Friday, February 24, 2012

Want to buy an island in Fiji?

from w
A cautionary tale - though there are a few islands for sale, beware of the complicatons of land matters in Fiji, cautions one David Aubrey of a marketing consultancy. From today's Fiji Times. Of course it always astonished me the asking price for a piece of land, that was, once upon a time, given in good faith to a stranger for a gun or two to use for a few years then revert to the Fijian people of that place. There was no understanding of land title 'for ever' those days.

Islands for sale
Elenoa Baselala
Saturday, February 25, 2012

A TOURISM market findings report claims that there were 14 private islands listed for sale early this year, their price tags totalling over $98million.

David Aubrey of the Aubrey Development Marketing Consulting company said the Market Findings report on buying a Fiji island was produced as tourism started to build again.

"Fiji has a great future and it is an ideal place to buy a private dream island but there are many matters to be taken into consideration before purchase," he said.

The 14 properties were listed for sale by three offshore companies but it was difficult to achieve a total understanding of what each offering entailed, Mr Aubrey said.

In the report, Mr Aubrey stated that the legal framework for ownership of land in Fiji was quite complex.

"One matter that is causing considerable consternation and uncertainty is unregistered land that should not be sold but there are instances where it has," the report said.

"This represents a daunting scenario for a would-be purchaser who wants a prudent investment to accompany the slice of paradise.

"Contrary to wide held belief, not all private islands are owned by luxury chain resorts, multimillionaire film stars and business tycoons for whom money is not a problem. Indeed several of the islands are owned and operated by independent business that seized the opportunity to continue in business but far from the corporate world."

The report warned potential buyers of unregistered land that could be subject to challenge after purchase, misrepresentation by sales agents, different agents quoting different prices, islands with no beach as well as incomplete island resorts, which may be costly to complete.

It also cautioned potential buyers to be aware of government taxes, accessibility, local traditions and politics, local weather systems, logistics of supplies and the length of time to get approvals ù to name a few.

The information contained in the report was sourced via island brokers, interviews with existing resort operators from small to medium to large scale international brand, government information, CIA data, Internet blog sites following nine consecutive trips to Fiji, Mr Aubrey claimed.

"It is grassroots research with real data on property transactions very difficult to obtain. Potential buyers should treat this information as a guide only and seek professional assistance prior to entering into due diligence or a contract of sale."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A girl from Batinikama

from Peceli,
Another story of a Vanua Levu woman doing good work. Anshu comes from Batinikama, a place out in the countryside of babasiga. From the Fiji Times.
Anshu sets example
Solomoni Biumaiono
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A life changing experience has turned this environmental scientist from her conservative upbringing to a more robust and outgoing businesswoman.

Anshu Lata, originally of Batinikama now owns You and Me Talent Agency. But it has not always been this way for this Labasa girl.

Anshu or Zeus as her workers affectionately call her, first started off on the normal career path that is expected of many children around Fiji. Get an education, earn a degree, get a good job and then settle down.

"The only work we knew about back then was to be a teacher, to be a doctor, or to be an accountant. Those are the big jobs and everyone was all just gearing towards this," Anshu says.

She was a good science student in Form Four and she stuck to that throughout high school and eventually into the University of the South Pacific where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.

"Looking back at it now, we never had good counselling, if you will, when it comes to making career choices while we're still back in school. Unlike today, students are provided with more options and given good advice about what subjects they could take," Anshu says.

To her, this meant a big thing because she had always wanted herself to be heard. She had always wanted to be independent and she secretly harbours a creative streak.

This was only brought to the fore after she left USP to start working and somehow gained new insights and knowledge that challenged her to become the person that she is today, a businesswoman.

"After I left JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in 2007, I met many different people from different walks of life and backgrounds and I started to learn new things. I guess that new life experience changed me a lot into the kind of person I am today," she said.

