November - 02 December 2006
Downtown Nuku'alofa burns with cars and businesses
NZ Defence Force to
Withdraw from Tonga
02 December 2006 -
Source: NZ Govt
New Zealand Defence Force personnel will withdraw
from Tonga this week, Defence Minister Phil Goff
"Discussions with authorities in Tonga and between
myself and Australian Defence Minister, Brendan
Nelson, confirm that the situation on the ground in
Tonga no longer requires the presence of our defence
force personnel", Mr Goff said.
"The closing of Parliament passed without incident
and following the devastating events of 16 November
stability has been restored and the situation has so
far remained calm.
"Should any further disturbance arise, and this is
not anticipated, Tongan authorities are confident
that they can handle the situation.
"Our Defence Force personnel have operated in a low
key and effective manner. They have worked well with
the Tongan Defence Service and their Australian
counterparts, and their job is now completed.
"They were effective in securing the airport and
enabling resumption of commercial flights. They then
worked to provide back-up to Tongan defence and
police personnel to ensure that a sense of stability
and security was restored to Nuku'alofa.
"As always our defence and police personnel operated
in a manner that won confidence among local people.
"We hope that in the calmer environment, the way is
now open for reconciliation and for progress to
resume towards democratic reform.
"New Zealand supports this process, though we have
not sought to intrude in an area that must be
determined by Tongan people themselves.
"The New Zealand Defence Force personnel will leave
Tonga at the weekend.
"Police personnel from both countries will stay on a
little longer pending the completion of forensic
"It is likely that the New Zealand Police will
continue to assist capacity building in the Tongan
Police, at Tonga's invitation over the longer term",
Phil Goff said.
Re-appointed National Pacific Radio Trust Board
Satiu Simativa Perese.
Satiu reappointed, Niu
FM-Radio 531pi merger
01 December 2006 -
Source: NZ Govt
Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey has announced
the re-appointment of the Chair and Vice-Chair of
the National Pacific Radio Trust Board, and the
appointment of three new members.
"The re-appointment of the Chair and Vice-chair,
will ensure continuity during an important phase in
the trust's development," Steve Maharey said.
"The three new members bring valuable skills and
experience that will support the trust's role in
providing broadcasting services for Pacific
communities in New Zealand.
The two reappointments and three new appointments
Satiu Simativa Perese (Chair) has been reappointed
for a further term of one year from 1 January 2007
to 31 December 2007. Holding the Samoan matai title
of Satiu, Mr Perese is a barrister in South
Auckland. He is a member of the Auckland Crown
Solicitors prosecution panel, the Auckland Regional
Council's prosecution panel, and president of the
Pacific Lawyers Association. He also sits on the
Human Rights Review Tribunal.
Fa'amatuainu Tino Pereira has been reappointed for a
further term from 1 January 2007 to 30 April 2008.
An experienced journalist and broadcaster, Mr
Pereira manages his own communications consultancy.
He represents Pacific people on the Capital and
Coast District Health Board, the Samoan Council in
New Zealand, the Samoan Broadcasters Aotearoa Trust,
and the Ministry of Health's Pacific Health
Janet Mason has been appointed for a three-year term
from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2009. Of Fijian
descent, she runs her own law practice, specialising
in constitutional and public law.
She was recently appointed as a Trustee of the Crown
Forestry Rental Trust.
James Prescott and Brian Chamberlin have both been
appointed for one-year terms from 1 January 2007 to
31 December 2007, to cover the transition period for
the merger between radio stations
NiuFM and 531pi. Mr Prescott is Chair of Auckland
Pacific Island Community Radio Trust (APICRT) and
lectures in accounting at the Auckland University of
Technology. Mr Chamberlin has been a director for 12
years and chair for the last three years of 531pi
Ltd radio station. He has had many rural and
trade-related Crown appointments throughout his
Pacific radio stations join forces:
A decision by Pacific community radio stations Radio
531pi and NiuFM to join forces is being welcomed by
the government as a move that will strengthen
broadcasting for Pacific communities in New Zealand.
Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey and Pacific
Island Affairs Minister Phil Goff say the decision
will enable the two stations to pool resources,
avoid duplication of programming and enhance the
service they both provide to Pacific communities.
"The stations have common objectives and play a
valuable role in promoting and maintaining Pacific
languages and culture in New Zealand," Steve Maharey
"By joining forces they can operate in a way that
plays to their individual strengths and reflects and
reinforces the best of Pacific culture, news and
The stations will combine under the umbrella of the
National Pacific Radio Trust, the
government-appointed charitable trust responsible
for Niu FM since it was established in 2002.
