Savusavu may be a bit remote but it is actually quite easy to buy groceries, fresh vegetables, rent a car, book a flight, find a builder, mechanic, plumber or welder, just about anything! We’ve put together a list of some of the many businesses located in Savusavu to help you while your are in Savusavu. If you know of any business or event that we may have left off of the list, be sure to contact us with the details.
Medivac - Search & Rescue
HELIPRO FIJI EMERGENCY services Air Ambulance is equipped with medical teams and has Navy rescue divers on stand bye
For EMERGENCY response call HELIPRO on (679) 770 7700 or the HQ. Fiji Navy 331 5380
International MedEvac coordinator Michael Barbieri
PH: +(61) 411428681
Suva office: Kadavu House - Level 2 Victoria Parade Suva P.O. Box 2399 Government Buildings Suva
Satellite P: +881621424170
SAVUSAVU YACHT CLUB
Savusavu junior sailors rely on membership fees from the Savusavu Yacht Club to support the sailing program. When you join the Savusavu Yacht Club membership entitles you to free movies on the lawn, no service fees for meals on the lawn, reciprocal membership of Royal Suva Yacht Club and Vuda Yacht Club, the live band every Sunday and of course use of the facility and bar.
If you’re looking for a place to bring your family meet the Yachties and hear the tales Savusavu Yacht Club is the place to be. Membership fees are only F$20.00 per annum. Please remember the membership fees go directly to the junior sailing program.
The junior sailors recently swept all opposition aside in winning the Fiji National Sailing championships and currently Naomi Waqalevu is in Denmark competing in a women’s Laser qualifying regatta for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. In December 2017 Vili Ratulu will compete in China for a men’s qualifying regatta for the Tokyo Olympics.
We really need your support to help us finance the sailing program. Please come along and see Sereanna at the bar to fill out your membership fees.
SUPPORT OUR SAVUSAVU SAILORS.
Coach Savusavu Junior sailors.
2017 was a busy year in Savusavu and we'll keep you updated with the latest happenings in 2018 in this section.
If you have an event and would like us to mention it, please contact us.
April 25, 2018 Shratika Naidu Fiji Sun Online
The inclusion of the upgraded 38-year-old Serenity vessel at the Savasi Island Resort guarantees a boost in economic activities in the province of Cakaudrove.
With seven private villas, Savasi a boutique island resort is 10 minutes from Savusavu airport offering an ultimate island retreat experience.
Serenity, the 140 foot tri-level schooner is now moored permanently in its surrounding serene blue waters.
Resort owner Paul Savenkov said they have plans to make Savusavu the tourism hub of the north; the inclusion of Serenity will boost tourism activities and create more financial sustainability to those within the vicinity and outsiders.
While Mr Savenkov would not disclose how much he had spent on the vessel, he was confident the new inclusion would achieve the reasons they had bought the vessel for.
“We are still working on the ship, but getting closer to completion, it has taken us much longer than we expected, especially lately due to the very bad weather,” Mr Savenkov said.
“Savusavu is going to be the tourism hub in the north, there will be opportunities to create more employment and empowering people to nurture small businesses,” he said.
He said once upgrading works are completed, the vessel will not be sailing and or engaged with expeditions as it will be permanently based on Savasi Island.
The facelift includes an opportunity for tourists or diners to dine under the stars on the rear deck or inside in the large common room.
“There’s plenty of space to flop and relax with a book or just snooze,” he said. The vessel used to provide tours to the Garden Island of Taveuni and its Bouma Falls Reserve, the anomalous cultural enclaves of Rabi and Kioa, the uninhabited Ringgold Atolls and the eco-reserve of Qamea.
National Geographic Adventure listed Tui Tai (now Serenity) among its 25 best trips for 2009 and it’s hard to disagree.
The motor-schooner began life in 1980 as a modest steel-hulled passenger ferry between the islands often carrying up to 300 passengers.
She was acquired by former owners Tige and Morika Young in 2002 and refitted to carry just 24 in comfortable cabins. In 2006, she was remodelled again with more luxurious refinements like a massage/spa, private cabanas and deluxe staterooms.
“Not only can guests enjoy all of Savasi Island’s high-end amenities and extensive activities, but also Serenity’s cinema room, conference facilities and richly furnished lounge, bar and dining room,” he said.
April 25, 2018 Shratika Naidu Fiji Sun Online
The extra cruise liner to arrive at the Savusavu wharf this year is good sign.
Trip N Tour ground handling agent Edward Bower yesterday confirmed that there is going to be another three cruise liners arriving in Savusavu before the year ends.
“We’ve had Diamond Princess first at the beginning of this year and then Sun Princess twice,” Mr Bower said.
“The next two trips will be made between November and December,” he said.
‘We normally get to have five trips in a year and this year we will have six.
“Unlike previous years this year there will be a big gap.
“The last cruise ship that arrived was last week Friday and now the next one will come in November.
“Local people and business houses all get to have a fair share benefit when a cruise ship arrives at the Hidden Paradise town.
“Everyone gets a slice, from the juice seller to the grass skirt weaver.”
Meanwhile Mr Bower is optimistic that there could be more coming to Savusavu.
“While we anticipate three more cruise vessels we are hopeful of more next year,” he said.
“Even if it goes up to seven at least there is an increase.”
April 18, 2018 by Nacanieli Tuilevuka Fiji Sun ONLINE
Pacific Beachcomber owned vessel, Paul Gauguin Cruises will make its second port of entry to Fiji waters in September 2019 with two cruises.
Launched in 1998, the renowned, five star vessel Paul Gauguin was built specifically to sail the waters of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the South Pacific and is the longest continually operating year-round luxury cruise ship in this enchanting destination.
Ports of call for the Fiji cruises include Savusavu, Suva, Beqa and Lautoka and will be in Fiji for 12 days and 13 nights.
The voyages are designed to follow in the wake of explorers and cross the International Dateline (ID).
The cruise will offer 332 guests on board, the sunny weather and beautiful beaches of Fiji.
Paul Gauguin Cruises president Dianne Moore said they have started to make their trip earlier.
“Our yields have gone up. You always have a fine line of raising ticket prices and our booking has extended to North America, and while raising ticket prices, we have started to market earlier than ever with future deployment,” Ms Moore said.
“Fiji is also back on for 2019, with a 13-night cruise in September followed by a 12-night sailing.
“Those two sailings are doing very well; it’s not so much about the beach and water, but more about the culture and land,” she said.
“Over the course of 13 unhurried nights, Paul Gauguin allows visitors to discover the South Pacific’s most storied, beautiful, and culturally vibrant islands, towns, and cities,” she said.
She said the trip will allow visitors to experience the cultural and beauty of Fiji.
“No matter what kind of experience you seek, from soaking in the sun on the Society Islands’ white-sand beaches to immersing yourself in the unique cultures of Fiji and Tonga, when visitors follow in the wake of the world’s most famous explorers in the South Pacific, there are treasures to discover at every port.
“Two separate Fijian ports showcase an intriguing juxtaposition: the sophisticated capital city of Suva and the unspoiled beauty of Savusavu, called the Hidden Paradise of Fiji.
“Surrounded by one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, you can see an abundance of tropical fish and beautiful coral blooms while visiting tiny Beqa Island,” she said.
March 27, 2018 Fiji Broadcasting Corp.
J.Hunter Pearls Fiji will soon enter into a commercial venture with the rural local communities in Savusavu.
This new partnership will see several villages along the Savusavu bay venture into pearl farming.
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau says this working partnership with the villages along the Bay has been part of an eight month long discussion.
“Their involvement in Mr. Hunter’s commercial venture simply links through the supplies of pearl from him to them for farm and then he buys them back from them.”
Koroilavesau adds, the Ministry is keen on the idea of involving the local communities as it will help generate sustainable income.
" We can generate that interest by coordinating the assistance that is required for him. He's been doing this for quite some time and he's been discussing with us for the last eight months on how he can help the communities of Savusavu."
The new venture will see the involvement of women from about six villages.
March 24, 2018 by Maika Bolatiki, Suva, Fiji Sun Online
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday applauded Savusavu artist Shane Bower.
Mr Bower designed the Royal New Zealand Air Force Commemorative Monument unveiled by Mr Bainimarama at the University of the South Pacific.
Mr Bainimarama said he was proud that Fiji had an artist of Mr Bower’s caliber with the skill and imagination to come up with such a striking design.
“It is a fusion of technology and nature in the form of a Sunderland flying boat with the wings of a seabird,” he said.
Mr Bainimarama, said through the RNZAF life in Fiji the base was a large employer of Fijians, sustained a range of business and contributed greatly to the health of the local economy.
When the Lau Group was devastated by a hurricane in 1949, the squadron flew emergency flights to 11 of its islands carrying vital food.
Mr Bainimarama said the RNZAF presence at Laucala Bay spanned 25 years from 1942 – at the height of World War II – to 1967, when the facilities were turned over to create the University of the South Pacific, the first regional university.
New Zealand, he said, continued to partner Fiji and other Pacific countries to ensure that the young people were properly equipped to play their part in development.
As well as its close engagement with USP, NZ is working with Fiji’s Higher Education Commission to strengthen the standard of tertiary education in Fiji.
Mr Bower trawled through many designs and read books about aircraft before he came up with the concept for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Commemorative Monument.
Edited by Epineri Vula
13:29 Fri Mar 16, 2018 Fiji Broadcasting Corp.
Report by: Praneeta Prakash
The new e-Centre cable landing station in Savusavu is expected to be constructed by end of April.
Communications Minister, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed this in parliament today after Government MP Ashneel Sudhakar questioned on the progress of the construction of the eCenter cable landing station in Savusavu and the benefits for Vanua Levu.
Fijians in Vanua Levu, Taveuni and surrounding areas are expected to have full access to high speed internet services once the e-center is in operation.
Sayed Khaiyum says this will provide an opportunity for the development of the ICT sector in Vanua Levu.
“All the telecom companies can use the submarine connectivity to connect to the rest of the Vanua Levu and Taveuni, You will actually see at least a 100 percent increase in both the speed and the capacity for the users in Vanua Levu, Taveuni and surrounding areas because the microwave link will be actually be from the cable site itself as opposed to microwaving all the way from Viti Levu”
Opposition MP Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu while welcoming the development questioned the plight of Qoliqoli owners.
The Communications Minister clarified that an environmental impact assessment has been carried out.
“An environmental impact assessment was carried out. It is simply a cable that comes under the water in the sea to Vatuwaqa and we will build a pipe out of that. Any necessary payment to anybody, any environmental impact assessment have been carried, the cable actually lands on the land in the AFL area which is where they be build the e-center building where the cable will actually be housed, fishing ability of the people in that area , we have a cable going in Vatuwaqa it does not affect the ability of people go and fish, it does not affected the ability of people travel over water in that area.”
A redundancy line will also be built in a few years to ensure that if one falls off the other line will pick up.
The project will cost US $5.9 million which will be funded by the Government through World Bank
Point Loma Rotary Club President Frank White (right) greeted Susan Stone and Jeff Mather of the Savusavu Rotary Club. Jeff is the Fiji Home Water Filtration Project lead for Fiji. Jeff and Susan shared their experiences assembling and deploying Safe Water Stations in Savusavu community villages near their home. Susan takes an active role planning and preparing village deployments. Shortly after their visit in September they returned to Savusavu to work with the Ministry of Health to plan November deployments.
January 27, 2018 by Shratika Naidu Fiji Sun ONLINE
The Savusavu Chamber of Commerce (SCC) is seeking a joint private-public partnership with the Government to develop the world’s first environmentally sustainable green ‘Model Town’.
Savusavu Chamber of Commerce president Justin Hunter revealed this during the International Year of the Reef talanoa session at Koro Sun Resort recently.
He said unlike other ‘sustainable town models’ the Savusavu model will specifically target areas of high concentration of marine biodiversity.
He said it would assist those communities, preserve that biodiversity for the sake of food security for generations the world over as a polar shift of fisheries resources.
“It means we need this genetic bunker for the very survival of our planet.”
“Savusavu with its incredible natural beauty and diverse community will highlight and showcase Fiji’s whole-hearted commitment to COP initiatives to not only reduce carbon emissions, raise climate change awareness and these impacts on our communities and environment, but also implement real and tangible solutions,” Mr Hunter said.
“The concepts implemented would specifically target developing island countries whose tropical coastal ecological systems (while covering less than one percent of our earth’s surface area) contain the largest cross section of biodiversity on our planet, which is absolutely and fundamentally essential for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“Specifically we look at the Pacific Ocean region known and around the ‘coral triangle’ an area that is composed of the greatest concentration of biodiversity on the planet.
“Some 20 per cent of earths species from less than 0.01per cent of the earth’s surface area.
“The global community has a vested interest in protecting our island nations and the diverse genetic resources of our tropical reefs and ecosystems,” he said.
“The SCC seeks our Government’s approval and support to assist us with this ‘outside the box’ initiative.”
Mr Hunter is also the president of the Savusavu Tourism Association and the founder of J.Hunter Pearls Fiji.
January 18, 2018 DEPTFO News Fiji Sun Online
As part of the Government’s commitment to make high speed internet services available on Vanua Levu.
It has commissioned Swedish Internet infrastructure specialist Flexenclosure for the construction of an eCentre cable landing station in Savusavu.
Fijian Government initiative
The cable will connect to the Tui-Samoa undersea cable, providing a high-capacity and high-availability fibre optic link between Viti Levu, and Vanua Levu.
This Government initiative will be a big boost to the local economy and provide more jobs and opportunities for job creation in the ICT sector. Along with greater telecommunications security between the two main islands to ensure uninterrupted emergency communications during severe weather events.
It is estimated that Vanua Levu will have full access to high speed internet services in the first half of this year.
“The construction of this eCentre is a major step forward in our campaign to bring all Fijians, regardless of geography, into the fold to meet the demands of a dynamic 21st century economy,” said the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
“This project will bring the level of services available on Vanua Levu on par with what can be found on our main island, Viti Levu, bringing enormous benefits for local businesses and opportunities for jobs in ICT, making the entire region riper for investment.
