To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

Welcome to the TARD Homepage...{Sore lea tale oe uri fula lamu mai la biu ne'e TARD}...TARD is To'abaita's rural voice on the web

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tovua blames Solomons gov't decision to terminate National Peace Council for recent violence in Guadalcanal

A prominent Solomon Islands leader, Paul Tovua has blamed the early termination of the National Peace Council (NPC) for the recent spate of criminal activities in some parts of Guadalcanal.

Mr Tovua was the Chairman of the National Peace Council which was prematurely terminated in 2006.

He says the termination of the Peace Council was a very bad move by the government.

Mr Tovua said this after returning from South Guadalcanal with the executive members of the Regional Assistance Mission to talk to villagers following recent disturbances there.

Source: Pacific Beat

Australia's Pacific guest worker scheme is being delayed

Australia's guest worker scheme involving Vanuatu, Tonga, PNG and Kiribati is unlikely to be up and running before the year's end.

That's because the Australian government is yet to finalise how the visas will be allocated and also which potential employers may qualify to employ Pacific workers.

The three year trial program which is to be reviewed 18 months after it starts is designed to overcome the worker shortage in Australia's horticultural sector.

Source: Pacific Beat


If the Solomon Islands Futsal team needed any further reminding that they had reached the big time, then it came early on the weekend when four police officers on motorcycles arrived at their hotel to accompany the team bus from Goiania to Brasilia.

Report from Brazil say the road through Goiania's city centre was cleared by the officers, who were constantly buzzing around the bus and blocking other vehicles from hindering the team's path.

For the humble boys from Honiara – such was their excitement about participating in the FIFA Futsal World Cup that they would have gladly walked to Brasilia.

However, the report says it was a real thrill to have been given such treatment.

Meanwhile, the three Kurukuru players nursing injuries, Elliot Ragomo, Jenan Kapu and Junior Kogua have been assessed by a medical officer and given the all-clear to play for Kurukuru in their first game against Cuba this week.

Further light training sessions are taking place and will give coach Victor Wai'ia a further opportunity to assess the squad and make a final selection of the team.

The report from Brazil says all 14 Kurukuru players are proud to represent their country and are determined to raise the profile of Solomon Islands through a strong showing at the World Cup.


Solomon Kurukuru ready to romp the FIFA Futsal World Cup in opener with Cuba

The FIFA Futsal World Cup - Brazil 2008 kicks-off in less than 24 hours and the Solomon Islands Kurukuru are ready to soar.

The people of the Solomon Islands will be able to enjoy every kick off the ball in Brasilia thanks to Oceania Football Confederation, FIFA, One News Television (Solomon Islands) and their affiliated broadcast partners from Australia and Fiji.

One News Television (Solomon Islands) broadcast the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup - Marseille 2008 in June this year and company CEO Dorothy Wickham expressed her thanks to FIFA and OFC for helping bring futsal to television screens across the Solomon Islands.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Solomon Islands to see their stars in action on the world stage at a FIFA event," Wickham said.

In Kurukuru team news, it appears the talismanic Eliot Ragomo will be passed fit to play in the FIFA Futsal World Cup opener against Cuba.

Ragomo was treated for an ankle injury during the team's build-up preparations and was considered doubtful.

About Cuba
Cuba has appeared at three FIFA Futsal World Cup tournaments and played nine matches and has yet to record a single victory. Despite this, Cuba's experience at the finals of FIFA Futsal events is likely to hold them in good stead for the opening match against Solomon Islands with Eduardo Morales and Fernando Chapman likely dangermen for the young Kurukuru.

Cuba finished runners-up in the CONCACAF Futsal Championship 2008 with Morales finishing as the top goalscorer.

The present Cuban squad has been together for five years and is eager to make an impact at the FIFA Futsal World Cup and record its first ever victory.

Source: OFC

Friday, September 26, 2008

Results for Solomon bye-elections known

After much wait for the counting process for the two bye-elections in Solomon Islands, the winners are now determined.

Silas Milikada, a private businessman won the East Honiara by-election by a landslide victory of more than 2,000 votes ahead of the runner up. He polled 3,435 votes. His closest rival, Dr George Manimu, came second with 1,072 votes. Edward Ronia clinched the third place with 986 votes.

Meanwhile for Lau/Baelelea Constituency, Walter Folotalu has been the winner. Mr Folotalu was a former Member of Parliament for Baegu-Asifola, and was the first MP for that Constituency eight years ago.

Source: Solomon Star

Thursday, September 25, 2008


BRASILIA -Solomon Islands Kurukuru face an anxious wait as three of their star players battle with injury just five days out from the start of the FIFA Futsal World Cup - Brazil 2008.

Elliot Ragomo, Jenan Kagu and Junior Kogua received treatment for ankle injuries at Goias Sports Club after injuring themselves in warm-up matches and training.

The loss of a player like Elliot Ragomo would be a hammer-blow for the Solomon Islands who face Cuba in Match 2 of the tournament on 30 September in Brasilia.

Goias Sports Club physiotherapist has put Ragomo, Kagu and Kogua through a rigourous pool programme to ensure the three players will be available for selection for the opening match.

"We are taking a cautious approach to the three players at the moment, we do not want to take any unnecessary risks. We've taken the three players out of the training environment and will work them through a controlled rehabilitation programme," a team spokesman said in a brief statement today.

Solomon Islands Kurukuru squad is still training twice a day and will leave Goiania tomorrow for Brasilia where the team will be based.

Solomon Islands will face Cuba, Brazil, Japan and Russia in Group A of the FIFA Futsal World Cup - Brazil 2008.


Dr. Manimu Demands Halt to Counting

The East Honiara bye-election has taken an unusual turn late yesterday afternoon with Dr George Manimu, one of the twenty six candidates, demanding that the counting be stopped.

The counting had to be temporarily stopped after Dr. Manimu expressed dissatisfaction while observing counting at the polling station.

Dr. Manimu, currently trailing Milikada in second place, called on the returning officer, Mr. Cornelius Tariga from the Electoral Commission office, to halt further counting as their appears to be irregularities.

Dr. Manimu questioned how it was possible for Milikada to lead all polling stations, even in areas where he had little support.

Dr. Manimu then stormed out of the room stating that he will be signing a petition against the counting of the ballot boxes.

Solomon Times understand that a dialogue with the Electoral Commissioner together with Dr. Manimu will occur sometime today.

Meanwhile the result of the election is yet to be known.

SOURCE: Solomon Times

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Latest updates on the counting progress for Solomon bye-elections

As of now 5pm Solomon Time, none of the two awaited results for the bye-elections held for East Honiara and Lau/Baelelea Constituencies is announced.

It is expected that results for East Honiara may be declared later tonight whilst for Lau/Baelelea Constituency it is expected for tomorrow.

