April 30, 2012

The Australian: Chinese miner chases Fiji gold

BY: BARRY FITZGERALD From: The Australian April 26, 2012 12:00AM

CHINA has taken a shine to Fiji's Vatukoula goldmine on the nation's main island Viti Levu, giving Fiji's military dictator Frank Bainimarama a victory on the foreign investment front.

The move comes as anti-mining protests have prompted Australia's biggest listed gold producer, Newcrest, to go softly softly on what would be Fiji's biggest mining investment, the Namosi gold project.

The owner of the Vatukoula mine, London-listed Vatukoula Gold Mines, has struck a deal with Shenzhen stock exchange-traded Zhongrun Resources, under which the Chinese group can march to a dominant 17.6 per cent stake in the company for $19.3 million.

The planned share placements to Zhongrun would displace Canadian fund manager Sprott Asset management as VGM's biggest shareholder and comes as VGM seeks funding to increase production from a planned 65,000 ounces of gold this year to 100,000oz from a resource base of 4.2 million ounces.

The large resource base is despite the mine having been in near continuous production since 1935.

For much of that time it was owned and operated by Australia's Emperor Mines, which introduced Western Mining Corporation as a joint-venture partner in the 1980s.

After WMC quit the joint venture in 1991 the mine fell on hard times, and its ownership bounced from Australia/New Zealand to South Africa to London, with VGM, and, in part at least, China.

The underground operations were hit by recent floods in Fiji, although production targets for this year have been maintained.

Chinese interest in Vatukoula comes as Newcrest has adopted a slower approach to the development of its $1 billion-plus Namosi copper and gold project, 30km west of Fiji's capital Suva.

Commodore Bainimarama announced in January that he would be taking over responsibility for negotiations related to the Namosi project.

Newcrest manages and owns 69.94 per cent of the joint venture, one of the world's biggest undeveloped copper-gold deposits that is subject to an environmental impact assessment.

Newcrest has said previously that it expects to complete a feasibility study for the project by June, but it backed away from that target yesterday.

Newcrest managing director Greg Robinson confirmed that Namosi was in the pre-feasibility study stage, and said he was "still very positive" about the project."

The Australian: Removing Fiji sanctions long way off - Carr

From: AAP April 30, 2012 7:27AM

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr says removing sanctions on Fiji is a long way off.

Senator Carr will travel to Fiji today to discuss the country's planned return to democracy with the Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group.

The contact group meeting comes as the country carries out consultations on a new constitution ahead of promised 2014 elections.

Senator Carr said talk of removing sanctions was premature.

"Reducing sanctions that apply, not to the people of Fiji, but to members of the interim government, would be several steps into the future," Senator Carr told ABC radio.

"We need to see a robust democracy functioning in Fiji."

Senator Carr will attend the meeting with ministers from the governments of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island nations.

Commodore Bainimarama drew rare international praise in January when he announced his intention to lift draconian public emergency regulations that had been in place since April 2009.

But those changes were quickly undermined when he enacted new laws giving him many of the same powers he exercised under emergency rule.

The Pacific Islands Forum suspended Fiji in 2009 but created the contact group to continue dialogue with the regime.

The federal opposition has urged Senator Carr to re-establish relations with Prime Minister Bainimarama.

April 26, 2012

Radio Fiji: Vodafone buys Cable & Wireless

17:00 Wed Apr 25, 2012
Report by: Dev Narayan

Vodafone has agreed to buy out a communications company which had connections with earliest radio in Fiji.

Vodafone’s spent a billion dollars to acquire Cable and Wireless Worldwide making Vodafone second only to BT in the British telecoms market.

Cable and Wireless had been in Fiji for more than a hundred years, a pioneer in radio here, until it sold out to the local ATH group of companies.

What was left of Cable and Wireless has now gone to Vodafone.

April 25, 2012

Radio Fiji: Economic forecast may be revised

07:10 Today (25 April 2012)
Report by: Ritika Pratap

Trade and Commerce Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum say it’s too early to predict the country’s economic forecast following the recent floods.

Sayed Khaiyum says that assessments are still being carried out.

“In respect to the actual revision, lets wait, lets get the appropriate figures in place and then be able to carry out any revision if required at all.”

He was reacting to USP Economist Professor Biman Prasad who says the country’s economic forecast has suffered a significant set-back after the two major floods.

The 2012 budget had the potential to create a favourable impact on the economy, but the floods have upset predictions.

“I think the 2.3% forecast for growth in the 2012 budget may now have to be revised and it think the RBF has already indicated that it will have to be done given the magnitude of the damage that has been done to the agriculture sector, to the business community.”

Fiji Live: Discrepancies led to pension delay: FNPF

April 24, 2012 04:21:19

Pensioners payments were delayed because of queries over information provided or invalid bank accounts, says Fiji National Provident Fund chief executive Aisake Taito.

Taito told FijiLive FNPF staff members are contacting pensioners individually and verifying details submitted.

