NEWSROOM: 25 March - 31 March 2007

  Participants at the workshop;Hon.Niko Lee Hang with participants and CEO
of Samoa Director of Institute Savealii Melepone Isara.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


How to be an effective board member
31 March 2007 - Source:

Both the non government and government officials took advantage of the 'How to be an effective board member workshop' initiated by the Samoa Institute of Directors and conducted by Richard Westlake of Westlake Consulting Limited, New Zealand.

Issues discussed were included:

. Governance Overview
. Roles and Function of the effective board
. Board Management roles and relationship
. Making the board more effective
. Keeping the board effective
. Governance challenge

The workshop was part of a full week session on good directorship which was sub divided into several workshops. How to be an effective workshop was only for a day which saw several Chief Executive Officers and the private sector senior personnel attending this course.

The participants welcome the opportunity to learn and understand essential points on how to be as effective as all other board members. The five functions of the effective board member was summed up with the word "FICKS" which stands for:

. F - Future Focus (internal)
. I - Identifying issues and Communication (External)
. C - Compliance and Risks
. K - Key performance indicator
. S - Skills and succession

Participants also learned about fundamental issue to be effective, which dealt with "door openers for a board member" A board member should use his/her common sense well, should have wisdom on the issue at hand. A track record and business acumen is a bonus.

A board member is required to objective and an independent thinker, not depending on others to decide for them. He/she should have a strategic perspective of understanding a business or matters pertaining to the organization and should be committed to the mission with a well verse
network of contacts. He/she should be a team player and should be able to ask the tough questions.

On the communication side, the board should be able "to identify major external issues and influences and should avoid crisis." Regular communication with key stakeholders on performances and directions should be on a regular basis.

They should be able to "ensure legal compliance and conformance with policies and adequate and relevant risk management risks of a business or organizations.

The participants welcomed the opportunity to learn more about the issue and are hoping for another follow up workshop on the same issue.

  Monty Betham senior helping out with son's training at the Chinese Boxing
Center at Taufusi; fight promoter Teleiai Sua E.Puni and the team outside
the Chinese building.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


Monty and Vai ready to battle it out in Samoa
30 March 2007 - Source:

Team Monty has arrived in Samoa ahead of Monty Betham's debut professional fight on Saturday 31st March, as confirmed by Teleiai Su'a Edwin Puni and Vaimasenuu Zita Martle, co-promoters of the upcoming boxing main event.

Monty Betham is accompanied by his father Monty Senior, former international champion, Mick Watson (manager), Danny Codling (corner man & trainer), Frank Boulgaris (strength trainer), David Renata (cut guy).

According Mr. Puni, this is an exciting fight for both Monty and his opponent Vai Toevai.

"Both guys are here to do business. It's Monty's baptism into professional boxing and possibly Vai big break,' says Teleiai.

The two boxing main events this weekend will be attended by some of the most famous names in Samoa boxing such as David Tua, Ali Afakasi and George Tanoa of American Samoa.

  IPA Director Leiataua Isikuki Punivalu and good lady presenting 30
t-shirts to Arasi,Sooialo and Selesitina, members of the USP MBA class.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


IPA donates to MBA Class of USP on around Upolu walkathon
29 March 2007 - Source:

Director of Isikuki Punivalu & Associates company Leiataua Punivalu donated 30 t-shirts worth more than a $1000 to members of the MBA Class of USP in a brief ceremony earlier this week.

The donation was in support of the around Upolu walkathon. The walkathon is part of the fundraising organized by the MBA Class which will go towards the development of the National Diabetic Centre at Motootua.

The walk started early Wednesday morning with the last leg from Faleolo airport, culminating in Apia.

Diabetes is considered one of the most serious ailments in Samoa and the region, and more and more people seem to fall victim. In Samoa more than 15 people have been confirmed with the youngest patient at the just 16 years of age.

The diabetic centre was established two years ago amidst controversy over the financial stability of its operations. However, the centre has managed to survive all the ups and downs and is gradually operating well under the leadership of CEO, Matautia Penny Toia. The centre was also fortunate to be the recipient of several monetary donations from church ministries and other private sectors.

