Tahiti's new general
hospital to open next year at final cost of some
12 April 2008 -
Tahiti's new, 545-room general hospital will open
next year at a final estimated cost of some 29
billion French Pacific francs (US$392 million/243
million euros) French Polynesia President Gaston
Flosse announced Monday.
The announcement was made during an official visit
to the eight-year-old construction site in the
Taaone area of Papeete's neighboring Commune of
Pirae. The some 50 people who visited the site
included several Flosse government ministers,
mayors, advisors, engineers and technicians.
The showcase hospital for the Pacific that
originally was due to open in 2005 with 365 beds at
a cost of 22 billion French Pacific francs (today
worth US$297 million/184 million euros) is now
scheduled to open four years later with an estimated
million/75 million-euro) cost overrun.
The delay has been attributed to political
controversy, labor strikes, several months of work
stoppages, legal disputes between the government and
the general contractor and six changes in Tahiti's
government between 2004 and 2008.
Yet the hospital project has continued to survive
and, according to Public Works Minister James
Salmon, the 23 companies working on the
100,000-sq.-meter (one million+ sq. ft.) hospital
with 13 operating rooms and a maximum capacity of
800 patients are due to finish their work at the end
of this year.
At the moment, the hospital is about 80% completed,
it was announced during the official visit led by
Flosse, who was French Polynesia president in 1993
when the project was initially included in a
progress agreement approved by the French Polynesia
After the hospital's completion, the next step will
be the transfer of equipment from the French
Polynesia Hospital Center in the Mamao area of
Papeete to the Taaone site of the new hospital. That
is expected to occur during the first three months
of next year.
Still missing is an official name for the new
hospital and, more importantly, a precise figure for
how much it will cost to operate yearly and who is
going to pay for its operation.
French Polynesia Public Health Minister Charles
Tetaria says there's no question of continuing to
call the new facility the Jacques Chirac Hospital in
honor of France's former president, French language
daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reported
While Flosse told the some 50 people participating
in Monday's media-oriented official visit that a
price cannot be placed on providing public health,
his health minister was talking about an operating
budget of some 18 billion French Pacific francs
(US$243 million/151 million euros).
But La Dépêche claimed there are three operating
cost scenarios, starting from a low of 21 billion
French Pacific francs, and peaking at a high of 26
billion French Pacific francs, or between US$284
million-$351 million, or 176 million-218 billion
euros. That, the newspaper said, compares with an 18
billion French Pacific franc cost for operating the
much older and much smaller general hospital in the
But Tahiti's other French language daily newspaper,
Les Nouvelles de Tahiti, recalled Tuesday that a
delegation of visiting experts from France last year
estimated that the new hospital would cost between
20-22 billion French Pacific francs to operate.
Flosse's answer, which he delivered during the
visit, was simple, according to Les Nouvelles. "It
will have to be paid and we will pay it." But he
added he would be counting on solidarity, referring
to the government's budget as well as the "Caisse de
prévoyance sociale", French Polynesia's social
security and welfare system.
Flosse did not rule out the possibility of the new
hospital being developed as a regional facility for
the South Pacific, opening its advanced medical
technology and facilities to foreign patients.
However, he added that the first priority would be
the people of French Polynesia (2007 pop. 259,596)
so they would not longer need to travel thousands of
miles to France or New Zealand for hospital
Flosse thanked the French state for its help in
financing the building and equipping of the new
hospital as a further demonstration of the
importance of national solidarity. However, there
was no indication by the local media that he was
considering asking the French state to participate
in financing the cost of operating the hospital.
In a timeline published in Les Nouvelles Tuesday,
the heavy construction work on the hospital was
completed in August 2006. An opening during the
second half of 2008 was put forward.
Tahitian Princess to
be renamed Ocean Princess
08 April 2008 -
Tahitian Princess, one of the small ships in the
Princess fleet, will be renamed in 2009, becoming
Ocean Princess. The new name is intended to reflect
the ship's new deployment on worldwide itineraries.
The renaming will take place while the ship is out
of service during a routine maintenance period in
Singapore in November 2009.
During next year's northern autumn season, Pacific
Princess, another of the line's small vessels, will
provide cruises from Papeete, Tahiti, where the
Tahitian Princess has been based.
"Tahitian Princess, along with our other two small
ships, has developed a loyal following of passengers
who enjoy a more intimate cruise experience, and
also the opportunity to visit some
off-the-beaten-path destinations," said Jan Swartz,
Princess' senior vice president of customer service
and sales. "As this ship is now sailing on
itineraries around the world, we felt its name
should reflect a more global theme."