“For ordinary people, the benefits of high speed internet access are limitless; it means more accessible public services, more high-paying jobs, and it means that they will enjoy connections with their fellow Fijians and with the rest of the world like never before.”
This order from Fiji follows three cable landing station wins for Flexenclosure in 2017 – one with BSCC in Palau and two with SSCC in Samoa.
The new facilities will be instrumental in increasing the availability and reducing the cost of Internet services to these remote island nations.
“We are honoured to be supporting the Fijian Government in their ongoing digital transformation of the country,” said David King, chief executive officer, Flexenclosure.
“We are fully committed to the Pacific region, and following our deployments in Palau and Samoa this Fijian project confirms our status as a major force in the Pacific cable landing station market.”
Flexenclosure is a specialist designer and manufacturer of prefabricated eCentre cable landing stations specifically for the submarine cable industry.
They can be built to accommodate permanent staff or to be unmanned 24×7 facilities.
And with eCentre’s modular construction, the facilities can easily be expanded to accommodate additional equipment as data traffic grows, all without interrupting on-going operations.
Flexenclosure has pioneered the deployment of prefabricated data centre technology into many developing nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia, and is expanding fast in the Pacific region with its cable landing station projects and a major data centre initiative recently announced with Virtutel in Australia.
January 17, 2018 by Shratika Naidu, Savusavu The Fiji Sun Online
Fiji is a signatory to a number of multilateral environmental agreements, within which numerous commitments are made and this includes marine protection and management.
Assistant Minister for Environment Lorna Eden made this statement during the International Year of the Reef talanoa session at Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu yesterday.
The session was to remind stakeholders of the extreme conditions reefs are being exposed to and to develop a 2018 Action Plan for reefs in Fiji.
She said their projects supported reef sustainability through ecosystem-based management approaches, species conservation, climate resilience and a dual management system.
“We also have well established co-ordinating mechanisms in place for example national environment council, the protected areas committee and the offshore technical advisory committee,” Ms Eden said.
“To complement the above there exists a strong network partnership of Government and non-government partners.
“We know the critical relationship between climate and the ocean and our coral reefs are on the front line when it comes to the impacts.
“At COP23 in Bonn we launched the Ocean Pathway to find the right space for the ocean in the UNFCCC process and ensure that a healthy ocean is recognised as critical for fixing climate change and vice versa.”
She further said: “We are facing drastic loss on a global scale of our reefs as a direct result of climate change and I hope this year will be a direct result of climate change and for ocean health,” Ms Eden said.
“In Fiji we depend upon the reefs for at least three industry segments that are vital to our national sustainability. They are namely the fishing, agriculture and tourism industries.”
Coral reefs contain the most diverse range of ecosystems on the planet.
Edited by Percy Kean
January 16, 2018 by Shratika Naidu The Fiji Sun Online
The Fijian Government and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific will stage events to support International Year of the Reef (IYOR) this year.
Today there will be a symposium at Koro Sun Resort and Spa in Savusavu.
Tomorrow there will be a dive expedition at Nukubati, in Macuata province, situated alongside a section of Fiji’s Great Sea Reef (GSR).
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and a United Nations delegation led by Peter Thomson are expected to be part of these events.
The Uto Ni Yalo Trust is also part of the IYOR 2018 and will be docking at Nukubati.
In its recent statement WWF said the call for action ‘inaction and business-as-usual is no longer possible’ resonates with WWF’s vision that by 2025 the Great Sea Reef and coastal ecosystems are healthy and resilient to a changing climate, supporting sustainable business, inclusive livelihoods, food security and community wellbeing.
It further explained that to be able to achieve that vision, the people of Fiji cannot continue to conduct business-as-usual and inaction is not an option.
Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy for Oceans- Peter Thomson will be launching the 2018 IYOR in Fiji with Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Lisa Svensson Global Director for Oceans at the Nukubati Island Resort in Macuata.
History of IYOR
International Year of the Reef began in 1997, the year of the worst coral bleaching recorded up to that date.
Globally, around 225 organisations in 50 countries and territories participated.
The event generated more than 700 articles, and scientists performed hundreds of surveys.
IYOR 1997 increased awareness and understanding of the values and threats to coral reefs, and influenced conservation-related research and management efforts.
The second IYOR took place in 2008.
There were more than 630 events and two-thirds of the countries and territories that contain shallow-water coral reefs participated.
The IYOR 2008 campaign strengthened global awareness of the ecological, economic, social, and cultural value of coral reefs and the threats facing them.
It brought attention to coral reefs as a source of livelihood, coastal protection, and income to over 500 million people around the world.
The previous IYORs shone a spotlight on coral-reef conservation globally.
The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) declared 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef to help bring the informed opinions of global scientific leaders to policy-makers worldwide, demonstrating that inaction and business-as-usual is no longer possible.
Edited by Percy Kean
Email: email@example.com Phone 8850685.
HOME TO FIJI’S TOP SAILORS and GREAT SOCIAL EVENTS.
I hope you all had a great Xmas and New Year and everybody is ready to embrace 2018.
Our sailors have returned from very successful regattas in China and Australia. Vili Ratulu competed in the World Youth Laser Sailing championships in China, racing with the world’s best.
Amanu Simpson. Vili Ratulu and Naomi Waqalevu raced in the Australian Oceania Laser Sailing Championships at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Brisbane with Amanu in the top half of the fleet.
Our junior Optimist sailors Made Savusavu famous in the Australian Optimist sailing Championships in Brisbane. Robert came 3rd in one race and sailed exceptionally well to come 14th overall in a fleet of 71 boats. Paul Leca was also in the top half of this talented fleet coming 28th.Congratulations Opi sailors too good.
The sailing season commences on Saturday 20th January 2018 and we ask all juniors wishing to sail to turn up, if possible with your parents.
All the expenses involved in sending our sailors overseas has placed our junior sailing club in financial difficulties. We need your help to enable our sailors to compete in Auckland this year and the Fiji Nationals in August at Vuda Yacht Club. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Please see Sereanna at the bar who will receipt all donations.
Shortly you will be advised by email on your membership status and when your subs are due.
Don’t forget your membership entitles you to the bar facilities and meals on the club verandah and grass free of surcharge. Use of the Merlin yachts and soon to come four man paddling canoes with staff supervision. Movies and live sports on the Television. Your children’s participation in the Junior Sailing program. We value your membership and aim to continue with our high standards of behavior and dress.
We have added low alcohol and low carb beers to the bar for those of you watching your weight try Mac Vicious and Hahn Super dry and for the ladies Bottles of Churchill’s Chardonnay.
We will notify you shortly of the upcoming A.G.M. and prize giving night for the sailors. Only Full members have voting rights. Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing all the members at the Club.
Thursday, January 11, 2018 The Fiji Times ONLINE
THE Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association plans to give its members more benefits and engage with them on a frequent basis in its efforts to increase the value of tourism in Fiji.
Association president Dixon Seeto yesterday said they had plans to connect with members in the Northern Division, mainly in Savusavu and Taveuni and providing training for members on better use of resources.
Mr Seeto said staff development and training would be their major focus in 2018 which would also help develop the tourism industry and improve/increase the industry's contribution to the economy.
He said the establishment of new hotels recently and the many other hotel projects that had started would provide a match for the increase in visitor arrivals.
With the announcement of new direct flights by Fiji Airways more tourists would travel to Fiji from Japan and China and Mr Seeto says more hotels and resorts would help to cater for the increase in visitor numbers.
Meanwhile the various tourism chapters around the country have been working on their strategic plans to improve services and visitor numbers.
Recent statistics provided by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics showed visitor arrivals for November last year stood at 65,151, a record for the month of November and represented an increase of 4.3 per cent when compared with a year earlier.
Figures showed increases in visitors from Australia, US, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Continental Europe.
Meanwhile in terms of tourism earnings, the Reserve Bank of Fiji in its quarterly review last year noted that over the first quarter of last year, tourism earnings rose on an annual basis by 10.7 per cent to $377.3 million, compared with a 9.7 per cent growth noted in the same quarter last year.
It said major contributors to these earnings were Australia, New Zealand, US, UK and the Pacific Islands.
Mr Seeto said the FHTA would also connect with the various chapters and synchronise their efforts to increase the tourism industry's economic contribution.
"We will continue to work with the stakeholders such as the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Tourism Fiji, Fiji Airways and Society of Fiji Travel Associates (SOFTA) to expand and develop the industry."
Mr Seeto said Fiji's presidency to COP23 had also given them some major goals to achieve in terms of their environment programs and confirmed that the association was working with the Ministry of Tourism on their environmental programs.
"We will work closely with the Ministry of Tourism on the implementation of its Tourism Master Plan 2020."
The year 2018 will also see the FHTA work with the Ministry of Economy, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service in terms of recommendations on suitable policies and compliance issues.
Mr Seeto said cruise tourism was also a part of the tourism industry however local day cruises that carried tourists from one destination to another on day cruises were the major players in the local industry.
He said cruise liner visits were also important because even though they stopped for a short while, it gave the cruise line passengers a glimpse of what the local tourist industry was like and what it had to offer them. According to Mr Seeto most of the cruise liner passengers returned later for longer holidays in Fiji.
He said the industry stakeholders had plans to build Fiji as a high quality destination and this was where all the tourism chapters would come together and work towards that goal.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 The Fiji Times Online
SAVUSAVU's Amanu Simpson was ranked 28th in the 29er laser event of the Australian Sailing Youth Championships in Queensland, Australia on Monday.
Fellow Savusavu sailor Viliame Ratulu was ranked 31st out of the 47 sailors in the same category.
However, in the optimus category, Savusavu's Robert Hunter stamped his mark on the 16th spot of the competitions, while his cousin Paul Leca was ranked 27th among the 76 competitors in the category.
Savusavu Yacht Club commodore, Geoff Taylor said his sailors made the whole country and the people of Savusavu proud.
" I know it is not a performance worth singing about, but the fact that they stamped their rank in a world-class event like this, tells us of what they can achieve if they are given the support they need," said Taylor.
"We had five representatives from the Savusavu Yacht Club representing the country in Australia and they made us all proud.
"Our laser competitors will soon return while the optimus category competitors are still in Australia.
"Stamping our mark in a world event like this is a proud achievement for us at the club."
Taylor said there were other raw talents in the country that needed to be tapped.
"As Pacific Islanders, sailing is something that comes naturally to these young sailors and it is in their blood because their homes are surrounded the sea," he said.
The Savusavu Tourism Association (STA) and the Savusavu Chamber of Commerce (SCC) congratulate the owners of Miller Shipping Services on their acquisition and are delighted that they have chosen Savusavu as their center of operation in the Northern Division.
The company’s brand new inter-island vessel Princess Moana berth at Savusavu jetty last week. STA secretary and SCC chief executive officer Karl Smith said while the current services provided were adequate, quality of service remained basic given the age and inappropriate design for travel in the tropics of the current vessels.
“Significantly, the new vessel provides a significant option for the more discerning travelers, especially from Savusavu and Cakaudrove of which there is a growth in wealth in its population,” Mr Smith said.
“While failure by the authorities to address deficiencies in the Savusavu runway and the inhibitive costs related to air travel remains a major hurdle to increased tourism in Savusavu, the introduction of the new custom made vessel and experience of the Miller family in the tourism sector will provide a quality option, albeit limited.”
“Overall however, it is envisaged that the lift in the quality of service provided by people experi-enced in the tourism sector, and comforts of the new custom made vessel will stimulate travel in and out of Savusavu, and in turn boost economic activity,” he said.
The newly built 350 passenger ferry will service Vanua Levu including Natuvu, Savusavu, Labasa, Nabouwalu, Taveuni and Rabi Island.
December 31, 2017 by Nacalieli Tuilevuka The Fiji Sun online
The Princess Moana, a landing barge owned by Miller Shipping, was greeted with cheers and merry-making on Friday by the people of Cakaudrove.
The vessel, while birthed at the Savusavu wharf, was also blessed by the Tui Cakau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu.
The newly built 350 passenger ferry is expected to service Vanua Levu including Natuvu, Savusavu, Labasa, Nabouwalu, Taveuni and Rabi islands.
Ratu Naiqama said the vessel was a sign of the family’s hard work and he urged the people of Cakaudrove to support the shipping company.
“I know the family have been planning for a shipping company for a long time and today it shows their hard work and dedication have paid off,” the Tui Cakau said.
“This ship is not only for the people of Cakaudrove but for everyone. This ship is here to serve the people.
“Today, I am here to give my blessing, not only for the hard work but they are one of the very first families in Cakaudrove to own a shipping company.”
Company director Panapasa Vonokula said the $4m vessel took four years of planning.
“The end result is beautiful. We had to do a lot of saving in order to get this business running and there was also a lot sacrifice done to get this business running,” Mr Vonokula said.
“My cousin brother, Ross Miller, his wife is from New Caledonia, and they have a daughter; her name is Moana who is four years old. Moana means water.
“This boat is a people’s boat where everyone is welcomed to board and are treated equally.”
Karl Smith, the chief executive of the Savusavu Tourism Association (STA) and the Savusavu Chamber of Commerce (SCC), said: “Significantly, the new vessel provides a significant option for the more discerning travelers, especially from Savusavu and Cakaudrove Province which is seeing a growth in wealth in its population.”
Edited by Naisa Koroi
FRENCH company Alcatel has completed laying the Tui Samoa cable in the North after working in Savusavu during the last two weeks.
Fiji International Telecommunications Ltd (FINTEL) chief executive officer George Samisoni said the company completed work in Savusvau on December 16, 2017.
Mr Samisoni said the cable landed at FINTEL's substation in Vatuwaqa, Suva yesterday.
"Vanua Levu will enjoy the same standard of information and communication technology (ICT) access and services as Viti Levu," he said.
"Reduction in ICT costs and increase in ICT services means more accessible and reliable broadband bandwidth which will be available for northerners soon.