For East Honiara Constituency, out of 16 ballot boxes counted from around 37 boxes, Silas Milikada was the leader. That was at 12midday today but further details after that is not known at this stage.

For Lau/Baelelea Constituency with counting going on at Malu'u Station at this hour, only around 6 polling stations had been completed. Due to some minor alcohol related incidents the results are expected to be declared sometimes tomorrow.

Some Solomons voters say they were denied the right to vote

Voting has been completed in two Solomon Islands by-elections in the presence of local and Regional Assistance Mission police.

26-candidates are standing for the Honiara seat to replace Charles Dausabea, who has been jailed for fraud, while 17 candidates are contesting the Lau/Baelelea seat in Malaita following the death of Samuel Ragosomani.

Reports from Honiara indicates that though the voter turn out is believed to be much higher than the 26-percent turn out in the 2006 general election, many did not get to cast their vote.

It is believed a number of polling stations reported that a good number of voters did not vote because others had voted in their name.

The situation was made worse because there was no election in the other two Honiara constituencies resulting in non registered voters taking advantage of the by-election.

At one polling station more than 50-voters were turned back because it was already five o’clock.

Angry voters demanded they be allowed to cast their vote because, they said, they were already in the queue well before the closing time but the election officials stood by their decision fearing a High Court ruling made in 1993.

The petition was in reference to voting being allowed to continue up to seven o’clock in the evening at a Honiara polling station because many voters were still queuing up to cast votes.

Counting in the Honiara constituency started last night and results are expected this afternoon.

Counting in Lau/Baelelea is expected to begin this morning at Malu'u.

Source: RNZI

Australian aid to the Pacific Islands is not helping Melanesia achieve its development aspirations: New Lowy Report

Australian development assistance has not been effective in helping Pacific Island countries and particularly Melanesia meet their development aspirations or make progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This was the key message from a new report by the Australia-based Lowy Institute for International Policy published this month, September 2008.

The report titled "Beyond Good Governance: Shifting the Paradigm for Australian Aid to the Pacific Islands Region" says that the overwhelming focus of Australian government-to-government assistance on strengthening public sector institutions and improving governance does little to stimulate vital private sector participation in Pacific Islands.

According to the Lowy Institute Program Director, Jenny Howard-Jones, new approaches are required if Australia is to make better use of its increase in Official Development Assistance to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income by 2015.

Jones says Australia needs to employ a different mix of policy tools if it is to help Pacific Island countries achieve real development outcomes.

"In particular, Australia should:
• Balance expenditure of aid on public sector strengthening with assistance to the productive sectors of Pacific Island economies;
• Leverage global corporate interest in development through the establishment of new public-private alliances to help generate better business outcomes in the Pacific;
• Help increase the use of micro-credit facilities;
• Invest in public-private partnerships with Pacific Island governments and private investors to improve the quality of infrastructure and service delivery; and
• Introduce an output-based approach to service delivery programs to increase the coverage and quality of basic services."

Source: Lowy Institute

Archbishop Tutu cancels trip to Solomon Islands to help establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission

South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu is unavailable to travel to Solomon Islands to help establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Solomon Islands government invited Archbishop Tutu to help it with the Commission which is due to start in February next year.

Archbishop Tutu's Personal Assistant, Lavinia Browne has told Radio Australia that the Archbishop has not accepted the invitation because of scheduling difficulties.

Source: Radio Australia

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fijian judge shares his experience in the Solomons

By Mary Rauto

Sekove Naqiolevu says Fiji could learn a lot from the Solomon Islands experience. The former Suva magistrate is one of two judges in Honiara.

"We live in a global village and need each other," he said.

"The Solomon Islands is a success in regional co-operation. We celebrated five years, two weeks ago and all the speeches made emphasised the regional component of the mission."

Mr Naqiolevu went to work for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) five years ago.

After two years, he was appointed a judge and said his term in the Solomon Islands judiciary would end in March and the experience has been fulfilling.

"It's been quite interesting in terms of development and for people who have being serving there.

"Generally, life has changed a lot in the past five years. Economically, things are improving and moving ahead. There has been a dramatic change.

"I certainly enjoyed it there and should return sometime in April."

Mr Naqiolevu said on his return to Fiji, he would spend time relaxing.

"I'll take a break, take it easy for awhile. I have not really contemplated it but I might even write a book."

Mr Naqiolevu was in Fiji two weeks ago for his son's graduation from the University of the South Pacific.

Source: Fiji Times

Voters go to the polls today for Lau/Baelelea and East Honiara bye-elections

Forty-five thousand voters are expected to vote in two bye-elections which kicked off this morning in Honiara and Malaita.

Thirty thousand registered voters are in the East Honiara constituency while 15-thousand registered voters are in the Lau Baelelea constituency.

Chief Electoral officer, John Babalu says polling in both constituencies is expected to open at seven o'clock this morning and close at five o'clock in the afternoon.

Mr Babalu says there will be 37 polling stations in East Honiara while 29 polling stations are set up for voters in the Lau Baelelea constituency.

Mr Babalu says counting of votes in the East Honiara constituency is expected to start about nine o'clock tonight and is expected to continue all night before the results are declared.

He says counting will take place at the Honiara City Council Education office.

Mr Babalu says counting of votes in the Lau Baelelea constituency will start tomorrow, Wednesday September 24th at Malu'u station.

Source: SIBC

Monday, September 22, 2008

East West Center launches US-South Pacific Scholarship Program 2008

The United States-South Pacific Scholarship Program has been launched by the East West Center in Hawaii inviting applications from Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu for studies in the US by August 2009.

The United States-South Pacific Scholarship Program, authorized by the U.S. Congress and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program that provides opportunities for degree study at U.S. institutions of higher education.

The scholarship program will include a summer internship in Washington, D.C. as well as a four to five week community service project in the student’s home country. The U.S.-South Pacific Scholarship Program is administered by the East-West Center on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Eligible fields of Study include Standard liberal arts curriculum and other selected fields, with priority given to agriculture, business, computer science, education, environmental studies, journalism, political science, public administration, and related fields. Support is not available for professional degree programs such as medicine (M.D.), masters in business administration (MBA), or law (J.D.).

Up to five (5) scholarships will be available for studies to begin in August 2009.

Applicants must have completed the Sixth Form at the time of application. Individuals who have completed some undergraduate level courses but have not obtained the equivalent of a U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree are also eligible. Individuals who have completed a three-year baccalaureate program may apply for a one-year bridging program, which, upon completion, allows for application to a master’s degree program. Some master’s programs may not require the bridging year, depending on prior study and academic performance during the first year.

Preference may also be given to candidates who have not had extensive opportunities for study at educational institutions outside the Pacific Islands region.

All application documents contained in the application packet may be found at the Internet site:

Solomon students at USP Laucala elect new executive

Solomon Islands students at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji have elected a new executive over the weekend.