Tahitian Princess joined the Princess fleet in 2002,
and has been primarily deployed on sailings in the
South Pacific, particularly French Polynesia and
Hawaii. Beginning this northern summer, the ship
sets off on new worldwide deployments, featuring a
Connoisseur's cruise in Alaska, a world cruise in
early 2009 and a season of unique Northern Europe
sailings next summer. Following the 2009 renaming,
Ocean Princess will sail on a series of Asia voyages
to be announced separately.
Tahiti's 'Teflon' Pol
04 April 2008 -
French Polynesia's Ai'a Api party leader and veteran
politician Emile Vernaudon was released from jail
today after four month of "temporary custody" at the
jail of Nu'utania, in the outskirts of French
Polynesia's capital Pape'ete.
Vernaudon was arrested in early December 2007 and
The justice decision came as part of an ongoing
investigation into the affairs of the Office of Post
and Telecommunications (OPT), which Vernaudon once
served as chairman.
The investigation focuses on allegations and
possible charges of misappropriation of public
funds, larceny and forgery of documents.
The investigation was launched following a damning
report issued earlier this year by French
Polynesia's Auditor General, which targeted OPT's
management between 2002 and 2006, when Vernaudon was
also a Minister of Telecommunications and chairman
The hard-hitting report mentioned the equivalent of
US$1.4 million in "personal expenses" made by
Vernaudon, including overseas trips, the rental of
helicopters and yachts, the purchase of various
audio, video and computer equipment and the approval
of lavish grants to local associations and NGOs
based in his town of Mahina.
The reports said those expenses had reached
Vernaudon, who has been a minister in several
pro-French local governments in the past 10 years,
has been subjected to what French law refers to as
"temporary custody." He also made headlines last
month when he managed to get re-elected at the
position of Lord Mayor of the small town of Mahina
(on Tahiti's eastern coast) even though he had to
run his campaign from his jail cell.
Following his victory, the newly-elected municipal
council last month staged a picturesque ceremony for
Vernaudon, in his absence, and instead proceeded to
garland Vernaudon's photograph.
Locally dubbed "The Sheriff," Vernaudon is a veteran
politician whose party Ai'a Api was, until recently,
a member of government coalitions.
After his release, Vernaudon is now deemed to be
placed under “judicial control,” which means he has
to report to police and judicial authorities on a
regular basis. The same conditions were applied in
December last year to co-partisan Ai'a Api
Vice-President and former Minister Natacha Taurua,
who was not remanded in custody.
The court ruling this week follows four previous
requests for a release that all proved unsuccessful.
The Pape'ete tribunal also ruled that in the course
of the next two months, Vernaudon will have to pay a
bail of some US$33,500.
In March 2007, Vernaudon was found guilty in a
graft-related case and was at the time handed down
an 18 month suspended jail sentence.
A court in the capital Pape'ete at the time also
fined the politician the equivalent of some
US$15,000 and declared him unfit for election for
Vernaudon was accused of illegally holding an
interest in a piece of land he had purchased while
he was a member of a previous government led by
pro-independence Oscar Temaru.
The court heard evidence establishing a conflict of
interest, in that a committee of which Vernaudon was
himself a member approved the purchase.
Reacting to the verdict, Vernaudon said he would
appeal the decision, which will also effectively
place a hold on the sentence's execution.
Coincidentally, the appeal case is to be heard later
In January 2006, a Court of Appeal in Pape'ete
sentenced Vernaudon, who was then French Polynesia's
minister for Post and Telecom, to one year suspended
jail sentence and a US$30,000 fine for graft.
In 2004, Vernaudon, then a minister for outer
islands development, was also handed over a one-year
suspended jail term and a US$30,000 fine for using
public property for his personal benefit.
In 2005, French Polynesia’s former Vice-President
Edouard Fritch and former Lands Minister Gaston Tong
Sang (who was French Polynesia's President between
December 2006 and September 2007) have been briefly
detained and heard by French police as part of an
enquiry into an alleged abuse of public funds when
they were in office under former President and
long-time ruler Gaston Flosse.
Flosse was also summoned several times before the
courts in relation to fraud and graft allegations.
In most cases, the cases were dismissed.
"Of all politicians, Mr Flosse is probably the one
whose assets have been most scrutinized by the
judiciary," Flosse's lawyer Francis Szpiner, said
after another court ruling in November 2002.