“The payments involve large amounts of money and we are re-verifying bank account details to ensure that the money is deposited to the right accounts,” he said.

He also said they are working to pay out the second group of pensioners who validated and chose an option after February 29.

By Mereani Gonedua

April 24, 2012

Radio Fiji: Vunivalu of Bau to be installed

Contrary to the bold promise of installing a new Vunivalu two years ago, fresh attempts are now being made and it can only mean that the illegal and treasonous military regime is ramping up their Vanua hearts and minds offensive.

This just got interesting.
Vunivalu of Bau to be installed 
07:08 Today (24 April 2012)
Report by: Masimeke Latianara 
Moves are underway to install the Vunivalu of Bau, the paramount Chief of the Kubuna Confederacy.
A meeting of the chiefly Mataqali Tuikaba of the Yavusa Kubuna has been called early next month at the chiefly meeting house Ulunivuaka on Bau Island. 
It will discuss the installation of the next Vunivalu of Bau last held by Ratu Sir George Kadavulevu Cakobau. 
He was installed in 1959 and died in 1989. 
There were moves made after Ratu Sir George’s death to fill the chiefly position but nothing was finalised. 
The Vunivalu, when installed, also takes the title of Tui Levuka as he is the traditional leader of the Levuka people of Lakeba, Lau. 
According to the Vunivalu’s herald, Ratu Veiwili Komaitai, the last time this meeting was called was nearly a hundred years ago in 1915.

Radio Fiji: Charter awareness programs resumes

Not only are the illegal and treasonous military regime out in numbers pushing their sham charter, they're also massaging public opinion on the farcical constitutional consultations.
Charter awareness programs resumes
17:05 Mon Apr 23, 2012 
Report by: Roland Koroi 
The Strategic Framework for Change Coordinating Office is continuing its Peoples Charter Awareness programs with plans to move to Kadavu and Vanua Levu soon. 
The program which began in January this year has focused mainly on Suva’s peri-urban areas with more than 200 programs conducted in the Lami to Nasinu corridor
The Charter awareness program centres on the government’s plans and initiatives under the 11 pillars of the Peoples Charter. 
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister says the forums create opportunities for people to recognise governments commitment to ensuring it pursues the avenues for sustainable development and address pertinent issues on common national identity, economic growth, poverty reduction and improving public sector services to name a few. 
It says the forums are also important as it prepares people for the upcoming Civic Education on the consultation for the new constitution that commences next month. 
Awareness programs resume this evening from 5pm to 7pm at the Tuilovoni Church and then from 7.30pm to 10pm at the Mataika Church. 
Tomorrow teams will be at the Cargill Mandir from 5pm to 7pm and at the Sasawira Temple from 7.30 to 10pm. 
They move to the Navuloa Church on Wednesday as well as the Temple at Mandir Street. 
The Valili Temple will play hosts to awareness teams on Thursday from 5 to 7pm while teams will be at the Draunitalia Methodist Church from 7.30 to 10pm. 
On Friday they will be at the Peceli Methodist Church hall and the Nakasi High School.
And finally on Monday next week, teams will be at Wainunu and the Hart hal

April 23, 2012

Truth for Fiji: Robert Beam & Pacific NorthAM Hoodwinks Fijians For Naseyani Springs

Just as we suspected, Fiji's water war's and the various players/characters/beams of light are slowly thrusting themselves to the fore.

Fellow blog, Truth for Fiji reveals these latest round of shenanigans:
The Inside Story On Naseyani Springs, Robert Beam and his associates caught on tape hoodwinking the people of Fiji in a Fiji government grab of Naseyani Springs. 
"Blue Gold" in Fiji is the same as "Blood Diamonds" in Africa - Robert Beam and Pacific NorthAM Hoodwinks Fijians For Naseyani Springs - A legendary water source in Fiji is being exploited by the Fiji dictatorship through various government agencies resulting in the deaths of Fiji Natives. While pretending to bring solidarity the divide and conquer scenario is playing out in Fiji, pitting Fijian Native against Fijian Native, and Fijian Natives against others that are exploitative and disrespectful to the Native Fijian People. 
In the mix is the Fiji dictaorship, the Central Bank of Fiji, the Unit Trust of Fiji and the Native Land Trust Board, among other agents both domestic and foreign. 
Robert Beam is the US citizen, along with Rajit Pathak and Sumar Prasad and Patel Cartel devotee Alpesh Patel. The Patel name is not unfamiliar to Fijians in the know. Robert Beam and his associates consider the Fijian Natives as too uneducated to catch on, but I am sure the Fijian Natives know fully well what is going on and this short video documentary proves it. 
I have discovered and documented this activity over several months in researching investors for the so-called "Naseyani Water Project". Robert Beam is the rogue ramrod for the Fiji project and also the V3 Waters International, Inc. operation. Its all about exploitation of water resources for filthy lucre. This video is some of the most revealing evidence I've gotten. I have other written evidence documented as well. 
Download this video while you can as it may not remain available. I acquired this footage and it has been delivered over to the authorities of the City of Hargave and the judge has ruled that it is evidence of subversive activities, and has authorized this video to be made public as a public service for all to see what is happening globally with the exploitation and confiscation of vital water resources of high quality. 
I am the owner and developer of Bionaid and Micarox and an expert in the field of specialty waters. I was intending to get these vital, liife-saving water products to the Fijian people and during my endeavor I came across the characters in this video, and also Alpesh Patel, all of which have proven to be involved in a conspiracy of crimes that have also had adverse affects upon me and my associates. During the time I was doing my due diligence regarding investors to accomplish my mission to help the Fiji I had the opportunity to get on the inside of of this operation and learn the truth. I will have no part of this kind of treachery, and I cannot stand by and do nothing, ergo the publication of this video. 
Please help the People of Fiji that are being exploited and grossly mistreated by making this video go viral. It is no different than the "Blood Diamonds" of Africa, another group of nations also suffering from water exploitation by big corporations with their paid mercernaries. 
Elder/Range Guide 

