From The Crowd

Climate change and sugar cane

AN increase in fertiliser use by farmers to boost dwindling sugarcane crops in Yaladro Sector, Tavua, is having a detrimental impact on the cane and waterways, according to the local farming association. Yaladro Farmers Cooperative...

18th September

Crowd appeal and raw power – Tommy ‘The Duke’ Morrison

BULA readers! I pray your Saturday is going well. This week I received a message from a dear old friend of mine called Joey, who lives in Texas and was connected very closely to a fascinating, fast living and colorful, super star boxer called Tommy Morrison. Tommy was born in January 1969 in Arkansas and...

Project Raven – Cyber mercenaries and cyberwars

Earlier this week three American former NSA and US military cybersecurity experts were indicted for violations of US laws involving computer fraud and improper exporting of technology. They agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement in which they would pay a fine over three years of a total of $US1.68 million (F$3.50m), support FBI and Justice...

The Serevi moment

The year 2000 marked the beginning of a new millennium. It also left rugby fans with tons of memories from the sevens field. The rivalry between Fiji and New Zealand, which has sparked since Hong Kong, continued on the International Rugby Board Sevens circuit which took a new dimension in 1999 with ten tournaments introduced...

Hindsight is 20/20

In medicine, there is a hypothetical instrument known as the retrospectoscope. Actually, it is a colloquialism for looking at a situation after the fact it has happened when almost anyone can be deemed an expert as it is easy to predict an outcome because the outcome has already happened. This instrument is certainly not unique...

The Fawlty Towers government – Everything they touch seems to turn to disaster

In my household the 1970s BBC comedy Fawlty Towers is on regular repeat for family entertainment. Only two years ago it was authoritatively ranked as the greatest British sitcom ever. Starring the six-foot-five manic comedian John Cleese, it depicts life in a chaotic English seaside hotel. Its owner, Basil Fawlty is a man who thinks...

Speaking truth to power – The A-G does not know everything

By SEVANAIA SAKAI and DR TUI RAKUITA Because of time and space limitations, we are going to advance a few well-grounded assumptions in this article. The first is that our Attorney-General and Minister of Economy does not know everything there is to know under the Sun. The second is that there is more that he...

7s rugby and Baber

As the sparkle from the gold win in Tokyo slowly diminishes, there are more pressing issues on hand as rugby and life moves on in this fast and ever changing world. Do you know that the World Sevens Series is underway in Canada this weekend? Don’t worry, Fijian 7s is not in North America. But...

The poverty question – Is ethnicity relevant?

The Government has summarily dismissed Kemueli Naiqama from his position as Government Statistician and head of the Fiji Bureau of Statistics. We are informed that Mr Naiqama had breached the law on statistical surveys and consequentl, the terms of his contract of service, by allowing the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey to include “unverified...

Lack of ‘integrity – Shooting the expert messenger

In my The Fiji Times article last week, I commended the Fiji Bureau of Statistics for convincing the Government to publish the Household Income and Expenditure Report. I commended the Bainimarama Government for releasing the poverty facts to the public, regardless of their political sensitivity. But I was clearly wrong on both counts. The reputable...

17th September

Navigating independence – The relevance of national statistical offices

Imagine living in a country where prices doubled every 16 hours. How could an economy function in such a world where people lost faith in the value of their currency? During a period of hyperinflation in Hungary post-World War II, things got this bad. There were many factors leading to this, but one fact prevented...

16th September

Ageing farmers – The burning issue of the sugar industry

Four years into a government assistance scheme to entice new and young sugarcane farmers into the industry and the ageing workforce remains one of the biggest issues facing the sector. Under the New Farmers Assistance Grant (NFAG) introduced in 2017, the Sugar Ministry meets the cost of lease acquisition and farm establishment costs, provides planting grants for five acres...

The delta boys of Kainoda Serenaders

In the 1960s, life for the people living in Lomainasau Village, Tokatoka, Tailevu was hard. There were no roads linking the interior of the Tebara Delta to Wainibokasi. The only means of transportation was via outboard-engine driven punts. Avenisa Balewai said despite the transport challenges, the people lived “a very happy-go-lucky life.” “We use to walk from...

Tourism talanoa: Safe reopenings

In these times of uncertainty and massive job losses brought on by the global pandemic, there have been many people who have continued working quietly behind the scenes that have gone almost unnoticed. For the tourism industry, this includes those who have been retained to keep resorts clean and safe whether they remained open for guests or were...

15th September

Tools to assist businesses to work from home

Since the global pandemic hit Fiji in 2020 a lot of business operational norms have changed and many have had to adopt to a different way of functioning to ensure that their business is still operating. One of the major changes for many companies is allowing their staff to work remotely from home to ensure that all business operations continue as normal in terms...

Opinion: A Bill for change

In early August, MP Nick Kuman sponsored a private member’s Bill in Papua New Guinea’s Parliament designed to replace the country’s Limited Preferential Voting (LPV) electoral system with First Past the Post. If successful, Kuman’s Bill will reverse changes implemented after PNG’s 2002 election. Unlike First Past the Post – in which voters simply placed an ‘X’ by the name...

Wallabies shock world champion

The All Blacks destroyed the Los Pumas on Sunday night, but the turning point was when the Wallabies shocked the 2019 RWC champion on the Gold Coast. Ironically, it took veteran Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper to change the Wallabies misfortunes. ESPN did a wonderful wrap-up of both the matches. The Wallabies came into the clash under pressure, having being thrashed by the ABs in their...

14th September

Flaws in agricultural visa

Much about the new Australian Agricultural visa smacks of poor public policy. Four flaws stand out: the idea itself; the haste with which the visa requirements are being developed; the limited time for consultation; and the fundamental confusion about its terms and conditions. The new visa, as so far described by the government, shows every...

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