Air Tahiti Will
Handle Pacific Sun Maintenance
31 March 2008 -
French Polynesia domestic carrier Air Tahiti has
signed a contract to handle the maintenance work for
the two ATR planes operated by Fiji's inter-island
carrier, Pacific Sun.
Tahitipresse reports that the first 44-passenger
ATR-500 aircraft is due to arrive in Tahiti next
Monday for some four weeks of maintenance work at
the Tahiti-Faa'a Airport. Two representatives of
Pacific Sun will work with the Air Tahiti
Air Tahiti obtained the contract after successfully
responding to a public bid put out by Pacific Sun,
which is the domestic carrier for Fiji's
international airline, Air Pacific.
Tahiti Nui TV strike
over porn screening
27 March 2008 -
Radio New Zealand International
A strike at one of French Polynesia’s two public
television stations is being pursued over the
showing of a seven-minute pornographic film.
The union says they want a harsher punishment than a
warning for the technician who aired the film on
Tahiti Nui TV.
It was broadcast after a live interview with the
head of the Protestant Church and just before the
The technician in question said he made mistake in
switching on the film which he wanted to watch in
resume in French Polynesia tomorrow to end
23 March 2008 -
Radio New Zealand International
Negotiations are expected to resume in French
Polynesia tomorrow to end an industrial dispute at
two of the territory’s fuel suppliers.
The strike is in its second week and has led to
shortages and disruptions in various sectors of the
Last week, transport companies briefly blocked part
of a main road outside Papeete amid demands that the
government guarantee a minimum fuel supply.
The port in Papeete has been closed amid a dispute
over port security which has prevented a tanker to
Air Tahiti Nui
focuses on packages
19 March 2008 -
Air Tahiti Nui has developed a range of “bargain
stopover packages” at prime Tahitian properties to
encourage passengers to stop over in the tropical
The new 2008 Tahiti Tiare packages, which start at
A$98, are available to passengers travelling from
Australia to destinations including Los Angeles, New
York and Paris, who want to break their long journey
with a restful Paradise stay.
“Where better to break a long flight but in romantic
Tahiti,” said Craig Lee, regional director Australia
of Air Tahiti Nui.
The packages are available at seven acclaimed
Tahitian hotels, starting from a nightly rate of
just $99 per person, twin-share at the Sofitel
Tahiti Resort and the Sheraton Hotel Tahiti.
The stopover packages are based on twin-share rates
for a maximum four night stay. Local city tax is not
included, and varies according to destination.
These packages are available until 31 December 2008
and can only be purchased with an Air Tahiti Nui
ticket originating in Australia to a destination
beyond French Polynesia.
Air Tahiti Nui recently launched a Sydney to New
York service with a stop over in Tahiti, allowing
passengers to avoid the peak-time crowded and
unfriendly Los Angeles International Airport upon
entry to the US.
Discover the pearls
of Tahiti with P&O Cruises
15 March 2008 -
Escape the winter chills this year and savour some
of the South Pacific’s most romantic island
experiences, on a month-long voyage to Tonga, Samoa
and Tahiti on Australia’s first superliner, Pacific
Sailing from Sydney on June 3, 2008, Pacific Dawn
will follow the sun into the tropics to call at 14
ports during her 28-night voyage starting with
bustling Noumea in New Caledonia before heading east
to visit Tonga’s laidback capital, Nuku’alofa, and
watch the humpback whales frolic around Vava’u
The stunning natural beauty of the Cook Islands’
capital Rarotonga will captivate passengers before
they sail to four of the idyllic islands of Tahiti
including Raiatea, revered in Tahitian culture as
the birthplace of Polynesian civilisation.
With an overnight stay in the capital city of
Papeete, guests will have the perfect chance to pick
up one of the famed black pearls for which Tahiti is
renowned and enjoy the buzz of the city’s nightlife,
before sailing on to spectacular Moorea and to
discover Bora Bora’s bluer-than-blue lagoons.
A highlight of the voyage will be a day of scenic
cruising past Tonga’s magnificent island of
Niuafo’Ou. Surrounding a crater lake, the circular
isle is better known as Tin Can Island thanks to a
local tradition dating back to the 1930’s of
collecting mail in a sealed tin can from passing
cruise ships and posting it for passengers.
Pacific Dawn will also call in at Pago Pago in
American Samoa, the unspoilt Samoan capital of Apia,
and the Fijian ports of Savusavu, Levuka, Suva and
Dravuni Island on her return journey to Sydney,
arriving on July 1, 2008.