Radio Fiji: Go home, pensioners told

17:46 Today (23rd April 2012)
Report by: Roland Koroi

A large number of pensioners queuing up at the FNPF building today have been told to go home and wait for the call from the Fund to tell them if their money has been processed.

Some have been lining up at the FNPF Building in Suva since last week and turned up today only to be told they’ll have to wait a little longer.

FBC News arrived at the FNPF building at around 3pm today to find a long queue of pensioners.

Not long after, FNPF CEO Aisake Taito showed up, directing his staff to get the details of all waiting pensioners.

The details included their phone contacts, FNPF Numbers and their names.

Pensioners were then told to go home, and await the FNPF’s call.

Taito was overheard telling pensioners it will do them no good to wait around, or waste their money coming to Suva.

He has promised them that when their money is in, FNPF staff will call them.

The Fund has been delaying the payment since last week, blaming it on a technical glitch.

April 21, 2012

Radio Fiji: FNPF pensioners yet to be paid

17:10 Today (21 April 2012)
Report by: Dev Narayan

Pensioners are furious that the FNPF has failed to honour its promise to pay out by four o’clock on Friday afternoon.

The first payment was due under a new arrangement on Monday however, dealys have been caused from a computer glitch.

Those who did not receive their payments want answers and late Friday afternoon, they had FNPF IT department in their sights wanting to know what happened.

The pensioners, some without any cash but who travelled to Suva to find out when they’ll get their money just want answers.

April 19, 2012

Fiji Times: Inflation rate to rise: RBF

Elenoa Baselala
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE Reserve Bank of Fiji has predicted the inflation rate to go higher than the 6.2 per cent recorded in February.

In January, the rate was 5.9 per cent.

The central bank said the increase in February reflected the effects of the January floods, which led to higher food prices.

"Risks to the inflation outlook are tilted to the upside, considering the volatility of oil prices associated with the geo-political tensions in the Middle East," the bank said in its latest economic review.

"Food prices have regained some strength more recently but are expected to decline slightly over the year. In addition, the current moderation in growth by the world's second largest user of crude oil China is expected to restrain any upward pressure on oil prices."

However, the bank estimated the inflation rate to moderate towards 3.5 percent by the end of this year.

Inflation is the rise in prices of goods and services. When inflation increases, the purchasing power decreases.

The negative effects of inflation include a decrease in the real value of money and other monetary items over time, uncertainty over future inflation which may discourage investment and savings, and if inflation is rapid enough, shortages of goods as consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future.

The central bank said investment activity was envisaged to slowly pick-up in the near term which was attributed to a number of upcoming investment projects.

However, it said, recent investment intentions and activities were focused on Fiji's resource and tourism sectors, suggesting subdued fixed capital formation in other major industries.

Annual growth in broad money supply accelerated in February to 15.4 per cent, from 14 per cent in the previous month.

Yearly growth in net domestic credit was led largely by private sector credit, which rose by 5.8 per cent in February, from 6.2 per cent in the previous month.

Fiji Times: $195m the limit

Elenoa Baselala
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE State will not borrow more than $195 million even if there is a lot of interest in the Fiji Infrastructure Bond.

"Government will not borrow beyond the $195million that has been approved by Cabinet for 2012," Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca said in response to questions raised on the $20m Fiji Government Viti Bond float.

"So, even if the bonds are oversubscribed, our acceptance will still be within the approved limit," Mr Waqabaca said.

He said the FIB issue, which is $175million, would be floated in the market during specific intervals.

The government had announced during the 2012 Budget that it would borrow $195 million domestically to fund its capital works.

"The government finances its deficit by raising money from the market through issue of securities, which in Fiji's case is called Fiji Infrastructure Bond," Mr Waqabaca said.

"Government ensures that the revenue generated is sufficient to cover operating expenditure.

"So, the funds raised through the FIB is directed at capital projects or infrastructure development and not to fund the operating costs of government."

Mr Waqabaca said there was surplus liquidity - currently over $500million - in the financial system and as such institutions were looking for attractive investments.

