Showing posts from November 4, 2012

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Talking about witchcraft, a few years ago a very good friend developed a rash on his body. Then the soft parts of the skin became infected by some unknown ailment. His eyelids started to swell and got very soft. All this time he had been in and out of hospital and even went to the skin specialist in Tamavua. After each consultancy the ailment would abate and then reappear.
In his desperation he decided to go to faith healers and he almost completed the rounds going to all the religious denominations in Fiji. Being a non-Christian he went from church, to temple, to mosque and lean-to makeshift prayer houses. He was prayed over and even screamed upon, nothing happened, the ailment got worse.
Then in his desperation he decided to visit a witch  doctor. He was advised to take a packet of cigarettes and $5 yaqona. The witchdoctor performed his rites and the ailment went away. The rites were repeated four times and after the fourth ceremony his body was clean. He had been cure…

Shaista Begs to Differ

Letter to the Editor: Croz Walsh's Blog

Dear Croz,
I refer to your commentary on James Anthony’s note to the Constitutional Commission and would like to make a few observations which I hope you will publish on your website:
First of all, a correction - Dr James Anthony is not Felix Anthony’s brother. They may be vaguely related by marriage but there is no actual relationship otherwise. In fact, perish that thought!
Secondly, I myself attended that conference to launch the Pacific Studies Centre at Auckland University 26 or more years ago, to which you referred in your commentary. I had not previously met Dr Jim Anthony and was very interested to hear him speak. He was an icon for many because he had successfully challenged the hegemony of colonialism and capitalism in Fiji in 1959, and was something of a ‘Ned Kelly’ figure. Not many Europeans in colonial Fiji liked Jim precisely because of that, and instead of getting a job at USP, lecturing us (local) students- as he should have …

Rise in Foreign Investment

Rishab Nair9:02pm Nov 6 Rise in foreign investment
November 3, 2012 | Filed under: Opinion | Posted by: newsroom


(Dr Jayaraman is a Professor at the Fiji National University’s School of Economics, Banking and Finance, Nasinu Campus.
His publications include: ‘Readings in Monetary Economics of Pacific Island Countries’, published by the University of the South Pacific Bookcenter, Suva 2012 and ‘A Single Currency for Pacific Island Countries’ published by Nova Science Publishers, New York 2012”

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Fiji is increasing.
The term FDI normally refers to equity stakes and effective control of enterprises.
However, in recent times, a broader definition also covers non-equity participation by foreigners by way of licensing, franchising, and joint ventures.

Different types of FDI
In the past, FDI inflows to Pacific islands were of the natural resource exploiting type such as primary processing.
In the early years of the last century, notab…

Fr Barr on Wage Orders

The wage increases announced to come into effect in October 2012 are very disappointing. Let me make a number of points:
Presenting the wage increases in terms of percentages is very misleading. Percentages hide the fact that the increases are relatively small. For example a 9.9% increase in the wages of garment workers is only about 19 cents an hour for the lowest paid workers in the country. It will bring their wages to just above $2.00 an hour. Beginners, of course will earn less. The low wage increases make a joke of government’s constant declaration that it wants to alleviate poverty. Unless wages are increased at a reasonable rate above the ever-increasing cost of living, then poverty will continue to increase (as it has in the past). Wages are a key issue for poverty alleviation. Also the low wage increases will not help to increase productivity. Employers and government are constantly talking about the need for greater pr…

General Impressions

Fiji Report #3 by Crosbie Walsh

Where to start? Logically, at the beginning with Air Pacific and arrival. 

 The huge 747 plane from Auckland was full. Mainly tourists but with many others returning home. Service was excellent but I can't say I was impressed with the sausage-in-a-white-bun lunch or the use of Australian sugar. A roti package and local sugar would have been better. 

The TV on the back of the seat in front told me, in picture after picture, that Fiji was a land of many iTaukei but only one Indian, and this impression continued into the arrival hall where five Taukei immigration officers (there was space for eight) processed our plane from New Zealand and a smaller plane, a 737 I think, from Australia. The tourists seemed happy, other than the young children. It took 40 minutes to get through immigration, the duty free shops where tourists might have been surprised to see their first Indo-Fijians, and Customs, again all Taukei. A hangover from the past, perhaps, bu…

Of Pots and Kettles

Fiji Report #2 by Crosbie Walsh
I suppose it was to be expected. 

 In "setting the stage" for my reports on Fiji, I disclosed, quite properly and in accord with most codes of ethics (not to mention standard research behaviour) that part of my recent visit to Fiji had been paid for by the Ministry of Information. In the eyes of some this immediately tarnished anything I may write on my impressions and interviews.

 A more balanced reaction would have been to reserve judgement and then. if they thought me compromised, to attack what I wrote, instead of questioning my integrity and attacking what I might write even before I had written a single word.
I understand the concern but would have hoped that my postings on this blog would have demonstrated (as I have said several times) that while I support Government's stated vision for a fairer Fiji, and try to make my comments helpful, I do not support some of their actions. Nor do I support a return to the corrupt, unfair, an…

My Visit to Fiji #1

By Crosbie Walsh
If you've been wondering why there have been so few postings lately, I was in Suva for ten days, from Thursday 25th October to Sunday 4th November.  I did not announce my visit because of  personal threats by the more extreme of the anti-Bainimarama people writing on this and other blogs.
 The Ministry of Information paid my travel costs, five days accommodation at Holiday Inn, they provided a vehicle to take me around, and gave me the temporary use of a tape recorder and a “dongle” to avoid the hotel's high charge for internet access. Vinaka, Sharon, Sharleen, Don and the three drivers, especially Freddie.
My wife joined me on Tuesday and we paid all her costs. She proved to be even more helpful than usual. Without her, I would not have known that the only remaining laundrymat is in Raiwaqa and it takes ages to spin dry clothes. I would not have known about changes in the market or tasted vakalavalava again. Nor would men and women in the street have been q…

News and Comments Tuesday 6 November 2012 (Amended)

GHAI AND PM DIFFER. Eleven  days ago the Chairman of the Constitution Commission, Prof Yash Ghai, assured me there had been no interference by government in the work of the Commission. Then government learned that Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi had been appointed as a consultant to the Commission, and everything changed.

Government maintains that Ratu Joni's appointment contravened the Commission's terms of reference because he had been part of a Bauan group presenting a submission to the Commission that called for Fiji to be a Christian state.  That he did not personally want a Christian state was besides the point. The call countered one of the Government's "non-negotiable principles" and there was clearly a conflict of interest between his involvement in the submission and his advisory role for the Commission.

The PM is on record as expressing concern about the number of mainly anti-Government people Commission members have met outside the formal submission process, an…

Watch this Space

Sorry for the few postings over the last few days.  I've just come back from spending ten days in Fiji where I interviewed or spoke with over 30 people of all political persuasions.  I didn't announce I was in Fiji until I returned to the safety of NZ because of the threats I received from the more extreme Bainimarama opponents that they would "fix me" one way or the other if I visited Fiji.   Watch this space, starting  later today.