The 28-night cruise is priced from $3936* per person
in a complete four-berth cabin or $6399* in a
complete twin cabin, including all main meals,
entertainment and accommodation onboard the sleek
2050-passenger Pacific Dawn.
Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia which operates
P&O Cruises in Australia, said the voyage would give
passengers an incredible chance to explore the heart
of the South Pacific from their doorstep while still
enjoying the comforts of home, including the
convenience of onboard currency in Australian
“Our passengers will be able to relax as Pacific
Dawn’s fabulous crew looks after the cooking,
cleaning and transport, leaving them free to create
unforgettable memories of some of the most desirable
destinations in the South Pacific,” Ms Sherry said.
The 70,000-tonne Pacific Dawn was designed by famous
Italian architect Renzo Piano and features 11 decks
with two swimming pools, a choice of five evening
dining areas, nine bars and lounges, a three-storey
atrium lobby, “The Dome” entertainment area, a
two-storey show lounge, fitness centre and dedicated
Doubts whether French
Polynesian leader can remain in office
11 March 2008 -
Radio New Zealand International
President Gaston Flosse can remain in office
following a French accounts office decision that he
has misspent government funds.
The ruling in Paris was made late last year but last
month Mr Flosse was elected as the territory’s new
president for a five-year term.
The Nouvelles de Tahiti says there appears to be
legal void as the law applies to France and its
overseas department but may not be applicable to
French Polynesia which under the 2004 autonomy
statute was made an overseas country within the
French Polynesia is under pressure to pass a budget
before the end of the month as the previous
administration failed to do so when a vote was held
late last year.
If the Flosse government is unable to get it
approved, the territory’s finances will be run by
the French high commission in Papeete.
And it is still uncertain if Mr Flosse is entitled,
under current legislation, to proceed with any
and French Polynesia
07 March 2008 -
The Southern Travel
Captivating Tahiti and her 118 attendant islands and
atolls, all radiating with iridescent green and
turquoise, make up the country of French Polynesia,
a French overseas territory that is spread across an
area of the South Pacific that is as big as western
The earliest explorers thought they had found
paradise on earth when they came across these
picture-perfect islands, and today's travellers are
no less entranced by the volcanic mountain peaks
clothed in lush tropical vegetation and exotic
flowering plants, the coral reefs, warm waters,
white sand beaches and stunning turquoise lagoons.
Add to this the warm hospitality offered by the
friendly locals, a collection of world-class
resorts, spas, fine restaurants, nightclubs, vibrant
markets and enticing boutiques and one would imagine
the islands would be over-run with exuberant
It is surprising then, to discover that there are
more hotel rooms in a typical Las Vegas hotel than
on all the islands of French Polynesia, and that
Hawaii receives more visitors in 10 days than Tahiti
does in a year. This means it is possible to tuck a
tiare (Tahiti's national fragrant white flower)
behind your ear, pack your pareu (sarong) and
swimsuit, and head off to find your own idyllic
piece of Polynesian paradise, which will doubtless
have a melodic ancient name meaning something like
'island of the long sky' or 'place of the double
Nearly 9,000 march in
French Polynesia against political deals
03 March 2008 -
Radio New Zealand International
Nearly 9,000 people have taken part in a march in
the French Polynesian capital, Papeete, showing
their opposition to the deals which led to the
election of the Tahoeraa Huiratiraa’s Gaston Flosse
as the president for a five-year term.
The rally, the biggest political protest in years,
was organised by the
To Tatou Aia coalition, led by Gaston Tong Sang,
which emerged as the largest group in the early
assembly election called by Paris in a bid to
increase political stability.
The French-backed To Tatou Aia coalition failed to
form the government after the Tahoeraa leaders
struck a coalition deal with the
pro-independence Union For Democracy which has been
denounced by the French government as being an
alliance against nature.
A To Tatou Aia leader, Jean-Christophe Bouissou,
says after the municipal elections in two weeks,
there may be an effort to dislodge the government
set up at the end of last week.
Reports from Tahiti now say the French supreme court
won’t rule for
another two months on whether the process that was
used for Mr Flosse’s election was in line with all
A decision was expected within three days of the
complaint being laid.
Uncertainty about the political leadership also
stems from a fraud probe relating to an atoll
purchase in 2002 which requires Mr Tong Sang and Mr
Flosse as well as the vice president, Edouard
Fritch, to testify.
