Showing posts from November 28, 2010

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

 WEEKEND READING. Scroll down to —
♦ Fr Barr on Productivity and Stability
♦ Peter Gleick on Fiji Water
♦ Fire at Fiji Museum by Roderick Ewins
♦ Graham Reid on the morality of visiting Fiji
Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

My Lucky Day
Americain  won the 2010 Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse, followed by Maluckyday, second, and So You Think, third. I put in a small bet as usual.  It’s a tradition that started a few years ago when I found that you can win something if you are in the race.

A Blow to Productivity and Stability

By Fr Kevin J. Barr  Chairman, Wages Council but expressing his personal views

1.   Productivity

In a previous article published in the Fiji Sun a few weeks ago I discussed the issue of productivity and showed that it involved a number of inter-related components – not just worker productivity. Worker productivity is only one element in the wider issue of the productivity of a company or business.

Fiji Water, When environment, Politics, and Economices Collide Over Bottled Water

By Peter Gleick Fiji Water, one of the world’s most well-promoted brands of bottled water, is also one of the most secretive and private. Owned by Lynda and Stewart Resnick (photo), the increasingly controversial Southern California billionaires, Fiji Water is a symbol of both the bad and the good in the world of bottled water. “Bad” because the massive energy cost and plastic waste produced by shipping bottled water thousands of miles from the island of Fiji to markets in the United States and around the world, and because of their interactions with the unelected military regime in Fiji, which came to power in a coup in 2006. The country has been under martial law since 2009. “Good” because of the benefits the company claims to offer in the way of jobs and other economic returns to local communities in Fiji, and because of their much publicized claims to be “carbon negative” – a claim, by the way, that cannot be independently verified with information provided publicly by …

To Go or Not to Go (to Fiji)

By Graham Reid
In this short article NZ freelancer journalist and writer Graham Reid  ponders the morality of accepting a free Air Pacific trip to Suva and  tells something of what he finds when he gets there. This is the first of three articles on his impressions,

Fire at Fiji Museum by Roderick Ewins

The Fiji Times ran this very brief piece on Tuesday November 16.
"A 25th anniversary celebration almost wiped out our 200-year history at the Fiji Museum on Friday night. A fiery dance group of teenaged girls and boys were performing a fire-dance when kerosene they were using spilt on to the floor and burst into flames in front of guests as well as the Ra Marama replica that stood not more than 15 metres away. The dancers attempted putting the fire out with water but induced the "chemical fire". Intoxicated guests rushed in and helpedput the fire out."

Some of the blogs have been a little less guarded.

Natapei Out, Election Date, 2011 Budget, PACER, Tui Cakau a Villager, EU Fish, China Cement, Pine Dividend, Qarase in Court

 WEEKEND READING (published 8:40 — 9:00 am Saturday
♦  Allen Lockington column
♦  Fr Barr on Productivity and Stability
♦  Peter Gleick on Fiji Water
♦  Fire at Fiji Museum by Roderick Ewins
NATAPEI OUT. Vanuatu PM Edward Natapei  has been ousted from office in a 30:15 no confidence motion. Former Deputy Prime Minister, Sato Kilman has been sworn in as Prime Minister.

The move happened while Mr Natapei was out of the country, on his way to Cancun for the UN Climate Change Conference, and was driven by unhappiness over his push to have five opposition MP's suspended from the house, and also over his refusal to hand over the rotating chairmanship of the Melanesian Spearhead Group to Fiji, many said because of Australian pressure.

Mr Natapei was to officially apologize to Fiji for this action in a reconciliation ceremony in Honiara next week.  Mr Kilman will now presumably perform this task for him

ELECTION DATE REAFFIRMED. The Strategic Framework for Coordinating Change spokesman Ed…

More Water Flows, Coup4¼, MSG Reconciliation Meeting, Public Service Training, HIV/AIDS, FDB Bad Loans

FIJI WATER. Here are two links to its Australian coverage in The Australian: One and Two.

The NZHerald reported that "Fiji Water is part of a group of food and beverage companies, and is owned by two Southern California billionaires, Lynda and Stewart Resnick (photo). Court documents submitted by the company in 2008 showed that Fiji Water was owned by an entity in Luxembourg, a tax haven, and recent Swiss financial records showed Mr and Mrs Resnick transferred Fiji Water assets to companies in Switzerland." Read the  full article.

FijiVillage asks Fiji Water how many bottles.

And here's a link to the American website  MotherJones. The posting attracted lots of comments. Check them out.

DEVIOUS COUPFOURPOINTFIVE. First, you told us the army was on the way to Yaqara Note 1, below), and when this information was shown to be incorrect, your "army" transmutes into a security firm comprising, like most other security firms in Fiji, former soldiers.(Note 2, below).…

Temm-pus Fugit, PSC Restructuring, I Stand Criticized, VAT & Inequalities, Pacific Eye Institutute

TEMM TOO BUSY. New Zealand Law Society President Jonathan Temm (photo), a strong critic of Fiji, was invited to attend the Attorney General’s Conference that starts on Friday so that he could speak with members of the judiciary and legal fraternity on law and order issues in Fiji, and —  "see for himself." Mr Temm, who had earlier accepted the invitation, has now informed Solicitor General Christopher Pryde that he will not be able to attend due to his busy work schedule. Instead, the Solicitor General who, presumably, is also busy will travel to Wellington to discuss the concerns of the New Zealand Law Society.

