Wednesday, 10 June 2020

U.S. sanctions on Venezuala oil in bid to topple left-leaning government

If this is not interference in the affairs of another nation, what is?

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Fiji PM's New Year Message

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says right now, his total focus is on the Fijians who through no fault of their own are recovering from yet another bout of severe weather.
In his New Year’s message, Bainimarama says they will get the services back online, continue to invest in more resilient infrastructure, construct sea walls, plant mangroves,  and implement  other adaptive measures.
He says while these projects take time and vast resources, they are worth every dollar and ounce of effort we can give them.
He says if the global community does not act decisively to cut emissions, these storms will only become more severe in the years ahead.
Bainimarama adds in 2020 Fiji will celebrate its 50th year of Independence.
He says the past 50 years of our history has proven that we are resilient people. He adds together we will prove ourselves to be stronger than Sarai.

Listen to what he said in full by highlighting, copying and pasting this link on your URL line.


Tuesday, 31 December 2019

NFP New Year Message

December 31, 2019

NFP Leader’s New Year Message

We begin 2020 recovering from a cyclone. Perhaps it is a timely reminder that hard economic times are ahead – and we have little confidence in our current government to solve our problems.

We ask Fiji’s people to stay optimistic and positive. These times, too, will pass. But it is important that we learn from history. We cannot afford to repeat our mistakes.

In the next year or so, NFP will roll out its policies and vision for the future – how we must change our economy, our education system, our social services, and how we must prepare for the next 20 years.

But most importantly, we must change the way we are governed. Because it is on this that our national unity and common purpose depend. We will ask the people what they think – and what needs to change. This is the consultative, people-led way forward for Fiji.

We are now in our fiftieth year of Independence. We will celebrate that anniversary in October. In our first 50 years our different governments have built many things – roads, schools, hospitals and water supplies. They pay the salaries of our public servants. And all of these are important and necessary. But these things do not build a country. That is what people do.

Our real quality of life depends on our attitudes to our neighbours and our willingness to share what we have with others.

Fiji has been built on generosity and sharing. The indigenous people of our country have been generous with their land and resources. Over many decades they made room for other communities to build their lives and raise their families here.

And those migrant communities have, in their turn, given back, contributing significantly to our economy, to education and the development of the skills we all now possess and which enable us to live and work together as an independent country.

And this process goes on. Every day people share their food, their time and their views with each other. They help each other in times of need. They build bonds that last lifetimes.

Most of our people are young. For them, Independence is history. But there are still many of us who remember the towering figures in our past. Ratu Sukuna and Mr A D Patel had left us by 1970. But leaders like Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, Ratu Edward Cakobau, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau and Mr S M Koya were there.

These leaders had a clear vision and a determination to look past our differences. Because of course we had our differences then, just as we do today. They were politicians who depended on votes, just as we do today. They attacked and criticized each other, just as we do today.

But these leaders were generous with each other. They respected each other and in that way, they respected the people for whom they spoke. They resolved many issues through direct dialogue. And they shared a unified vision for Fiji – for building consensus and a sense of security, for education and social services, for the economy, for dialogue between employers and unions. It was on this wisdom and generosity that the success of Fiji’s first years was built.
If we are honest with each other we must accept that the vision of our founding leaders has not always been honoured. Since those optimistic times after Independence, we have endured dark periods of intolerance, suffering, dictatorship and fear.

And yet, the people of Fiji have always returned to the work of building. After the fear and insecurity of 1987, our political leaders created a new reservoir of goodwill. We remember NFP leader Mr Jai Ram Reddy, now in retirement, another far-thinking leader who went on to become an international judge. He painstakingly and carefully negotiated a new national consensus with then Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka. This gave us the 1997 Constitution, a democratic document with a new shared vision.

In 2006 this new vision was again destroyed by a military coup. Once again, government by dialogue and consensus was exchanged for rule by fear and intimidation. But nothing lasts forever. And we are more confident than ever that in a few years’ time, a new period of rebuilding and rejuvenation will begin.

Of those vibrant political parties that were there at Independence, only NFP remains. Our party, too, has suffered hardship. But we are still here. We remain optimistic, positive and full of hope for our country. We want to return Fiji to good leadership, to a government that is generous and tolerant, which listens to the people and to its opponents and has a long-term vision for our future, not one that is focused on the next election.

NFP’s founder, Mr A D Patel, led a party that was strongly Indo-Fijian. But he was a man dedicated to multiracialism and unity. I think he would be pleased and gratified now to see how our party has changed and how diverse it has become.

But he would also be pleased to see what has not changed. We still stand for the things he valued –working together, promoting generosity and national unity and ensuring that everyone has a voice and a right to participate in the life of our country.
Most of life is not about politics. We all cherish our families, enjoy the company of our friends, and advance in our careers. Many of us dedicate time for reflecting at our places of worship, meeting our cultural obligations or pursuing sports, as fans or players.

And many of us, too, give up our time for others. In my work as a politician I meet hundreds of people every year whose generosity and goodwill fills my heart. They work to improve the lives of the poor. They build facilities for their local school. They work to keep language and culture alive. They care for their elderly relatives or for others’ children. They give time and counsel to others whose lives have gone off track. They work for better community health or are activists for the rights of women and minorities. Most of these people work quietly and without fanfare.