The new elected Solomon Islands Student Association (SISA) president is Eric Saueha who polled 189 votes, followed by Ashley Jerome Asipara with 123 votes and Daniel Fenua with 100 votes.

SISA's new vice president is Jimmy Soalakana who collected 180 votes ahead of Walter Maesugea (93 votes), Malesi Mani (93 votes), and Jones Otafalu (46 votes).

The Secretary's role was filled by Nelson Naoapu with 186 votes followed by Rexson Ramofafia (133 votes) and Rex Akomae (93 votes). The new treasurer is Denson Denni polling 218 votes ahead of Ms Naesol Pamela who collected 194 votes.

The new SISA executive will look after the welfare of USP Laucala students from 2008 until late 2009 when there will be another election.

Friday, September 19, 2008

CBSI's new Governor is a To'abaitan by roots

As Solomon Islands welcomed the appointment of Mr Denton Hehenoro Rarawa to be the new governor of the nation's central bank, TARD is pleased to expose his To'abaita roots.

A lot of fellow To'abaitans do not know that Denton Rarawa is a To'abaitan.

It started with a To'abaita gentleman by the name of 'Siufiabiu' who originated from 'U'ua' and married to a woman in Wes Areare after working in the plantations near Su'u. After marriage Siufiabiu moved to settle at Marau and had a son by the name of 'Manepuria' who was married to a woman from the mainland Guadalcanal (Poposa) and had Denton Rarawa and Samson Tahuniara (SICHE Agriculture Teacher) with one sister.

In 2006, Samson attended a "family Tree" at Barafau Village(Suilifia's Village) in the To'abaita region.

Therefore, TARD would like to congratulate Mr Denton Rarawa for his new appointment as the Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.

CBSI has New Governor

The Government has formally appointed Mr. Denton Hehenoro Rarawa as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI).

Mr Rarawa has been appointed as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands by the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena for a term of five (5) years, effective from 22nd August 2008.

Mr. Rarawa's appointment was made on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, Snyder Rini after consultations with the Cabinet. Mr. Rarawa, 48 years old, hails from Poposa village of Marau Sound in Guadalcanal.

He holds a Master of Science Degree in International Economics, Banking and Finance from Cardiff Business School, University of Wales, Britain and a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Administration from the Australian National University.

He also holds a Bachelor of Economics Degree from the University of Papua New Guinea. In addition, Mr. Rarawa has received specialized training in central banking, macroeconomic modelling, business planning and financial programming at various overseas financial institutions.

Mr. Rarawa first joined the Central Bank as a Research Officer in 1983. He was then promoted to Assistant Manager, Economics Department in 1988 and further promoted to Manager, Economic Department in 1991.

Mr. Rarawa was appointed the Deputy Governor in 1998 and had served in the position for the last 10 years.He has served as the Deputy Chairman of ICSI Board and the Solomon Airlines Board and has been a member of numerous State-Owned-Enterprises Boards and Committees.

Mr. Rarawa replaces Mr. Rick N Houenipwela who left the Bank after serving CBSI for more than 25 years.

SOURCE: Solomon Times

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The government has a new Education and Human Resources Minister.

He is member of Parliament for Langalanga Constituency in Malaita Province, Mathew Wale.

The Office of the Prime Minister says the former Education Minister, Job Tausinga is now the new Forest Minister.

The Forests Ministerial post was last held by MP for Savo-Russells, Sir Allan Kemakeza, who is now serving time in prison after the courts convicted him of various offences.Mr Wale was sworn-in this morning.


Kurukuru Play Strong in Another Close Defeat

Kurukuru did themselves proud today narrowly losing 3–4 to Goias Futsal Club in Goiana, Brazil.

It was their second to last practice match before they kick off the FIFA Futsal World Cup against Cuba on September 30 and many positives can be taken out of the performance.

Solomon Islands got off to a perfect start in the opening minute after captain Elliot Ragomo received the ball in the back half of the court and then evaded all defenders before rocketing a shot past the goalkeeper.

It was a superb individual effort and made a statement to the professional Goias squad that the boys from the pacific would be no easy-beats.

Kurukuru continued to take the game up to Goias and established a two-goal lead after Stanley Puriana received the ball close to goal from James Egeta and managed to find room enough to score.

Solomons goalkeeper Junior Lioka was at his best throughout the half, frustrating Goias’ attacking raids with excellent anticipation and willingness to put his body on the line to protect his goal.

Unfortunately for Kukukuru he was unable to stop a close-range shot from Goias late in the half that got the home side back in the game.

The goal eventuated after two Kurukuru players substituted themselves while Goias had possession of the ball and the fresh Solomons boys did not have time to establish their defensive positions.

Coach Victor Wai’ia was pleased with the team’s first half performance, but hopes to see further improvement before the World Cup tournament begins.

A concern for the coach the beginning of the second half when the team began to stray from their game plan, ‘the first fifteen minutes of the second half they weren’t playing the way we trained them to play,’ said Wai’ia, ‘in the last five minutes they were doing it, but we couldn’t equalise.

One objective was to win the game, the other was to see our training implemented.’

Goias was able to wrestle the advantage away from Kurukuru when it scored two well-worked goals and gained the lead for the first time. To their credit, the Solomons boys dug deep and were able to equalise through Moffat Sikwa’ai after he latched on to a Ragomo pass.

Goias though hit back soon after and held the lead until the final whistle.‘It was great for us to play against a professional team and they were very tough, said Ragomo, ‘they moved the well around well and had a lot of patience.

For us we needed extra strength to hold our lead when we got it. We were a bit tired also after our long trip and all the training that we’ve been doing.

They were the toughest team we’ve ever played I think. We will learned a lot from the mistakes we made today and we just need the confidence to keep on going to the final whistle.’Kurukuru were originally scheduled to play Goias again on Saturday but they will instead play another local professional side on Sunday morning.

SOURCE: Solomon Star

Ganate Apologise Over Naked Pictures at The Premiers' summit

PERMANENT Secretary of the Ministry of Province Government, Fred Ganate, has apologised to premiers after pornographic pictures came on in a slide presentation he was showing them.

This happened on the first day of the Premiers’ Conference on Monday at Lata, Temotu.A Government source attending the conference said Mr Ganate apologised to the premiers on Tuesday, but denied he’s in possession of pornographic materials.

“The pictures were actually stored in a flash drive and police have already confiscated it,” the source said.Mr Ganate, who was chairman of the conference, was stood down as a result of the incident, which sparked anger at the conference.

The source said the premiers accepted Mr Ganate’s apology, but Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua, who was there to open the conference, reportedly suspended Mr Ganate.

Mr Ganate was giving the power point presentation in front of all premiers when the pornographic photos of a local female showed up.

The presentation was a recap on the communiqué reached in last year’s conference in Renbel.Mr Ganate was still in Lata yesterday and attempts to get his comments were unsuccessful.