"The cable system will initially provide 100 times more bandwidth then current radio system through the domestic carriers — Vodafone, Telecom Fiji Ltd and Digicel.
"Having the cables pass through Vanua Levu will ensure more social and economic developments with improved public service delivery."
Mr Samisoni said the new development would ensure increased private sector development, tourism and trade.
"It will also mean more resilient infrastructure during natural disasters in comparison to the microwave radio systems," he said.
The much awaited development has drawn positive comments from people and the business sector in Savusavu who say they have been waiting for the project's completion for a long time.
Savusavu businessman Ali Hussein said the development would improve business ICT needs in the small town and would not only benefit them but hoteliers in the area too.
December 28, 2017 10:37 by MONICA AGUILAR SUVA Fiji Sun online
Works on the Tui Samoa cable that links Samoa, Wallis and Futuna and Vanua Levu with the international Southern Cross cable at Vatuwaqa is now complete.
The French ship, Ile-de-Re was moored off Vatuwaqa, near the Fiji International Telecommunications Limited station at Rifle Range in Vatuwaqa yesterday as work started yesterday.
The ship arrived on Tuesday from a five day journey from Savusavu to link up to Vatuwaqa, Suva.
FINTEL chief executive officer George Samisoni said the final cable works took only one day.
“It’s from Samoa, Wallis Futuna, Savusavu, then here.
“They will be pulling the cable to the station and that’s it,” he said.
“No disruptions to the network because it’s something new.
“By March people in Vanua Levu will access it.
“Of course the big one is the Southern Cross cable and everyone wants to come and connect to it and go overseas.”
He said the most likely last one to connect would be New Caledonia and they are talking at the moment
“The one for New Caledonia is most likely to come next year.”
Through this cable, telecommunications access will be much faster through any of our telecommunications service providers: Telecom Fiji Limited, Vodafone, INKK and Digicel.
Through this development, Mr Samisoni said, access to reliable information would be faster and easier.
The project will be completed by the first quarter of next year.
December 27, 2017 Fiji Sun online
Brand new inter-island vessel Princess Moana has finally arrived home.
The Miller Shipping Services latest inclusion’s arrival was delayed by the tropical depression it met on its way home between Fiji and Vanuatu last week.
The young princess diverted to Lautoka where she anchored offshore on Friday night.She rested there before heading for Vuda then to Suva yesterday.
Princess Moana is expected to be cleared by Suva Customs and relevant authorities today before she sails to Savusavu.
The traditional welcome ceremony (cere) is expected to be conducted on Friday. MSS management is hopeful to start their service on Saturday.
Meanwhile Northern travelers have been assured that Princess Moana will service the Taveuni to Natuvu route on a daily basis. Bus shuttle services will connect passengers to and from Savusavu and Labasa. MSS ferry services to and from Suva, links up with Patterson Shipping through Nabouwalu on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Passengers will now get to experience a one day Suva-Taveuni trip. Travelers can schedule for an early breakfast at home and afternoon tea at their destination. MSS apologizes for the slight change in schedules as circumstances that have arose were un-foreseen and beyond their control.
– Miller Shipping Services
Friday, December 22, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
AS part of its future development plan, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has a proposed $959,000 upgrade plan for the Naqere Training Centre in Savusavu.
Acting Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana revealed that the cost of development was for the next three to five years.
Mr Delana said this was in line with the ministry's plans to extend the centre and offer more courses for youths.
"A total of $685,000 has been estimated for the construction of the new double-story building for multi-training purposes for female multi-skills programs," he said.
"The funding will be used to procure new equipment, machines, tools, materials for sewing, pattern design, screen printing, baking, catering, tourism, hospitality, care-giving programs and for procuring furniture for new double-story building which will be used for traditional arts and handicrafts.
"As part of the 2019 and 2020 capital projects, $149,000 has been set aside for extension plans to the centre.
"This will include the extension of the kitchen, dining area and furniture and the procurement of office equipment for the double-story building and the purchase of a 4x4 Hilux Twin Cab."
Mr Delana said $125,000 had been budgeted for 2020- 2021 capital proposals.
"The budget is earmarked for solar installation at the centre facilities."
including the renovation of the existing room, a resource centre and the purchase of computers and furniture," he said.
He said the ministry intended to convert the centre to cater for young women's programs such as catering and pastries training, sewing and pattern designing, screen-painting, beauty therapy, tourism and hospitality, traditional arts training and culture industry programs.
Thursday, December 21, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
POLICE have begun beefing up their festive season operations and patrol in the North, especially in the main town centres of Labasa, Savusavu, Seaqaqa and Taveuni.
Northern divisional police commander Senior Superintendent of Police Verani Nakauyaca said these centres were expected to be full of people who would be moving to their villages to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
SSP Nakauyaca said the operations in all the four centres were part of the Fiji Police Force's Operation Yalodei.
"The operations in the North are aligned with the national Operation Yalodei, which is focused on providing everyone a safe and secure environment to celebrate Christmas and the New Year," he said.
"Officers on normal office duties will step out to assist with frontline policing during the operational period, which runs from December 15 to January 15.
At the same time the force's community policing arm is conducting awareness with members of the community, business operators and traffic personnel.
The awareness campaign and checks will be conducted with drivers as well.
SSP Nakauyaca said they would monitor bootleggers and drunk drivers during the festive season.
"We are again appealing to people to refrain from drinking and driving this festive season," he said.
"It is understandable that we are approaching the festive season, but people, especially drivers, need to act responsibly because we are dealing with lives who use the roads.
"Police will set up traffic operations and we will work closely with the Land Transport Authority."
December 20, 2017, Charles Chambers and Lusi Banuva Fiji Sun online
Fiji Airways will restart full in-flight catering for passengers aboard their flights out of Nadi from today.
The catering will be done through Air Terminal Services (ATS) but Fiji Airways has put in a lot more resources to make this happen, a senior Fiji Airways manager has confirmed. ATS through its international class kitchen at Nadi airport, provides meals for Fiji Airways international services.
Meanwhile ATS workers, who have been at loggerheads with the company in a strike which now in its fifth day, say they will not return to work with conditions attached.
This was the word yesterday from the ATS Employees Trust (ATSET) following its meeting with ATS board chairman Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on Monday night.
The two parties had met in order to discuss and resolve the impasse that has occurred between the workers, who own 49 per cent shares in the company with Government holding 51 per cent.
ATSET general secretary Viliame Finau said the conditions were attached with the company proposal.
“After discussing his proposal to revert all beneficiaries on the condition they sign a statement declaring that they went on strike, the position of the trust is as follows:
“We demand that all our beneficiaries revert to work without condition and without prejudice to their hours of work and salaries. We are calling for the lock-out to be lifted and all staff return to work effective immediately.
“We reminded him again and confirm that we are not on strike.
“We have been locked-out and are waiting at the gate to be reverted back to work.”
ATS is the main provider of ground handling services at Nadi International Airport. The dispute began on Saturday when some 60 ATS staff walked off the job without notice to attend a meeting, leaving positions empty and disrupting services at a busy time. When they returned more than three hours later they were not allowed back in. It then escalated.
Labour Minister Jone Usamate told Fiji Sun last night that he was still waiting for a report from his ministry officials.
“Staff at the Ministry of Labour and Industrial relations are still holding meetings with both parties and once they have worked something out then we will be able to proceed from there,” he said.
“I cannot confirm anything more at this point.”
In the meantime, airlines have brought in extra staff to man their check-in counters and other logistical positions within the airport usually manned by ATS staff.
Edited by Percy Kean
December 20, 2017 Fiji Sun online
Savusavu based Miller Shipping Services has every reason to flaunt its latest inter-island vessel, Princess Moana.
The newly built 350 passenger ferry Princess Moana is expected to set sail for its inaugural trip between Natuvu and Taveuni this weekend.
The brand new vessel departed Samarinda, in Indonesia on November 30 and arrived into Fiji last week.
It is expected to service Vanua Levu including Natuvu, Savusavu, Labasa, Nabouwalu Taveuni and Rabi soon.
It is based at Savusavu with agents at Labasa, Natuvu and Taveuni.
Princess Moana is the first of its kind; it was designed in Fiji by a local qualified seafarer who holds an Australian Ship Master Class one licence.
It is specially designed to suit local passengers and conditions. This brand new ferry will cater for Taveuni and Vanua Levu in-bound passengers on a daily basis.
Suva bound passengers will get to experience a one day travel in a top of the class coach from Natuvu to Suva via Nabouwalu on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and vice versa for the Taveuni bound passengers from Suva.
Upon reaching Taveuni, there will be the bus service to transit passengers to both ends of the island.
According to director Panapasa Vonokula their new service will ensure that passengers travel comfortably and safely.
December 14, 2017
Selita Bolanavanua Fiji Sun online
Namale Resort and Spa won big at this year’s World Luxury Hotel Awards scooping three awards at Kulm Hotel St. Moritz in Switzerland.
The Savusavu resort emerged the global winner in the Luxury romantic hotel category, Luxury Spa Resort and Luxury Honeymoon Hotel category.
Resort co-general managers Bill Kefee and his wife Nowdla Kefee said they felt a profound sense of gratitude and a little bit of pride for having had the opportunity to work with such a wonderful staff and support team.
“The fact that this outstanding group of staff members is being recognised on a worldwide scale for the amazing way in which the care for each and every one of our guests is rewarding,” he said.
“Awards and accolades are not why the Namale staff does what they do, they also take some pride in being acknowledged for what they do and how they do it.”
Mr Keefe said to them, the awards means they need to be on their toes.
“It’s great to win awards such as these. And, it means that we as a team have to re-earn those awards in the eyes of our guests every day.”
He added that when a resort receives an award as prestigious as this, it of course attracts attention from the traveling public.
“Awards such as this certainly make a difference when people have so many resort properties, worldwide, to choose from.
“It also however sets a standard and an expectation in those that do decide to come to your resort as a guest.
Mr Keefe said there are no plans to make Namale any larger than it currently is.
“The owners, Sage and Tony Robbins, like the property just as it is and have no plans to add additional bures or villas on the spacious waterfront grounds.
“As the resort is built via authentic, traditional Fijian architecture and materials, there is always work being done keeping the property in it’s original pristine condition.”
However, there are a few interesting projects that they are currently working on to enhance their guest’s experience over the next 12 to 18 months.
Next year will be a good year and Mr Keefe said their plan is to do what we did this past year even better
When asked by the Fiji Sun as to what makes Namale Resort and Spa unique, Mr Keefe said: “There are many things that make the Namale Resort and Spa unique. It’s background as a working coconut plantation and private retreat before developing into one of Fiji’s premiers five-Star Boutique Resorts. The fact that the property has 500 plus acres and 180 staff members dedicated to a maximum of only 42 guests.
“Probably one of the most notable things about Namale is the fact that it is one of the few remaining truly all-inclusive resorts in either Fiji or the overall South Pacific.
“Once a guest checks in, other than Spa Treatments or scuba diving, there is virtually nothing for them to have to pay any additional fees for.
“Some of our overseas Travel Partners have begun marketing Namale as “ultra-all-inclusive.
“The biggest factor though has to be our staff and the way that our guests return home feeling about their stay at Namale.
“It is difficult to describe but I will share this with you. Namale has many very unique amenities to offer visiting guests.
“Everything from Indoor bowling alleys to candlelit private dinners at secluded locations.
“What all of our guests remember most though at the end of their stay is how they were made to feel like family by the Namale staff,” he said.
About the Award:
World Luxury Hotel Awards is the pinnacle of recognition achievable by a luxury hotel, for service excellence and earning the respect of guests, industry players, and awarding hotels, as voted for by the public, across 99 different categories.
Winners are based on the votes of 300,000 travelers who were invited to vote for their favorite luxury hotel over a four-week period.
Most of you will know Ben (AKA Uncle Ben/Kuku!) For those of you that don’t, Ben and his wife Barbara are a lifeline for animals in Savusavu as well as for Animals Fiji. We could not do our work without them. Ben spends every day finding animals in need of our help, bringing them to us and then along with Barbara’s help, fostering and nursing them back to health until they are ready to go to their new home. Ben and Barbara can sometimes have up to 18 foster puppies at their home at any one time. You can only imagine the volume of work involved in that! In the spirit of Christmas we would like to put together a hamper with the basic essentials needed to care for the animals day to day. Whatever you can contribute, however small – from old newspapers to dog food would be greatly appreciated, so the community can thank Ben and Barbara for all they do for the animals here.
Please see below a list of suggested donations – this is by no means exclusive or extensive – if you have anything else you would like to contribute we would be very grateful!
Dog food – pet loaves (From Fiji meats), canned mackerel/tuna, rice, sausages
Cleaning products – bleach, disinfectant spray, paper towels
Please contact Brenda 9986253 or drop by our Animals Fiji clinic between 8.30am and 4pm this week or next week with any donations.
Vinaka vaka levu in advance!
December 6, 2017
Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, today announced the launch of direct flights between Nadi and Tokyo Narita three-times a week, subject to regulatory approvals.
Starting 3 July 2018, the new, nine-hour flights will operate from Nadi International Airport to Narita International Airport. Each week, flights will be scheduled for Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, offering over 80,000 seats per year between Fiji and Japan aboard Fiji Airways’ state-of-the-art planes, the Airbus A330-200/-300.
To celebrate the new flights, the airline will offer special celebratory launch fares from Nadi to Tokyo, starting from F$999 (includes taxes & surcharges) from 06th – 12th December 2017.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen said the three times-weekly flights make Fiji and the South Pacific more accessible to Japanese tourists than ever before.
“We are excited to share with Japan the untouched beauty of our 333 islands. Fiji’s unparalleled hospitality and warmth offers Japanese tourists a unique, culturally immersive experience – much more than just another beach getaway,” Mr. Viljoen added.
