Local News

NZ sets travel terms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made clear the conditions under which travellers will be allowed into and out of New Zealand. During a question and answer session in the New Zealand Parliament this...

PM markets Fiji to billionaires

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has offered Fiji as a new home for billionaires wanting to escape the COVID-19 pandemic in paradise. In a tweet, Mr Bainimarama said billionaires could jet into the country, rent their own island and invest millions of dollars in Fiji in the process. While easing some of Fiji’s COVID-19 restrictions, Mr...

Curr: Kiwis to make up their own minds

New Zealand says it will “consider” joining the Fijian Government’s Bula Bubble initiative recently announced by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. However, New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Jonathan Curr, said Kiwis would have to make up their own minds about whether they would travel to Fiji under the health and safety protocols outlined by Mr...

‘Pacific needs to be realistic’

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes says the Pacific needs to be realistic about when Aussies will be allowed to travel abroad. He made the comment in response to queries from this newspaper about whether Australia had been consulted about the Fijian Government’s Bula Bubble initiative and whether they were comfortable with the travel...

‘Nothing can be done’

If land was sold by your forefathers in exchange for guns or liquor and the transaction is legally recognised, then nothing can be done about it. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made this comment during a talanoa session held in Savusavu yesterday. He was responding to queries from a few landowners who were concerned about land...

State supports industry’s success

Government is committed to bolstering Fiji’s domestic rice industry and the agro economy as a whole, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. This, he said, would be done through targeted assistance to farmers throughout Fiji. “To get there, we need to tap into new innovations and explore new ways of serving our vital agricultural sector and...

Urban-rural drift issues

Unemployment caused by COVID-19 is presenting new challenges in rural communities as urban-based Fijians have returned in numbers to their villages. Non-governmental organisation Social Empowerment and Education Programme (SEEP) said it noted the urban-rural drift and the issues that had developed from this over the past few months, while working with 38 communities. Director Chantelle...

NGO calls for focus on rural women

FemLINKpacific says the welfare and development of rural women should be a key focus of the 2020-2021 National Budget. Executive director Susan Grey said the women’s organisation highlighted this in its national budget submission. She said the submission raised some of the collective struggles women from rural communities in Nadi and Ba faced over the...

150th anniversary: Anti-riot squad set up

In 1982, Fiji announced it would set up an anti-riot squad to specifically combat prison violence. This proclamation was made three years after the famous prison riots of 1979 that caused government substantial property damage. The 10-man elite team, called the Emergency Control Unit (ECU), was raised from the ranks of the prison service and...

New board appointed, website launched for nursing home

The care and quality of living at Father Law Home in Wailekutu, Lami is expected to undergo a facelift with the appointment of a new management board and website launch last week. Archbishop Peter Loy Chong announced last week that the home, which provides care and shelter for 30 aged residents, had new board members...

Union seeks court injunction

A court injunction has been sought in the case of the termination of 285 employees of Air Terminal Services (Fiji) Ltd (ATS) and the recent publication advertisement of jobs by the organisation. Both applications were called before Justice Mohamed Javed Mansoor at the Employment Relations Tribunal in Lautoka yesterday. Niveen Padarath, who represented the 285...

Board approves relief package for employers

THE Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) board has approved a relief package for employers. Fund CEO Jaoji Koroi said they understood the situation facing employers and the challenges for them to comply with the laws given the current economic situation. “Therefore, I would like to also announce that the board has approved a relief package...

Timely boost for work done by NGOs and social enterprises

NGOs and social enterprises supporting vulnerable communities to cope with the COVID-19 crisis through upskilling, providing financial education and creating income generation opportunities, received a boost in the form of computers and IT equipment from the ANZ Bank yesterday. The four organisations — Rise Beyond the Reef, Pacific Blue Foundation, Empower Pacific, and Quantum Space...

Living life to the fullest

Senior citizens are empowered because of the abundance of wisdom they possess. The same saying goes for 78-year-old retiree Shyam Bal Kissun, who also serves as Justice of Peace. He still displays the same zest when he was young and says age is just a number. “I was a bright kid when I started primary...

Aquaculture station produces 1.32 million shrimp larvae

Since its inception in 2018, Galoa Aquaculture Station has produced 1.32 million shrimp larvae. This, according to Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) project assistant Hsu Wei-Chan, who said the station had also produced 0.515 million freshwater shrimp larvae. Mr Wei-Chan said Galoa was one of five aquaculture stations within the Ministry of Fisheries. The main function...

Fijians benefit from projects

Fijians from all walks of life have benefited from the Taiwan Technical Mission team since its inception in 1978 in Seaqaqa. With several projects now established in Fiji, many Fijians have taken advantage of the farming skills passed to them by the experts from Taiwan who have lived in Fiji on a contract basis. Some...