Phil Goff said he hoped both stations would continue
to be an important source of information, discussion
and debate for New Zealand's Pacific communities.
"The two stations will continue to provide New
Zealanders with access to Pacific cultures and will
continue to make a positive contribution to New
Zealand's identity as a Pacific nation."
Niu FM was established in 2002 as the result of a
government initiative to strengthen Pacific
broadcasting in New Zealand. The network now reaches
85 per cent of the Pacific population from Whangarei
Radio 531pi was established in 1993 and is owned by
the Auckland Pacific Island Community Radio Trust (APICRT).
It broadcasts on an AM frequency in the Auckland
NZAF Chairman Hoani Jeremy Lambert and Samoan
delegates at the Pan-Pacific Aids Conference in Auckland, 2005.
NZ Aids Foundation pledges
support for Pacific region
30 November 2006 -
The New Zealand AIDS Foundation will be able to work
alongside our Pacific neighbours under its new
Constitution, according to a vote by members at the
organisation's Annual General Meeting held Saturday.
Members were voting on a series of constitutional
changes which could have resulted in NZAF's
activities being limited to New Zealand. The
majority of members voted against this option,
believing that NZAF should support our Pacific
neighbours when needed and funded to do so.
NZAF Board Chair Hoani Jeremy Lambert says the
nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and New Zealand's
close ties with its Pacific neighbours requires
there to be some flexibility with NZAF's work.
Saturday's vote provides a clear mandate for that
work to be carried out.
The Pan Pacific conference on HIV and AIDS hosted by
NZAF in Auckland last year sent a very clear warning
of the devastation an HIV epidemic would have on our
"We do quite often get invited to assist our Pacific
Island brothers and sisters," Lambert says.
"Some are just starting out, need help establishing
governance, or delivering programmes to fa'afafine.
Now we are able to, within reason, take up some of
Laws on the operation of charitable trusts mean that
any offshore work undertaken by NZAF must comprise
no more than 5% of its work. "If it were any higher
it would affect our charitable status in New
Zealand," Lambert says. "With HIV in New Zealand now
at record levels, particularly among gay and
bisexual men, we also can't afford for our work
overseas to be to the detriment of our programmes
here, so there has to be a limit."
NZAF has been running the Pacific People's Project
since 1997, which aims to prevent the transmission
of HIV amongst Pacific MSM (men who have sex with
men) and raise awareness about HIV, sexual
orientation and gender identity issues in Pacific
communities in New Zealand
At the launch; Michelle Woodworth, Victor Vitaliano,
Rene Naufahu & Trevor
Haysom; Dr Richard Moyle, Mau Muaiava (Co-Founder VDL) & CEO for PBT
(Pacific Business Trust), Paul Muller.
Vision Dance launches in
29 November 2006 -
Source: Vision Dance
Vision Dance Limited was launched in Otahuhu, south
Auckland on Tuesday night.
The new business offers a service in 'Authentic &
Relevant Pacific Dance Education' for all Education
Vision's Mission is to give a different perspective
to the youth of NZ into regaining their cultural
identity and redefining it to suit them regardless
of what ethnic/religious/cultural background they
They hope to inspire the youth to think outside the
box and their comfort zone and to look into what
they are able to contribute to mainstream society by
using some basic values which are shared by all
RESPECT, LOVE, PRIDE and applying it to everday
Vision Dance believes in COLLABORATION,
COMMUNICATION, PARTICIPATION, DEDICATION,
MOTIVATION and EDUCATION!! By encouraging our youth
to take control of their destiny and seeking their
For more information, contact Mau Muaiava at
Pacific concert at Auckland University.
Pacific concert opens doors
28 November 2006 -
Source: Massey University
A recent Pacific-flavoured concert at the University
in Auckland may have helped break down cultural and
social barriers that deter Pacific Islanders from
enrolling at university, says the Director Pasifika
Professor Sitaleki Finau.
The Brass Band & Classical Pasifika @ Massey
University concert at the end of October was held in
a lecture theatre and featured the combined Tongan
Methodist Choir of North Shore choir and North Shore
Brass Band, along with numerous young opera and
instrumental soloists and Pacific youth performance
Many of those in the 300-strong audience - including
family members of the performers - had had no
knowledge of or contact with the university before,
"I was quite surprised to find that most Pacific
Island people (at the event) had never been to
Massey before. They didn't know their children could
go there," he said. "They thought Massey was for
middle-class Pakeha people."