French minister won’t
interfere in Tahiti election campaign
28 February 2008 -
Radio New Zealand International
The French minister in charge of overseas
territories, Christian Estrosi, says he will not
express himself about French Polynesian politics
until after the second round of the municipal
elections on March the 16th.
This follows criticism of his support for the To
Tatou Aia coalition in the recent territorial
The leader of the Union For Democracy, Oscar Temaru,
took unsuccessful legal action against Mr Estrosi
for allegedly trying to interfere with the campaign
to elect a new territorial assembly.
Mr Estrosi now says for the time being he won’t
intervene in the political debate in French
Asked about his planned visit to Tahiti in two
months, he told a radio station that he was
determined to be with the Polynesians he loved and
who were his brothers.
Mr Estrosi’s UMP Party is reported to be set to
expel the newly elected French Polynesian President
Gaston Flosse from its ranks and endorse To Tatou
Aia in the municipal elections.
Air Vanuatu, Air
Tahiti Purchase New ATR-72 Aircraft
24 February 2008 -
Two Pacific island airlines have signed up for the
purchase of new French-built ATR turbo-prop aircraft
ATR 72, series 500, the French aircraft manufacturer
announced on Wednesday in a release.
Both contracts were signed between ATR and the
airline CEOs of Air Vanuatu and Air Tahiti during an
air show currently underway in Singapore.
In the case of air Vanuatu, which already owns an
ATR-42, this will be the first acquisition of the
larger ATR-72 version of an average seat capacity of
70 seats, depending on the local configuration.
A first memorandum of agreement on the purchase was
announced early December 2007, but the price tag for
the new aircraft still remains undisclosed.
The aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2009,
Air Vanuatu is currently operating its ATR-42
between the capital Port Vila and the islands of
Espiritu Santo (North) and Tanna (South), some of
Vanuatu's main tourist attractions.
Air Vanuatu's ATR-42 is also used on a regular basis
on connections to neighboring New Caledonia.
"With its new ATR-72, Air Vanuatu will be in a
position to meet the increasing demand on its
regional and international network … to the
neighboring islands such as Fiji or the Solomon
Islands", the release went on.
ATR Executive Chairman Stéphane Mayer stressed the
South Pacific was a "very important market" in the
global success story of his company.
In November 2007, in neighboring New Caledonia, the
French territory's domestic airline Air Calédonie (AirCal)
took delivery of a similar ATR-72 aircraft, which
also completed the airline's fleet's renewal
The new aircraft is configured to carry about 65
It is believed to have a price tag of some US$17
AirCal's first ATR-72 was delivered in November
France comments on
Tahiti impasse, presidential elections in four days
20 February 2008 -
Radio New Zealand International
The French minister in charge of overseas
territories, Christian Estrosi, has commented on the
collapse of talks among French Polynesia’s
pro-autonomy politicians who failed to agree on a
power sharing accord for the new assembly’s
This follows just over a week after the early
election which was called by France in a bid to
increase political stability despite overwhelming
opposition by the former territorial assembly.
In the election, the To Tatou Aia coalition fell
short of winning an absolute majority and failed in
talks with the Tahoeraa Huiraatira to lock in a
majority despite a French appeal for reconciliation.
Earlier, appeals by the To Tatou Aia for assembly
members to defect and to join its team had been
Mr Estrosi says pro-French Polynesians would feel
betrayed if his government couldn’t bring the means
of the state to the development of French Polynesia.
He went on to say that he had a lot of respect for
the Tahoeraa leader, Gaston Flosse, who was always
attached to the values of the UMP Party and, as he
put it, Polynesia’s autonomy within France.
The assembly is due to meet in two days to elect an
assembly president and two days later it is to
choose a new president.
Event Polynesia to
market and promote Toa Samoa RLWC campaign
16 February 2008 -
Samoa Rugby League has announced the appointment of
Event Polynesia to market and promote Toa Samoa for
the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, to be held in
Australia starting in October. The arrangement
includes marketing, promotion and fundraising,
starting as soon as possible and includes all
commercial arrangements from now up to and after the
Rugby League World Cup. Details of the partnership
are yet to be finalised, but the two parties are
keen to work together for the betterment of Toa
Samoa’s World Cup Campaign and commercial
arrangements going forward.
“We are so delighted to be working with Event
Polynesia for the World Cup and going forward" said
SRL President Mr Peter Paul.