  Falealupo Primary School welcomes Mana:people of Fagamalo climbed the
fence to see Mana;Tutaga Primary School rushing out greet her Ladyship Mana.

Savaii, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


Savaii schools embrace Mana on her maiden visit
28 March 2007 - Source:

Both Falealupo and Tutaga Primary Schools in Savaii have shown their appreciation to the South Pacific Games mascot Mana and her team when they paid a visit earlier this week.

Falealupo and Tutaga were the only schools from the big island that were lucky with the Kool School draw which saw Mana visiting 11 schools around Samoa. Falealupo is the farthest village to the west of Savaii and Mana was excited about the visit because it was the first time she has seen the beauty of Falealupo.

She took the opportunity to spread her wings and fly high as the students of the Falealupo Primary School tried to pin her feathers down.

Mana's excitement did not match the excitement showed by the students and residents of the village as they crowded around big Mana. Mana too was dancing all over despite the hot sun.

Mana's excitement was cut short as she had to fly all the way to Fagamalo on the north-east of the big island to meet the students of Tutaga Primary School. Panting and sweating, poor Mana had to brave the long flight to Fagamalo. Mana's tiredness however was short lived when she saw the students rushing out and dancing all the way to meet her at the gate. Touched by the welcome, Mana flew from side to side to, swayed to and fro with students hanging on to her.

Dizziness came and went and Mana sat through the whole programme until every student and parent present had received a gift from Mana.

The gate crashers were non other than the students from Vaipouli college, who said they heard loud music coming from the primary school and knew Mana had arrived. They too were graced with gifts and Mana's warm welcome.

On the way to Tugata, people of Fagamalo heard music and saw Mana dancing behind the truck. Some ran alongside Mana while others climbed the fence just to get a glimpse of Mana.

Tutaga Primary school was the last school visited by Mana before she flew back home to Apia for a long weekend rest, until duty calls again.

  Tu'u'u Ieti Taulealo, CEO for the Ministry of Environment have tried for
years for an agreement; future generation of Sili and two outspoken matais
at the meeting.

Savaii, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


Sili village puts stop to government water project
27 March 2007 - Source:

The Alii and Faipule of the village of Sili in Savaii are standing firm on their decision not to allow the government to install a generator on their lands and river. The village has already sent a public notice to the government and the public informing them of their stand.

The government has for years been trying to get an agreement from the village to install a generator on part of the river that is feeding the village and four other sub villages of Palauli le Falefa district.

From past Member of Parliaments to the present ones, they have all tried and failed in getting a written agreement with the village. Several meetings took place between the village and government officials, but the village are not bulging to the incentives and money offered by the government.

The meeting between the two parties last week saw no solution to the impasse and the government officials returned to Apia without a settlement. However, some critics said the government's perseverance will pay off some day.

One of the biggest rivers in Samoa flows through the village and is said to be the "purest" water in the country. In Sili, families don't need water filters to clean the water which comes straight from the mountain (papa) to their homes. The core or the original center of the water is between to big "papa" and is said to be very difficult to reach the top of the papa. Only the Sili people are the ones that can go up to the top. From there, it flows down the rocks to several waterfalls before splitting into seven small rivers which flows to all the four sub villages of the district. The biggest however flows in Sili.

According to the village "nothing will make us change our minds." The village is concerned that oil might spill into the water once a generator is installed on the river bank. The river is one of the biggest sources of revenue for the village as it supplies the best quality of river lobsters which are sold to hotels and restaurants.

Fiu Liu of Sili said that all the families in Sili live and survive on this river, and having a generator there will spoil and ruin not only the beauty but also the livelihood of the village.

The government however have ensured the village of the safety of the water. They have also pledged that if the village agrees to the installation of the generator,they then will live on free electricity all year around not worrying about paying any bills. But even this offer didn't move the village.

"We know what's happening at Afulilo dam at Aleipata, its all dried up because the electricity has taken up all the water and we don't want that to happen here," says Liu.