“Our flights have been designed to ensure guests get the most of their time in Fiji. The flight from Narita arrives into Nadi in the morning, with convenient domestic connections on our subsidiary Fiji Link to major tourism spots like Savusavu and Taveuni. Additionally, guests can also easily do boat transfers after arrival to the many wonderful resorts in the beautiful Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups.”
Fijian Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, welcomed the route as a victory that would benefit the airline, bolster the relationship between the Fijian and Japanese peoples, and advance the Government’s long-term development goals.
“This opens a direct gateway between Fiji and the most populated metropolitan area in the world, and we expect the impact to go far beyond attracting more tourism to our shores,” said Sayed-Khaiyum. “As Government works to further solidify Fiji as the go-to regional development hub for international businesses, investors and development organisations, this connection with Tokyo–– a global financial centre and economic powerhouse that is home to dozens of Fortune Global 500 company headquarters––is an invaluable step in achieving our goal.”
The launch of direct Nadi-Tokyo flight services is the latest announcement by Fiji Airways expanding its network across Asia to leverage the growing demand for Fiji as a holiday destination.
Mr Viljoen stated: “We want to capitalise on the high interest in outbound travel from Japan, with an estimated 13.4 million Japanese residents traveling overseas so far this year.”
Fiji Airways customers will be able to book flights and baggage via Fiji Airways’ sales channels, including its general sales agent offices, website, online travel sites, and reservation centres.
By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 06/12/2017 fijivillage.com
Fiji Airways will start flying direct to Tokyo, Japan from the 3rd of July next year and the airline company has also announced that it will get it’s fifth A330-200 wide-body aircraft to cater for this new service.
While making the major announcement in Denarau today, Fiji Airways CEO and Managing Director, Andre Viljoen says they will fly three times a week from Nadi to Narita on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
The flights from Japan to Nadi will arrive at about 9am and is designed to ensure that the tourists from Japan can get connecting FijiLink flights from Nadi to destinations like Savusavu and Taveuni, and boat transfers to the Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands.
Viljoen says Tokyo will be the fifth long-haul destination for Fiji Airways after Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore. He says this is an outstanding achievement for Fiji Airways.
Viljoen says Fiji also wants to capitalise on the high interest in outbound travel from Japan, with an estimated 13.4 million Japanese residents travelling overseas so far this year, and the tourism industry is working on marketing plans for Japan.
He also says that beyond just tourism, the three direct flights a week will provide more opportunities for the export of Fiji’s high-quality seafood and unique Fijian made products to the Japanese market.
Attorney General and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed‑Khaiyum, welcomed the route as a victory that would benefit the airline, bolster the relationship between the Fijian and Japanese people, and advance the Government’s long‑term development goals.
Sayed-Khaiyum says this opens a direct gateway between Fiji and the most populated metropolitan area in the world, and they expect the impact to go far beyond attracting more tourism to our shores.
He says as Government works to further solidify Fiji as the go‑to regional development hub for international businesses, investors and development organisations, this connection with Tokyo, a global financial centre and economic powerhouse that is home to dozens of Fortune Global 500 company headquarters, is an invaluable step in achieving Fiji’s goal.
December 6, 2017 Kogo Fujiki - Fiji Sun Online
Save the Children Fiji has launched a new $3.9 million five-year project to increase community resilience and improve outcomes for children in both Ra and Koro.
The KANA Project, funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) was also launched in partnership with Save the Children New Zealand in Suva yesterday.
Save the Children Fiji chief executive officer Iris Low-Mckenzie said the project aims to improve outcomes for children through increased food security and disaster risk management in the two areas severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
“The impacts of this agricultural loss will impact them for several years as high winds, flooding and storm surges will cause substantial damage to permanent plantations,” she said.
“Some community members have migrated for alternative sources of income putting strains on food security and leaving productive farmland unattended.”
Ms Low-Mckenzie said the project would work in 20 rural communities along the coastal areas in Ra and Koro Island reaching a minimum of 3500 people.
The KANA Project, senior project officer Leone Saumaki said, after also assessing regions such as Taveuni and Savusavu, it was realised that Ra and Koro were in most need of urgent development support.
“Unfortunately for Ra and Koro, there has not been much support for the farmers,” he said
“If children have the knowledge, yes they can come up to the mainland for education, but if they’re not, there is only one secondary school in Koro and that’s it.
“It’s either be a farmer or they go elsewhere for employment.”
Mr Saumaki hopes that communities can take ownership of these programmes and said the KANA Project is currently building a collection centre in Koro where farmers can collect their products.
The project is set to run until November 2020, with New Zealand High Commission development counsellor, Jonathan Rowe and Save the Children New Zealand chief executive officer, Heidi Coetzee also attending its launch in Suva. Edited by Jonathan Bryce
Saturday, December 02, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
FIJI International Telecommunications Ltd (FINTEL) has committed an initial investment of $US20 million ($F41.9m) to the new submarine cable system, SX NEXT.
"This not only boosts Fiji's status as the telecommunications hub of the Pacific, but future-proofing Fiji well beyond 2030, and ensuring there is a reliable and resilient supply of international bandwidth to keep Fiji connected to the world," George Samisoni, the CEO of FINTEL said.
He said the new cable would cost Southern Cross Cables about $US350m ($F730m) and it was targeted for completion by the fourth quarter of 2019.
"The NEXT project increases Fiji and our island neighbours' ability to stay connected in a world that relies on connectivity and to stay 'always on' despite our remote locations," Mr Samisoni said. He said the new wave of capacity and speed would put each nation on par with their bigger route partners when it came to bandwidth availability, speed, and latency.
The SX NEXT cable will run from Sydney to Los Angeles, connecting New Zealand, Fiji (including Suva and Savusavu), Samoa, Kiribati and Tokelau.
Mr Samisoni said the NEXT cable would be able to carry five times more than the current Southern Cross Cable capacity of 12 terabits per second.
"The new capacity paves the way for growth in demand, in particular, content," he said.
The company also advised they had successfully negotiated with another international submarine cable, Hawaiki, for a branching unit to be installed in Fiji waters. Hawaiki is targeted to be operational by June 2018.
Hawaiki provides an alternative option to FINTEL/Fiji's international telecommunications link redundancy/resilience.
"FINTEL is appreciative of the Fiji Government's approval to allow for the installation of the branching unit," Mr Samisoni said.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
ASK anyone in Cakaudrove about D Solanki & Sons Ltd and be assured that they'd tell you a lot about the company.
The company located along Savusavu Town's main street, popular for its unique clothing materials, jewelry and other drapery items has attracted a wide range of customers — locally and internationally.
The company owner and director Sharad Solanki also calls himself a 'kai Savusavu' and is known for his favourite iTaukei quote 'e bulu I Savusavu noqu vicovico' (my umbilical cord) is buried here in Savusavu).
Born and brought up in the town of the hidden paradise, Mr Solanki is adamant of positive changes and growth.
Despite the 2007 tragedy that totally destroyed his shop along the town's main street, Mr Solanki has never looked back.
"I never lost faith in God knowing that he alone has brought us this far and I remain positive of growth in this town," he said.
"We need to initiate the changes of growth and if we have the attitude to wait for change, then not much will be done.
"We need to be agents of change because change will happen and if we don't go with the trend of development, we will be left behind."
The company employs 15 people who work in the D Solanki shop and tailoring section.
Mr Solanki said a positive attitude he had seen among his customers and the community was prioritising their shopping lists.
"At this time of the year, parents are now coming around to buy school uniforms and stationery for their children which is very encouraging," he said.
"We sell a variety of items for our customers and at the best and affordable prices as well."
Thursday, November 30, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
FIJI Meats Ltd in Savusavu will be the best shop to purchase hampers and various meat products this festive season.
Known for its renowned merchandises, the outlet at the town of the Hidden Paradise will offer customers at very affordable rates the best products to enjoy with families over Christmas meals.
Savusavu shop supervisor Luisa Newton described the past 11 years of existence in the North as a very rewarding period.
"Our biggest customers in Savusavu are hoteliers, yachties and villagers," she said.
"There are also new customers who visit the shop every day to buy different products.
"Fiji Meats in Savusavu also sell the same products that are sold in the Lautoka branch."
Ms Newton described the relationship with customers as very friendly.
"This Christmas, most of our customers are expecting our Christmas hampers and our prices will be very special," she said.
"Fiji Meats Savusavu is your best family meat shop this Christmas so order your Christmas hampers ready for you not to miss out."
J Hunter Pearls
Thursday, November 30, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
J. Hunter Pearls Fiji is the leading producer, retailer and exporter of the rare and unique coloured Fijian Pearls. Shortlisted as an honouree in the prestigious JNA Awards for their sustainability efforts in pearl cultivation this year in Hong Kong, the Savusavu based company is excited to open their new hatchery facility in Savusavu next month.
Prior to setting up the Fijian grown business in the late 90s pearl farmer Justin Hunter worked extensively in marine hatcheries in the US for family-owned edible oyster business Taylor Shellfish. With this experience and lots of trial and error J. Hunter opened their first hatchery in Savusavu in 2005.
The hatchery allows the pearling company to selectively breed the Fijian pearl oyster, selecting only those from their farms with the best traits to be used as brood stock. The facility also houses an algae lab where various strains of algae are cultured under strictly controlled and sterile conditions as food for the young oysters known as spat.
From the time of fertilisation microscopic spat are grown in special rearing tanks for up to 35 days before they are transferred to the nursery grids for grow out on the pearl farm.
These young oysters will then spend the next four to five years feeding and growing before they are mature enough to be nucleated and start the process of forming their own unique Fiji Pearl. Throughout this time they are closely monitored by the J. Hunter dive and cleaning crews, ensuring they are healthy and growing in optimal conditions.
The facility was the first of its kind to successfully reproduce the Fijian Pearl Oyster (Pinctada margaritifera typica) commercially. Results have been positive with hatchery produced oysters producing high quality pearls in recent harvests. The hatchery has also successfully trialed sea cucumber and giant clam species prior to being completely destroyed by severe Tropical Cyclone Winston last year.
"We are thankful for the Department of Fisheries, SPC and the EU for assisting us in building this new facility. Hatchery production is an essential and absolutely critical component of pearling in Fiji as the wild oyster populations are limited.
"To give you an idea, we deploy 100 to 150 spat collectors that are suspended over 30 - 45 kilometres of lines in the Bay each year. These collectors when harvested by the village groups average around 500 shells per line which is extremely low in comparison with Tahitian pearl farms that average close to 20,000 shells per line."
The new hatchery will employ three full time staff members and aims to produce up to 200,000 seedable oysters per annum, with operations beginning next month.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
A LEADING local shipping company has added another shipping vessel to its fleet giving more convenience to maritime travelers, particularly to Vanua Levu, this festive season.
Goundar Shipping Ltd welcomed the Lomaiviti Princess V yesterday as it berthed at the Narain Jetty in Suva.
The vessel, which is the company's fifth vessel and is among the largest shipping vessels in the country, was built in 1962 with upgrade works done to it, spans at a length of 130 metres, speed about 16 knots and is capable of carrying about 1500 passengers.
The local shipping company had acquired the 53-year-old Lomaiviti Princess V from international ferry operator BC Ferries — which was previously known as the MV Queen of Nanaimo.
While the final sale price had not been disclosed because of competitive reasons, Goundar Shipping Ltd owner and managing director George Goundar had characterised the acquisition as an investment valued at $2.5 million which included added costs such as fuel and labour.
The ferry was sold this year after a transparent and wide-reaching bid process and also involved an extensive request for expressions of interest, which was widely advertised through an international ship broker and other websites that advertised liquidation sales.
"This is a bonus for the traveling public from Suva, now they can expect a daily service from here every day at 8 o'clock for Savusavu," Mr Goundar said.
"It's a plus for Fiji especially for the travelling public heeding to the outcry during this festive season with overcrowding and the overloading concerns.
"This is our way of responding to the concerns and as far as shipping is concerned, we can say it is better now than six years ago," he said.
Mr Goundar said while their shipping services generally had areas which were lacking, they were "still getting there" with ventures such as the Lomaiviti V.
"Fiji is up there now with the Pacific and other countries. Before we have had smaller vessels, those days are gone as people nowadays want comfort and as a stakeholder we need to provide that service to the public and they enjoy traveling at sea."
Mr Goundar said the vessel had modern features likened to five-star hotels including restaurants, kids play area, and private room.
The vessel had left Canada earlier this month after being given the green light to sail to Fiji after an inspection by the surveyors of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).
Mr Goundar said the vessel crew also included two experienced Canadian engineers who would be training about 50 local crew on the Lomaiviti Princess V.
Giving more ease of traveling to the public, Mr Goundar said they had also decided to slash their ferry fare prices down by 30 per cent.
The new vessel will be providing daily service to Savusavu and two trips a week to Kadavu.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
TOURISM Fiji will bring Australia's leading fishing and adventure show — Escape Fishing — to Fiji next month.
Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya said Australia remained Fiji's biggest market, and sport fishing was a strategy aimed at the outdoor segment of the Australian market.
"We want Fiji to be seen as a destination for fishing as well as holiday getaways," he said.
Host Andrew (ET) Ettingshausen will participate in game fishing, and the show will also highlight other water sport activities as well as the restaurants, accommodations, and resort facilities on offer.
The show has been running on Australian television for 18 years and is in production now for its 19th season. Fiji will open its shores to the show starting on December 8 for two action packed weeks.
The game fishing show will take place in Yasawa, Kadavu, Savusavu and Taveuni.
Mr Ettingshausen said the trip was aimed at the large Australian outdoor lifestyle market.
"Fiji is the perfect place for singles, couples and families who want to experience the Fijian culture, it's amazing scenery above and below the water, and the service and luxury features of the best resort accommodation."
He hopes to create enough footage to go into three episodes that will air across four television networks.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 The Fiji Times ONLINE
AA Rentals opened two months ago in Savusavu and demand for their cars has swiftly grown.
Under the leadership of Avikash Pillay as managing director, the company has a total of 10 cars and at affordable rates.
Kaushik Chand, managing AA Rentals said the demand for their services of rental cars had increased since it started in September this year.