"Given the high liquidity, we expect the bond issues to be over-subscribed. We have been experiencing this trend during this high liquidity overhang that we have in Fiji," he said.

Mr Waqabaca said the government would look at the interest cost and decide on whether to accept more bids in the event the bonds were over subscribed.

"For example, if government floated a $20 million FIB bond and receives $30 million, we could accept more if we feel that the interest rate is favorable. The sum of all bond float and accepted cannot exceed $195 million," he said.

"The government bond is a safe investment. Fiji thrives on the fact that we have never defaulted on our borrowings unlike what we are seeing in some developed countries in Europe that has triggered the crisis.

"Fiji's debt to GDP ratio is 52 per cent and our target is to reduce this level to around 40 per cent.

"Bulk of this debt, around 80 per cent, is raised domestically through government bonds."

Fiji's debt level at December 31 last year was $2.7billion, at least $2billion is with the Fiji National Provident Fund.

April 11, 2012

Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa & Chiefs of Rewa Province declare to Bainimarama their opposition to Namosi mining

Once again the consistently resolute chief, Ro Teimumu Kepa makes her views known on the province of Rewa's opposition to the Newcrest mining led project to mine for copper and gold in Namosi because of the effects that her people could inherit downstream.

The province of Rewa now join landowners of Namosi in stating their opposition to mining on their land because of the environmental damage they've seen so far.

The province is also concerned because of the location of the Waila pumping station intake valve which is just outside of Rewa province. From the Waila station, most of the people living in the Suva to Nausori corridor (perhaps Fiji's largest concentration of people) are supplied with their drinking water posing contamination fears from Namosi.

April 09, 2012

New Zealand Herald - Flooded Fijians plead for residency

By Lincoln Tan
5:30 AM Monday Apr 9, 2012

Fijians who lost their family homes in floods are appealing to Immigration New Zealand to let them apply for residency under the department's Pacific Access Category (Pac).

The Samoan quota was started in 1970 as part of the 1962 Treaty of Friendship between New Zealand and Samoa, and the Pac was started in 2002 to provide a similar path to permanent residence for citizens of Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

But Fiji has been excluded since 2006 as part of New Zealand's sanctions on immigration.

Tika Ram, a licensed immigration adviser from Fiji who led a petition in 2009 signed by about 300 people, received a letter from the previous Immigration Minister saying the sanctions would remain as a response "to the undemocratic actions taken by the Fiji military".

New Zealand-Fijian relations have been tense since Commodore Frank Bainamarama took over the country in a military coup in 2006.

In the wake of the recent floods that have ravaged the country, leaving several dead or missing and at least 8000 in evacuation centres, Mr Ram says he will again be pushing the department to let Fiji nationals to be included.

"The sanctions are just punishing innocent victims and Fiji citizens who have nothing to do with the military regime, and that's unfair," Mr Ram said. "Now we have a group who have been badly hit by Mother Nature, and we are asking for New Zealand to have a heart."

Mr Ram said Fijians in New Zealand affected by the floods would number in the hundreds.

Panel beater Mohammed Muneer, 29, says he has "nothing to go home to" after his family home in Nadi was submerged.

Mr Muneer has been in New Zealand since 2009, and his wife has also found employment as a cafeteria assistant at the airport.

"I really don't know how to survive if we have to go back. I'd do anything to remain here for the sake of my wife and 6-year-old son," Mr Muneersaid.

Taxi driver Denash Patel, 44, will also be appealing to the department to let his cousin, who lost his home in the floods, apply under the Pac.

"New Zealand shouldn't be so petty, and there is no better time than now to be lifting the immigration sanctions," said Mr Patel.

Steve Stuart, acting head of Immigration, said the Pac "was not designed as a response to natural disasters".

"Fiji was suspended from participation in the Pac following the 2006 coup in Fiji. There has been no change in New Zealand Government policy on this matter."

However, Mr Stuart said the department would "consider sympathetically any requests for visas by customers who are not currently able to [go to] an area affected by a natural disaster".

Registrations for the annual Pacific quota ballot can be submitted until the end of this month.

The schemes allow up to 1100 Samoan citizens and 400 citizens from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tonga to be granted New Zealand residence.

Applicants will be made to face tougher tests this time, including the principal applicant having a job offer from a New Zealand employer that meets a minimum income threshold set at the level of the unemployment benefit plus the accommodation supplement.

April 08, 2012

Where is Juris Gulbis?

Whispers are surfacing that one Juris Gulbis, the Principal of Gulbis & Partners Fiji Limited, P.O. Box 2169 Government Buildings, Suva, Fiji left the country under duress courtesy of the illegal and treasonous military regime that he used to court to advance the interests of Abkhazia.