Professor Finau, a Tongan-born academic with an
extensive background in health and education
research and policy-making, said the concert was
part of the Pasifika Strategy launched by Massey
this year to promote and enhance the participation
of Pacific Island students at Massey. He was
appointed as Director Pasifika in June this year.
Professor Finau plans to forge further links with
the North Shore Pacific Island community by going to
speak to churches and high schools about study
opportunities at Massey.
Massey University has also been one of the key
players in working towards the establishment of a
North Shore Pasifika Forum, to be launched on
December 6 by the North Shore City Council and
followed by a Pasefika festival on December 9 in
Northcote, North Shore.
The forum would provide a networking opportunity and
chance to "profile Massey as the primary university
for Pacific people here on the North Shore, the
first catchment for our Auckland campus," says Sione
Tu'itahi, Massey, Pasifika Development Advisor -
Sione has been working with Pacific church and
community leaders of the North Shore, in
collaboration with the Office of the Mayor of North
Shore City and some central government agencies to
set up the forum.
"The forum will be a representative body and united
front to lead the socio-economic and cultural
advancement for Pacific people on the North Shore,"
adds Sione, who works with Professor Finau to
implement the Pasifika@Massey Strategy across the
"The three other Auckland cities, Counties-Manukau,
Central, and Waitakere have already got their
Pacific bodies to advise their city councils and
central government agencies. It is timely for Massey
to participate in building the North Shore
equivalent," says Sione.
Professor Finau says plans were underway for another
Massey-based Christmas concert featuring choir and
orchestral performances from a range of Pacific
Island groups on the North Shore.
Kiwi forward Roy Asotasi runs into an Aussie brick
wall; the All Blacks
perform the haka in the dressing room before playing Wales.
AB's awesome, Kiwis fall
short, Islanders thrashed
27 November 2006 -
The hectic sporting weekend just past yielded mixed
results for the thousands of Pasifika sporting fans
around New Zealand.
The Kiwis fell short in their quest to defend their
Tri Nations title, beaten in extra-time 16-12 by
Australia in a pulsating grand final played in
Sydney. Samoans Frank Pritchard and Iosia Soliola
scored the Kiwis tries.
The Kiwis came close to sealing a famous victory for
their coach Brian McClennan but several attempted
drop goals when the scores were tied 12-all were
agonisingly wide. The match was sealed with a bit of
magic by playmaker Johnathan Thurston who put his
captain Darren Lockyer in for the game sealing try.
Afterwards, Kiwis captain Ruben Wiki, and fellow
veterans Nigel Vagana and Stacey Jones announced
their international retirements.
But the following morning on Sunday (NZT), the
smiles were back on our faces when the All Blacks
walloped Wales 45-10 on the final game of their
European tour. Sitiveni Sivivatu scored a hat-trick
of three tries while man of the match Samoan flanker
Jerry Collins was at his damaging best on defence.
The plaudits came out for the awesome All Blacks
after the game as they proved emphatically they are
far and wide the best rugby team on the planet and
clear favourites for next year's World Cup.
The game was marred by controversy before kickoff
when the All Blacks refused to perform the haka on
the field when Welsh Rugby Unions ordered them to
perform it between the national anthems against
tradition. They had done the same when they played
the Islanders two weeks prior.
But never-the-less it was mission accomplished for
All Black coach Graham Henry who has piloted his
charges to an unbeaten record on their European tour
with big wins over England, France and now Wales. In
2006, they dropped just one game but retained the
Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup titles and today were
announced by the IRB as the team of the year with
Richie McCaw the player of the year, and Henry the
coach of the year.
However, early this morning, it was from the highs
back to the lows again with the Pacific Islanders
led by coach Pat Lam ending their tour on a sour
note losing to Ireland 61-17 at Lansdowne Road in
Dublin. The Islanders were comprehensively thrashed
and it did not help their discipline was again in
question after Samoan prop Justin Va'a was sinbinned.
Fiji's Seru Rabeni scored the tourists' only try in
the first half with Samoan duo Tusi Pisi and Lome
Faatau scoring tries in the second half. Ireland ran
eight tries past the hapless Islanders who after two
tours in 2004 and this year have failed to win an
international match. The team lost two other matches
against Wales and Scotland on the current tour. The
team has now dispersed and regroup in two years time
Samoan PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Winston
Winston Peters meets with
Samoan Prime Minister
26 November 2006 -
Source: NZ Govt
Joint consultations between Ministers from New
Zealand and Samoa are strengthening an already close
and strong relationship.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters hosted talks with
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai
Malielegaoi and members of the Samoan Cabinet in
Attending the talks were Samoa's Minister of Police,
Prisons and Fire Service Toleafoa Apulu Faafisi, and
Minister of Finance Niko Lee Hang; and New Zealand's
Trade Minister Phil Goff, and Associate Pacific
Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.
