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Archived News: October 2014

From Fiji Times Online (17 October 2014)

Transport plagues trade

by Shayal Devi

LOGISTICAL arrangements need to be improved in order to strengthen trade relations between Fiji and Tuvalu.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said transport issues continued to plague trade between the two countries.

Speaking to the media in Nadi yesterday, Mr Sopoaga said there was a lot of potential for Fijians and Tuvaluans in terms of trade, however, the logistical issues had to be improved.

"In the spirit of working more closely together, we will send a delegation to Rotuma," he said.

"We had the Fijian Agriculture Minister, Inia Seruiratu, who came to Tuvalu with a delegation from Fiji and trade is certainly an area that we are looking into.

"We hope we can improve the balance of trade between Fiji and Tuvalu."

Talks were being held to facilitate the export of taro and sweet potatoes from Rotuma to Tuvalu.

Mr Sopoaga said this agreement was not on hold but currently, ships were not running between Rotuma and Tuvalu.

"I think a team of importers will be visiting Rotuma within the next two weeks and it's just logistical arrangements and transport that needs to be cleared. Rotuma is meeting the demands from Tuvalu and lately they have been doing very well, providing and supplying taro, watermelon and other vegetables.

"Suva has exported goods as well."

He said the Tuvalu High Commissioner was working with his counterparts in Fiji to improve the situation.

"Food security is extremely important for us. Hopefully, we can also, in return, export some coconuts and tuna to Fiji.

"We are still buying Fiji's sugar and are benefiting from Fijian institutions in terms of training and education."

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fiji Times Online (11 October 2014)

Adventure of a lifetime

by Dawn Gibson

THE Uto ni Yalo's youngest crew member, Fereti Fatiaki, is about to embark on one of the biggest adventures of his life — to traditionally sail from Fiji to Australia.

The 18-year-old Rotuman is part of the 16-member team who will tomorrow begin a three-week-long journey towards Brisbane, Australia with nothing more than nature to guide them while out at sea.

In an interview with the young man yesterday, he said although he was a little nervous, he could not wait to get out there.

"I'm doing this journey because I want to learn how to traditionally navigate, I went on the Okeanos last year for a while and that journey really pushed me to try harder to come on the Uto ni Yalo this year," Mr Fatiaki said.

"I've been with the Voyaging Society for about a year and a half now and I know that IUCN is taking the message up to Australia about climate change so I'm going as part of my community — the Rotumans, I want to save our islands."

He said the 16 crew members had gone through months of training recently.

"We've done our New Zealand day skipper courses, gone through the manuals, did a few — maybe 500m sprints for swimming and some running so we've trained for this well.

"I wanted to do this because I enjoy the sea, I was brought up on the sea, I fish and I see the change in nature, so I can't wait.

"I'm a little nervous being out there and not having backup crew, but it's an adventure."

The three traditional canoes — Uto ni Yalo, Gaualofa (Samoa) and Marumaru Atua (Cook Islands) set sail tomorrow bound for Australia.

Fereti Fatiaki

Fereti Fatiaki (in action) is the youngest crew member of the Uto ni Yalo which is part of the Mua Voyage

Picture: Jovesa Naisua

© Fiji Times Ltd.

From Fiji Times Online (11 October 2014)

Time to reconnect

by Litia Vulaidausiga

COMPETITION aside, the opportunity to meet relatives and strengthen ties has been a central feature of the annual Rotuma Games since its inception in the 1960s.

Yesterday, thousands of Rotumans and those with links to the island converged on CAAF Compound in Namaka, Nadi, for the opening of the two-day fete.

Charlie Samisoni, of the Nadi-based Granville Club, commended the event's growing popularity and the influx of interest from Rotumans around the country.

"This is a chance too for Rotumans to mingle and especially for our youngsters to meet family members and reconnect. Many times they meet relatives but aren't so sure of their exact relations and with the support of the whole community and the elders here, this is an opportunity for that," he said.


Members of the Rotuman community during the Rotuma Games at the AFL ground in Nadi

Picture: Jai Prasad

© Fiji Times Ltd.