It is understood that Gulbis, Abkhazia's ambassador to Asia-Pacific, based in Suva but with business interests also in Vanuatu was taken from his house last week by a truckload of army soldiers and compelled to leave the country because he was a "perceived threat to Fiji's National Security", despite his heralding, organising and facilitating of the recent visit for the Russian Foreign Minister to Fiji, as well as being great friend of one Colonel Mohammed Aziz of the Fiji Army

In the middle of the torrential flood rains last week Gulbis' departure under duress where he paid for his own ticket to depart on the Auckland flight, was the culmination of many threatening phone calls to this life over the last many weeks.

It is believed that the nail in Gulbis' ambassadorial tenure based in Fiji had to do with assistance he gave to a private construction company in a long and drawn out legal battle with the Fiji Island Revenue and Customs Authority who were manipulated by someone within the inner circle of the regime bent on raping the company of monies and assets. Gulbis was able to assist their case in court in which the private construction company eventually won.

Juris Gulbis seemed to be a "friend" of the regime and used his seat on the Transparency International board in Fiji to cosy up to them. Even as he served as Abkhazia's Ambassador, Juris raised eyebrows by officiating as the President of the Royal Commonwealth Society in Fiji to celebrate Commonwealth Day while Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth.

It is understood that Juris was flown to New Zealand and Juris' local counterparts are packing up the office.

His Excellency Juris Gulbis has assured us that he he will release an official statement soon.

April 05, 2012

Labour replies to the (Illegal and Treasonous) Attorney General

[posted 5 April 2012,1500]

These homes at Utalei, near Korovuto Village in Nadi were completely submerged in flood waters. Families say they have received no assistance since Friday.

It is government’s responsibility to ensure that evacuation centres are adequately stocked with emergency food, water and medical supplies to cater for victims of natural disasters, said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

He was responding to comments from Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyyum accusing him of resorting to political point scoring in making claims that government’s disaster relief teams were not adequately prepared.

Mr Chaudhry said there was no question of political point scoring. His statement was based on the findings of surveys conducted by Labour Party officials at all affected centres and not Fiji Times reports, as claimed by the AG.

“It is a fact that people are complaining. They have been caught in the worst flooding experienced in recent years, much worse than the disaster of 2009 and yet in the three days from Friday to Monday no food rations were handed out by the State,” Mr Chaudhry said.

“The Prime Minister himself is on record having expressed dissatisfaction at the slow pace of relief assistance at briefings he received from District officers in Sigatoka, Ba and Lautoka. He has urged government officials to concentrate on providing food rations and water.

“This is the ground reality. Mr Khaiyum should get off his high horse and listen to the number of complaints that are being aired on radios daily from people who claim they have been herded into centres without food, water or emergency medical supplies.

“He could also pay a visit to the people of Utalei, Nadi (next to the Korovuto Village). Some 40 homes here were completely submerged in the flood waters forcing 300 people to take shelter in makeshift tarpaulin tents along the road side. They have had no food, water or electricity since Friday.

Picture shows Kanti Lal and his family sheltering under makeshift tent at Utalei, Nadi. About 40 families in the mixed settlement whose homes were under flood waters say they have received no State assistance since Friday.

Hotel owner not happy

13:28 Today
Report by: Masimeke Latianara

FBC News has now discovered the source of some of the information given to New Zealand and Australian media about the recent floods.

It was the owner of a hotel in Nadi who was not happy with the lack of information, and action, when floods struck the hotel last week.

Mohammed Naseev who resides in New Zealand and has invested heavily in the tourism industry in Fiji claimed to FBC News this morning that his calls for help during the floods fell on deaf ears.

Naseev owns the Hibiscus Pacific Resort in Nadi, a 200 room resort which was 60% damaged.

He claims he called the police and the fire authority all day Friday, but was told there was no boat available to rescue his guests.

Naseev claims there were 15 tourists in his hotel at the time and all would have perished if it was not for some i Taukei from a village nearby that came to their rescue and took them to the safety of the nearby Digicel Building.

Naseev says he has invested $44m in the business and he was disappointed with the Minister for Tourism who told the world that everything was fine in Fiji when no one came to his resort to see the damage done.

To add to his disappointment, Naseev claims, ‘til now there’s still no water or electricity at the resort, and no offers of assistance.

Naseev said he was frustrated that no one in Fiji came to his assistance despite the calls he made on the day of the floods so he rang media in New Zealand and Australia and told them of the severe effects of the disaster.

Earlier this week Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, was critical of those whom he said had spread exaggerated stories about the floods in overseas media.

Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Elizabeth Powell says Naseev’s resort is near a flood prone area and they would have required considerable assistance during the height of the floods.

Powell says its unfortunate he decided to call the Australian and New Zealand media instead of calling organisations like DISMAC for assistance.

Pension Funds reverts earlier policy on flood assistance

Despite petitioning from Grey Power and coup supporters like Talei Burness being met with a brick wall on the regime's discriminatory reductions to their pensions, the superannuation fund now does a 360-degree turn on their policy of "no flood assistance" in response to the January floods.