These are the people who continue to build our country. These are the people who represent our future.

We at NFP wish all of Fiji’s people a blessed and happy New Year.

Professor Biman Prasad

Monday, 16 December 2019

H.E.P Milestone in Solomon Islands Development: Everyone Wins

Tina River on Guadalcanal
 Bringing Renewable Power to Solomon Islands,
with a financing package worth over US$200 million
Construction now set to begin on Tina River Hydropower Project in early 2020
HONIARA, December 16, 2019 The Government of Solomon Islands and the International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the formal completion of a landmark financing agreement for the Tina River Hydropower Project, which will see Solomon Islands move from virtual total reliance on imported diesel to majority renewable energy that will significantly cut power costs and emissions.
The 15-megawatt Tina River Hydropower Project will curb Solomon Islands’ reliance on imported diesel by almost 70 percent, lowering power prices for homes and businesses across the country, where the price of electricity is among the highest in the world and heavily exposed to global fuel price fluctuations and shocks. The project will also pave the way for the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by two and half times its 2025 target.
The financing package for the project, worth over US$200 million, through loans and grants from six institutions, marks the first large-scale infrastructure project for Solomon Islands to be developed as a public-private partnership (PPP).

Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Tragedy of Privatisation by Brian Easton

  I often find people characterising Rogernomics and the neoliberal economics of the late 1980s and early 1990s as ‘privatisation’; that is, the sale of state owned enterprises (SOEs) to the private sector.

 Yet, there may be better candidates to symbolise the policies of the time, including:  
  • the opening up New Zealand to the world economy by the removal of border and related protections and subsidies;
  • commercialisation; that is changing the way that the economy and the state sector were managed by giving priority to business principles;
  • the light-handed regulation of business which has led to sizeable inefficiencies. The cost of ‘leaky buildings’ may be as high as $47b alone and people have died.
  • the attempted ‘Americanization’ of the public health system driven by ideological stupidity and again resulting in deaths and unnecessary health discomfort;
  • the tax and benefit cuts which sharply increased inequality.
So why does so much of the public concerns focus on privatisation?  Perhaps it was because of the lying.  Read more from Pundit.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

"They Travel with Shadows"

Morgan Godfery gained a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a Māori politician when he sat down with six of them for RNZ’s Matangireia series.

After almost 10 years in and around media and politics, I’m not sure that I could ever encourage anyone to become an MP.
Yeah, the status is no doubt appealing, and using that mana to help people in need is an objective good. The money seems nice, too. But the work is punishing and, more often than not, thankless.

Read more from e Tangata

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Lithium Ion Battery "Breakthrough" by Taupō Company

A Taupō company has made a breakthrough in extracting near battery-grade lithium from geothermal fluid which its says could be a gamechanger.

Geo40 chief executive John Worth said the earth mineral was highly prized, with battery-grade lithium selling for US$10,000 (NZ$15,600) a tonne.

Lithium, normally mined from hard rock, is used to produce lithium ion batteries, the technology that underpins electric vehicles. The batteries could one day be the answer to storing wind and solar power, he said.

Read more

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Left/Right Tribalism Shapes People's Views on Climate Change

 "With emissions still rising, climate geo-engineering is a topic we need to debate. But political researchers fear people are falling into the same left/right tribalism that has long plagued climate politics.

"Although worsening fires, droughts, diseases and floods will affect people of all political persuasions, studies have repeatedly shown that a sizeable chunk of the population uses their politics as a proxy when deciding whether to trust the scientific evidence on climate......."  Read more

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Bougainville Referendum on Independence Starts Today

 The Pacific people of Bougainville today began voting in a historic referendum to decide if they want to become the world’s newest nation by gaining independence from
Papua New Guinea.
The referendum runs over two weeks and is a key part of a 2001 peace agreement that ended a brutal civil war in which at least 15,000 people died in the cluster of islands to the east of the Papua New Guinea mainland.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Comprehensive Damning NFP Comments on Fiji Government

This is a damning commentary on the FijiFirst Government. I am not in a position to assess its validity, having been out of Fiji too long.  I publish it in good faith in the spirit of a free media. -- Croz
Response to H.E.’s Speech
Parliament of Fiji
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
By NFP MP Hon Lenora Qereqeretabua

Mr Speaker Sir, protocol dictates that we thank His Excellency for his most gracious speech. But I lament the fact that His Excellency’s image as a symbol of national unity has been shattered by Government’s spin doctors who compelled him to outline falsehoods and fabrications to camouflage the colossal failures of this government.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Keeping National Honest on Climate Change

Ignoring the science and the broader public mood, National continues to take its 'do-nothing, know-nothing' lead from powerful party members desperately clinging to deeply vested interests in a high emissions economy, writes Rod Oram in Newsroom.

Judith Collins' recent Facebook post about climate change is a classic of its kind.  She asserts climate change is not nearly as serious as “media and the political left” say it is; we and other nations are incapable of sufficiently cutting emissions anyway; and she blames everyone else for this mess while accepting no responsibility of her own, either political or personal.

Her post also reveals much about the state of the climate debate within the National Party. It has attracted some 1,100 comments so far. The strong majority of them urge her on, a sign to National there are votes to be had from holding out against action on the climate crisis.

One sign of National’s enthusiasm is its reluctance to distance itself from Collins’ comments.

Click here to read more.