[I doubt it is worth the effort and expense. Temm's mind is made up. A major hardware store here has just released a new cement product called Mind-Cem. One of my sources tell me Temm was at the launch, looking decidedly unwell (his left hand was trembling),  but if I've only learnt one thing this week it is that blogs can't always trust their sources.]


C4.5 Blog Wrong Again: No Soldiers at Fiji Water Factory, and Truly Breaking News

Who on earth is CoupFourPointFive relying on for its information on Fiji. They report:
"Breaking! Army heading to Fiji Water factory! The Fiji Water fallout has gathered momentum with reports the army is heading out to the Rakiraki factory.Coupfourpointfive understands the army will arrive at Fiji Water in a short while, one o'clock according to our source. We understand the army will be posted at the factory for two weeks. ... More to come as we get it. "

I checked the story out with the Information PS.  She replied:  "You can inform your readers the Military are NOT on their way up to Fiji Waters as reported on the other blog site. On the related matter of accurate reporting,   I am intending to take  up Michael Fields and the NZ media on their story that the PM was dead. Can the NZ media please declare their interest in Fiji? It is  appalling at the moment. They seem willing to publish anything without seeking verification. What is going on?


Michael Field's Trickles, Re-engagement & Respect, PM on Budget & Reforms, NZ Media Shamed

THE TROPICAL CYCLONE ALERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED but forecasters say the tropical depression remains - with winds of up to 50km per hour. Heavy rain is expected to ease in most parts of the group from today. No major flooding is expected but flash flooding could occur in some areas.
EYE OPENER (in more ways than one). The PM opened the new eye clinic today in front of a large crowd. 

OPEN LETTER TO PM.  I withdrew this posting as a reader suggested. It was poorly timed. I'll re-post  at a more appropriate time in the next week or so.

MICHAEL FIELD's OLD TRICKS.  A reader writes: "Croz, Good old Michael Field is up to his old tricks again, willfully distorting the truth in a supposedly straight news story to push his own political barrow. Witness his updated story this morning for Fairfax Media's Stuff NZ (click here).

'One of Fiji's major exporters, Fiji Water, has quit the Pacific country and its military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama has said it is good ridda…

Tale of Two Statements: Fiji Water and Government

The news that Fiji Water will withdrawn from Fiji is more than a disappointment. It is a major blow to the workers in Ra province and the Fiji economy.

I am encouraged by their comment that they are "willing to work through the Water Resource Tax issue with the government as it would be their preference to keep operating in the country" but find their comment on Fiji being  "an increasingly unstable country" extraordinary.

At this stage it would appear the company and the Government are both calling each other's bluff. Not always a wise move when so much is at stake for both parties.

Fiji Water currently pays 0.33 cents for a litre of water as Water Resource Tax. The budget would have that increased to 15cents.The company uses 3.5million litres of natural water a month.

Fiji Water is putting on hold several large construction contracts in Fiji, including the renovation of Drauniivi Primary School, a $300,000 project and the resurfacing of the Naikabula Yard wort…

How the Poor Fared in the 2011 Budge

Kevin J. Barr
The poor and the disadvantaged were not forgotten in the 2011 Budget announced on Friday. But the allocations made for them were totally inadequate to their numbers and totally inadequate to any commitment to overcoming poverty as expressed in the People’s Charter and the Millennium Goals. Basically the Budget (entitled “Enhancing Economic Growth and Inclusive Development“) addressed the needs of investors and the business sector – especially the tourist industry – to enhance economic growth. The influence of the IMF and the Asia Development Bank was apparent and little evidence was given of “thinking outside the box” of their recommended policies and prescriptions. More on this later.

Cyclone Alert, Bainimara Alive and Well. Ask the American Ambassador

Scroll down to check out Weekend Readings and Comments.Se new Quote for the Week in the right sidebar.An article on how the budget will affect the poor will be posted after midday.
HURRICANE SEASON ARRIVES.A Tropical cyclone alert is in force in Fiji as gale force winds buffet the Yasawa and Mamanuca groups, Western Viti Levu, Vatulele, Beqa and Kadavu. Heavy rain in advance of the cyclone has inundated Tavua and Suva streets. On its present track the centre was expected to lie about 230km WSW of Nadi at midnight Sunday and about 250km South of Nadi and 130km SSW of Kadavu by midday today. The cyclone could  intensify and turn into a Tropical cyclone.

BAINIMARAMA ALIVE AND WELL.  ASK THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR. Whoever supplies information to the two anti-government blogs, CoupFourPointFive and FijiCoup2006, is either a secret Bainimarama agent, a fool, a science fiction writer, or a jokester who is having a good laugh at their expense.  Dear friends, you must replace this "source&quo…