaining existing infrastructure, but he’s now finding out that there are votes to be lost. Welcome to democracy Frank.

Fiji Times December 08, 2014. Please adhere to advice, urge police

Khaiyum needs a new dictionary

December 5, 2014

The Human Rights Review in Geneva has come up with the idea to appoint a commission that would review the Constitution to ensure it is “reflective of the will of the Fijian people”. Khaiyum’s answer is: “The Fijian Constitution is quite clear madam Speaker, the Fijian Constitution says that the way to review the Constitution is by way of a referendum”. No that is the way the constitution can be changed? He promised us an assembly that would look at his draft constitution but he never delivered. A review means no more than discussion, talking, and the consultation that promised but never delivered. The question of change can be looked at later.

Fiji Times December 02 2014: A-G: No commission.

The Khaiyum Kredibility problem

December 5, 2014

Khaiyum has been expounding all his thoughts on the sell-off of state-owned companies. Thanks to the new Parliament he has to actually explain himself to MPs and answer questions, rather than giving lectures and having them printed in the Fiji Sun.
From what he says it seems he has the idea that there are investors out there in the world somewhere who’ll rush to buy minority shares in State Enterprises just to put a bit of money in state coffers for him to hand out. He won’t be selling off the whole business, just minority shares. How does he convince them this is a good idea? Does he point to Air Pacific, which had a large minority holding by Qantas? Does he remind potential investors how he told Qantas the majority shareholders would do what they liked with Air Pacific and Qantas would get no say? Or does he point to Fiji Sugar Corporation which was on the SPSE until it was delisted when found to be trading insolvent? All the investors, mostly local, all got badly burned and had no say in the way the FSC was run.

Fijilive December 01, 2014 Sale of assets to boost growth, efficiency.

Mere’s sweep continues

December 4, 2014

Mere Vuniwaqa is continuing her sweep through the Lands and Mineral Resources Ministry. She’s pounced on the long delays which plague her Ministry’s services, which nearly all consultations have highlighted. She said the Ministry had drafted Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) which sat on existing policies that have been there for too long. “If we take for example the mineral resources polices, national policy is dated 1997, and we all know that there has been laws in that area and there has been a bill that has been circulated for the past decade, so there’s a need to review these policies and put them in place. “But the emphasis right now is just to pull out some mechanics of certainty to give our customers more certainty from the Ministry. That is the essence or the underline rationale for holding these consultations”, she said.

Fijilive November 29, 2014 Lands Ministry to review polices