Yes indeed. The illegal and treasonous Bainimarama's systems are breaking down and now the burden of relief efforts and rebuilding lives becomes a double-whammy yoke around taxpayers cum pensioners necks.
Flood affected members to get assistance from FNPF 
07:44 Today 
Report by: Maca Lutunauga 
Fiji National Provident Fun will provide assistance for those affected by the recent floods.
Chief Executive Aisake Taito says FNPF has a social responsibility to assist their members rebuild their lives. 
He says the decision to extend the assistance was based on humanitarian grounds.
All applications will need to be verified by the district officers to determine the authenticity of damage to their properties.
Taito says FNPF officers will be visiting affected areas to save transport costs for the members. 
He has warned members not to provide false information while using this assistance or they may face prosecution. 
The assistance begins from the April 12th to May 25th.

Fiji Village: (Illegal and Treasonous) PM questions Chaudhry’s motive

Publish date/time: 05/04/2012 [07:40]

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry is just attacking the flood relief efforts from the sidelines because he wants votes in the next elections.

Chaudhry has criticised the flood assistance provided by the government, saying it lacks urgency.

Commodore Bainimarama has raised the question on what Chaudhry has done during and after the floods.

We asked Chaudhry what the Labour Party is currently doing and whether they are providing any assistance.

Chaudhry maintains that some affected areas are not properly resourced to provide the necessary assistance.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

Fiji property up for mortgagee sale

Last updated 16:56 04/04/2012

A beachfront Fijian property once planned as a five-star resort by controversial Auckland property developer Andrew Krukziener has been put up for mortgagee sale.

Bayleys is marketing the 10.9ha Sovi Bay site on Fiji's Coral Coast for sale by tender on May 10.

The property is in two freehold titles - a rarity in Fiji - and has an ocean beach frontage.

Krukziener formed his Sovi Bay development company in 2001 and had proposed a $40 million luxury 20-bure boutique resort and residential beachfront lots for the site.

Sovi Bay Ltd is now in liquidation, and the only liquidator's report from the Official Assignee reveals that failed finance company Strategic has a $12.4m secured claim against the company.

Krukziener filed for bankruptcy in December 2010 after a long-running battle with the Inland Revenue Department.

Prior to that, his wife Gitta Saidi had become the director of a long list of companies previously headed by her husband.

Mum tells of Fiji terror

4th April 2012 4:56 PM

IT WAS a nightmare Danielle Doney Bryce thought would never end.

The Nambour woman, her husband Luke Bryce and four-year-old daughter Chelsea were caught in the middle of what is believed to be Fiji's worst reported storm in history over the weekend.

A state of emergency was declared yesterday as more than 12,200 Fijians begun returning to their homes after spending several days in evacuation centres because of floods.

The Bryces spent five nights huddled inside their home at the popular tourist island Denarau, which was isolated after the only road in and out went under on Thursday.

Mrs Doney Bryce said the weather came without warning.

"It started raining last Wednesday and it was reported that it would clear Thursday, instead it was the opposite," she said.

"We were awake for most of Thursday night due to torrential rain and strong winds.

"Friday morning we drove to work to collect my computer, by the time we went back home - which was only 30 minutes later - the floodwaters had risen so fast we were lucky to get home."

A severe weather warning remained in place for Viti Levu, where water and power supplies were cut and many homes and businesses destroyed.

The death toll lingered at five, with several others still missing.

Mrs Doney Bryce said it was difficult to shake fears of further devastation. "Saturday night was the worst night, I was absolutely terrified, mostly because there was still a cyclone to come and what we were experiencing was only a low depression," she said. "It's absolutely devastating what has happened here."

Locals were spared further destruction, with Cyclone Daphne, which formed on Monday afternoon, passing the island.

It was the second time in eight weeks that the nation was hit by widespread flooding.

"Thousands of people have lost their homes and all their belongings, it's heartbreaking," Mrs Doney Bryce said.

Fiji attacks international flood coverage

Last updated 14:35 04/04/2012

Fiji's military regime has launched an attack on international media coverage of this week's deadly flooding saying it was aimed at pandering to anti-regime sentiment.

Seven people died in this week's floods and an 11-year-old boy remains missing, feared dead.

But concerned at the impact of the news internationally, the military regime and the Fiji Visitors Bureau (FVB) are trying desperately to save their Easter business.

FVB this morning issued photos of a cleaned up, tidy, but empty Denarau Island resort near Nadi captioned "ready for guests".

But the oddest comment came from the regime's military appointed Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who told state controlled radio that the media should stop sensationalising on the flood disaster and report only the facts.

He also implies in a tweet that New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully and his Australian counterpart Bob Carr have their facts wrong.

"We need to be able to ensure that you also as the media organisations are reporting the facts, not sensationalising or pandering to overseas interests or a particular political point of view," he said.

"Because at the end of the day it is essential that those people in particular who suffered, who cannot access their homes, who have not been able to get to their homes or not able to get to their jobs are able to do so quickly.

"And the way that you do it is to be able to restore things to the normal way in which we do things as quickly as possible."