"We will be upgrading the fleet of cars and our brand new vehicles are also in demand with most of it out on hire every week," he said.
"We also have baby car seats for our customers who want to make sure that their toddlers or infants get a comfortable ride on our vehicles.
"For the baby seats, a flat rate applies and is also affordable and customers know that we offer the best rate."
The rental company provides 24-hours service and with its website up by next month, the management is positive of growth.
Mr Chand said they also delivered rental vehicles to customers.
"For example, if the customers wants us to drop the rental vehicles at their houses, we will do that because we value our customers."
The rental outlet is located at Lesiaceva Rd, opposite the jetty and they could be contacted on 9898556 or 9869560 or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 22, 2017 by Karalaini Waqanidrola Fiji Sun Online
The arrival of the $2.5m MV Lomaiviti Princess V next week warrants an economic boom and mass return of those in the Eastern and Northern divisions to their villages.
“We are bringing in this big vessel to encourage the islander to return back to the islands, to farm, harvest then bring his produce to the main trading centers. The farmer then returns home to expand or improve his farms,” company managing director George Goundar.
“Islanders are stuck in urban areas because of inconsistent inter-island shipping and unreliable services in the sense that the vessels are always full,” he said.
“Once they are stranded, they look for casual work and become social issues to Government in the urban centers.
“Reliable and spacious inter-island shipping service can curb urban drift, upgrade villagers and expand economical activities.”
The $2.5m MV Lomaiviti Princess V has the capacity to carry 1500 passengers and is expected to be in the Fiji Waters on Monday.
MV Lomaiviti Princess V will provide employment to 50 crew members adding to the company’s current 210 employees.
The vessel is expected to go past Hawaii on Friday night traveling at 14 knots to arrive in Suva next Wednesday.
By Wednesday the MV Lomaiviti Princess V should in the Suva Harbour. It leaves for its maiden voyage on December 11 from Suva to Savusavu, Labasa and Taveuni.
Mr Goundar said: “MV Lomaiviti Princess V would also be making two trips to Kadavu every week”.
“I have had people coming to me frustrated with the unavailability of space on inter-island vessels during peak periods,” he said.
“The facilities on board MV Lomaiviti Princess V are like those in a hotel. Passengers need to get used to the automatic water supply like they have in airport washrooms where you wave your hand under the taps to get water.
“All we are requesting that the traveling public don’t vandalise the vessel. On board MV Lomaiviti Princess V is a five-star restaurant, a play area for children, first class seating and full medical facility.
“We have a responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable service to our traveling public,” he said.
November 18, 2017 by Maika Bolatiki Fiji Sun Online
Fiji Siren, a 40metres long and 9.7metres wide professional dive liveaboard is unlikely to be salvaged from the Bligh waters where it sunk early Wednesday morning.
This was confirmed by Sales and Marketing Manager, Worldwide Dive and Sail, Mik Jennings.
Worldwide Dive and Sail owns and operates a range of diving, sailing and cruising yachts across Asia and the Pacific including the Fiji-registered Fiji Siren.
“It’s not likely that a salvage will occur. After the boat lost power she drifted into deeper water and was in at least 250m of water when she went below the surface,” Mr Jennings said.
Whether the yacht may have struck a sunken reef could not be confirmed by Mr Jennings.
“At this point we can’t be 100% sure of what the vessel struck. From our incident report, directly after the impact there was no reef on the navigational plotter and looking over the railings there was nothing obvious below the surface. Further investigations may reveal more in the fullness of time but I wouldn’t like to speculate.”
He said all but one client who was on board the yacht had departed Fiji.
According to Mr Jennings their focus now is contacting future clients and making sure that they can re-arrange their bookings in order to enjoy their vacations.
Fiji Navy operations officer Lieutenant Commander Timoci Natuva said they received a call from the Namena Dive Shop, that the Fiji Siren struck an outlying reef causing it to take water.
He said the only alert they received about the incident was from an Australian Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB).
He said there were 13 local crew members and 16 tourists on board the yacht when it took on water.
“The crew and tourists were forced to abandon the yacht. They boarded their dinghies and moved across to Namena Island Resort. They arrived safely that same morning,” Lieutenant Commander Natuva said.
He said by the time they received the information the tourists and crew were already safe on land.
Namena Island Resort manager Nigel Simpson confirmed that those on board the yacht arrived by dinghies.
“They are all safe and I took them across to Savusavu.”
Captain Philip Hill, Manager Safety, Compliance and Response of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) said they had removed the oil and there was no pollution in the area.
Operations manager Dive Fiji, Jonathan Smith said the incident was the first of its kind to happen in Fiji waters.
But Mr Smith was optimistic that it would not affect tourists who were after this niche market. Two other such liveaboard dive boats are in operation in Fiji waters, Sere Ni Wai and Nai’a.
Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association President Dixon Seeto said he was glad that everyone on board was safe.
The Fiji Siren had departed from the Volivoli Beach Resort on Viti Levu at 1pm and should have returned to the same port at around 10am on the last day of its seven days cruise.
On its Facebook page, Volivoli Beach Resort stated that they are currently conducting a full and thorough investigation.
“No guest or crew member was injured during this incident and we commend the actions of our team for following our stringent emergency training protocols which resulted in the swift evacuation and handling of the situation.”
On the Siren Fiji website, a chronology of what transpired was posted:
Wednesday November 15, 2017
At around 1am in the morning there was an impact on the vessel that caused a breach in the area of the engine room while cruising. Crew members immediately dived under the vessel and applied pre-mix epoxy in an attempt to try to stem the flow and all water pumps were activated (two main pumps and two portable pumps with a combined capacity of close to 4,000 litres or 4 tonnes per minute) to remove water from the vessel. At this point Fiji Siren headed towards land and placed emergency calls on channels 16 & 72 which to our understanding were, unfortunately, not answered.
By 2am it was clear that not enough water was being cleared by the pumps and so it was decided to call guests to muster in life jackets with only their passports and any medication that they might require. They were then evacuated to land with the diving skiffs along with non-essential crew where shelter was provided. Some of the remaining crew then went to work removing as much of the guest’s property as possible, as well as their own items, boat and crew documentation, and tender fuel. Other crew members were, of course, still trying to save the boat.
By 5.30am the main water pump had failed due to loss of power caused by the water in the engine room, however, the fire pumps were still running at full power with additional fuel being brought for them by Namena Divers. There were multiple dives carried out to try and stem the breach further, which were sadly unsuccessful.
By 7:15am it was decided to remove all crew except the captain and cruise director.
By 10am the Fiji Siren sank below the surface of Bligh Waters off Namena Island.
Edited by Rosi Diviverata
Caroline Ratucadra - Fiji Sun Online
November 15, 2017
Good news for the traveling public. Goundar Shipping Limited’s newest vessel, MV Lomaiviti Princess V is on her way.
The vessel was given the green light to sail to Fiji after an inspection by the surveyors of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF).
She left Canada last Saturday with a crew of 18 and two Canadian engineers. The vessel is expected to arrive on November27.
Inspection by MSAF
The MSAF surveyors spent one week in Canada and returned last Wednesday.
Goundar Shipping Limited owner and managing director George Goundar said despite the negative criticisms about the vessel, they have adhered to all requirements under Fiji’s maritime laws.
“Two surveyors were here in Canada to inspect the vessel and they were certainly impressed. They conducted a general inspection and awarded us with a seagoing certificate,” Mr Goundar said.
He assured future travelers from Suva to Savusavu and Kadavu that the vessel will surely accommodate their needs.
Crew all geared
Mr Goundar said his crew left Canada in high spirits, knowing that they had learned a lot from very experience engineers from BC Ferries, the former owners of MV Queen of Nanaimo (now MV Lomaiviti Princess V).
This is an investment by the company to further train their staff to be on par with international standards.
What customers can expect
Mr Goundar further stated that the ferry fare will drop by 20 per cent for the holiday season.
The new vessel will be providing daily service to savusavu and two trips a week to Kadavu.
He said making traveling more convenient for the general public was his mission.
“We hope the people in Fiji will appreciate what Goundar Shipping and its employees are doing for them. We have a few people in Fiji who are spreading false rumours about the vessel . They should wait and see till the vessel arrives in Fiji,” Mr Goundar said.
“But I assure you that it has been worth the investment,” he added.
Luke Rawalai - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
INCREASING development and population sizes in Labasa and Savusavu towns have created the need for extension of town boundaries.
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar said ratepayers consent was needed before any boundary extensions would be made in the future in Savusavu and Labasa towns.
Mr Kumar said Government was serious about expanding the two town boundaries.
He said there had been some talks between him and the Labasa/Savusavu towns administrators about the boundary extensions.
"What I have asked the local government committee is in consultation with the municipalities they need to go and talk to the people," he said.
"This should be a consultation process because the Labasa and Savusavu town councils cannot just enter and say they want to extend the boundaries of the towns.
"They need to talk to the ratepayers.
"With the agreement of the ratepayers we will extend the town boundaries."
He also confirmed that the groundbreaking ceremony for Nabouwalu to be declared a town would be in December.
Luke Rawalai - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Thursday, November 02, 2017
THE management of Daku Resort has new plans of extending and giving a new facelift to their Yogashala.
Resort manager Aubrey Whippy said the facility would now feature a balcony from where guests of the many events held in the conference centre styled facility could enjoy the sea view and soak in the natural atmosphere surrounding the resort.
Mr Whippy said they were also planning to change the setting of amenities within the current structure to ensure that events proceeded smoothly in the Yogashala without disturbances from other guests.
"We have now also done up the steps to the centre nicely giving it a new fresh look," he said.
"If you are planning on holding any personal, business or family related event in the heart of paradise then look no further because the resorts refurbished Yogashala would just be the right place for you.
"Seated on a hill above the resort, the facility has a view to kill for, overlooking the waters between Savusavu and the Wailevu West Coast.
"The facility features a wide open spaced building that could seat up to 40 people at one time."
Mr Whippy said they had this year hosted weddings, birthdays and other family events, business meetings and seminars, and other events.
"With the open structure style that we have as part of the facility it blends perfectly with the natural atmosphere giving guests a one of a kind experience," he said.
"The resort itself is built around nature and the owners of the resort intended that guests have a taste and experience of the Fijian natural environment.
"This year we hosted 42 events in the facility and we are expecting more as the year comes to an end."
The Yogashala is available for hire at a rate of $250 a day.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Fiji Times ONLINE
Update: 3:33PM FIJI Link's first brand new Twin Otter aircraft arrives from Canada this afternoon.
And in typical Fiji Airways fashion, the national airline will hold a welcome ceremony at the Hangar in Nasoso, Nadi this afternoon.
In August early this year, Fiji Airways had announced plans to expand and upgrade Fiji Link's Twin Otter fleet, allowing for increased frequencies to key domestic routes like Savusavu and Taveuni on Vanua Levu.
And to that effect, the airline would purchase three brand new latest model DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otters from manufacturer Viking Air Ltd, to replace two of its existing three Series 300 aircraft.
That will increase the Twin Otter fleet to four aircraft.
Fiji Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen had said then that this investment was in line with the overall modernisation of the entire group fleet.
He had said too that the fleet expansion would also allow Fiji Link to increase frequency on other domestic routes.
LUKE RAWALAI - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Members of the National TB Unit during the launch of the 'Breath Well Mobile Clinic services in Savusavu this morning.
Update: 3:22PM MEMBERS of the public in Savusavu flocked to the town's foreshore today to support and witness the launch of the 'Breath Well' Mobile Clinic program.
Officiating at the event, Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea stressed to all the need to have early detection of Tuberculosis to help in the cure of the disease.
Mr Vocea also called on patients suffering from TB and undergoing their medication programs to complete it in order to be cured.
The launch of Mobile Clinic bus in Savusavu this morning was expected to benefit those in the remote rural areas of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata in terms of free access to services.
Ministry: Fiji Pearl Oyster Development Plan Underway
October 24 - SUNBIZ
by Monica Aguilar
The development of a collaborative road map to foster the sustainable and equitable development of our pearl farming industry was the main focus of the industry’s stakeholders yesterday.
A two-day meeting began to formulate a Fiji Pearl Oyster Development Plan.
The meeting was facilitated by the Ministry of Fisheries with the support of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Ministry of Fisheries permanent secretary Sanaila Naqali said the plan should set the direction for the sustainable development of the industry.
“There are clearly a few sub-sectors of the pearl farming industry in Fiji which needs to be incorporated as separate entities within the plan, and it is Government’s role to treat all entities and also play the role of facilitator, negotiator, problem-solver and regulator,” said Mr Naqali.
Founder of J Hunter Pearls in Savusavu, Justin Hunter said it is important to maintain the position of Fijian pearls as a luxury gem in global markets.
MR Hunter said: “Customers are increasingly conscious of ethical and sustainability issues behind their purchases. Pearls are by definition a sustainable gem because, unlike gemstones which are mined from the earth, pearls grow by natural processes within oysters living in pristine waters.
“Fiji’s waters are a perfect place for pearl culture, and marine stewardship is needed to keep them that way.”
The Ministry of Fisheries, in collaboration with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), in Fiji had assisted the Ministry and other partners in the development of the pearl farming industry, Spat Collection Programme and the enterprise development of Mabe Pearls and Mother of Pearl Handicraft.
The Government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and other agencies intends to cooperate with stakeholders in the pearl aquaculture industry and with communities to integrate with locally managed marine areas (LMAs) and coastal and land management programs.
Director of Fisheries, Aiskae Batibasaga, said adding the community element to generate equitable livelihoods is seen as a vital part of any sustainable industry.
Fiji co-hosted with Sweden the United Nation World Oceans Conference held in New York on 5-9 May, and made a number of Voluntary Commitments to contribute towards sustainable marine resources use.
Pacific Island Air Introduce Charter/Scenic Flights Based From Savusavu Airport
October 11, 2017 SUNBIZ
by Maraia Vula, Suva
Pacific Island Air has introduced charter and scenic flights based out of Savusavu Airport!
