Kadavu, FNPF, NLTB, Mahogany Mismanagement, Gold, Sugar Recoms Delayed

See the three Na Sala Cava? questions below this post. Offer your suggestions on "The Way Forward."  Read what others say. Ongoing until Wednesday when I'll attempt to summarize the comments, and post new questions.  


RABUKA'S CHOICE OF 14 MAY FOR 1987 COUP NO COINCIDENCE? On May 14 1879 the first Indian indentured labourers arrived on the Leonidas. By 1916, when the last of  87 ships carrying girmitya arrived and the indenture system ended, some 60,537 Indians had been transported.


PM ON FNPF, NTLB, LAND MYTH, YAQONA. PM Bainimarama has told the Kadavu Provincial Council that those responsible for the $327 million FNPF will be charged."Era na beitaki kina mataveilewai ko ira kece era tiki ni gacagaca ni veivakalolomataki oqo (All those who are party to this oppression/abuse will be charged (taken to court)." Members' money had been misused by some people through dubious means and corruption.



He spoke also of changes within Native Land Trust Board to improve services to landowners and tenants, and of the Government's liquidation of the business arm of the NLTB, the Vanua Development Corporation, which had failed to recover up to $3million of landowners' money in its business dealings with the devious businessman Ballu Khan.

The  PM spoke of the myth, fabricated and used by past politicians, that landowners would lose the land they leased, and how this had resulted in the non-renewal of many sugarcane farm leases, to the detriment of landowners, farmers and the country."Land has been one of the main trump cards used by greedy politicians which have in turn led to indigenous Fijians becoming poorer. Kadavu has no sugar farms but it does grow yaqona.The PM  told Council members of Government's plans to improve quality through grower training, and promote exports.

MAHOGANY MISMANAGEMENT
. Landowners in Vugalei, Tailevu, want to know why new trees have not been planted to replaced those logged. Spokesman the for mataqali Rara, Netava Tagi,  told the PM during his recent Tailevu tour that timber and sales had been wasted for years due to poor management and corrupt practices. As long ago as September 2006, the blog Stuckinfijimud  noted no land lease was ever issued for the plantations managed by Fiji Hardwood Corporation planted in the 1960s, adding "This case reflects the huge disconnect between indigenous landowners and the NLTB."

Government has recently appointed a Mahogany Industry Council to make the industry more viable for all the stakeholders. The PM said Government wanted resource owners to make full use of available resources to improve their standard of living.

VATUKOULA'S GOLD. The new owners have turned last year's loss into a profit. The Reserve Bank reports that the mine producing 10,000oz of gold in January-February, over double the amount for the same period last year. The mine is 'estimated to contain 680,000oz of gold reserves and 4.3m oz of gold resources.

SUGAR RECOMMENDATIONS DEFERRED
. The anti-government blog FijiToday  reports that independent recommendations on sugar industry reform have been deferred by the Ministry of Finance because of the economic climate.

Comments

Academic fantasy said…
Come on, Croz, are you really saying that Rabuka chose the anniversary of the arrival of the Leonidas to launch the 1987 coup? It's the first I've heard of it, that's for sure. Certainly, none of the statements made by any of the protagonists at the time referred to this. I'll be interested to hear what sources support your contention that this was "no coincidence". These guys didn't have the wit to even be aware of such a thing, let alone make it a leitmotif of their sordid lunge for power. i think you'll find it was the greatest of coincidences, but full marks to you for digging it up.
Dua tale na bilo? said…
Yes, Kadavu yaqona is famous for giving you the kind of buzz you can normally only get in the nakamels of Vanuatu. But is it really a good idea to promote more production when people are starting to realise kava use needs to be restricted, not extended? i know the PM is only reflecting the reality that Kadavu people have little in the way of alternatives to make a buck, But he might have said something about the responsible use of yaqona in the same breath. It's been great to see the tanoa banished from government offices and I see they've now banned routine kava drinking up at the camp. The stuff may be an intrinsic part of national life but is a bloody curse when it comes to getting people off their arses to do anything.
All that glitters is gold? said…
Wow, the doubling of gold production at Vatukoula is great news for everybody. And it seems to have happened with a minimum of fuss. I'd be interested to hear a lot more about this story. Because it certainly seems from this account that maybe the previous owners were simply no damn good at what they did. They certainly seem to have had no idea how to operate a business in Fiji, judging from the constant conflict with their workers overt the years. How much trauma and disputation have been synonymous with Vatukoula during our lifetimes? Does this mean it was all for nought? Tell me this is one good story on our generally bleak horizon.
Anonymous said…
Individually and collectively the board of directors and their chairpersons over many years at Natadola must be held to account. That is what 'accountability' means and no one ought to assume the role of director in a public company or any company which uses public funds "in trust" if they are not prepared for this. Codes of Conduct ought to have been signed by each and everyone of them. Were they? No matter. Hold their feet to the fire, Prime Minister and ensure that nary one escapes. When you have finished with that, move on to Momi Bay, Maui Bay and one or two other places. The names that come up are often the same and their professions are all similar. We are now determined to see justice done and Fiji's tarnished reputation for corporate governance restored. Redraft all Acts which cover the investment and governance of funds held in trust and clean out all the boards. A strong representation of the members who have funds in both the NLTB and the FNPF must sit on the board in future. And....both institutions require decent competition and regulation which is sound.
Roy said…
does fiji have a reputation for corporate governance?? or any governance for that matter? Unlees you count invading parliament with armed men and making illegal decrees governing.'All those who are party to this oppression/abuse will be charged (taken to court)' How very selective of who does and does not get taken to court, presumably to a court where the judge has been imported and illegally appointed and has no idea about fiji.Lets hope the judge has a 'fiji lonely planet guide book' handy.

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