Dictator Voreqe Bainimarama and senior figures of the regime have also been using Twitter accounts set up by a Washington PR firm, Qorvis Communications.

"AG urges Foreign Affairs Ministers of Australia, NZ & journalists to report accuracy; in natural disasters, people's lives at stake fair," @FijiAG says.

And in another: "AG says eliminate 'politics' from reporting; inaccurate facts can risk human lives."

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association in a statement issued by the Ministry of Information says it is "business as usual" in Fiji.

"As regular visitors to Fiji know, the country is extremely resilient and once storms or rains pass, Fiji is back to normal in a matter of days," tourism permanent secretary Elizabeth Powell said.

While Air Pacific was able to fly 3000 people out of Fiji during the floods, she said, full services had now resume to fly people back in and around the country.

Roads and bridges from Nadi International Airport "are passable, as nearby river waters have receded to normal levels."

While the military regime says one thing internationally, for different message is given domestically.

"This is to advise those travelling from Sigatoka to Nadi and from Lautoka to Nadi that Nadi Town will be closed to all travelling public as a major clean-up will be undertaken to clear dirt and debris within the central business district," the Information Ministry says.

Bainimarama has ordered soldiers in to clean up Ba town which was badly flooded.

Bainimarama's latest tweet uses a photo taken of an unknown Fijian man smiling as he paddled down a flooded street in a bath-tub.

"Filled with hope as Fijians preserve happiness and love for their country in the face of adversity," @FijiPM says.

Neither the Fiji regime nor the still tightly controlled Fiji media have revealed the identity of the man in the bathtub, or what happened to him.

April 04, 2012

The system is breaking down

The recent floods have spewed out more than just excessive water, mud, wreckage and possible health hazards to those affected.

The illegal and treasonous Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum spews out the usual face-saving venom in a frantic attempt to save the tourism's currently tarnished reputation.

Back at the ranch however, the chief usurper Bainimarama cannot deny that the systems under his leadership are in tatters.

Reports are now surfacing that a dam in Vaturu, Nadi "may have contributed" to the speed of flood-water currents:

Dam may have contributed: WAF
Samisoni Nabilivalu
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
THE Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) says the water flowing out of the Vaturu Dam spillway "could have contributed" to the speed of floodwater currents experienced by Nadi residents on Friday morning. 
WAF acting chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai said WAF could not confirm whether or not the dam's spillway had increased the speed of floodwater currents that morning. 
"Believe me, it would have been a much bigger disaster if the dam was briefly opened or burst as people have been saying. That would have a disaster on an even larger scale," Mr Ravai said.
"Either way, there was an unusually large amount of rainfall the previous night going into that Friday morning. At least the dam contained most of the water," he said.
Mr Ravai made the statement in response to a story published in this newspaper that the Vaturu dam overflow contributed to the speed of floodwater currents experienced by Nadi residents on Friday morning. 
Vaturu dam, he explained, was the main water source for the Nadi and Lautoka water supply and because of the unusually high amount of rainfall experienced that week, the dam was nearly overflowing. 
He said the spillway was a necessary component of any dam and relieved pressure through its controlled drainage of water from dams close to overflowing.
This is a most revealing admission on the part of the Water Authority, given that only 2 months earlier during the January floods, the Water Authority vehemently downplayed any such link to the dam's overflows.

Dam overflows 
Felix Chaudhary 
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
THE Water Authority of Fiji said Nadi residents should not be concerned about overflow from the Vaturu dam into waterways linked to the Nadi River. 
WAF spokesman Maika Nagalu informed The Fiji Times that the Vaturu dam has been overflowing for a while and has not contributed in any way to flooding being experienced in the jet-set town. 
"The Vaturu dam has a spill-way where the water flows into whenever the dam is full or overflows with water. The spill-way flows into the creek that is below the dam," he said in a statement yesterday.
"Starting from November last year the dam has been overflowing with water until today.
"The flooding just started a few days ago whereas the Vaturu dam has been overflowing from Novenber last year." 
Mr Nagalu said the dam was designed in a such a way to contain a maximum level of water and any excess water due to rain or flood would not in any way affect the flow of water downstream or contribute to flooding that could affect residents.
The WAF's comments came in response to queries from concerned villagers living downstream from the dam and those residing on the Nadi River banks including Namotomoto and Narewa that are currently under close to one metre of water.
Perhaps the loss of the Water Authority's chief spokeswoman to the Bainimarama's propaganda harem is to blame.

If that wasn't enough, there are now reports surfacing that even the weather reports were inconsistent.