Late police are investigating the incident.Meanwhile, the Opposition on Tuesday described the incident as “regrettably embarrassing”.

And acting Opposition leader Japhet Waipora called for a thorough investigation. Mr Waipora said officials responsible for this must face action.

“This incident reflects badly on the Minister for Provincial Government,” Mr Waipora said.“It only goes to demonstrate carelessness in the preparation for such an important leader’s meeting,” he said.

SOURCE: Solomon Star

SINUW to send three youth reps for workshop in Samoa

Youths to Represent SINUW in Regional Meet
The Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW) will be sending three youth representatives to Apia in Samoa, for a Regional workshop on Youth Policy and Labor Migration.

In an interview, Mr. Tony Kagovai, the General Secretary for SINUW stated that the workshop is based on union related matters focusing on the youths.

According to Mr. Kagovai, the youths will participate in discussions taking into consideration the International Conventions signed by Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands law.

He explains that the workshop will enable Solomon Islands to adapt policies to provide employees with decent working contracts and also taking into consideration gender equality and equal opportunities for all.

"After this conference the youth representatives will be able to participate as coordinators in Union related workshops and trainings. They will also be able to provide advice and implement their role in youth development in Solomon Islands and the Region," concludes Kagovai.

The Regional workshop will also enable the youth representatives of SICTU to network with other Unions within the Region to work towards a strengthened relationship.

Source: Solomon Times

Australia's assistance to Solomon Islands is genuine

The Acting Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Alison Duncan, has said her country has a genuine wish to be seen as a good international citizen in its assistance to Solomon Islands.

Ms Duncan was speaking before the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee which is reviewing the Solomon Islands Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, RAMSI.

She said Australia takes its international responsibility seriously.

Ms Duncan says her country has the luxury of being a reasonably wealthy country.

She says for that reason Australian citizens who vote in elections demand Australians use some of that wealth to assist neighbours and friends.

Ms Duncan says Australian don't like to sit by and watch their neighbours and friends turn into a failed state.

She says Australia does have its own interest at heart.

"It's in Australia's interest that all of our neighbours including Solomon Islands are peaceful, stable and prosperous. There are a number of reasons for that. Basically you will understand your self having lived through the days of difficulties in Bougainvillea. It wasn't good for the school Islands to have problems in Bougainville. Gangs came across the border, violence and lawlessness came across the border and that's not good the Solomon Islands."

Source: SIBC

Rise in certain commodities to impact positively on SI economy

Forecast increase production in certain commodities in Solomon Islands is expected to have positive impact in the country's economy as of this year.

Asian Development Bank's 2008 outlook for Solomon Islands predicts a two percent gross domestic product increase from the previous estimate of six percent to eight percent.

It says this is based on the a general expected increase export on log, palm oil, copra, cocoa and fish.

ADB says log export for 2009 is expected to grow by 10 percent, fish 30 percent, palm oil 40 percent, copra 30 percent as well as increases in cocoa production.

However ADB warns that despite these expected growth, high inflation rate and high fuel prices could affect the overall expected revenue.

The Bank says that external reserves have also declined from 118 million US dollars at the end of last to 104 million at July.

It represents a three months import cover compared to the previous five.

Source: SIBC

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Solomon soccer duo happy to be in PNG with Hekari FC

While many sporting Papua New Guineans will be celebrating 33 year’s of independence today, two Solomon Islands soccer players are proud of the country’s achievement.

Solomom Islands top goalkeeper Fred Hale and Under-23 striker Joachim Waroi have been brought into the country by Hekari Souths United FC to beef up their O-League campaign.

This is their first time here in PNG and both are happy to be here especially today as PNG celebrates its independence.

Waroi said: “I like PNG and I have settle in well and to be part of the independence celebrations is great.

“Solomon Islands and PNG are no different that’s why I have slotted in easily with the team.”

He said PNG was a great country and he hoped to achieve the best in his career while here in PNG and especially with Hekari.

“My aim is to help Hekari win the O-League,” he said.

The two were to celebrate the country’s independence with Hekari by playing an international friendly against visiting Solomon Islands Bonitos tomorrow. However the Bonitos pulled out of the tour last Friday leaving their preparation in tatters.

Despite that Hale said: “It’s good to be here and be part of PNG soccer.

“There is not much difference in PNG and Solomon soccer except that the pitches need to be leveled properly.

“Otherwise I am happy to be here and congratulations to PNG for its 33 years of Independence.”

Soccer has been the backbone of Solomon Islands and the locals take pride in its success in Oceania and the World. Now PNG is looking to Solomon Islands especially Hekari to bring the best out of PNG soccer.

Hale said: “We hope to bring the best to our club and to PNG as a whole. We love the opportunity and happy to be part of this country.”

Source: Post Courier

Solomons' Provincial Government PS suspended after Premiers shown pornographic slides at conference

The permanent secretary for the Ministry of Provincial Government in Solomon Islands, has been suspended after pornographic pictures were mistakenly shown in a slide presentation at the annual Premier’s conference.

The first day of the conference in Lata in Temotu Pronce ended in disaster when the slides were shown.

Radio New Zealand International correspondent says the Premiers were furious at the disrespect and carelessness shown by the incident.

Police in Lata have confiscated the equipment used during the slide show.

Source: RNZI

Monday, September 15, 2008

Premiers' conference opened in Temotu's provincial capital

The second Premiers' Conference has officially opened at the Temotu Provincial capital, Lata.

Solomon Prime Minister Derek Sikua officiated the official opening before Provincial Premiers, national and provincial governments dignitaries and other invited guests.

Speaking at the opening, Prime Minister Sikua reminded Premiers that Provincial Governments are regional governments and and not just agents of the national government.

He then reminded them of the job of the government to serve the people.

The Prime Minister said that the job of the government is not to sit down and push papers around or make speeches and ask for money.

"Your job as leaders of your Provincial Governments is to use whatever is available to you to lift up your people with the opportunities so that they can help themselves. You and your provincial executives are elected to facilitate, to clear the way for people to do things for themselves."

Other opening remarks were made by the Premier of Temotu as the host when he welcomed the Prime Minister and officials to the conference.

Mr Johnson Levela said the Province will continue to maintain its support for the national government and will take the outcome of the conference on to ensure that issues discussed do materialised.

"Temotu Province, despite the difficulties that we have gone through we are still proud to be part of Solomon Islands. And we will support your national government and all issues that are going to be dealt with, with all leaders of the Provinces. This conference will be taken as the responsibility on the part of my government and the people to assist address these issues."

Source: SIBC

West Makira Constituency office receives sports development funds from Australia

Press Release from the Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

Acting Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Alison Duncan has presented a cheque for SBD55,550 to the West Makira Constituency Development Office, to commence a sports development program for remote communities in Arosi and Hanunu, West Makira.