Minister of Environment, Faumuina Liuga, who is also from Palauli le Falefa, has tried to get his people to agree but to no avail. He said that the Sili river can supply electricity for all of Samoa, not just part of the country as witnessed by other rivers which caters for a certain part of the country.

The Alii and Faipule of Sili despite their feeling for the country as a whole, are prioritizing the future generation of Sili which heavily relies on the river.

The O Le Siosiomaga Society is of the NGO's supporting the village on their stance.

  Former NZ Warriors player Tony Tuimavave now runs a Apia Jet Skis, Scooter
and Car rentals business: the public enjoying the weekend jet skiing at

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


Business of the Week: Apia Jet Ski, Scooter and Car Rentals
26 March 2007 - Source:

The Apia Jet Ski, Scooter and Car Rentals business is making a difference to the lives of many young ones since the introduction of jet ski services in July last year.

The business has opened opportunities for the public to enjoy this water sport, which is popular throughout the world particularly in tourist destinations.

The business is owned and operated by former New Zealand Warriors, Toa Samoa and New Zealand Kiwis international player Tony Tuimavave. He said while he misses the game, he enjoys being a businessman.

When he landed in Samoa, he was involved in a Fishing Enterprises long line fishing company, but he soon gave it up when things did not work out.

He then decided to focus on something different. Gradually his rental business is expanding and he brought in scooters, bikes and cars. He says he is doing brisk business and hopes to expand his services to the public to cater for the demand.

Jet skiing is offered every Saturday and Sunday depending on the high tide. It's $5 for kids and $10 for adults per ride.

Tony said that he knew Aggie Grey's Hotel runs a jet skiing business but his business is the first one to cater to the public.

Despite Tony quitting rugby league, his heart is still in the game and he's involved with the development of the game in Samoa as an official of the Samoa Rugby League (SRL). He has sacrificed his love of playing the game to develop the next generation of Samoan players.

  South Pacific Games Chief Executive Officer Fonoti Manogiamanu Etuale
Ioane; launching of the SPG 2007 calender; pathway to dreams brick.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)


Person of the week: Fonoti Manogiamanu Etuale Ioane
25 March 2007 - Source:

The way to the top is not an easy one if you look at South Pacific Games Authority (SPGA) Chief Executive Officer, Fonoti Manogiamanu Etuale Ioane.

Since taking on the role of CEO for 2007's most important event several years ago, Fonoti has faced many trials and tribulations. One minute he savours the sweet pill of success after the launching of many facilities and activities for the upcoming South Pacific Games 2007, and the next, he found himself the centre of controversy at the Chef de Mission meeting last week, involving the team managers representing the 22 pacific nations taking part in the games.

Trying to please everyone is not an easy task, but according to members of the SPG committee, Fonoti and the people involved are doing their best.

However, word from the other side is that the CEO and the SPG committee's responses was "very disappointing". Why that was so is not clear but it reports say many of the Chefs are concerned at the lack of progress with the infrastructure being built to support the over 5,000 souls that will flock into the country in August. Some are also not satisfied some of the remaining facilities will not be completed in time. Athletes and Officials accommodation in Malifa was also singled out for attention.

The meeting was opened by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi, who assured the Chef de Missions that Samoa is the safest place in the Pacific and that their athletes and officials will be safe here.

However the comments that followed from Fonoti and the committee contradicted the Prime Minister's comments.

Nevertheless, Fonoti is credited for spearheading the activities which saw many good results. Two new events launched recently were the "Pathway to Dreams" and "Mana's Kool School visits."

Both activities proved to be a success as witnessed by the response from 11 schools Mana visited. Also said to be a hit is the number of people already inquiring about the "Pathway to dreams bricks" which will be a lasting souvenir for the games.

Fonoti after returning from schools overseas, spent more than ten years heading the Ministry of Works Architecture centre. He was later appointed to head the South Pacific Games Authority office when it was set up following the successful bid to host the games back in 2001.

It is now five months away to the big event before Fonoti realizes the reality of living his dream, the success of the XIII SPG 2007.


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