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TAHITI NEWS  


 

Tahiti's new general hospital to open next year at final cost of some $392m
12 April 2008 - Source: Tahiti Presse

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 nine-billion-French-Pacific-franc (US$121.6 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 Assembly.

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 Tuesday.

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 Mamao area.

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 treatment.

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 - Source: e-TravelBlackBoard

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 Free Again
04 April 2008 - Source: Tahiti Presse

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 later jailed.

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 of OPT.

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 "unprecedented levels."

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 five years.

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 this week.

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 - Source: Tahiti Presse

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 maintenance crew.

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 - Source: 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 midday news.

The technician in question said he made mistake in switching on the film which he wanted to watch in private.
 


 
 

Negotiations to resume in French Polynesia tomorrow to end industrial dispute
23 March 2008 - Source: 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 economy.

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 resupply Tahiti.
 


 
 

Air Tahiti Nui focuses on packages
19 March 2008 - Source: Aviation Record.com

Air Tahiti Nui has developed a range of “bargain stopover packages” at prime Tahitian properties to encourage passengers to stop over in the tropical island destination.

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 - Source: eTravelBlackboard

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 Dawn.

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 island.

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 dollars.

“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 children’s facilities.
 


 
 

Doubts whether French Polynesian leader can remain in office
11 March 2008 - Source: 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 republic.

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 appropriation moves.
 


 
 

Captivating Tahiti and French Polynesia
07 March 2008 - Source: 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 Europe.

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 vacationers.

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 rainbow'.
 


 
 

Nearly 9,000 march in French Polynesia against political deals
03 March 2008 - Source: 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 the rules.

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 - Source: 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 election.

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 Polynesia.

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 - Source: Pacific Magazine

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, ATR said.

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 process.

The new aircraft is configured to carry about 65 passengers.
It is believed to have a price tag of some US$17 million.
AirCal's first ATR-72 was delivered in November 2006.
 


 
 

France comments on Tahiti impasse, presidential elections in four days
20 February 2008 - Source: 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 five-year term.

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 ignored.

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 - Source: eventpolynesia.com

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 campaign.

“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.
 


French Polynesia votes in early general election
12 February 2008 - Source: 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 majority.

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 - Source: Pacific Magazine

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 - Source: eventpolynesia.com

Ten recipients of the Samoa International Pro-Am Boxing Honorary Awards were presented their awards at the Pre-fight Cocktail on Friday 1st February 2008.

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 / Promoter,
Hon Polataivao Fosi Schmidt – Boxer / Promoter / Coach,
Lesa Eric Fatupaito – Trainer / Coach,
Maposua Rudolf Keil – Promoter, and
Ulugia Elijah Stanley – Promoter.
 

 
 
 

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