The program, focusing on soccer and netball, aims to develop the sporting capacity of these communities through the training of sports administrators and teachers from 3 community high schools and 12 primary schools in the area.

Skills developed through training and coaching workshops will be put to the test through an Annual Sporting League. The top teams from the competition will qualify for the West Makira Games which will be held in December.

Constituency Development Officer Paul Marita thanked the Australian High Commission for the generous support of the Australian Sporting Commission.

"This funding is a huge boost for West Makira. This project will allow people, especially youths, to be occupied naturally and socially in sports. More than 10,000 people in West Makira will directly benefit from this project" he said.

Acting Australian High Commissioner said "we are very pleased to support the West Makira Constituency in implementing a sporting program, to provide opportunities for rural communities, and especially youth, to get involved in health activities".

West Makira Constituency was one of three successful Solomon Islands' projects to receive funding under the Australian Sports Outreach Program 2008-2009.

This year, the Australian High Commission received more than 60 applications for funding under the ASOP program. The successful projects focused on increasing community participation in sports, especially in remote areas. None of the successful applicants had previously received funding from the Australian Sports Commission.

Peter Shanel battles jail term in Solomons High Court today

The imprisoned leader of the Parliamentary Independent Group and MP for Central Guadalcanal Peter Shanel, will be battling in the Solomon Islands High Court today to have his jail term reduced.

Mr Shanel was sentenced to nine months in prison last month by the Magistrate’s Court for assault and possession of a weapon in a restricted area, an offence committed when he was a minister of the crown last year.

He injured a youth with a knife in defence of his wife who was kicked by the victim during an argument.

Lawyer, Andrew Radclyffe who will be representing Mr Shanel, said the nine months jail sentence was severe and he is appealing on that ground.

Currently, three National members of parliament are serving jail terms varying from six months to 18 months.

Source: RNZI

Friday, September 12, 2008

TARD member partakes in USP graduation today

A TARD financial member, Mr Simon Wanekwailiu Mau is among the few Solomon Islanders that attended the USP graduation ceremony in Suva today.

Simon Mau comes from the West Mbaelelea region in Malaita and today is being conferred a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the South Pacific.

Mr Mau is currently teaching at the Su'u National Secondary School in West Kwaio and flew over to Suva just to attend the graduation ceremony.

Among friends that witnessed his graduation is Mr Luke Mani, a West Fataleka scholar undertaking Doctorate studies in France who is currently in Suva. It is understood that a celebration party is being planned for tonight at Singh Street.

We take this opportunity to congratulate Simon Mau for his fine achievement.

UNDP launches Young Professionals Programme open to Solomon Islanders

The UNDP Fiji Multi Country Office, based in Suva, Fiji is proud to announce the launching of the Young Professionals Programme, aimed at recent University graduates who wish to gain valuable work experience and who are interested in pursuing a career in Development by giving them an opportunity to work in one of the world's largest multilateral development agencies.

Interested fresh graduates from Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are invited to apply.

The Young Professionals Programme offers exciting positions in development-related areas including Governance, Poverty, Energy and Environment as well as in the areas Programme and Project Management, Finance, Programme Finance, Strategic Initiatives, Information Technology, Procurement and general Operations.

The Young Professionals Programme offers an assignment for a maximum period of 2 years.

Positions are available in the following areas:
1. Special Assistant - Strategic Initiatives
2. Environment
3. Poverty
4. Development Services – Programme Finance (2 posts)
5. Operations
6. Finance and Programme Support
7. Procurement

Minimum required qualifications and skills include a first University Degree with specialization in Social Science, Economics, Management, Public Administration, Environmental Science, Information Systems, Accounting, or Business Studies. Applicants should also have excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power point), Internet, excellent command of English, good communication and interpersonal skills, good client orientation and ability to work in a team environment.

General Terms and Conditions of Employment comprise a Service Contract Salary of F$18,000 gross per year plus other benefits such as medical, annual and sick leave.

Competencies Required as Young Professional:
Corporate Competencies:
- Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional competencies:
- Team orientation; excellent Cliental relationship and People Skills; Partnering & Networking; Results-Orientation and multi tasking; Innovation & Judgment; Communication; Job Knowledge & Expertise, strong IT skills, leadership and self management.

Applications must include a Curriculum Vitae and P11 form available on the UNDP Multi Country website with full contact details of three referees and is to be submitted no later than 30 September 2008 and addressed under confidential cover to:

Vacancy – (Indicate Position Title)
UNDP Resident Representative
United Nations Development Programme
Private Mail Bag
Tower Level 6, Reserve Bank of Fiji Building
Suva, Fiji
Telephone: (679) 3312500
Fax: (679) 3301718

Solomon Bonitos withdraw from PNG tour due to financial constraints

The International soccer friendly match between PNG and Solomon Islands Bonitos has been cancelled at the 11th hour.

PNGFA vice-president, NSL chairman and Hekari Souths United FC owner John Kapi-Natto last night confirmed that.

“The Solomons Islands have pulled out at the last minute due to financial problems,” Kapi-Natto said.

“It’s a big setback. I am very upset at this.”

He said he spoke to the Solomons Islands Soccer Federation chief executive officer and the response he got was that there was no money because most of the funds were used on their Futsal team.

“It’s disappointing and for Hekari Souths United FC it’s a big setback,” he said.
Kapi-Natto said the Hekari boys were training and looking forward to the Bonitos visit to PNG.

“Even the PNG national team – they were ready and the preparation we put into this to host Solomon Islands is now a waste of time. I don’t know what to do,” he said.

Kapi-Natto said he could have found a way to help them if only they had notified him earlier.

“I mean they should have the courtesy to let me know early and I could have done something or pulled in some sponsors to help them out.

“But at this last minute I can’t and I am very disappointed,” he said.

The PNG national team have been training for some weeks and including Hekari who have looked forward to this event since two months ago after their return from a Solomon Islands tour.

He said Hekari will now look for a friendly match.

“We still need to continue to have friendly matches to boost the boys preparation for the O-League,”

He said they need one more friendly match under their belt to be more prepared for the O-League challenge.

The international match has been Kapi-Nattos’ dream to rekindle the lost challenge which PNG was lacking in order to improve its ranking in Oceania.

And with the withdrawal of the Bonitos, Kapi-Natto’s efforts have been wasted, especially the new uniforms which he personally bought for the national team.

“It’s all ruined, even the uniforms I bought from the Combat company,” he said.
He said he also informed Solomon Star newspaper of their team’s withdrawal which has affected all the preparations that have been in the pipeline. He said he told his boys to now concentrate on the National Soccer League.

Source: Post Courier

Malaita premier says RAMSI needs to explain its responsilities beside 'law and order'

By Joy Basi
The Parliamentary Foreign Relations committee this week began its consultations on the review of the RAMSI Facilitation Act with Provincial Premiers.

