Letting PM Vent His Spleen, Another 'Hit Job' on Fiji Tourism, Regenvanu Doubts Natapei's MSG Story

ALLEN LOCKINGTON SAYS "I just want to say that while the Australian and New Zealand governments play hard ball with our government, most of our people and their people at ground level have gotten on with life.   We can’t do much, yet.To mope and carry long faces only gives us indigestion."

I have nothing more to add to yesterday's posting "Bainimarama Ambivalent, What's Needed ..." but I urge readers to record their opinions by clicking on "Comments" below the post. Here's an extract from one of them. 'Keeping the Faith' wrote:

"Anyone who knows the PM, knows he's speaking in anger and humiliation. So we need to allow him to vent his spleen and then remind him that his whole credibility depends on keeping his word. I don't care what he says to Australia and NZ to goad them. I do care what he says to the "Fijian" people ..."
ANOTHER TVNZ 'HIT JOB' ON FIJI TOURISM. Will it ever stop, the constant negative publicity churned out almost daily by our supposedly balanced media? Never before has Fiji "enjoyed" such publicity. In an item headed Fiji deteriorating as holiday destination? a writer called Thinkstock makes the most ridiculous claims: tourists may go elsewhere because of a $25 (that's NZ$16.57!) increase in the departure tax, price gouging and deteriorating   infrastructure.

He cites Aviation commentator Peter Clark as saying "the lack of infrastructure was astounding" (where was he staying? I certainly did not notice it); being "grossly overcharged for accommodation and food (cut rate prices are available for anyone who looks, and for an experienced traveller he should know hotels and resorts have always been dearer than the restaurant down the road). If he paid, as he said, $6.50 for one small scoop of ice cream, more fool him. And of course hotel prices go up over the school holidays. They always have.  But he doesn't end there. Air Pacific's recent huge financial loss "is a sign of things to come" (Huh! If you're into signs, then travel on anotherairline.) 

He says tourist money not going back to the people. But he keeps his biggest punch for smarmy last. Fiji people are great, he says. We want to help them. But "Money is not going back to the people [they] "are not gaining anything as very little money is going back into their villages." What on earth does he mean by this? How can he possibly know? And, for his information, not all Fijians live in villages, and not all Fiji ciizens are ethnic Fijians."It's our closest neighbour," he writes, "the people are great and New Zealanders want to go there to support it, but I don't think we are supporting the locals." If you continue to write like this, you most certainly are not.

For your information. Flight Centre has Auckland-Nadi return four nights accommodation packages ranging from NZ$769 to $1,105. If you travel AirPacific, one child travels free. And don't forget many things are much cheaper to buy in Fiji than NZ.  Your NZ$100 converts to F$134. And if you spend more than $500, they refund the 12.5% VAT (GST) on your departure! See also this House of Travel rebuttal posted on Scoop.

Footnote: The NZ Listener Health column ran a similarly misleading article in its 12-18 June issue.  The article relied heavily on the advice of a Dennis Mundy of Pacific Medicare. He recommended up to $100,000 insurance coverage because Fiji hospitals are "resource bankrupt. They can't cope with locals, let alone tourists." This is an alarmist exaggeration about public hospitals.  He didn't mention the world-class Suva Private Hospital and its clinic in Lautoka, or the fact that Kiwis living in Fiji don't think it necessary to take out $100k insurances. When one reads stories like this, you can only repeat the saying, "Who needs enemies when you have friends like this."

Regenvanu Cast Doubts on Natapei's MSG Story

Sethy Regenvanu was a Presbyterian Church Pastor trained at Pacific Theological  College, Veiuto, when it first opened in 1968. He was involved in the pro-independence movement and was the Deputy Prime Minister to Fr Walter Lini at independence in 1980. He was a Member of Parliament for many years before retiring. In October 2004 he was seconded for a three-year appointment by his church  to St. Andrew's Church in Suva. The letter casts doubts on the MSG story as told by Vanuatu PM Natapei.  You may need to press Ctrl and + simultaneously to enlarge.


Anonymous said…
Give up on the MSG. It was deferred.
If the other leaders felt strongly
they could have changed the result.
They didn't. Attending a friendly
meeting is different because they
are then not being used as a wedge
to split the forum or up against their
friends AU and NZ.