Three years after leaving JICA, Anshu finally started a talent agency business and in her first year, she managed to find a lot of work, organising fashion shows and models, organising movie premiers and being a judge at the 2011 World Supermodel Australia Teens show at Amanuca Island.

And along the way she also met and made a lot of opposition, something that she says, is all part and parcel of running a business.

"As the saying goes, you can measure your success with the number of enemies that you have but to look back at what I did, I did start my business on an impulse but that has not stopped me at all.

"It has helped me to be a better person where I learnt to have more self belief, I learnt to be more patient, mature, more cautious and to be analytical," Anshu says. She admits that there were times when she wanted to quit, but one thing that kept her going was stubbornness, which surprisingly, was not a newfound quality she had learnt most recently but something she had learnt from a young age while growing up in Labasa.

Just two weeks ago she was on the verge of losing the Miss Earth Fiji franchise that she has with Carousel Productions Limited of the Philippines but she persevered and only confirmed it a few days ago.

"I want to be a good businessperson and to be a good example for all the youths and all the dreamers out there who want to make something of their lives," Anshu says.

A shop in Nabalebale

from w
It's good to see initiative in a Fijian village and here's a story about a woman who set up a little shop in Nabalebale, a village on the road between Savusavu and Labasa where the scenery is quite picturesque. The road isn't dusty though - it's tar-sealed.

It's back home for Arieta
Solomoni Biumaiono
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
(find picture) Arieta Seru outside her dainty shop at Nabalebale village. Picture: SOLOMONI BIUMAIONO

REMEMBER that dusty road, when it touches your feet, it finally registers in your head that you're back home?
Back to your village so to speak! Here is the story of Arieta Seru, the shopkeeper at Nabalebale Shopping Centre in Vanua Levu.
Arieta started off from her village in Urata several years ago to go to Suva to start a new life. She made some progress with her life in the big city. In Suva, she found a husband and is now the mother of their four children but then, after eight years in Suva, she sought a new beginning. And she found it nine months ago when she was given the opportunity to go back to her village.

"It was our family's arrangement. You see, my cousin runs a business in Suva and we discussed that I come here to Nabalebale to run this shop for him ù I jumped at the chance," Arieta says.

The Nabalebale Shopping Centre is one of two shops at Nabalebale village. It is located at the junction of the Wailevu West Road and the Labasa-Savusavu Highway which is a prime spot and a rest stop for those travelling down to the villages of Wailevu West and Bua. The shop sells groceries of every kind and Arieta surely runs a tight ship with her business even though she didn't receive any formal training business management.

"We do not have any problems with our supplies as our shop is constantly stocked by wholesalers from Labasa. It's only when we need something urgently do we order from Savusavu. Apart from that, in running a business, it's important that you keep records of your accounts because it's a business and you need to run it like that," Arieta says.

In the past nine months, Arieta says sales have been good. She's even managed to turn a little profit from her business venture. "I do not allow any credit so people understand my way of running the shopé" she said. "I am always careful when it comes to how I spend.

"I watch my spending because sometimes when money starts flowing into the business, shopkeepers always want to order more for their shops."

She has no regrets about her decision to turn a new leaf back home. In fact, she is content with what she has achieved in the short time she has spent as a shopkeeper. For her, this is one way of going back to her roots.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Villages in Macuata

from w
Before the Labasa tourism guys start to think of promoting Vuo and Naduri they need to identify what tourists coming on these boats really want? and where they've been in other days on the cruise e.g. Savusavu, an island or two. Do they want to go shopping, see Indian culture, visit a village? There may be a prettier village near Savusavu. Naduri also is rather far away from Malau where the tourist boat will be. Vuo is close of course but it's not your 'idealised' bures around a splendid green as in the old postcards. However the people of Vuo, especially Tui Mali, are very used to visitors as they were host to the tribewanted eco-tourism project on Vorovoro Island for a few years and many of those visitors came to Vuo as they established a relationship with Tui Mali and the workers at Vorovoro.