Yesterday the Premier for Malaita Province, Mr. Richard Irosaea mentioned that Malaita would like to see clear statements on RAMSI's mission to Solomon Islands.

According to the Malaita Premier, Malaitans know RAMSI only as a body to restore 'Law and Order'.

He explained that RAMSI should further explain to the people what RAMSI does besides 'Law and Order'.

Premier Irosaea also stated that the local police should be provided with more training on law and order by their RAMSI counterpart to give the local provincial police the same level of confidence.

"Malaita has now stabilized with regards to high criminal activities since RAMSI however, there have been drugs and home brew reports and many people are still complaining on the lack of arrest.

"The Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) is not yet equipped to take charge by themselves," said Premier Irosaea.

He applauded RAMSI for the improvements on their Provincial administration and finance, "especially on audits" and for the many good works done in the Province.

Source: Solomon Times

Alien voters registered for Lau/Mbaelelea constituency by-elections: villager

A number of voters in the Lau/Mbaelelea constituency on Malaita have raised concern over the increased number of newly registered voters who are non residence in the constituency.

Philip Niuri of Folotana village says after the final voters list was made public there are voters as far as Auki, Russell Islands and other constituencies included in the list.

He says with the increased number of new registered voters, another polling station will be created at Kikiri about one hundred meters away from the Fa'alau polling station.

Mr Niuri says in the 2006 voters list there were about 700 voters in Fa'alau but with the new voters list, there are more than one-thousand-200.

He says that because of these anomalies, candidates have alerted their polling agents to keep a look out at polling stations of people from other constituencies wanting to cast their ballot papers.

Mr Niuri says candidates' polling agents know residence of Lau/Mbaelelea constituency and can easily identify non residence of that constituency.

Source: SIBC

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kurukuru scores 12-3 win over Sydney's Maccabi side in friendly

Solomon Kurukuru trounced local Sydney side Maccabi 12-3 in their characteristic flamboyant style last night at the Dural Sports and Leisure Centre.

It was the second practice match on tour for the Solomon boys, with coach Victor Wai’ia once again fielding an experimental line-up in order to best prepare for the World Cup.

As with Saturday’s game against New South Wales, the focus of the team was again on defence. Earlier in the day the squad welcomed technical advisor Scott Gilligan, the current Australian coach and former Tahiti Technical Advisor, who brings a wealth of experience to Kurukuru. He took the boys through a special training session on defensive techniques earlier in the day.

"I think that’ it’s a great opportunity for me and it’s a pleasure to be involved with a such a group of young and talented players," he said.

"We only had a half-hour session together before playing Maccabi and they picked things up really well. There was a great improvement defensively between the game against new South Wales and tonight. After two weeks in Brazil I think they’ll improve a lot."

Five unanswered goals in the first fifteen minutes as good as guaranteed Kurukuru the victory, although Maccabi hit back twice late in the half to reduce the deficit. One of their goals came from a penalty kick that Maccabi earned after Solomons conceded five free kicks in play, something that Wai’ia regretted.

"It was a shame about the amount of fouls that we gave, but it was good for the boys to learn now not to over-commit in tackles while still being defensively strong."

Goals continued to flow for Kurukuru in the second half, although their ambition to keep their own net free of the ball was not met as Maccabi struck a consolation goal shortly after Solomons had established an 11-2 lead.

The goal of the match came from Kukukuru goalkeeper Junior Kogua who ventured from the back of the court and passed to Philip Houtarau, who then found Moffat Sikwa’ai. The ball was then squared to Kogua who cracked a shot passed the Maccabi keeper.

Today the team completed their final gym and pool session in Sydney, before leaving for Brazil today evening. Winger Francis Lafai said that the team has enjoyed being in Australia, but that, ‘the weather is so cold. But it’s been good here because we can watch video footage of our practice matches and learn from our mistakes. I’m very exited because I’ve always dreamt about playing Futsal in Brazil.’

Source: OFC

Solomon Islands Public Service embarks on improving relations with stakeholders

The Ministry of Public Service is embarking on improving relations with stakeholders as part of its reform program.

The Ministry made the commitment following its participation in the three-day Sixth Pacific Public Service Commissioners Conference on ' Managing and Sustaining the Public Service Workforce' held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands September 1st and 3rd.

The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Edmond Anderson, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Ishmael Avui, the Under-Secretary - Strategic Policy and Reform of the Public Service, Stanley Pirione and the Team Leader for the Public Service Improvement Program, David Nudd represented Solomon Islands.

The Ministry of Public Service says 40 high level participants from 13 countries in the region including representatives from the Australian Public Service and States Services Commission of New Zealand were in attendance.

The Solomon Islands' presentation at the conference highlighted the challenges and strategies facing the Public Service.

It says the Public Service reform agenda is a major step especially with the engagement of the Solomon Islands Government/Machinery of Government's Public Service Improvement Program.

The Program is embarking on fundamental human resource issues that include the production of a public service Code of Conduct and its possible launch in October and the launch of a human resources portal which will set up networking with other human resources managers and commissioners in the region.

The Program also stipulates continuous Ministry inspections to eradicate inconsistencies in the terms and conditions of employment and continuous update of data and information on the public service workforce.

Source: Solomon Times

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Community leader appeals to voters in upcoming bye-elections to choose right representatives

A community leader, George Winston Suri, has appealed to voters in the two coming bye-elections to choose the right people to represent them in Parliament.

People in the Lau-Mbaelelea Constituency in North Malaita and East Honiara will go to the poll to choose their member of Parliament on the 23rd of this month.

Chief and elder of Lau Baelelea, Suri appeal with the thousands of people who will vote in the bye-election to choose the right person to work for their communities and the country.

Chief Suri says people should not vote for a person because the candidate gives them money.

Source: SIBC

Solomons Deputy PM launches youth awards

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Rural and Indigenous Affairs Fred Fono last night launched the inaugural Solomon Islands National Youth Awards during the final of the Solo Idol on Sunday night.

And nominations are now open for public to nominate candidates for the awards.

The awards will be for young men and women between 15 to 29 years years old who have demonstrated excellence in the field of sport, music, art, community work and leadership, service and innovation, environment, business, differently abled and life rehabilitation.

Winners are expected to be announced January next year.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs Ethel Sigimanu says these awards are an opportunity to honour achievements of many hard working young people in school, at work and in communities.

Mrs Sigimanu hopes award winners will inspire other young people to be actively involved in their communities.

Source: SIBC

Monday, September 08, 2008

Solomon Kurukuru loses warm up match in Sydney

The Solomon Kurukuru lost narrowly to a strong New South Wales side 3-4 last Saturday in their friendly match at the Dural Sports and Leisure Centre, Sydney.

Solomon Islands Football Federation, SIFF, says though Kurukuru lost they could still learn more out of the game.