"I welcome the opportunity to have Ministers from
New Zealand and Samoa get together on an annual
basis for whole-of-government consultations," Mr
"Samoa is one of our closest Pacific neighbours and
we greatly value these regular exchanges of views."
Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the discussions had
covered bilateral issues as well as shared regional
"The tragic recent events in Tonga and the efforts
being made in the region to strengthen regional
stability were an important focus of our
discussions," he said.
Mr Peters said the relationship had developed
significantly since the signing of the 1962 Treaty
of Friendship between the two countries - a fact
that was underlined in the Joint Communiqué adopted
at the end of the talks.
"The linkages between the governments and people of
New Zealand and Samoa are already very strong and we
are working together to strengthen them further.
"The initiative that Ministers from both countries
have taken to meet for regular broad-ranging
discussions makes an important contribution in this
regard," Mr Peters said.Joint Communiqué
The second annual "whole of government" Joint
Ministerial Consultations between Samoa and New
Zealand were held in Wellington on 24 November 2006.
Samoa's delegation to the Consultations was led by
the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi and the
New Zealand delegation by Rt Hon Winston Peters,
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
During the Wellington discussions, Ministers
reiterated their commitment to further strengthening
the Samoa/New Zealand bilateral relationship, on the
basis of a partnership based on friendship, trust,
and mutual respect. Ministers noted the close family
and historical ties between the two countries and
their shared Polynesian heritage contributed further
to the vitality of the relationship.
The discussions between Ministers served to confirm
the value of regular Ministerial discussions between
the two countries on issues of common interest and
concern, in keeping with the principles of close
cooperation embodied in the 1962 Treaty of
Friendship. The annual Ministerial talks
complemented the range of other mechanisms for
consultation between New Zealand and Samoa at senior
officials level, including the regular high-level
discussions led by Samoa's Ministry of Finance and
NZAID in the area of overseas development assistance
as well as the Police and
Defence-related Mutual Assistance Programme (MAP)
Ministers exchanged views and information on a
number of issues falling within the bilateral
The ongoing importance of immigration issues in the
bilateral relationship was acknowledged.
Ministers noted the successful implementation in
recent years of a number of reforms that have
improved the uptake of the Samoa quota. In addition,
Ministers exchanged views on the way forward with
the development of a seasonal work programme that
would deliver clear benefits and incorporate clear
safeguards for both countries. Officials from the
two countries will meet in New Zealand in December
to elaborate a framework to enable the entry of
seasonal workers from Samoa to New Zealand.
The two delegations also exchanged views on regional
and bilateral trade issues. Ministers noted the
considerable Pacific workload in this area including
negotiations with the European Union towards an
Economic Partnership Agreement, implementation of
the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations
and, for Samoa, intensified work towards accession
to the World Trade Organisation. On the latter,
Ministers welcomed the recent exchanges of views
between New Zealand and Samoa which had led to
greater understanding of their respective positions
on Samoa's proposed accession to the WTO.
Ministers recognised that Samoa remained very
interested in gaining access for its fruit and
vegetables into New Zealand. Import standards are
currently in place to enable exports from Samoa to
New Zealand of papaya, eggplant and HFTA-treated
breadfruit. Both Samoa and New Zealand looked
forward to progress on the import health standard
for the importation of seven types of citrus
(grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, pomelo
and tangelo) into New Zealand in 2007.
Officials on both sides were also looking at Samoa's
other market access requests and welcomed the
imminent commencement of a risk analyst to
Biosecurity New Zealand to work solely on Pacific
The challenges faced by Samoa in the law and justice
sector were also highlighted. In March 2006 Samoa
had sought special additional assistance from
Australia and New Zealand in this area. In addition
to the institutional strengthening project for
Samoa's Ministry of Justice and Courts
Administration being implemented by NZAID under New
Zealand's ODA programme, New Zealand had also
provided additional police and prosecutions support
to assist Samoa with the investigation and
prosecution of serious crime. Samoa, Australia and
New Zealand were now working closely, in
consultation with their respective agencies and
other donors, on the development and implementation
of a sector wide plan to guide assistance. Ministers
recognised that effective "whole of government"
coordination would be required by both Samoa and
donors to ensure that the challenges here were dealt
Ministers noted that over the last two years
officials from New Zealand and Samoa had sought to
develop and implement a number of new initiatives
aimed at strengthening cooperation between their
government agencies in various fields. Progress made
in implementing some of these initiatives is
summarised in Annex A.