About Naduri village - Do tourists really want to see a site of old posts of the chief's bure with a dramatic story of the past, as at Naduri? We've been told one version of the building of it by a senior gentleman from Naseakula, Sakaria, who has now passed on, but I wonder if ordinary tourists would be interested. However the people of Naduri and Seaqaqa nearby do splendid mekes and ceremonies - (several stories on this blog about these) and also their advocacy for keeping the Great Sea Reef healthy and also saving the turtles would be a point of interest.

I think a picnic in a good park in Labasa town with stalls might be better. What about Naseakula village - there's no mention of that. And no mention of Mali Island and Vorovoro, a short boat trip away, but of course tourists might be worried about getting back on time.
from Fiji Times today:
Village groups to promote culture
Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, February 20, 2012
VILLAGE tourism committees have been formed to enhance the promotion of the Fijian culture in tourism.

Labasa Tourism Committee president Paul Jaduram said Vuo and Naduri villages in the province of Macuata were the first to set up the committees.

"We have just formed a committee in the village of Vuo and we discussed some areas they need to beautify in the village for our tourists.

"The village committee will have to put up some items that identify the Fijian culture and they can organise other activities such as weaving of mats and meke," Mr Jaduram said.

He said the next cruise liner would arrive in April.

"We have chosen Vuo because it was the first establishment of workforce in Labasa with the hospital built there.

"At that time there was no Labasa town and not much developments had taken place so a bit of a history for our visitors would be good," Mr Jaduram said.

He said a clean up program in Naduri Village had begun.

"I have spoken with the Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere and he informed me that they are cleaning up the area and would do more work in the village before we can take our visitors there," Mr Jaduram said.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Two babasiga boys

from w
It was the High School swimming sports yeaterday and our two grandsons, Jordan and Andrew, aged 14 and 12, got a few ribbons so won points for their house. A week ago one decided to learn to dive and trained every day, but his first leap was a bomb!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Permits but monitoring

from w
Permits okay, but why the monitors of ordinary church meetings? They still don't trust the Methodists when they pray and discuss church work?
From Fijilive today:

Methodist Church gets permit for meeting
February 09, 2012 12:45:25 PMA+ A-|||
A number of Methodist churches around the country will now be able to have their general meetings after receiving approval from the Fiji Police Force.

This was confirmed to FijiLive by Director of Police Operations SSP Rusiate Tudravu.

According to Tudravu, the Divisional Police Commanders will giving out permits and there will be terms and conditions which the churches will have to adhere to before, during and after their meetings.

He said a group of officers will be monitoring and observing the meeting.

Meanwhile, Methodist Church Assistant Secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra is thankful to the Fiji Police Force for granting permits to the church.

Rev Nawadra said churches in Suva, in Vanua Levu and those near towns will be able to conduct their meetings.

He said they are still awaiting approval for those churches in the outer islands.

" It is difficult for those in outer islands like Ono-I-Lau to get a permit since they are not close to a police station so they have to submit their applications in Suva."

All churches with permits are expected to have their meetings in the first Sunday of next month.

By Mereani Gonedua

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A young doctor in Labasa

from w
The heroes in Fiji today are the medical staff and teachers and ordinary people doing extraordinary things in difficult times. Good on you, people like this young man who is an intern at the Labasa hospital.

from the Fiji Times:
Overcoming hurdles
Geraldine Panapasa
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
photo: School days ... Dr Tavo, right, with friends in 2009. Picture: SUPPLIED
WHEN life throws you a curved ball, you give it your best shot and never look back. That's exactly what Doctor Richard Tavo did when his mum was left to support the family after the untimely death of his father in 2001.

The 24-year-old is based at the Labasa Hospital for his internship year and hopes to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynaecology.It was no easy journey getting to where he is today with all the pressures and distractions of young adult life.But focus, commitment and perseverance pushed Richard towards a profession that values life.

