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Archived News: June 2014

From Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (23 June 2014)

Be passionate about your business

Report by Shireen Lata

A businesswoman from Rotuma, now residing in Suva says one can only prosper with his/her business if they are passionate about it.

Born and bred in Rotuma, Corretta Veu says there is a need for more shops on the island.

"I have just been generally buying goods, like the household goods, clothes, many other things like kerosene stove and fabrics, materials, so it's a wide range of goods which is not available in Rotuma."

After moving to Suva last year, Veu set up a business in an effort to give back to her community by supplying items which are not readily available in Rotuma.

She says she usually gets a list from the island, people placing orders on what they want.

Veu describes her business as a huge success.

"We haven't really got down to the book keeping part where we actually see how we doing. Just gauging from the one year old business, we have found that we are doing very well, the cash flow coming in well and its increasing."

Veu was part of the Women in Business workshop held in Suva last weekend.

From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (25 May 2014, posted 22 June)

For our Rotuma Day celebration this year we had our Prime Minister, Rear Admiral Josaia Voreqe Bainamarama, and his wife as our invited guests, along with the Commissioner Eastern Divisison, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Development & Natural Disaster Management, and other department heads. We also had the police band plus visitors and locals, so Ahau was filled that day. It was an enjoyable celebration this year.

The Juju men carried the PM 50 meters and sang a ki as the procession moved to the pavillion. The tautogas were performed by Pepjei and Itu'muta districts. Entertainment was also provided by youths from Rotuma's schools. There was a Fijian meke, demonstrations of basket weaving by women and copra cutting by men. Reverend Jioje Taito opened the event and the closing prayer was given by Pastor Sam Motofaga. These two men of God are both from Malha'a and are related. Finally there was the retreating of the flag and the singing of "Atumotu Helava la Kele."

It was kind of the Prime Minister to make time to visit people in their district halls and to hear the people's requests and views, etc. Also present were the heads of the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA), Social Welfare, Ministry for Women, the Roads, Water Supply, Airport & Wharf, etc., etc.

"Moving Rotuma Forward." The Council met and requested an upgrading of the Rotuma air strip and wharf, a reliable power supply, promulgation of the Rotuma Act & Land Act reviews, and a new hospital since it would be more economical than renovating the current one. Improving telecommunications is another request as here in Rotuma we cannot rely on TFL, Digicel, or Vodaphone.

Our cows and pigs arrived on the boat for people who ordered them to start an income-generating project for their district. Other imported items included a copra drier and sandalwood for planting for the sake of future generations. These projects are all examples of the government helping Rotuma to move forward; Rotuma "Hua la se mua." Now it's up to us Rotumans to wake up and do something to better our lives instead of drinking kava every night. And thanks to the government of Dubai, which is supporting plans to build a solar facility at Ahau to cover the entire island.

Oh yes, a marriage is to take place in June between Tausia Taito (son of Rev. Jioje & Mua Taito) & Jieni Rave (our policewoman from Noa'tau, daughter of Rosemary & Visoni Rave).

Hanisiof, and God bless wherever you are on this globe.

From John Taito in Navua, Fiji (18 June 2014)

Navua Rotuman Farmers Foodshow Report

On Saturday, 7 June 2014, the Navua Rotuman Community gathered at the Serua Provincial Council Hall, Naitata, Navua for their 12th Annual Food-show.  The wet weather during the week did not dampen the spirits of the competitors and the guests, who came from as far as Nausori, Davuilevu Housing and Suva arrived in good numbers to witness first-hand what their brothers in Navua had yielded for the much awaited 2014 competition.

The program commenced at 8.40a.m with Pastor Robert Powell of the Pacific Harbour Wesley Circuit reminding everyone that each competitor has been blessed and whether the  yield was satisfactory or not, they were to give thanks and rejoice for the almighty God loves each and everyone of them equally. Rotuman Hymn 114-Jisu Gagaja a Hanisim Ae was sung – mak ke‘ pel after which the Pastor delivered a prayer dedicating the day’s program and handed over to the Secretary, Mr. Sam George.

The Secretary in his address thanked the Pastor for delivering a wonderful message and then welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support in attending the event for the last decade and that they have also become part of the foodshow with their continuous support – they were no strangers and were to enjoy the day’s program. The Secretary also reminded everyone on the aim of the foodshow: the involvement of youths in the planting, maintenance and harvesting  phases, participation in the koua preparations, and as ring crew, scorers, catering and kava crew and  then lead the guests in inspecting the crops.

Results and photos

From (11 June 2014)

Fashion show for women in rural areas

Story by Elizabeth Rokosuka

"Women in the rural communities will be able to showcase their designs out there in the open".

These were the comments of the Director of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Rupeni Fatiaki at the launch of the Miss LICI Rural Women Designer Award yesterday.

The Ministry has so far donated more than 2,800 sewing machines to 1,300 rural women's clubs around the country since 2009.

LICI General Manager Vimlesh Dhar said they are happy to be associated with the program and they have provided a sponsorship of $15,000 towards the event that will be held from the 6th to the 8th of August.

Meanwhile, Raumue Kaurasi who is one of the many women that benefitted from the program said the Rotuman Women's Club is thankful for the initiative.

From Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (8 June 2014)

Rotuma to improve trade with Tuvalu

Report by Apisalome Coka

Trade of agricultural commodities between Rotuma and Tuvalu has continued to be put on hold as Rotuma is not meeting the demand from Tuvalu.

Tuvalu Deputy High Commissioner Avafoa Irata says Tuvalu is now getting their agricultural needs from Suva.

"The problem we seem to find out basically is the level of exports we can obtain from Rotuma; there has been orders made in the past and they have not delivered to the amount that was ordered, so some of the importers back home are a bit reluctant to continue with the Rotuma trade. I'm not saying that we have stopped ordering from Fiji; these importers from Tuvalu are now ordering direct from the Suva port."

Rotuma Island Council advisor Major General George Konrote admits there are some issues affecting the deal and it is working closely with government on strengthening it.

"Gradable up to date we are still keeping problems but with the commitment of government to help the council in terms of trying to improve the incoming generating capacity of the members of the community I believe there are brighter days ahead as you've heard the Prime Minister – we are now ironing out the shipping problems, the storage problems, so I have no doubt following the more dialogue and discussion with the government of Tuvalu things will improve."

During a recent visit to Rotuma, Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama told the people they need to increase their production to boost trade with Tuvalu.

A government delegation is expected to soon leave Viti Levu for Tuvalu to hold discussions on issues affecting the trade deal.