Tonga is Okay, Lowry Panel Mixed bag, IMF Welcome FSC Reforms, Welfare Goes Electronic
The map. Click to enlarge. This is a good map of Tonga because it shows the whole group from Niuafo'ou in the north to 'Ata in the south, and Tonga's overlapping proximity to the Lau Group where Tongan chief Ma'afu ruled at the time of Cakobau and Cession.
THE KERR-DOBELL-FRAENKEL-MEO PANEL. "On 8 November, the Lowy Institute for International Policy co-hosted the Fiji and Vanuatu Update 2010 with the Crawford School of Economics and Governance, Australian National University. As part of the 2010 Update a distinguished panel was assembled to discuss these very challenges and to discuss Fiji’s international relations, politics and governance, in relation to Australia."
Panelist were the Hon Duncan Kerr (former Permanent Secretary of Pacific Afairs in the Kerr Labor Government) who advocated "Strategic Re-engagement", Graeme Dobell, (journalist and Lowry Interpreter) who spoke of his concerns about the "New Order" before and after 2014; Dr Jon Fraenkel (ANU and formerly USP) who said engagement has been tried before, and Rev Dr Jovili Meo *formerly Principal of the Pacific Theoloogical College in Suva and now Chairman of the the Fijian National Conference, Uniting Church Australia) who thought the military was the cause of all the coups and that the military way was not the Fijian way which was change by consensus. The moderator was Jenny Hayward-Jones, Program Director, Myer Foundation Melanesia Program, who provided a useful summary of events from 2006. The link to the panel discussion is provided in tomorrow's Weekend Readings together with other interesting items (see bottom of post.)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. New quotes are published every weekend, usually on Sunday, in the right sidebar. Quote for the Week November 14 "Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just." -- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).
IMF WELCOMES FSC REFORMS. The International Monetary Fund supports Fiji's efforts to improve and develop its ailing sugar industry with reform framework.In a release, the IMF encouraged government to seek international and professional opinion to help in the development of the reform plan.
“The mission welcomed the efforts of the Sugar Task Force to develop a sugar industry reform framework and encourages the government to seek best professional advice available globally to help develop and implement a detailed reform plan.”
Meanwhile, the sugar task force recently enlisted the help of a consulting firm in New Zealand to undertake an independent review of its performance and capital structure.The firm will also identify an appropriate capital structure for the Fiji Sugar Corporation and reforms needed for the industry.
WELFARE GOES ELECTRONIC. Some 24,000 people receiving Family Assistance will soon be able to draw their allowance at Westpac ATM machines. PS for Social Welfare Govind Sami said Westpac Bank had won the tender and would make no transfer charges. Westpac's Senior Manager Government Business Bena Ralogaivau said the recipients will have no bank fees and the accounts would earn interest.“It’s an opportunity for them to join the banking environment and it’s also an opportunity for them to make use of the electronic banking that’s going to be spread out across Fiji and we hope that they take on this and use the functionality in it in the future because it will actually help them create savings and help them spend their dollar further and we welcome them.”
WEEKEND READING. ♦ Allen Lockington Column ♦ Fiji Waters Run Deep: the Bottled Water Affair ♦ Why Did Qarase Send Ridgway Packing? ♦ Dallas Swinstead talks about the Fiji Times and Government. ♦ The Kerr-Dobell-Fraenkel-Meo Panel.