Local News

Back in history: Environmental issues

The persistent neglect of environmental issues could limit the opportunities for economic development in many Pacific Island countries, former minister for housing and urban development Tomasi Vakatora warned. Speaking at a workshop preparing for the...

PM warns millers using GPS devices

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama issued a stern warning to private sawmillers who were using GPS devices to locate pine trees outside of charted pine lease area and exploiting them for their gain. While opening the 2022 Bua Provincial Council meeting, he said the private millers would pay off a few mataqali members to cut the...

Food truck’s veilomani program is back

The Fiji Food Truck’s Veilomani Program which supported the less fortunate and supplied more than $10,000 worth of medical equipment to health facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic is back. Owner Randall Kamea says under their revamped program, a portion from every meal sold would go towards providing meals, toiletries and sanitary products for the less...

Couple charged for allegedly soliciting $230k from a woman

A couple who allegedly solicited more than $230,000 from a 60-year-old woman under the pretext of entering into a partnership to invest in properties in Fiji will be produced at the Suva Magistrates court this afternoon. According to Police, the accused persons, 40-year old David Morrison Christopher has been charged with one count of obtaining...

Australia ‘keen to listen to Pacific partners’

The newly elected Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong arrived into the country yesterday for a two-day official visit. As part of her visit, she will pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, meet government ministers and women leaders ahead of next month’s Pacific Women Leaders meeting. She will also meet with...

$525m overseas development assistance from Aussie to Pacific

Australia will increase its overseas development assistance to the Pacific by $525 million over the next four years, says newly appointed Foreign Minister Penny Wong. She said this in her keynote address at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat last night. “We will remain a critical development partner for the Pacific family in the years ahead,...

Villagers oppose project

The traditional landowners of the Vanua o Wainikeli say they are vehemently opposed to the World Wave Project in Qamea. The first round of consultations ended with heated exchanges between landowners and those who wished for the project to go ahead. Hoteliers and marine business operators in the Wainikeli District who supported the qoliqoli customary...

PR pathway for 3000

Newly appointed Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced last night a pathway for permanent residency (PR) for 3000 Pacific islanders and that seasonal workers would be allowed to bring their families. “For generations, Pacific islanders have been adding to and shaping Australian culture and we will welcome the contribution people of Pacific heritage bring to...

Global price volatility – A huge risk for government, says A-G

Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says global price volatility is a huge risk for government and Fijians need to dig into more local food instead of imports. “We don’t know how high the fuel will go up, we don’t know when the wheat pricing will stop going up,” he said during a talanoa session...

‘Force does not condone use of undue force’

Deputy Police Commissioner Itendra Nair says illicit behaviour is not institutionalised in the Fiji Police Force (FPF), and the force does not condone the use of undue force. He said the FPF stood for human rights and would continue to ensure Fijians were able to move around freely. Mr Nair made the comment in response...

‘Some political parties have breached Act’

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says “certain political parties or their leaders have breached the Financial Management Act”. At a news onference on Wednesday night where he said the breach would be reported to authorities, he also said businesses were not supposed to contribute to political parties. “It’s been brought to our attention that certain political parties...

Concerns on bias at workplace

Discrimination against workers is one of the issues highlighted by industry stakeholders in Labasa, says Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations assistant Minister Alvick Maharaj. He said this while recently opening a World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebration and workshop in Suva. Mr Maharaj said discrimination had always existed in the workplace. “It’s...

20 complete digital literacy course

Twenty women completed the Digital Literacy Essentials (MC00013) micro-credential course, aimed at providing them with better employment prospects. The training was done through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in collaboration with International Needs Fiji. Most of the participants were unemployed single mothers and aspired to start small businesses to support their livelihoods. APTC Skills...

‘Parties need to identify where they fit in society’

Political parties need to identify where they fit in Fijian society and identify which spectrum of democracy they stand for, says former Human Rights Commission director and University of Fiji vice-chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem. She made the comment during a political parties’ panel discussion on human rights last week. “The first thing to do for...

What’s happening today!

Bula vinaka everyone. Here is another edition of some basic information you may need to know for today. First, here is your weather forecast for today: Weather A trough of low pressure lies slow moving over the group. Another trough is expected to move over the group from later tomorrow. Associated cloud and showers affects...