Company general manager Tuni Beddoes said what has encouraged Pacific Island Air to position an islander at Savusavu was because the market had requested services.
Below are excerpts from an interview with Mr Beddoes about Pacific Island Air introducing flights based out of Savusavu Airport and the company’s core business.
What has encouraged Pacific Island Air to position an islander at Savusavu?
The market had requested services for transfers to Taveuni, Nausori, Labasa or Nadi to supplement the existing schedule services with the positioning time from Nadi being an hour.
The decision was taken to create a line station and service the needs of customer’s for private transfers as a charter operator.
There was an urgent Medi Vac case from a resort for clients to reposition to Suva and the service was utilised to Nausori Airport a week ago.
Then a group wanted to fly over to their resort and along the coast to view potential land for sale as part of a scenic flight.
What business do you anticipate coming out of Savusavu?
Our target has been to have an air service available in Savusavu, to service the needs of air transfer to the mainland of Viti Levu and outer islands.
The opportunity to provide scenic flights for customers while on holiday to the surrounding islands and along the coast of Vanua Levu is anticipated.
The aircraft being positioned in Savusavu reduces the positioning time when the need arises for customers.
We anticipate bridging the islands outside the current scheduled services provided by Fiji Link and Northern Air.
There are customers who don’t want their holiday based on someone else’s schedule and we are hopeful the introduction of the Brittan Norman islander aircraft satisfies that customer.
How big of an investment is this new introduction?
While it required moving capacity away from the mainstream operation in Nadi , any new venture involving moving personal and equipment away from a main hub or base has its costs to bear.
How many people have been positioned at Savusavu?
Currently, only two personal are positioned in Savusavu – pilot and an engineer
How big is the Pacific Island Air fleet now?
The company currently operates four helicopters, three six-passenger Squirrel helicopters, one Robinson 44, two five-passenger Beaver seaplanes, two 10-passenger Otter seaplanes and two twin-engine Islander planes seating six passengers.
What is your core business?
While a large part of our business involves transfer flights to resorts and islands, we also offer private transfers on scenic flights, adventure packages in association with other tourist operators in Fiji.
Medivac Emergency Services and Commercial activity for lift and aerial survey. Pacific Island Air has the flexibility and capability of flying to any destination in Fiji.
Passengers can fly by seaplane one way and return by helicopter, offering two distinctly different experiences from one operator.
Who owns Pacific Island Air?
Pacific Island Air, Helicopters (Fiji) and Vanuatu Helicopters are privately owned by John Currie and family.
Their company Garden City Helicopters is widely respected as one of New Zealand’s premier helicopter and aviation operators, servicing all aspects of tourism and charter flights, air ambulance and rescue operations plus commercial flying services as well as further expansion into fixed-wing aircraft charter operations.
Garden City Helicopters saw an opportunity in 2013 to purchase the established Pacific Island Air and Seaplanes operation which had been successfully operating in Fiji for 14 years and add helicopters to the company’s fleet of fixed-wing aircraft with the aim of offering a premier tourism flightseeing and air charter operation to the region.
Today the operation in Fiji is marketed under one brand – Pacific Island Air.
This enables clients to book with one operator who can deliver all three modes of air transfer: Charter airplanes, seaplanes and helicopters.
Squash Banks on Reps
Paulini Ratulailai - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Sunday, October 08, 2017
FIJI Squash is banking on its national players to shine as they participate in the Savusavu Open tournament that started yesterday.
Manager Dinesh Parmeshwar said they were expecting 50 players with 20 players from Suva and Nadi to compete in the two-day event.
"We will be playing in three grades and a very challenging competition," Parmeshwar said.
"We are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Australia and we've got a training squad for the event. We are using local tournaments as a build-up process for players.
"Most of the national players will be playing in local events that will be hosted from now until the final selection is done and we are also focusing on the Pacific Games."
He said they had high expectations for all national reps as they had been training for the past years.
"Their fitness and their skill level should be up to par because this is a very challenging time for them to prove themselves while playing two or three matches.
"It's a very demanding schedule for them and we expect them to pull through with not much problem.
"We have Shailesh Pala, Tony Sigabalavu and Fonmanu Rigamoto who will be giving good competition."
Children, Rotary club clean-up
SERAFINA SILAITOGA - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
THE national week-long climate change celebrations have included a clean-up program in Savusavu, spearheaded by children and the Savusavu Rotary Club.
Club president Violet Williams said about 30 children and their parents have joined the community program by cleaning the beach side areas near town.
"The children are from the Naivita New Life church and we have also used this program to educate them about littering and its effects in the environment," she said.
Great news for children in Savusavu and neighboring communities
Fiji Kids to Benefit
By Lena Reece fijivillage.com
Children in Savusavu and neighboring communities now have access to better health facilities after the opening of the refurbished ANZ Children’s ward at the Savusavu Hospital.
While officially opening the newly refurbished Children’s ward, Minister for Health Rosy Akbar says the $11,000 project is a timely assistance as the children’s ward is one of the busiest wards at Savusavu Hospital.
The Health minister also highlighted that the Savusavu Hospital that was built way back in 1967 caters for a geographical capacity of over 35,055 people.
Akbar adds that on a daily basis the hospital attends to over 150 patients and the Children's ward contains 8 beds.
She had acknowledged the ANZ team for helping improve health services not just in Savusavu but also in Suva through the newly refurbished ANZ ward.
Akbar says the partnership with ANZ serves as a great inspiration that public private partnership has great potentials to unleash new opportunities to deliver efficient and sustainable health services, for the Fijian people.
Albert Miller Junior to represent Savusavu in tonight’s Fiji Games Athletics meet
By Save Waqa and Jack Charters - fijivillage.com
Albert Miller Junior will be out to represent Savusavu in tonight’s Fiji Games Athletics meet at the ANZ Stadium.
Miller will be taking part in the decathlon in 11 events, the 100 meters, Pole vault, 400 meters, shot put, discus, high jump, javelin, 1500m and the 4x100m relay.
Miller says that he will use this meet as a training ground for the upcoming Mini Games in Vanuatu.
Meawhile more then 50 athletes from 24 districts around the country will be participating at this year’s Fiji Games.
The other top athletes who will be participating in the Fiji Games include Aaron Powell and Sailosi Tubuilagi for Suva and Samu Railoa for Nadi
Triple Jump champion Eugene Vollmer will also take part in this year’s Fiji Games.
The Fiji Games Athletics meet is expected to begin at 6 tonight.
Ni Sa Bula Vinaka Supporters of Animals Fiji, Animal Lovers and Clients in Savusavu and nearby villages!
Thanks to your help and contribution, we have once again successfully concluded our Animals Fiji Outreach August Clinic. Thank you all for your continued support and donations.
Please find the following important points discussed in this month's e- broadcast:
Schedule and contacts
Animals Fiji Savusavu- based Outreach clinic upgrades
Full- time veterinary officer for Taveuni applications welcome
Banning Paraquat Online petition
SR12- Yearly heartworm prevention Injection
How you can help us
Schedule and contacts
Our schedule spans from Monday to Saturday every month as follows:
1st full week of the month – Savusavu
2nd full week – Labasa
3rd full week – Taveuni
Due to the movement of our team and other resources, this is an APPOINTMENT ONLY clinic unless a life or death emergency.
Our next clinic will be held from the 4th to the 9th of September, 2017.
To make an appointment, enquire of exact dates of our next clinics/venues or obtain any advice over the phone whilst we are away, kindly call 998-6253, between the hours of 8am and 5pm- Monday to Saturday. This is the ONLY Animals Fiji Outreach Line. The line is still open to life or death emergency calls after hours. Please refrain from calling to enquire of clinic dates and appointments after hours as we try to keep this line free for emergencies.
Animals Fiji Savusavu Outreach Clinic upgrades
Dear supporters, clients, sponsors and animal lovers, please be informed that our outreach clinics are now able to accept the credit cards MasterCard and VISA and local bank debit cards except for Bred bank and Bank of Baroda thanks to our new wireless Westpac EFTPOS machine.
Our little clinic also has better, brighter tube lights, a table lamp to help Dr Alex and Dr Rita see better during surgeries and are in the process of ordering paint for our floors.
Little by little, thanks to your commitment and support, Animals Fiji is improving its facilities to help our Northern Outreach Veterinarians! If you would like to help contribute to the running of our clinic, do not hesitate to send us an email. We kindly accept our supporters willingness to participate. Vinaka vaka levu to everyone who has contributed and thank you in advance for those who would love to help us! Looking forward to hearing from you!
Full- time veterinary officer for Taveuni applications welcome
Thank you very much to everyone who has shared our advertisement with their contacts far and wide and to everyone that has sent in their applications/expressed interest! We are still accepting applications so it isn’t too late to share our advertisement attached in this email and apply now! Animals Fiji is still conducting interviews for a full- time veterinarian for our other outreach location on Taveuni Island. For a detailed description and more information CLICK HERE.
Animals Fiji Ban Paraquat in Fiji online petition
Above is the link to our ongoing online petition. Again, we have had so many cases of loved animals brought into our clinic that needed to be put down because of paraquat poisoning. There is NO ANTIDOTE for paraquat. The outcome for our furry friends that have ingested this herbicide is almost always death.
If you have a minute to spare, please sign our petition to the Government of Fiji to ban Paraquat. We need 10,000 signatures before we are able to submit our letter to the Government of Fiji! We need your voice!
SR12 Yearly Heartworm Prevention Injection
Each year around October, Animals Fiji veterinarians administer SR-12 heartworm prevention injections.
Heartworm larvae are spread by mosquitoes. The larvae grow into foot- long adult worms and occupy the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels causing heart failure and lung disease. Heartworm is FATAL and VERY expensive to treat. Heartworms are different from gastrointestinal worms. Most de- worming tablets do not cover for heartworms.
More information on the fatal disease here: https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm-basics
If you answer YES to both questions below, you and your dog are eligible to sign up for the SR- 12 yearly heartworm prevention should you wish to do so.
-Have you tested your dog for heartworms and is your dog heartworm negative?
(If you have not, you must do this at our Outreach clinic- please send us an email or give us a ring to make an appointment)
-Have you been giving your dog monthly heartworm prevention?
(Again, if you miss a dose of heartworm prevention, you put your pet at risk. You must test your dog for heartworm and ensure they are negative before starting the SR- 12 preventative)
If you are interested in SR- 12 for your pet, please send us an email on: email@example.com with your details (name, contact and address), your dogs weight, age, and usual heartworm prevention method by the 10th of September. We will require a 50% deposit for your dog's heartworm injection which we will calculate by the weights provided/on file.
How you can help
As a registered Fiji charity operating the only ongoing animal welfare/ veterinary services in the Northern Division, Animals Fiji (operated by West Charity Trust Society – Fiji Charity Reg # 889/ in the United States of America, 501 (c)(3) registration, EIN # 81-5449045/ AND in Australia, NSW Charitable Fundraising Authority, CFN/22572) services are either at – cost price or heavily subsidized. For example, a desex cost Animals Fiji on average between $150- $200, and we subsidize this to a fee of $25 for those who cannot afford the cost of surgery. We are able to do this only because of private donations — both monetary or in-kind.
Animals Fiji Northern Outreach travels to 3 different locations every month and have a team of people dedicated to the care of animals. These costs are not charged to our clients in an effort to be accessible to more people and their animals.
If you would like to help us keep our services sustainable please donate and kindly contact us should you have ideas in helping us raise funds to continue to keep our services in the Northern Division and Taveuni. Please visit our website to find out how you can give monetary donations, visit http://www.animalsfiji.org/donate
If you would like to assist our cause through donations in-kind, we would be sincerely grateful for the following as we are always in need of them:
• Old towels or sheets
• Newspapers or Paper Towels
• Washing powder
• Laundry baskets with lids
• Cleaning products
• Paper towels
• Garbage bags
• For a full-list visit our wish list page on our website: http://www.animalsfiji.org/donationwishlist
Your donations ensure our services are sustainable! Please donate generously.
Vinaka and kind regards,
Mob: 9986 253
Nadi Clinic - Ph: (+679) 670-1012 | Mob: (+679) 9936-647 / 9982-026
Northern Outreach Clinics (Savusavu, Labasa, Taveuni) - Mob: (+679) 998-6253
Lautoka Outreach Clinic - Mob: (+679) 998-2026
Postal Address - PO Box 11035, Nadi Airport, Fiji
Web - www.animalsfiji.org
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/animalsfiji
FJ: Animals Fiji (operated by West Charity Trust Society), Fiji Charity Reg. # 889 / TIN # 60-34707-0-3.
USA: Animals Fiji – USA, 501 (c)(3) registration, EIN # 81-5449045.
AU: Animals Fiji, NSW Charitable Fundraising Authority, CFN/22572.
HELP US TO BAN PARAQUAT!!!
Animals Fiji has created a petition to ban the use of Paraquat in Fiji!
We see so many dogs that have been intentional baited or accidentally ingested paraquat and it is a slow and painful death for them. Paraquat is also toxic to children!
Please visit: https://www.change.org/p/animals-fiji-ban-paraquat-in-fiji-hundreds-of-dogs-already-killed (or go to www.change.org and search paraquat) to sign the petition to show your support for the dogs that do not have a voice!
As of 24 August we currently have 5,582 signatures. Our goal is 10,000!
Domestic airlines happy with new facilities
Elenoa Turagaiviu - Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
08:30 27 August, 2017
The two domestic airlines are happy with the installation of night landing lights at the Waiqele Airport in Labasa.
From next week, work on the installation of the landing lights will commence.
Owner of Northern Air Captain Rainjesh San says this will see more connectivity between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
“It’s not a small investment. It’s a big investment. It’s a pride of Vanua Levu and it’s great. It’s good to see that now we are connect to Viti Levu even at night.”
Fiji Link General Manager Athil Narayan says the installation of the landing lights will give them a lot more flight flexibility and will be an opportunity for the airline to increase their flights to Labasa.