Franks not playing a clever game.
When will he learn politics is not
The RFMF. He can't just say it and it
will be done on the international stage.

sara'ssista said…
More excuses,' he didn't mean to say it', 'he was misinterpreted', 'he was trapped by a western media', 'he was huniliated', 'he was unprepared', 'what he meant to say was'. are you actually listenting to this?? This is why you don't have someone , despite being in the position for more than THREE YEARS, from the military, presuming to run the country without a mandate through a democratic election and without the 'my way or highway' mentality that only befits a military hierarchy, the country is NOT the second arm of a military. It is not his job, never was, and he does not in any event have the mentality of a leader of people. He is NOT in control of other countries influence, get used to it, the only thing this man controls is Fiji, for the moment.
Natapei now the odd man out said…
Startling news this morning that Sir Michael Somare will arrive in Fiji next Wednesday to join Derek Sikua and Frank at Natadola. perhaps the FLNKs will come too. Which leaves only Vanuatu's Edward Natapei absent among the MSG leaders. So Fiji has no friends, as the international media keeps reporting. Or as old PNG hand Rowan Callick said in The Australian - "a pariah with virtually no support". Oh really? Now the egg is on Australia's face. Good luck.
Don't do as I do said…
An interesting editorial in the Fiji Times today. In all the palaver over the on/ off/ on again (under another name) MSG conference, the FT has pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of holding a conference on ‘ethnic’ lines.

No doubt the usual suspects will rally to the cause and justify this, but it does bring to light more of the hypocrisy that the IG is prone to.
Anonymous said…

Croz – everyone seems to want to interpret what Frank says so I thought I would have a go to on some of his earlier promises
1. No one in the military will benefit from this coup.....except everyone in the military
2. I will shortly expose SDL corruption.....if I can find it and I’m happy to dig a long long way back. And no one shall operate a fish chip business without a licence (corporate corrumption).
I will expose corruption....except where it involves the military, my ministers, family or friends
I will build a race free Fij....but my Military will remain 99% Fijian and I will keep addressing troops in Fijian.
I will have an election in 200....or maybe 2014 or never if it suits me
I respect the constition (see charter)....until I threw it out, I meant the constitution I may or may not get around to writing.
Disappointed Kiwi said…
I recently visited Musket Cove on a 14 day package out of Auckland. This is my third visit to the cove in the last five years. We prefer it as it is less child orientated and we are both getting on in years. This last visit we noted the following.
Most of the lights in the lagoon bure area were burnt out or missing.
The food had increased by about 100% over our previous visit. The range of meals offered had decreased.
I am an avid diver but the tanks on offer had no current pressure tests. The BCD (Boyancy Vest) I hired leaked and the boat outboard took half an hour to get started. The resort was busy but the number of staff seemed less than previously. The shop (and you do not have the choice of going back to the mainland) prices were exorbident with all the prices over twice what you could purchase the same product in Nadi.
I know Im sounding like a moaning Kiwi but I was extremely disapointed with how run down the place had become in only two years.

Thats not to say I will not return but my better half is not keen at the moment.
Joe said…
@sara'ssista said...
"He is NOT in control of other countries influence, get used to it, the only thing this man controls is Fiji, for the moment."

Should other countries:
A)Control their influence
B)Influence their control
C)None of the above
D)Both A and B

A multiple choice question for you luvena. With your sort of mentality, you might seek assistance with this
Red Dragon said…
@ Croz "PM's Anger and Humiliation..."

Thinking about it, one sees no reason for humiliation on the part of the Prime Minister: justified anger, yes. Why should one feel humiliated when a ranking diplomat, whom one has allowed to have access to the country based on certain well understood international protocols steps beyond these to "lobby" for a position to be taken up by peer diplomats who are bound to the same? This lobbied stance was not for Fiji's benefit but for her country of origin. The policies of the country of origin have not served most Fijians well. They have allowed terrorists free reign on their doorstep and impunity to set in. So, no surprise should be expressed when it is made known that conduct unbecoming and unwelcome had taken place? We have no doubt whatsoever that had a Fijian diplomat in Australia attempted to do likewise, expulsion would have resulted and fast. This is obviously 'THE GREAT GAME' now in play in a new context. But the original Great Game left a failed Afghanistan and a struggling Pakistan full of treachery and terror. Is this the true end of this questionable policy towards the South Pacific? Making way for 'The Great Fix'? On whose terms will the fix be imposed? Whose best interests are to be served? These questions are justified and justifiable. Who dares to ask them on Fiji's behalf and for the sake of Justice?
sara'ssista said…
@m.b.n... couldn't agree more.
your blogs post are very interesting to read and always i found the great tips for me.
maldives holidays

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