26th May

Lala Harman – Eyes masi business

Lala Harman understands hardship like the back of her hand. But she is not letting her painful past define her and her future. She was distraught when her husband died in 2007 and she was faced with the reality that she had to look after her seven children on her own. “I didn’t know what...

Singh’s inspirational musical journey

The hypnotising tones, tunes and rhythms of Hindi religious music known as bhajan have always fascinated Ajesh Singh. Even as a kid growing up, while others were easily swayed by the popular songs out of ’70s and ’80s Bollywood, nothing quite resonated with him as bhajan. He said listening to and memorising lyrics of the...

Back in history: Life at 116 years

Not many people in this world are blessed with long life, but a tiny fraction of this world’s population is blessed with just that. According to a The Fiji Times article on March 9, 1993, there appeared to be a man from Cakaudrove who celebrated his 116th birthday a month before the original article ran...

Probe underway into death of woman who jumped off building

Police are investigating the death of a woman believed to have died after jumping off a building at the Lautoka Hospital last weekend. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro says the woman in her 20s was a patient who was admitted on the third floor of the Lautoka Hospital. Ms Naisoro alleged the woman had jumped out...

Court to deliver ruling on notice

The High Court in Suva will deliver a ruling on notice following the filing of an application of discovery in a defamation case filed by Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum against the Fiji Labour Party (FLP). The FLP made the application seeking discovery of documents. The civil action was brought against...

A-G: Ask Australia and China

The Fiji Times was told to ask Australia and China whether the arrival of both countries’ Foreign Ministers was planned or a coincidence. Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this at a press conference last night when he was asked whether the arrival today of newly appointed Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang...

One-off $100, $50 payments

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced two initiatives yesterday — a one-off $100 payment for unemployed people on Vanua Levu who were 18 years and older, and a one-off $50 payment for all social welfare beneficiaries. At a media conference last night, he said unemployed people 18 years and over living on Vanua Levu could apply for...

Domestic violence survivor graduates from centre

Domestic violence survivor Salata Laqere graduated with a certificate in culinary arts at the Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre yesterday. The daughter of a Bua farmer said it was a huge achievement for her personally, after suffering physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her former husband and his family for six years. Ms...

$8m asphalt plant

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama officiated at the opening of an $8 million Higgins asphalt plant at Laucala Beach, Suva, yesterday. He said the plant would play a very concrete role in the Fiji Roads Authority transportation strategy. “That is to make our communities more liveable, our societies more connected and our economy more inclusive,” the...

Housing Ministry refunds $66k

The Housing and Community Development Ministry yesterday paid out in excess of $66,000 to Fijians who applied for a refund for the money they had paid to the People’s Community Network (PCN) for Lagilagi Housing Units in Jittu Estate, Suva. The refunds were paid through the Fijian Government initiative announced in the 2021/2022 Revised National...

‘It’s all about developing next generation of artists’

Unsigned singers and songwriters have until June 14 to enter the Domo Vou Talei competition and go into the running to win $5000, courtesy of The Fiji Times. The original song contest is an initiative of the Australian High Commission and the 10 finalists will get the opportunity to showcase their musical masterpieces at the...

Minister Wong to arrive today

Newly appointed Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong arrives into the country today. In a statement issued yesterday, she said her trip to Fiji was to “strengthen our Vuvale partnership and to discuss how we can best secure our region and help build a stronger Pacific family”. “The visit, in my first week as Foreign Minister,...

Usamate: Water issues stem from mismatch between need, availability

Infrastructure Minister Jone Usamate says water issues faced by Suva residents stem from a mismatch in the amount of water needed and amount of water available. Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, he said the Water Authority of Fiji had implemented measures to address the issue. “As you know, one of the biggest problems that we...

Former CEO on water issues

Former Water Authority of Fiji CEO Opetaia Ravai claims the disbanding of critical departments, lack of resources and poor planning has resulted in recurring water issues. During an interview at a political party rally at Villa Maria settlement, Suva, on Monday night, he said the utility provider needed the “right experienced people” and should be...

Fijian Elections Office team meets Facebook executives ahead of 2022 General Election

Facebook and the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) will soon collaborate to organise training for all political parties on using the social media platform and its features more effectively in the 2022 General Election. This was reached at a meeting between Meta – the owners of Facebook and the Supervisor of Elections, Manager Public Relations, the...

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