"Ever since I was admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva for burns in 1990, I knew I wanted to become a doctor," he said from Labasa. "Apart from that, my father's death in 2001 when I was in Form Three also made me even more determined to become a doctor and help the sick."

Second in a family of five siblings, Richard has set precedence for his younger sister, Talei, who is also in her final year for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program at the Fiji National University's medical school. Both siblings believe passion to help make a difference in the lives of the sick are what makes their work very rewarding.

"I attended St Marcellin Primary School then moved to Marist Brothers' High School from 2001-2004," said the 2010 FSMed Students Association president. After high school, I went to the University of the South Pacific to do foundation science in 2005 and entered FSM on a Public Service Commission scholarship a year later. The thought of failure and the shame I would endure if I failed medical school pushed me to go even further with my studies. I'm glad I did because now I get to do something I love and am passionate about."

The medical school campus was his home for six years and it was this experience that made him comfortable with life away from home.

"In my final year at FSM, I did my trainee internship at Savusavu Subdivisional Hospital and we had to bring cases to Labasa so being in the Friendly North isn't exactly a new experience," he said. "Labasa is actually a nice place to work. I think the only challenge I've faced so far is the language barrier ù it's something that I'm learning. I believe there is a time for everything. When it's time to study, I give it my all. God and my family has been the backbone encouraging me to do better. Growing up without a father also motivated me to achieve what I have today."

Behind every great man is an equally successful woman, and for Dr Tavo, his ladylove is none other than his Tongan partner Kaloafu Nofoakifolau, who also graduated from the same medical college.

"She was always there for me, helping and encouraging me to succeed. She is also the backbone of it all," he said. "I think if you have the passion to help the sick and serve your country and its people then you should go for it ù take up medicine for the right reasons. The sky's the limit."

Today, Dr Tavo is one of many lifesavers committed to improving health in our country.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Floods in Vanua Levu

from w
The Western side of Viti Levu was given most of the publicity recently but it's really bad in Vanua Levu also, such as around the Labasa area. It is still raining they say.
from the Fiji radio news:

North roads, bridges under water
Monday, February 06, 2012
A number of roads and bridges in the North are under water following continuous heavy rain.

In Labasa - the Urata bridge is under water and closed to all traffic The Nakama bridge under 10 feet water and Closed to all traffic.

The Sarara and Vunimoli roads are under 8 feet water and closed totraffic Tabialagi bridge is alo under water and closed.

There is a power black-out in Wainikoro.

The Waiqele Irish Crossing has been washed away.

Close to 300 hundred families live in this area and most of the houses are located near the Waiqele River.

Advisory Councilor - Chandra Shandil is urging the residents to move to higher grounds as the water level in the river is rising.

“At the moment it is rainng very heavily, with winds blowing very hard and the water in the Waiqele river has risen. I would like to urge the parents and the children not to cross the river because the situation is very bad.”

Meanwhile - along the Wairiki Road Irish crossing, the approach has been washed away and underwater and it is closed to all traffic.

The Nakama low level crossing alomg Naduna road had its approach washed away towards Waiqele Road. It is now closed to all traffic.

The Nasaqa Road crossing is under water and closed to all traffic.

The Waidamudamu crossing along Korotari Road is under water and closed to all traffic.

And the Nasivara Road crossing is under water and also closed to all traffic.

In Seqaqa - the Buavou crossing and Savulutu road are under water and closed to all traffic.

Nabouwalu - the Nanono bridge is under four feet water and closed to traffic.

At Solevu in - Bua- the bridge is under water and Closed to all traffic

The Nadenu, Rauba and Sidney settlement- are all experiencing heavy rain with strong winds.

Villagers have been advised to move to Luke Secondary School as it has been turned into an evacuation center.

The people of Tukavesi in Cakaudrove have been experiencing strong winds for past few hours.

The Station Officer at the Tukavesi Police Station Kemueli Baledrokadroka told FBC News the strong winds are accompanied by heavy rain and is felt by all villages.

