Fiji

Fiji landowners hail rejection of Malolo project

Fiji's Environment Department has reportedly revoked Freesoul Real Estate's Environment Impact Assessment approval, following substantial environmental damage to the island.

The headman at Solevu Village on Malolo, Orisi Vuninavanua, said more than 20 tourism operations were on Malolo.

There was not enough space for more development, Mr Vuninavanua said.

The alleged damage caused by the firm to beaches, mangroves and reefs had left landowners angry and they would seek compensation from the company, he said.

Fiji take fifth consecutive title in Hong Kong

Over the course of three scintillating days of action, Gareth Baber's side enthralled the crowd as they achieved something that no other side has ever been able to do. 

In the Cup final, Jerry Tuwai, who is the only current player to have played in all four of the finals, pulled the strings majestically while Aminiasi Tuimaba scored a brace and Vilimoni Botitu also crossed for a try. 

After their silver medal in Vancouver, France were playing in their second consecutive Cup final in a season which is something that they hadn't achieved before.

UN secretary-general to visit Fiji this year

The Fiji Sun reports that Mr Bainimarama also invited the secretary-general's special envoy, Luis Alfonso de Alba, to visit Fiji.     

Immigration NZ calls for Pacific citizens to register for ballot

The ballot, open to citizens of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu takes place between 1 and 30 April.

Each year up to 1100 Samoan citizens, 250 Tongan and Fijian citizens and 75 Kiribati and Tuvaluan citizens are selected by ballot to be considered for residence in New Zealand.

Eligible citizens of these five countries need to be aged between 18 and 45.

After selection, the registrants will then have eight months to lodge their resident visa applications.

They must also be able to indicate they have an acceptable job offer from a New Zealand employer.

Safety concerns in Fiji as aviation controllers protest over pay

Islands Business Magazine reported the majority of the country's air traffic controllers at both of Fiji's international airports have not been reporting to work since Monday this week.

A statement sent to the magazine from the protesting workers claimed around 80 percent of traffic control officers have taken various forms of leave in protest over pay and working conditions.

It said only five officers have remained at their posts and are working around the clock at the Nadi and Nausori airport towers. It said normally there are 17 officers on duty.

World Bank Group Pacific Hub opens in Suva

The office will serve as a regional hub for the development institution’s work across the region.

The new regional hub will be integral to the World Bank Group’s delivery of more than one billion Fiji dollars’ worth of projects across six countries (Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu) in a wide range of sectors including transport, aviation, information and communications technology, education, disaster resilience, fisheries, health and education, among others.

Australian drug smuggler jailed for 23 years in Fiji

He and wife Yvette were arrested after Fijian authorities discovered more than $US14 million dollars’ worth of drugs, along with two guns, on their vessel, Shenanigans, as it arrived in Port Denarau in June.

While Ms Nikolic was acquitted on all charges, Mr Nikolic was last week found guilty of drug importation, possession, and failure to declare arms and ammunitions to a customs officer following a trial at the High Court in Suva.

Fiji Village reports that Justice Daniel Goundar on Friday handed down a sentence of 23 years' jail with no parole for 18 years.

     

Kiwis to play British Lions, Tonga in 2019

New Zealand will play Mate Ma'a Tonga on 22 June at Mt Smart Stadium in the first match of the new Oceania Cup.

The Kiwi Ferns will also play against an unnamed opponent in the double header - they'll play a second match against Australia in October.

The Oceania Cup will be played in June and November during the international Test windows.

Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji and Australia make up the six-nation competition.

Digicel supports Special Olympics Team Fiji with $100,000 cash sponsorship

Digicel is the major sponsor of Special Olympics Team Fiji.

Digicel Fiji CEO, Mike Greig while signing the official sponsorship agreement said, “This is an on-going partnership which stretches years back to support Special Olympics Fiji in major events and now we are stepping up to support the team to attend the World meet.”

Special Olympics Team Fiji will send its largest contingent to the world meet with 21 athletes in five sports, supported by 14 strong volunteer team of managers and support staff.

Pacific 7s sides hoping for Hamilton highlight

The series resumes on Saturday after an extended seven week break over the Christmas and New Year period.

Fiji are not taking recent form for granted as they attempt to defend their Hamilton title.

They defeated reigning series champions South Africa and current leaders the United States en-route to the Cape Town title last year, to climb to third in the overall standings.

Despite winning the inaugural Hamilton event last year, coach Gareth Baber says Fiji have no right to be complacent.