Toa Samoa RLWC Fundraising will kick-off in mid
April with corporate fights pitching rugby league
legends against those from other sports. It will
also include fights between corporate professionals
pitching CEO’s of the public and private sector
against one another. This will be the first time for
corporate Samoa to enjoy corporate fights, including
wining and dining and cheering on a professional
partner, while at the same time, contributing to and
fundraising for Toa Samoa’s Rugby League World Cup
“It is such a relief for us to bring in a
professional event company to take care of marketing
and commercial matters whilst we concentrate on the
administration side of things for the World Cup”
said SRL Secretary General Fritz Tuiavii.
The local Samoa Rugby League competition kicks-off
in early April, with trials set for July and the
World Cup squad to be finalised in August. With the
high interest and participation of our premier
Samoan professional rugby league stars from all over
the world, Toa Samoa stands a very positive chance
to make the Semi Finals of the World Cup.
votes in early general election
12 February 2008 -
Radio New Zealand
Voters in French Polynesia are heading to the polls
in the second round of an early general election to
choose a 57-member assembly for five years.
Three seats were decided in the first round of
voting two weeks ago, leaving 54 seats to be
contested on Monday.
The surprise first round winner was the newly-formed
To Tatou Aia coalition of Gaston Tong Sang.
The eight-party group is aiming to win at least
another 14% of the votes to claim an absolute
The Union For Democracy, led by Oscar Temaru, has
been campaigning for Tahiti's sovereignty, but needs
to add another 50% to its last score to take power.
A Radio New Zealand International correspondent says
the 2004 election ushered in unprecedented
instability, which France now hopes to bring to an
end with the fresh round of voting.
French Envoy In
Tahiti Gets Medal
08 February 2008 -
The French High Commissioner in French Polynesia,
Anne Boquet, has been awarded France's highest
reward, the Legion of Honour, it was officially
announced on Thursday.
Boquet, who was already awarded the rank of
Chevalier in the Legion of Honour, has now been made
an "Officier" in the same order.
Oceania Flash reports the distinction was the
subject of a Presidential decree in Paris.
It also distinguished two other top officials in the
French High commission in Tahiti- Secretary General
Jacques Witkowski (who has been made a Chevalier in
the Order of the Legion of Honour) and Director of
Civil Security Pascal Mainguy, who is now an "Officier"
in the order of the National Merit.
Ten Samoan boxing
pioneers receive honorary awards
04 February 2008 -
Ten recipients of the Samoa International Pro-Am
Boxing Honorary Awards were presented their awards
at the Pre-fight Cocktail on Friday 1st February
According to Mr. Puni, “It is fitting that the
pioneers of Samoa boxing are honoured at the
inaugural Samoa International Pro-Am Boxing event
for their service in boxing. This weekend Samoa will
not only host representatives from the four main
world boxing bodies, but will make boxing history
with local referee and judges officiating the WBO
Oriental Cruiserweight title.”
“Contrary to what most think, it is very hard to
raise funds in Samoa to promote boxing and
especially to stage international fights here. This
is the first and very likely to be the last time
Event Polynesia Boxing will bring such an
international boxing gathering here to Samoa.”
“Event Polynesia Boxing is committed to promoting
Samoan boxers. However, the international title
fights will have to be in Auckland where we stage
our New Zealand fights because of the huge expenses
that we incur to bring such events to Samoa.”
Mr. Puni and boxing officials made a courtesy call
to personally thank the Prime Minister, Hon.
Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and to thank
the Samoa Government for the financial assistance
towards the amateur expenses of this event.
Mr. Reginald Leca, President of Oceania Boxing
Association and representative for PABA and WBA at a
media conference yesterday, compared Samoa to Cuba
as a force in world boxing. But unlike Cuba, Samoa
needs to move its amateur boxers to professional
boxing earlier rather than very late as is the case
with Maselino Masoe.
“This requires amateur boxing to work together with
professional boxing in Samoa in association with
promoters such as Event Polynesia Boxing, who are
helping Samoan professional boxers to get ranking
for title fights.”
The 10 recipients of the Samoa International Pro-Am
Boxing Honorary Awards are:
Hon Peter Paul – Promoter, Hon Sala Ulugia Suivai –
Promoter / Coach,
Savaiinaea Malo Slade – Boxer / Trainer / Coach,
Oscar Meredith – Trainer / Coach,
Hon Fa’asootauloa Sam Saili – Promoter,
Galumalemana Afeleti Betham – Trainer / Coach /
Hon Polataivao Fosi Schmidt – Boxer / Promoter /
Lesa Eric Fatupaito – Trainer / Coach,
Maposua Rudolf Keil – Promoter, and
Ulugia Elijah Stanley – Promoter.