“We will eventually look at that, yes! It also ties in with our twin otter acquisition, so we are looking at 30 per cent more capacity into Taveuni and Savusavu. So, this really fits in well to build more connectivity to the North.”
The Labasa runway is 1,024 meters in length and the Installation of the lights is expected take three months.
The project costs a little over $400,000.
$65 Fare To The North
Shratika Naidu, Suva - Fiji Sun online
August 27, 2017
One-third of all seats on all Fiji Link flights between Suva and Labasa and Labasa and Suva are selling at $65.
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the announcement during the Vodafone Festival of the Friendly North at Subrail Park in Labasa on Friday night.
“The $65 fare is excellent news for the people of Labasa and Vanua Levu as a whole,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“These low fares will allow more Fijians in Labasa and the capital visit each other more frequently.
“Labasa students will find it easier to get to and from their tertiary institutions in the Central Division.
“A lot more people, including tourists, will now fly from Suva to Labasa and also travel onward to other destinations like Savusavu.
“I would like to thank Fiji Link for introducing lower fares on its flights.
“The multiplier effect of this announcement is quite significant and complements the Fijian Government’s efforts to further spur economic development and growth in the North.
“The low fares, upgrading of Waiqele Airport’s terminal and installation of night lights on the runway, will boost commercial activity and business opportunities.
“Everyone in the North stand to benefit directly through more affordable travel options and investment in public infrastructure.”
Fiji Link General Manager Athil Narayan explained: “The low fares came about as a result of regular feedback and engagement with communities in the North.
“We have upgraded the ATR fleet operating between Labasa, Suva and Nadi with modern, comfortable and extremely reliable aircraft.
“The time is now right to introduce lower fares between two of our biggest domestic ports, making it easier for Fijians to get around and stay connected.”
These fares are now on sale and will be available until Fiji Link completes a review to add more capacity into Labasa.
Fares increase to higher fare buckets once the $65 seats are sold out on respective flights.
Fiji Link flies its ATR aircraft three times daily Suva-Labasa-Suva.
Luisa Qiolevu - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Saturday, August 26, 2017
THE international submarine fibre cable from Samoa is expected to be installed early next year, says Telecommunications Fiji Ltd general manager corporate services Samuela Vadei.
He said this during the Vodafone Friendly North Carnival's global night event on Thursday.
"Once it reaches Fiji there will be a cable to Savusavu to provide better services to the people of the North," he said.
Mr Vadei said it had always been their aim to make telecommunications available to as many people as possible and the Northern Division as well.
"We have worked to increase our coverage throughout the country by deploying satellite technologies that can be used in most remote areas to provide information and communications technology (ICT) service," he said.
"We also strive to provide communication solutions that meet the needs of our customers both in the residential and business sector."
Mr Vadei said TFL had been very instrumental in introducing new technological services into Fiji.
"Internet was developed in the 1960s, bought online commercially in the 1980s and was introduced into Fiji in 1995 by TFL and this a year after mobile services was introduced through a partnership between Vodafone our sister company we have a new international submarine fibre cable that is coming through to Fiji via Samoa and is expected to land early next year," he said.
Strategic Planning Vital As Housing Authority Prepares For New North Airport
August 24, 2017 - Fiji Sun Online
Housing Authority (HA) of Fiji chief executive officer Punit Sethi has given instructions to his officers to start planning development activities for Seaqaqa, Vanua Levu.
This is in preparation for the planned international airport that could be built near Seaqaqa.
This is Mr Sethi’s first visit to Labasa.
“I have informed my officers to start acquiring land and coordinate planning.
“We should be doing strategic thinking – meaning anticipating in advance, and then real things will happen. The impact of our project for the upcoming airport will create lot of industrial and commercial activities.
“It will become a commercial hub,” Mr Sethi said.
He gave examples of countries like Dubai and Singapore, where areas near the international airports get developed faster.
“So it would be good for people to have us anticipating the right purpose.”
Mr Sethi said they are slowly changing the working style at the Housing Authority.
“Earlier we were selling lots at affordable cost.
“Now we are going to construct houses also for Fijians.
“We have also done multi level buildings in Suva and we have planned the same thing for the Northern Division.”
Fijians would get the complete package, land and construction, Mr Sethi said.
“This will be more beneficial for the people – so they don’t have to look for alternative ways to look for construction.
This is our vision and we have started.”
Mr Sethi visited the Covata sub-division area in Labasa where the Housing Authority plans to start building later in the year.
“My team will put up this plan in their office and those who are interested can visit them.
“We have plans for Nabouwalu, Savusavu and Taveuni,” he said.
Mr Sethi is expected to be making more visits to the Northern Division as more developments are taking place.
Fiji Airways announces plans to expand and upgrade Fiji Link’s Twin Otter fleet
By Vijay Narayan - fijivillage.com
August 24, 2017
Fiji Airways has today announced plans to expand and upgrade Fiji Link’s Twin Otter fleet, allowing for increased frequencies to key domestic routes like Savusavu and Taveuni.
The airline will purchase three brand new latest model DHC‑6 Series 400 Twin Otters from manufacturer Viking Air Limited, to replace two of its existing three Series 300 aircraft.
This will increase the Twin Otter fleet to four aircraft.
Fiji Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Andre Viljoen says the investment is in line with the overall modernisation of the entire Group fleet.
He says with more aircraft, they can increase daily flights to key local destinations.
Viljoen says their capacity to Savusavu and Taveuni will grow by 30%, which will be welcome news to tourism operators in these regions.
He says this is a reflection of Fiji Airways’ commitment to the Fijian tourism industry and they will work closely with their partners in the North to increase visitor arrivals and connectivity.
Arriving in October 2017 and early 2018, the three new Twin Otter aircraft will have air‑conditioned cabins for increased customer comfort.
Their state of the art digital avionics systems and operating features will greatly enhance operational reliability and an easier transition for Fiji Link pilots to progress onto the ATR fleet.
Viljoen says the impending fleet expansion has already initiated the recruitment and training of additional local pilots, resulting in more employment opportunities for Fijians.
Flights between Nadi and Suva will increase to seven a day.
The team is also considering converting one of their current Twin Otter aircraft into a multi‑use vehicle to cater not only for additional scheduled flying, but to provide opportunities for new charter business, medical evacuation services and carriage of freight.
Attorney General, Minister for Economy and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed‑Khaiyum who was at the announcement in Nadi this morning says this investment by Fiji Link to expand its domestic fleet and increase capacity will be welcome news for the Northern residents and tourism stakeholders alike.
The ever‑versatile Twin Otter remains the aircraft of choice for Fiji Link’s domestic operations into smaller airports with short airstrips, and where airport and runway infrastructure is limited. It has the ability to land on most runway surfaces given its size, weight, and take‑off and landing requirements.
Fiji Link also has the option to purchase a fourth brand new Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft.
A decision on exercising this option will be made in 2018.
New Vessel to Lift Service
Siteri Sauvakacolo - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
GOUNDAR Shipping Ltd has yet again announced its latest inclusion into Fiji's shipping industry — the Lomaiviti Princess V.
The boat is called Queen of Nanaimo and was bought from Canada last week after managing director George Goundar spent millions of dollars on it in a bid to improve the local shipping industry.
This latest addition, according to bcferries.com, was built in 1964 in Victoria and is 129.97 metres long.
It has a maximum displacement of 4542 tonnes, carries more than 1500 passengers and about 90 cars.
Lomaiviti Princess V is a state-of-the-art vessel and boasts amenties such as coastal cafe, gift shop, kids zone, pet area, work/study stations, elevators and accessible washrooms.
An 18-member crew is expected to leave for Canada on September 10 to bring the new ship home.
Lomaiviti Princess V will service the Suva-Savusavu route daily.
Mr Goundar said he was also on the verge of completing talks with regards to the purchase of Lomaiviti Princess VI.
"The arrival of these two new vessels will also boost employment rate in Fiji and we are proud to be able to assist those who maybe looking for employment in the shipping industry."
The company is also expected to construct its own dry-docking facility by the end of this year.
It spends $US1.5 million ($F3.14m) taking ships to New Zealand or Papua New Guinea to be serviced.
Mr Goundar said it was important to look after the services of those in the maritime islands as they relied solely on shipping services as a means of transportation.
Residents Laud Roadworks
Luke Rawalai - The Fiji Time ONLINE
Saturday, August 19, 2017
PEOPLE living along Lesiaceva Rd in Savusavu have praised Fiji Roads Authority's move to refurbish the 3.9-kilometre road stretch in the area.
Daku tourist accommodation owner, Hans Boernke, a resident of 17 years, said the road was last refurbished during the Rabuka-led government.
Mr Boernke said the road condition had since worsened, becoming almost inaccessible in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.
"The work carried out on the road is good but the Fiji Roads Authority needs to also factor into their road works the trees that grow along the roadside because the roots created havoc when they were uprooted during TC Winston," he said.
"If this is not taken into consideration then the road will surely return to its former state within the next cyclone depending on its strength.
"Resort owners in the area are thankful to the authorities for fixing the stretch right up to Cousteau Resort."
Another resident Marama Kaiwaidau said traveling via the new road was an enjoyable experience.
Ms Kaiwaidau said busses and taxis could now access places they could not reach in the past.
Meanwhile, Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) manager North, Ryan Couchman said the project started in January with procurement of drainage pipes, followed by the replacement of 30 crossroad culverts and clearing of existing drainage channels.
"The road was reshaped with heavy machinery and a 200-millimetre layer of new road base aggregate which was placed and compacted," he said.
"Not only will the sealing improve access for tourists to the resorts, but overall improve the quality of road with improved drainage, and with the resealing, address flooding and muddy conditions that previously interfered with travel."
Naomi sails to Denmark
Maikeli Seru - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Sunday, July 30, 2017
FIJI yachting rep, Naomi Waqalevu, 20, leaves for Denmark this weekend for the World Sailing Emerging Nations Training and Development Clinic.
This is also part of preparations to the 2019 Pacific Games. Waqalevu is the national women's champion.
Fiji Yachting Association secretary Neville Koop said in Denmark, Waqalevu would train with other young sailors from around the world and then compete in the 2017 World Sailing Championships Test Event Regatta at the same venue.
"This Test event is being used to trial the regatta venue ahead of the 2018 World Sailing Championships to be held at the same venue, and to which Fiji would send two participants," he said.
"This event is part of the FYA development plan to prepare our sailors for the 2019 Pacific Games, and to hopefully qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games regatta in Japan three years from now.
"We have a strong and growing club program which has produced some high quality sailors in recent years, and with the right development they can compete successfully regionally and internationally. We want our sailors to be genuine medal contenders come 2019 Pacific Games and competing in events such as this one is critical in this goal".
In 2015 Australia participated in the Pacific Games sailing event in Port Moresby and in the future, Australia and New Zealand will compete alongside our Oceania neighbours at future Oceania championships and Pacific Games.
"This is a huge step up for our sailors —Australia and New Zealand are at the very top level in international sailing and collectively won eight medals including one gold medal each at the Rio Olympics."
As well as a grant from World Sailing, support for participation in this event has come from the Government through the sporting grants to national sporting federations, the Fiji Yachting Association, and donations from members and friends of the Savusavu Yacht Club.
Pacific Angel: Operation Sees Schools Rebuilt, People Get Medical Treatment
Charles Chambers, Lautoka - Fiji Sun online
July 25, 2017
A joint operation of military personnel from six countries and a Pacific Island group of volunteers have completed the rebuilding of five schools damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
They have also provided extensive medical care to over 4000 people in rural areas.
The operation called Pacific Angel 2017 include military personnel from the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, France and volunteers from Vanuatu spent the past two weeks carrying out their work in Ba, Tavua and Savusavu.
They were also joined by personnel from the Ministry of Health, local non-governmental organisations and civilian authorities.
Their work was praised by US Ambassador Judith Cefkin, Brigadier-General William Burks of the US Military, Commissioner Western Division Manasa Tagicakibau, and Republic of Fiji Military Forces Colonel Onisivoro Covunisaqa at the Tagitagi Sangam School in Tavua yesterday.
PACANGEL 17 is a joint and combined humanitarian assistance exercise that includes general health, dental, optometry, paediatrics, and engineering programmes, as well as subject-matter expert exchanges.
The engineering work at the schools included upgrading plumbing to meet local codes and improve hygiene, adding electrical outlets and fans, repairing roofs, installing gutters, and ensuring safety standards.
According to Ms Cefkin, PACANGEL 2017 was evidence of the strong partnership between the United States and Fiji.
“Pacific Angel is a tangible demonstration of the great things that our countries can accomplish together,” she said.
“Whether our experts are sharing expertise on the latest public health techniques, jointly providing medical care to communities in need, or working side by side to improve health centers and schools, the spirit of US-Fiji cooperation is a force for positive change here and across the Pacific.
“The United States will remain committed to supporting Fiji’s on-going efforts to boost its resilience in the face of natural disasters and the impact of climate change.”
Colonel Covunisaqa while praising the efforts of the mission said it did not only benefit the military personnel but the community at large.
“The collaboration and interoperability has brought about a very profound outcome as the impact of what had taken place over the last few days has been felt across the country in general and this community in particular,” he said.
Colonel Covunisaqa said the work done had the potential to greatly impact society and develop capacity within the ranks in the RFMF.
Edited by Rusiate Mataika
US Air Force Provides Free Medical Service, Rehabilitation Works
by Shanani Mala, Tavua - Fiji Sun online
July 18, 2017
The United States Air Force medical team is inviting those living in Tavua and surrounding areas to visit their temporary Health Centre for free medical service.
More than 100 people flocked to Tagitagi Sangam Primary School in Tavua yesterday and the team will be there until Saturday.
PACANGEL 17 consisting of 65 US Air Force personnel is in the country for a joint humanitarian assistance exercise that includes general health, dental, optometry, paediatrics, and engineering programs, as well as various subject-matter expert exchanges.