Baledrokadroka says the weather was good in the morning but it changed suddenly after midday.

Another Tukavesi villager Aisake Senikarawa told FBC News - their village is now under water.

Breadfruits are strewn all over the village and big trees have fallen down.

A police boat was swept away by the currents.

Savusavu is still experiencing strong winds - but rain has eased.

A town resident Kenani Tadulala told FBC News - they had rain from late yesterday until this morning.

The winds have just started to hit them. Tadulala says - even small yachts and boats are docked and no one is travelling by sea.

Reports coming in say that the Bagata bridge is under 1.5 meters of water and closed to all traffic.

There is a power failure in Savusavu town.

Vunivesi, Varativa and Naloaloa areas are experiencing a rise in the water level

Report by : Elenoa Turagaiviu; Shireen Lata

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A writer, like father, like son

from w,
It's good to read in the Fiji Times that Josua Tuwere had written a book and is available now - fiction -not like his dad Dr Sevati Tuwere who has written excellent studies on the Fijian vanua and the lotu.

Tuwere releases e-book
Frederica Elbourne
Friday, February 03, 2012

Josua Tuwere at his home in Tacirua East, Suva. icture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU
A FORMER Fiji Times journalist has released his first book which, poetic in nature, contains characters that every day people can identify with.

Based on the Pacific concepts of journey and identity among Fijians, Tongans and the English, the book- Selo ! Selo ! Selo ! A Pacific Odyssey by Josua Tuwere is about a Fijian warrior and the history of his clan.

Mr Tuwere says the characters in his book have traits of those found in biblical literature, Greek and Oceanic mythology.

He says Saunivanua, the main character, is a heroic but deeply flawed warrior with daily life experiences similar to what we are faced with today.

Available on the website, the e-book is an epic poem which traces the history of Saunivanua and his existence through tales of conflict, displacement and love.

He said the book was drawn from Pacific and Christian epistemological frameworks and was a poetic infusion of Fijian, Tongan and English concepts of journey and identity.

"Saunivanua represents the Pacific islander trying to find his place and identity in this world.

"He is entirely fictional but hopefully a lot of people will be able to engage and identify with him and also with the other characters, especially Natoba ù who was betrothed to him ù a woman, who is strong and resolute and has a mind of her own," Mr Tuwere said.

He started his book last September after he locked himself away at Deuba where he wrote 11,000 words in a week. "I already had worked on a collection of poetry that I wanted to edit in a week but on the first day in front of the laptop I had an inspiration of sorts to try something new. I didn't know what form it would take and originally thought a collection of short stories would be the result."

Mr Tuwere, a former communications officer with the Regional Delegation in the Pacific for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), worked for two years as a reporter for The Fiji Times during 1999 and 2000.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Vinaka Virisila

from w
From Fiji Times:
Global honour for Fiji activist
Ioane Burese
Thursday, February 02, 2012

FIJI Women's Rights Movement's executive director Virisila Buadromo has been awarded the Women Have Wings inaugural Courage Award. She is one of three women from around the world Rwanda's Aloisea Inyumba and Cameroon's Chi Yvonne Leina, are the others.

Ms Buadromo received the award in recognition of her being an outstanding female human rights activist living in the courageous spirit of Amelia Earhart.

A statement said the endowment for the award was created from the selling of the sister-ship to Amelia Earhart's trusty Lockheed Electra 10-E, the airplane in which she attempted her global flight.

This year is not only the inaugural year for the award but also the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart's global flight! Ms Buadromo was nominated by a current Women have Wings Council adviser Kavita Ramdas. In thanking the council for the award, Ms Buadromo said: "I am honoured to be a recipient of this prestigious award, alongside Rwanda's Aloisea Inyumba and Cameroon's Chi Yvonne Leina.

"I hope to live up to all your expectations!"

With the award comes an honorarium of $10,000 to support FWRM's work in Fiji and a stipend for Ms Buadromo to travel to speak at an event or conference.