In addition to discussions on bilateral issues,
Ministers also discussed regional issues of common
concern including the recent tragic events in Tonga,
the Pacific Plan, objectives for the regional
institutional framework review, and improved
regional dialogue with external donors.
Before concluding the meeting and adopting this
Joint Statement, Ministers discussed arrangements
for next year's Ministerial consultations. Hon
Tuilaepa Sailele upesoliai Malielegaoi, as leader of
the Samoa delegation, extended an invitation to New
Zealand to consultations in Samoa in the second half
of 2007. The agenda and arrangements for the 2007
talks would be the subject of further discussions
between officials in the course of the next year.
Progress on Initiatives to Further Strengthen the
Over the last two years, officials from New Zealand
and Samoa have pursued a number of new initiatives
aimed at strengthening their cooperation in various
fields. While it is recognised that existing links
between New Zealand and Samoan government agencies
are already very strong in many areas, the new
initiatives provide further opportunities for the
two Governments to strengthen cooperative linkages
on a "whole of government" basis. These initiatives
are additional to the core cooperation pursued by
NZAID and Samoan agencies under the Official
Development Assistance Programme. Key milestones and
further understandings on the way-forward with the
initiatives have been reached in the course of the
last year, as follows:
New Zealand Prime Minister's Fellowship
In August 2006 the initial New Zealand Prime
Minister's Samoa Fellowship was awarded to Laeimau
Oketevi Tanuvasa-Savea, an active business and
community leader in Samoa focussed in the ICT
sector. The Fellowship Programme, which involved a
one week study tour to New Zealand, proved very
successful. A further Fellowship will be awarded in
2007. New Zealand and Samoa will consult further on
the range of candidates who might be considered for
the next award.
Shared Teaching Resources
The initial stage of the shared teaching resources
initiative, which has involved scoping out the
resources that would be translated and reproduced
for use by Samoa's Ministry of Education, Sports and
Culture, has been completed. The Samoan and New
Zealand partners in the initiative are now in the
second phase which involves the translation and
publication of the resources (a total of 428220
books are to be printed: 280,800 small books,
140,400 large books and 7020 teachers' notes).
Samoa MPMC/NZ MPIA: Secondment Proposal
Samoa's Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet (MPMC)
remains interested in pursuing a secondment from the
NZ Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs (MPIA). As
MPMC is currently undergoing some reorganisation
with four new policy officers to be recruited to
provide further policy capacity to the Ministry, it
has been agreed that the timing and arrangements for
a placement from MPIA will be better considered once
this reinforced policy team is in place.
MESC/SPARC Sports Cooperation
Samoa's Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC),
Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) and NZAID
are continuing to pursue the Samoa Sports Support
Project. The three-year project, aimed at strengthen
policy-making and technical capacity within Samoa
sport and enhancing SPARC's initiatives directed at
Pacific Island New Zealanders, is now progressing
from the design phase to the implementation phase.
New Zealand-Samoa exchanges and training workshops
will be scheduled for early 2007.
Artist in Residence
Following discussions over the last year between
Creative NZ and the National University of Samoa (NUS)
an artist in residence initiative is now well
advanced. It has been determined that the initial
Artist In Residence will be a performance artist,
Nathaniel Lees, and that the initial placement at
NUS will now occur in the early part of 2007.
In addition, the two performance artists workshops
convened by Creative NZ in 2005 and 2006 were
acknowledged for the opportunities they had made
available to Samoan students at NUS.
Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Research
A PCF Research Fellowship will commence in February
2007, with the initial fellowship being held by the
Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) at Victoria
University to support work already underway at the
National University of Samoa on public sector
Samoa and New Zealand agreed in 2005 to develop an
institutional linkages programme between Counties
Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) and the Samoa
Ministry of Health. The programme is designed to
assist in building the capacity of the
secondary/tertiary health sector in Samoa, as well
as providing specialist medical treatment either
in-country or in New Zealand. A coordinator has been
contracted to lead the development and provide
management oversight of the programme and a scoping
visit to Samoa is planned for December 2006.