Pacific Air Force Public Affairs, Captain Samantha Morrison said the alliance consists of four different events concurrently in place in four different locations across the Pacific.
“We have just concluded one in Philippines and there are two more countries after Fiji. Pacific Angel has been going for 10 years now. It started in 2007,” Captain Morrison said.
Captain Morrison said they were excited to be in Fiji and working with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and the local non-governmental organisations to provide health services and civil engineering programmes to local communities.
“Apart from strengthening partnership between us and Fiji we are also given the opportunity to help other communities,” she said.
“We get to make friends and it’s an amazing experience. We love being in Fiji to help.”
Pacific Global Health Engagements – United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Bragdon said they were in Fiji on the invitation of the Fijians and the RFMF.
“The purpose of this exercise is to develop shared capabilities in responding to natural disasters such as cyclones, volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes – how we would work together and improve responds to the needs of the people,” Lieutenant-Colonel Bragdon said.
“The other projects includes civil engineering projects where we (US Army) rehabilitate schools and other structures.
“I extend a warm welcome and invitation to Fijians to come and be part of our medical check-up.”
This is a partnership between the US Air Force and RFMF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
A similar health check-up will be provided to people in the Northern Division at Naweni District School in Savusavu from July 21 to 22.
Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola
J. Hunter Pearls Fiji Selected As An Honouree For The JNA Awards 2017
July 17, 2017
J. Hunter Pearls from Savusavu has been selected as an Honouree in the Sustainability Initiative of the Year category of JNA (Jewelry News Asia) Awards 2017.
The JNA Awards, organised by UBM Asia, is now in its sixth year.
It is a premier awards programme that recognizes and celebrates excellence and achievement in the jewelry and gemstone industry, with a focus on the advancement of the trade in Asia.
This year, close to 100 highly qualified entries from 13 countries and regions, namely China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, were received.
The categories that drew the most number of entries were the Industry Innovation of the Year, Brand of the Year – Retail and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Letitia Chow, Chairperson of the JNA Awards and Director of Business Development – Jewelry Group at UBM Asia, remarked, “It is very motivating to see another year with record-breaking entry numbers, with first-time entrants accounting for 22 percent of the applications.
Nowadays, companies have to innovate, not only to thrive, but to survive.
The impact of innovation is evident in different aspects of a business, including marketing, supply chain management, gem and metal technologies, product development and business strategies.”
Justin Hunter said: “We are very excited and honoured to become a JNA Awards Honouree, which is a significant achievement in itself.
“We do not only view this as a prestigious endorsement of our business, but an acknowledgment of our commitment to excellence, responsible and ethical business practices, and innovation.”
The 2017 independent judging panel consists of industry experts namely:
ν Albert Cheng, Advisor to the World Gold Council, Far East (WGC)
ν James Courage, former Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International and former Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council ν Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE)
ν Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in India and the Middle East
ν Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc of Japan; and Mark Lee, Research Director of Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy (APIFS).
The full list of Honourees is available on the JNA Awards website www.JNAawards.com.
This year’s JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will be held on Thursday, 14 September, at the InterContinental Hong Kong.
SOURCE: J.HUNTERS PEARLS FIJI.
Sealing works on Lesiaceva Road in Savusavu Begin
By Lena Reece - fijivillage.com
Friday 14 July, 2017
Good news for people in Savusavu as Fiji Roads Authority contractors Fulton Hogan Highways have begun sealing works through their contractors on Lesiaceva Road in Savusavu that provides access to the community's leading resorts.
Fulton Hogan Hiways Contract Manager North Ryan Couchman says the road covers a 4km stretch from Savusavu Jetty and the project started in January with procurement of drainage pipes, followed by the replacement of 30 crossroad culverts and clearing of existing drainage channels.
He adds that not only will the sealing improve access for tourists to the resorts, but overall improve the quality of the road with improved drainage, and with the resealing, address flooding and muddy conditions that previously interfered with travel.
Couchman says Fulton Hogan is widening the road where possible and request the traveling public for their cooperation to reduce speed and drive carefully at road construction sites.
Lomaiviti Princess V To Arrive In December
Wilona Ravato - Fiji Sun Online
July 5, 2017
People of Fiji can expect more efficient and better services to the north as the new inclusion of fleet for Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL); the Lomaiviti Princess V arrives into Fiji by December this year.
Managing Director GSL, George Goundar, confirmed to Fiji Sun that the new vessel will be one of the biggest vessels in Fiji, with a capacity to cater for 1500 passengers and can load about 60 trucks.
The total cost of the new vessel he said was $3 million
He said that GSL shipping schedules would be reshuffled in December to fit in day schedules for Lomaiviti Princess V for services to the people of the north.
“We’re looking at putting two trips to Kadavu a week, we want to put a weekend trip like leaving on a Friday and coming back on a Monday morning on the Lomaiviti Princess III and Lomaiviti Princess I will do the Savusavu – Taveuni run,” he said.
“Lomaiviti Princess V will strictly do daily service to Savusavu – Taveuni leaving Suva at 10am expected to reach Savusavu at 4 pm which is just 6 to 7 hour trip. “
He said the Lomaiviti Princess V would be able to travel from Suva to Savusavu in 6 to 7 hours.
With the completion of one of GSL’s new buses they also look forward to providing the customers with a total of 15 new buses by next year.
“We’ve got the bus up and coming, we have one bus ready, there are two more underway.”
He said passengers could also expect decrease in fares for the north, during the holiday season this year as Goundar believed services should be provided although competition was tough.
“I believe in service, the north we will look at passenger’s rate coming down next year to about $20 to Savusavu or Taveuni.”
For this year he said the company would cut the fare from Taveuni to Savusavu during Christmas.
He said the company hoped to deliver the best service to its customers.
Plastic 10 Cents Tax Welcomed In North, Reduces Pollution
Josaia Ralago - Fiji Sun Online
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Pearl businessman Justin Hunter said the plastic tax will improve the condition of our environment upgrading our country to be more marketable in attracting tourists.
The Savusavu Tourism Association and Chamber of Commerce president made this comment in light of the Government’s announcement to charge 10 cents tax for every plastic bag. It comes into effect on August 1.
The tax discourages the use of plastic bags which are scattered in our environment and end up in water ways, and in the oceans causing danger to our marine life.
The announcement was made by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the 2017-2018 National Budget in Parliament on Thursday.
“Plastics are poisonous, acidic and degrades the environment and I would like to commend the Government for coming up with such an initiative,” Mr Hunter said.
Sharing similar sentiments was the Soqosoqo Vakamarama Macuata president Adi Mela Qomate.
She said this would also give an opportunity for women to earn for their families through their art.
“Not only is it environmentally friendly, this is also an opportunity for rural women to weave, sew, crochet or make bags to boost their income,” Adi Mela said.
Edited by Ranoba Baoa
Goundar Introduces Bus Services In The North
Fiji Sun SUNBIZ by Wilona Ravato
June 28, 2017
The Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) is introducing bus services to improve their service to the North.
Mr Rakesh Prasad the GSL Manager Finance and Business said the buses would transfer the passengers from Savusavu to Natuvu and Labasa and return.
“At the moment we do not have this service and our passengers are disadvantaged as they need to make their own arrangement or else have to wait for the next available bus service or other transport,” he said.
However he said customers wanting to use this service would need to pay for this additional service.
PA Lal group manager Lawrence Robert confirmed that they had received the orders for two buses from GSL.
“We have received the chassis and project starts from next week,” he said.
He said a bus cost $220,000 VIP each.
Work on the buses he said would be completed in 6- 8 weeks.
Meanwhile repair works for the Lomaiviti Princess III at Devonport Naval Base, New Zealand have been completed.
This was confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) managing director George Goundar.
According to Mr Goundar the Lomaiviti Princess III left the country on June 14 at 8am.
He said it was a four day voyage down to New Zealand. It arrived on the 18th of June at Devonport, Auckland and was on dock on June 19.
The cost for the repair works he said amounted to $3,076,950 (US$1.5m).
He said that the Lomaiviti Princess III would leave Devonport in June 30.
“It will arrive back in Fiji at July 05.”
He said the Lomaiviti Princess III had to go to Devonport for repairs because it could not be docked here in Fiji.
For the Lomaiviti Princess IV he said the parts were still coming from overseas.
He said the Lomaiviti IV ran aground last month so it went up to the Government slip way last week.
“We’ve seen the damage and we got the propeller , shaft , radar coming out of Korea .Air freighting it down to Fiji it’ll take about three weeks to come down to Fiji.
“The total cost for the Lomaiviti Princess IV is about F$200, 000.”
He said with the absence of the two vessels the GSL vessels, the Lomaiviti Princess I and II were covering their runs.
Luke Rawalai - Fiji Times ONLINE
Monday, June 26, 2017
SAVUSAVU dominated in the men's and women's optimist and laser class sailing competition at the Fiji National Sailing Championship 2017 over the weekend.
Robert Hunter won the men's optimist class followed by Paul Leca while Nelle Lenders won the same class for the women's category followed by Bulou and Angel all of Savusavu.
In the laser sailing class Savusavu lad Vili Ratulu won the men's category followed by Emanu Simpson and Scott Bennet while Naomi Waqalevu won the women's category followed by Nadya Putri and Hilani Leca.
Fiji Yachting Association secretary Neville Koop said they had started the competition on Friday with nice weather for sailing.
Mr Koop said however they managed to get half the races in clear winds adding that it was a very close race for the competitors.
"Overall we had good weather for the competition allowing us to finish off in high spirits," he said.
"We had competitors from the Suva and Vuda marina who also took part in the competitions during the past two days.
"This year we had 15 laser sailors and 14 optimist sailors but Savusavu dominated this year's competitions as always.
"We are glad to have bright sailors among us who showed their class during the two day competition."
Mr Koop said this year two young sailors would travel overseas to further their skills in sailing.
"The two sailors are Naomi Waqalevu who will be in Denmark for training and we hope she gets a chance to compete at the World Championship while Viliame Ratulu will attend the World Youth Championship in China," he said.
More private sector investment
Filipe Naigulevu - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Saturday, May 13, 2017
GOVERNMENT will continue to encourage investment in what we generally call economically-depressed areas, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
These areas, he said, included Vanua Levu and the north west of Viti Levu, Lomaiviti, Kadavu, Lau and Yasawa, which had been declared as economic zones.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum raised this while responding to a question during the 2017-2018 National Budget consultations at the Fiji National University Samabula campus yesterday.
A FNU student had asked on Government's initiatives to decentralise services to other semi-urban areas and small town areas.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Government was carrying out several projects and introducing incentives to attract private sector investment in these "economically depressed" zones.
He highlighted one Government project which would allow Vanua Levu to be connected to the Southern Cross cable, a trans-Pacific network of underground telecommunications cables that connects Australia to the West Coast of North America.
"That submarine cable carries data and telephone capacity lands here in Vatuwaqa, Fiji," he said.
"A lot of the Pacific Island countries that actually want to connect to the Southern Cross cable have to come to Fiji.
"So Samoa is actually building a cable to connect to the cable in Vatuwaqa and that cable will come between Taveuni and Vanua Levu, including the Savusavu side."
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they saw an opportunity in this to build a pipe out of that cable to land in Savusavu.
"We saw an opportunity so we borrowed about $US6 million ($F12m) from the World Bank to build a pipe out of that cable to land in Savusavu," he said.
"The moment that happens, Vanua Levu gets high speed internet.
"What that means is that we can tell businesses, you can actually set up call centres there.
"That's how we encourage people to go into those areas."
This, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, was what Government did to provide those kind of opportunities in infrastructure to attract private sector investment.
"The reason we have done that is that is obviously we want more businesses, factories, manufacturing plants and other facilities in that area," he said.
Consultations were held at the FNU campus at Samabula yesterday.
Free emergency travel
Siteri Sauvakacolo - The Fiji Times ONLINEWednesday, May 10, 2017
DIFFICULTIES in transporting emergency cases from Taveuni to Labasa and Savusavu is now a thing of the past thanks to the free emergency transport service provided by Goundar Shipping Services.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, the company has been providing free emergency services for the people of Taveuni for the past three months,
Managing director George Goundar said this service was provided 24 hours and had been of great assistance to them, particularly those who needed urgent medical assistance.
"People face hardships when they want to transport the sick across to either Labasa or Savusavu especially at night so Lomaiviti Princess IV takes them across to Natuvu where they are then transported to the two main hospitals on Vanua Levu," Mr Goundar said yesterday.
"Whenever there is an emergency case, health staff members will just phone the boat master directly and he would make sure the boat is ready to take sick patients across.
"It is not about money, people are part of my business and this is a way of giving back to them and to tell them that they can depend on Goundar Shipping and we can assist them any time.
"People sometimes see the negative part of Goundar Shipping but this is what we do apart from our normal service."
Mr Goundar said the company had also received letters of appreciation from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, as well as the Taveuni Medical Subdivision for its assistance and service to the people of Taveuni.
FRA to start work on proposed jetties
Luisa Qiolevu - The Fiji Times ONLINE
Sunday, May 07, 2017
THE Fiji Roads Authority is working on upgrading of the Savusavu Jetty after their layout plans and preliminary drawings were completed.
The upgrading works on the Savusavu Jetty is part of FRA's capital projects in the Northern Division this year.
This was confirmed by Fiji Roads Authority chief executive officer John Hutchinson yesterday.
"The existing Savusavu jetty will be upgraded in capacity to accommodate two roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessels at the same time," he said.
Mr Hutchinson said the project had been tendered out as a design and build contract.
"The preliminary drawings and layout plans of the proposed jetty are now complete and the construction work will commence later this year," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Hutchinson also confirmed a short interim repair solution had been completed for the Nabouwalu Jetty.
"The repair solutions for the Nabouwalu Jetty will involve upgrading of the existing concrete landing ramp to safely accommodate roll-on roll-off vessels," he said.
"The second phase of the construction works is to replace the existing jetty head with new roll-on roll-off ramp."
The upgrading works on the Nabouwalu Jetty is scheduled for later this year.
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