No regrets for farmer

One of Sigatoka’s biggest sugarcane farmers, Puskar Charan, has turned to guava and cash crop farming for his family’s daily survival. The 74-year-old man said he depended on the sugar industry for decades and had no regrets about the switch. “I’ve said goodbye to sugar cane because I get more money from what I’m doing...

Defying all odds – Bebe calls on women to pursue career in farming

In most parts of Fiji, farming remains the domain of males and is very much a boys club. Women help maintain the field and are largely the silent contributors. But not in Viti Levu’s heartland where Sulueti Bebe lives. She is now one of the largest vegetable farmers in Nadarivatu and runs her own farm....

Back Tracks: Shankar, 98, recalls the good old days

When the Leonidas left Calcutta on January 28, 1879 and began its almost 11,000km journey to Levuka, it not only brought the first batch of 522 girmitiya to Fiji, the vessel also brought Indian culture, music and a rich tradition to Fiji’s shores. The first Indian workers would gather in the evenings after a hard...

Wakanisila children pioneers in English language program

The United States ambassador to Fiji,  Joseph Cella this afternoon launched the English Access Microscholarship Program for 24 children residing in Wakanisila, Kalabu settlement who are pioneers of the program. The program will be managed by a local Non-Government Organisation, VisionFiji which focuses on children’s welfare and have received a grant for the program that...

Navatudua women’s group a ‘shining beacon of hope’

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has described the successful mabe farm in Raviravi Village, Macuata as one that has made him proud as the national government leader. In handing over the Navatudua women’s group $20,000 from sale of mabe products, Mr Bainimarama said in these trying times, these women have become shining beacon of hope ....

FICAC officers raid SODELPA office

Officers from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) this morning raided the headquarters of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) at 66 McGregor Road, Suva. A statement authorised by SODELPA General Secretary, Emele Duituturaga said the (FICAC) officers provided a search warrant in regards to a complaint that was lodged with the Commission. “The...

Cook Islands Speaker refrains from banning journalist

The Speaker of the Cook Islands parliament, Nikki Rattle, says she will not ban journalist, Rashneel Kumar, from reporting parliament. Mr Kumar is the political editor at the Cook Islands News and had written a story about an increase in travel privileges for spouses of MPs from the outer islands. His job has been under...

13 lawmen charged for non-sexual violence offences

Thirteen police officers are part of the 49 people charged for non-sexual violence offences by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with a total of 68 counts of separate incidents last month. This was revealed in a statement issued today by the  Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) when releasing the serious crime statistics recorded...

Remand trio charged for escaping from police custody

Three of the four remand prisoners who escaped from Police custody while escorted to Suva from Lautoka on Tuesday have been charged with one count each of escaping from police custody. The trio will appear at the Nadi Magistrates Court today. Meanwhile, the fourth remand prisoner was later recaptured yesterday.

13 people arrested for curfew breach; seven linked to alcohol

Police arrested 13 people for breach of curfew restrictions in the last 24 hours of which seven were linked to alcohol. Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said the Northern division recorded five cases whereby four people including a 19-year-old student were found drunk in the Labasa area while a 33-year-old man was found walking...

Reservoir recommissioning benefits 800 Fijians

The recent recommissioning of the DMO reservoir in Lautoka will benefit around 800 Fijians living in the elevated parts of Balawa and Saweni Beach Road who now have a consistent water supply. With a cost of around $22,447 according to the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF),  the main objective of recommissioning the DMO reservoir was to...

Weather watch: Weak trough remains over the north

A weakening trough of low pressure remains over the northern parts of the group and is gradually moving east away from the country. This is according to the weather bulletin issued from the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi at 10:45am today. The forecast to midnight tomorrow for the Fiji group expect cloudy periods with...

Yauvoli commissioned at Fiji’s ambassador to the US

Amenatave Vakasavuwaqa Yauvoli was officially commissioned as Fiji’s Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji to the United States of America yesterday by the President, Jioji Konrote at the State House in Suva. Mr Yauvoli thanked the Fijian government for having faith and confidence in him to deliver an important diplomatic appointment as Fiji’s Ambassador to...

COVID-19: Returning peacekeepers test negative; remain in quarantine

Fijian soldiers who returned home over the weekend after completing peacekeeping duties in Sinai have all tested negative for COVID-19. In a statement this morning Government said the 162 peacekeepers upon arrival at the Nadi Airport,underwent symptom and temperature checks and were immediately placed safely into quarantine. “In addition, the very next day, each was...

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