SIFF says on a freezing cold and rainy day in Sydney, it was always going to be hard for the Kurukuru to find their rhythm.

Despite the loss, coach Victor Wai'ia was happy with the result, saying the boys played very well.

The line-up we used meant that the whole team got game time, which was important in the lead-up to Brazil.

The team will continue to train at the Dural centre and also use the Blacktown gym before leaving for Brazil on Thursday evening.

Source: SIBC

Solomon women want their rights protected under new Federal Constitution

Solomon Islands women want their rights protected under the new proposed Federal Constitution.

This was among the main issues discussed during a two-day forum held last week in Honiara to look at the draft federal constitution.

The Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs and the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team, Triple R-T, were among those who helped organised the forum.

Triple R-T is a Fiji-based non-profit training and technical resource organisation specialising in human rights advocacy, law and education tailored specifically to the Pacific region.

A lawyer with Triple R-T, Imarana Jalal, says that during the forum the women among other things expressed what they wanted to see included in the Federal Constitution.

"They wanted it to be very clear, that where there is a conflict between customs and women's rights, that women's right would take precedence. That it would be the main thing to look at. They've also very keen on having quotas in Parliament. They want to see reserve seats for women in Parliament."

Source: SIBC

Solomon Transparency Group says it's ludicrous to suggest immunity for MPs

The Solomon Islands based transparency group says it's ludicrous to suggest the country's leaders should be immune from criminal prosecution.

The comments follow the 18 month jail sentence handed to Forests Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza, for intimidation and larceny convictions.

The Chairman of Transparency Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard, is reported as saying that it's encouraging that parliamentarians who commit crimes are being made to face justice.

Mr Pollard says there's been more MPs that are being prosecuted.

He says one thing is clear - the judicial system and the law and justice has certainly been tightened and that's a really good sign for the country to ensure that people are accountable to the law.

Source: SIBC

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Former Solomon's PM jailed for 6 months and looses parliamentary seat

The High Court of Solomon Islands sentenced former Prime minister and the current Minister for Forests, Sir Allan Kemakeza to six months in prison yesterday.

In his judgement, Chief Justice, Justice Albert Palmer upheld the prosecutor's appeal to increase Sir Allan's sentence and ordered that his sentence be with immediate effect.

Justice Palmer sentenced Sir Allan Kemakeza to six months imprisonment for a 2002 attack on a Honiara law firm.

Sir Allan had been convicted last December of using militants to carry out the attack.

Justice Palmer has sentenced Sir Allan to 18 months imprisonment for demanding with menaces, 16 months for intimidation and 16 months for simple larceny.

However, Justice Palmer said all the sentences are to run concurrent to each other and so total length of sentence imposed is 18 months imprisonment.

The Chief Justice further ordered that two thirds of that sentence be suspended for a period of 12 months and accordingly, Sir Allan will serve only SIX months with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, there's been signs of confusion and sadness from members of Parliament after the sentencing of a former Prime minister, the Minister for Forestry and MP for Savo Russells, Sir Allan Kemakeza.

Sir Allan has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment of which 12 has been suspended by the chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer.

On learning of the sentence some MPs commented that although Parliament has been created to pass laws, there are no legislation to protect them.

Others have commented over the various actions and deeds Sir Allan took during the darkest hours of the country's history.

Prime Minister Derek Sikua was unable to make any comments on the sentence until further discussions.

It was reported that a suggestion has been made to the Office of the Prime minister to look at ways in which certain legislation could be put in place to protect members of Parliament or amendments to the constitution.

The sentencing of Sir Allan left four seats vacant in Parliament.

They are: Lau-Mbaelelea on Malaita, East Honiara, Central Guadalcanal and now the Savo and Russells.

The Lau-Mbaelelea seat is vacant following the death of the former MP for the constituency last year.

The other three seats are vacant because the Courts have sentenced their MPs to prison for various offenses.

Source: SIBC

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Police condemn attack on RAMSI officer in Avu Avu

Police have condemned the attack on a RAMSI Participating Police Force (PPF) officer at Avu Avu on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal this morning.

The New Zealand officer was on a routine visit to a local medical clinic when he was attacked by six men carrying bush knives (machetes).

The officer who was attempting to leave the clinic at the time of the attack received a serious leg wound but managed to escape on his quad-bike after using capsicum spray. He has been evacuated to RAMSI’s medical facility where he underwent emergency surgery.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Johnson Siapu, condemned the attack as cowardly and said he had ordered an immediate investigation.

“We will be making a concerted effort to locate the offenders as quickly as possible. Detectives from the Serious Crime Squad are being deployed to the area to assist with the investigation,” he said.

Mr Siapu said that family and friends providing protection to those wanted by police need to understand that this is also a crime and they will become a focus of the police investigation.

Police believe the attack was lead by Alphonseus Toghovotu who is wanted for a 1999 murder on the Weathercoast.

Acting Commander of RAMSI’s Participating Police, Bruce Giles said he was disappointed that PPF officers who had come to help communities restore law and order had been attacked.

“This is the second attack on a PPF officer on the Weathercoast in as many months and the community needs to understand this is not acceptable.

“We know who committed these attacks and in both cases it involved individuals already wanted for previous offences.
“These offenders and those harbouring them need to be aware that RAMSI will be fully supporting the SIPF in their efforts to apprehend them.”

Mr Giles confirmed that RAMSI had already sent additional personnel in support of the SIPF led operation at Avu Avu.

Source: RAMSI

SMEC thanks outgoing Chairman for his contribution to the Council

Press Release by SMEC, Honiara

The Small & Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) thank the out going Chairman of the Council Michael Sheppard Maena for leading the Council in the past four years. Mr Maena left his official duty as Chairman on the 26th August 2008.

SMEC Technical Director, Mr Leliana Firisua says Mr Maena is truly a leader with visionary character that enabled the Council to travel through with confidence during the inception years to where it is today.

"Mr Maena’s leadership and strong leadership have been unmatched in driving a small organization such as SMEC. What we are today as a Council is the result of firm leadership that he has tirelessly rendered to the Council," adds Firisua.

Currently the Council has a strong standing amongst both the public and private sector and advocate as an apex body for Small Business nationwide. During the past four years, the Council also developed relationships with both regional and international organizations and continues to represent the private sector interests on various Government initiatives such as trade negotiations and meetings that relates to SME development.

Mr Firisua said that a highlight of Maena's term as Chairman is the signing of the current “Spotter Agreement” that the Council has with ANZ Bank.

"Michael Sheppard Maena is a dynamic leader with wisdom and confidence and we would like to thank him with his future work and role throughout Solomon Islands".

The Council’s Vice Chairman Mr Jeffrey Aihunu who is from Are Are region of Malaita is now heading the Council until a new Chairman is elected later this year 2008. Mr Aihunu is the owner and Director of Transit Market Place an SME that deals in environmental activities nationally.

