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Monday, March 13th, 2017


ADB Business reform initative marks decade of support to Pacific


SYDNEY, Australia-March 13: 4:12pm(ADB): A long-running program to improve the business environment in the Pacific has succeeded in removing numerous barriers to private sector investment and entrepreneurship, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today. Since 2006, ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) has worked to alleviate poverty by promoting inclusive economic growth through reforms that encourage private sector investment and entrepreneurship. PSDI’s latest annual report, A Decade of Reform, summarises many successful reforms Pacific countries have enacted with its support.

The scientist who spent three years in Year 10

Palatasa Havea was Tonga's first food science PhD. (photo: Stuff NZ)

PALMERSTON NT, New Zealand-March 13: 3:50pm(Stuff NZ): Palatasa (Tasa) Havea likes to call everybody ‘Boss’, which is surprising when you consider his own experience and achievements. The senior research scientist at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre (FRDC) is believed to be Tonga’s first food science PhD, has advised the New Zealand government on multiple policy issues involving the Pacific Islands, and is a prominent church and community leader. And for good measure, he’s played a key role in pioneering the use of whey protein in a variety of products thatRead More

2017 MEXT Scholarship recipients congratulated

(photo: Japan Embassy in Tonga)

NUKU’ALOFA-March 13: 2:47pm(Nuku’alofa Times): H. E Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga congratulated recipients of the Government of Japan’s MEXT Scholarship for 2017, Ms. Sivoki Lia Latu Fonua and Ms. Sandy Siutiti Tu’ipulotu at a dinner at his residence, on Thursday 9 March. The Ambassador encouraged the recipients that the only way to pursue their academic studies in Japan, is to adjust and enjoy the language and culture challenges.

Vava’u cleanup in preparations for busy June

Vava’u, Tonga)

September 26, 2012

Neiafu is a waterfront town, but most of the businesses sit perched on the hill above it. It is at once green and tropical yet dusty, new and sturdy yet old and in disrepair, modern yet rustic, lovely yet funky. It is a place where you can buy a phone or computer but may walk by free-roaming pigs along the way. You can get a cab, but it will likely be junkyard-ready and you’ll be driving around a few potholes. The markets are small, but you may find a treasure like Kirkland paper towels or Cattleman’s chili.

There is also an interesting mix of people as most of the businesses are owned by palangi (foreigners). Most of these palangi are Australian, Kiwi or even American, while several of the markets are owned by Chinese. Most of the businesses in town are tourist-oriented and frequented by palangi, but most of the people in town are Tongan.

The Tongan people are laid back, warm and friendly. The palangi business owners are harried and busy, some of them trying to get their Tongan employees to be more harried and busy, too. But it all comes together and the mix of cultures makes this a vibrant, yet low-key, town. It’s an easy place to be (as evidenced by the fact that Rich and I stayed here nearly two months!). -Cyndi

Neiafu’s main street that runs along the top of the hill above the waterfront.

Some of the waterfront area of Neiafu (photo: Two at Sea page)

Vava’u-March 13: 12:11pm(Nuku’alofa Times):  The Tonga government is undertaking measures to ensure that Vava’u is ready for some major events in June. These events include the 94th Free Wesleyan Church Conference, the 70th Anniversary of Siu’ilikutapu Mailefihi College, the Royal Agricultural show and the 57th birthday of His Majesty, King Tupou VI.

Fiji govt accused of demeaning indigenous community

The leader of Fiji's National Federation Party, Biman Prasad. (Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet)

SUVA, Fiji-March 13: 10:25am( RNZI): An opposition politician in Fiji has accused the Government of demeaning the indigenous community and ignoring other issues to further its agenda for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council. The leader of the National Federation Party, Biman Prasad’s comments come after a speech by Fiji’s Ambassador to Geneva, Nazhat Shameem, about the country’s 2013 constitution.

One gifted Family

Soundwave of the Pacific practicing (photo: google images)

SUVA, Fiji-March 13: 9:45am(Fiji Times): At 11 years old, Roasela Taukafa is already turning heads with her beutiful melodic voice. The fourth of six siblings, she is the lead vocalist of Soundwave of the Pacific, a family band that is making waves in Fiji and the region. The family perform almost annually at the Hibiscus festival in Suva. You can also find them at the Uprising Music Festival at Pacific Harbour, a popular music fest that attracts musicians from Fiji and around the world. Just recently, the family was invited toRead More