Men Missing at Sea

The Search and Rescue Centre of the Marine Division is asking the travelling public on the North East Coast of Malaita, Ndai Island and within the North Malaita vicinity to look out for two men who went missing last week.

A statement from the centre says the two men did not return from a fishing trip since last week.

It says the two men were travelling in a dug out canoe and were believed to be in the Bita'ama area on Friday, August the 29th.

The public within the North Malaita vicinity is being asked to contact the nearest police station of any sightings of the two men.

Time to move on: out-going SMEC Chairman

Chairman of the Small & Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) of Solomon Islands, Mr Michael Maena, has resigned from the position as Chairman of SMEC after serving for the last two consecutive terms.

Mr Maena officially tendered his resignation on the 26th of August 2008, saying that he decided to move on and allow others who also have the potential to contribute further to SMEC's future development.

"It has been indeed a pleasure having to contribute a little to SMEC's development during its early years of inception. It was pretty tough attuning to someone else dream, putting your minds together in realizing something tangible in the end. It was a long walk and a journey of its own. It was not always smooth sailing, given the hurdles and the so many challenges faced. I have learnt a great deal during those experiences. Those were indeed worthwhile experiences".

Mr Maena says SMEC's success is attributed to team work and staying focus.

Today SMEC has contributed significantly to the government and the private sector through its various initiatives. It also has gained wider support and recognition within the region.It now has a total of 210 members, all of whom are small business operators.

In addition, SMEC has successfully hosted the Techmart 2006 Mini Trade Show in Honiara and the 2007 National Trade Show in Auki, Malaita Province.

One of its main objectives is promoting and facilitating trade in terms of imports and exports beside other services like providing training and financial services to its members through the commercial banks.

"Over the years the biggest hurdle and set back to businesses is accessing credit and financial services. Today we are so thankful to the banks and especially ANZ for recognizing SMEC and the plight of its members".

Mr Maena wishes the Small & Medium Enterprises Council (SMEC) and its board all the best for the future.

Australia supports North Malaita School and Community Sports Development Initiative

The To’abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student volunteer group is pleased to accept funding under the Pacific Sports Development, Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) grants 2008-2009, towards the North Malaita School and Community Sports Development Initiative.

This sports development initiative is aimed at promoting physical activity in primary and secondary schools as well as engaging rural North Malaita youth and school leavers in sports. Total funding approved is around SB$53,000 (AUD8,886).

The North Malaita School and Community Sports Development Initiative comprise five different but inter-related components. It attempts to equip schools with basic sports equipments; support organisation of the free North Malaita Christmas Games in 2008 and 2009; facilitate a 3 weeks sports coaching workshop in partnership with the Mahitahi Organisation in New Zealand; support North Malaita School sports carnival for 2009; and encourage continuity of the sports league in North Malaita for 2009.

TARD is one of three applicants from Solomon Islands to be granted funding approval under the ASOP Grants 2008-2009.

The Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) focuses on increasing community participation in sport and physical activity. The program is also designed to offer an effective vehicle for addressing broader community issues such as health promotion, leadership and social cohesion through sport and physical activity. Aim of the Pacific Sport Development Grants (SDG) is to provide funding assistance to eligible small-medium size community sport development projects around the Pacific region.

TARD is thankful to the Australian Government, on behalf of the people of North Malaita, for committing such substantial assistance that targets rural youth and school children.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Australia announces successful applicants for Pacific Sports Development Grants 2008-2009

Press Release by the Australian High Commission, Honiara

The Australian Government has announced that three sports federations and organisations in the Solomon Islands have been successful in their application for funds through the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP).

Announcing the successful applicants was Warwick Povey of the Australian Sports Commission who said that "Solomon Islands is a strong sporting nation and had many excellent applications. The Australian Sports Commission has supported sport in Solomon Islands for several years and is pleased to be able to continue this through the Australian Sports Outreach Program which will continue for many more years to come."

The successful applicants are:
(1) The Office of the West Makira constituency for their sports development program for soccer and netball programs, which will culminate in the West Makira Games Project 2008;

(2) Solomon Islands Athletics Association for their Kids and Youth Athletics program which will be run in four communities from Guadalcanal Province (Muvia), Malaita Province (Auki), Makira Province (Kirakira) and Isabel Province (Buala);

(3) To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student volunteers for the North Malaita School and Community Sports Development Initiative to increase physical activity in primary and secondary schools, with rural youth and school leavers trained to run a sports league in North Malaita.

On hearing that TARD was successful in its application, the Project Coordinator, Exsley Taloiburi, said that Australia's assistance means a lot to all of the TARD volunteer members as well as the rural school children and youths in North Malaita that stand to benefit greatly from this initiative. "We would like to thank the Australian High Commission in Honiara and the Australian Government for the generous support."

These sentiments were echoed by the Constituency Development Officer at the Office of West Makira Constituency, Paul Marita who said that "The sports projects will allow people, especially youths, to be occupied naturally and socially in sports. More than 10,000 people in West Makira will directly benefit from this project."

The Australian High Commission congratulates the successful project applicants and acknowledges the hard work of all applicants for the 2008-2009 ASOP programs. A very large number of applications of a very high standard were received.

There will be another opportunity for sporting federations to apply for further funding next year. Sporting bodies that were unsuccessful in their applications will be contacted shortly by the Australian High Commission and are encouraged to seek feedback on their application.

2009 O-League draw announced by OFC

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has announced the draw for the 2009 O-League competition set to start in November which includes new teams from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The six team tournament is split into two groups of three with Group A comprised of two time O-League champions Waitakere United (NZL), 2006 Oceania Club champions Auckland City (NZL) and Port Vila Sharks (VAN). Group B holds Fijian champions Ba alongside newcomers Koloale FC (SOL) and Hekari Souths United FC (PNG).

The tournament is set to kick off on 1 November 2008 when Waitakere United meet Auckland City in Auckland and Ba and Koloale FC meet in Fiji.

Hekari Souths United FC earned their place in the new competition after they won the Papua New Guinea National Soccer League and qualified for the three team O-League preliminary tournament. After the withdrawal of the representative clubs from Cook Islands and Tuvalu from the tournament Hekari won their spot in the 2009 O-League, at the expense of the bottom placed finisher from 2008 - AS Manu Ura (TAH).

Koloale replace 2008 O-League finalists Kossa FC as the Solomon Islands representatives after taking out the Solomon Island Football Federation (SIFF) National Club Championship earlier this year.

Port Vila Sharks will replace Tafea FC as the Vanuatu representative after beating them to the title in the Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) Fed Cup championship.

Waitakere United will enter the competition as favourites after securing back to back titles in 2007 and 2008. They will represent OFC at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December as a result of last year’s OFC Final aggregate win over Kossa FC.

Source: OFC

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