Conflicting weather reports leads to confusion 
Felix Chaudhary 
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 
CONFLICTING weather reports from different media outlets contributed to confusion on the ground. 
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said it was important that people in potential disaster areas received the right information to assist them in making informed decisions. 
"People need to know what's really happening so they can effectively plan for oncoming natural disasters. However, in this case, there was a marked difference in weather reports from different media organisations," Commodore Bainimarama said. 
"It is important that people are kept updated with the most recent information at all times, especially when it deals with the weather," he said while addressing government heads of departments at a Divisional Emergency Operations Centre briefing in Lautoka yesterday. 
Fiji Meteorological Office director Alipate Waqaicelua said some organisations sourced their information from weather bureaus as far as the US, which could be one reason there was some confusion. 
"We've had this issue in the past, where people prefer to go to other outlets and the choice is theirs. However, I wish to remind the public that the Fiji Meteorological Office is a world recognised organisation and the regional weather centre in as far as cyclone tracking is concerned."
Unfortunately the much feted Melanesian Spearhead Group summit and some of the waterlogged participants could not respond quick enough to grand plans such as a "MSG Humanitaraion and Emergency Response Force" (HERF).

April 03, 2012

Fiji Labour Party: Government teams lack disaster preparedness

[posted 2 April 2012,1410]

A survey by a Fiji Labour Party monitoring team in the Western Division found that government’s relief and rescue operations failed to deliver timely assistance to the people trapped by floodwaters over the week-end.

The survey was conducted by Party officials in all the six districts of the Western Division.

“The response from the authorities to requests for evacuation and provision of food, water and medical supplies at the various evacuation centres has been disappointing,” said Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

People were ordered to seek shelter at the various evacuation centres which had not been equipped to meet their basic needs for food, water and essential medicine. In a number of cases hungry women and children at these centres asked the public to send them food. These requests were broadcast by radio stations.

“It is a great pity that these unfortunate people who have lost most of their personal and household belongings had to suffer such indignity and humiliation at the hands of those who should protect them,” said Mr Chaudhry.

The FLP survey also revealed that rescue operations were hampered by a lack of four wheel drive vehicles, boats and even such rudimentary equipment as ropes and ladders. This is nothing short of dereliction of duty and must be condemned in the strongest terms.

“One must question the state of preparedness of the disaster management committees in the various districts. It seems that they are either ill-resourced or simply not up to the mark for the job,” Mr Chaudhry said.

We call on the government to take immediate steps to rectify the situation before the onslaught of even worse flooding and wind damage expected in the wake of the anticipated cyclone in the next couple of days.

Deadly Fiji floods trap 2000 Aussies in holiday chaos

BY: BY ALISON MCMEEKIN From: The Daily Telegraph April 03, 2012 7:19AM

HUNDREDS of Australian travellers stranded in flooded Fiji have returned home.

As a tropical depression was forming into a possible cyclone off the coast of the Pacific Island nation, threatening to cause yet more devastation, a state of natural disaster was declared by the Fijian interim government.

Fiji is struggling to cope with the floods that have brought the country to a standstill, claiming four lives and forcing about 8000 people to seek refuge in evacuation centres.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Jetstar, Virgin and Air Pacific flights had evacuated people to Australia late last night.

"Empty aircraft were landing in Nadi yesterday, as weather permitted, to transport passengers back to Australia and elsewhere," Mr Carr said in a statement.

He said more services would fly today.

"Improved road access to Nadi airport has made it possible for many Australians to return home," Mr Carr said.

He said those holidaying on resorts on outer islands are still facing some difficulties in returning to the main island and to Nadi airport.

Consular officials are monitoring the situation, he said.

No Australians are believed to have been killed or injured.

Among those who managed to return home last night were western Sydney couple Kellie and Kevin Lyons, who had travelled to Fiji with their daughter Natasha to celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary.

The Erskine Park family, who were staying at a resort at Denarau, said management had announced food supplies would have to be rationed.

"Supplies were starting to get low," Mrs Lyons said. "When we were driving back to the airport it was pretty sad for the locals.

"Roads were ripped away, people piled up for service stations, there was 1km-long line for shopping centres and there was a school under water.

"The whole place was in lockdown - all we could do was play cards and watch movies. But at least we were together."

Alissa Hunter, from Concord West, said her family were forced to queue for hours to be evacuated by helicopter.

Mrs Hunter, who was travelling with her husband, mother-in-law, three-year-old daughter Charlotte and 10-month-old son Cooper, described it as "nerve-wracking".

"We queued up for five hours for a helicopter," Ms Hunter said.

"We missed out so we stayed two nights and were choppered out first thing this morning (Monday)."

Other Australians stranded at holiday resorts and Fiji's main airport - as well as their worried families - vented their frustration on Twitter and Facebook.

"I am advised that road access to Nadi airport has improved and high commission staff are at the airport to assist travellers," Mr Carr said.

Australia is working closely with Fijian organisations to assist assessments of damage and needs for emergency support in affected communities, including funding aerial surveys of flooded areas.

Mr Carr said Australia and Fiji had strong ties and at a time of crisis he had advised Fiji's interim Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola that the Australian government would provide assistance of up to $1 million to support Fiji's disaster response.

The money will buy medical and other supplies such as tarpaulins, water purification tablets and blankets. Three Australian officials are now stationed at Nadi airport to assist Australians.

Australians in need of consular help can call DFAT's crisis centre on +61 2 6261 3305.

April 02, 2012

Flood-damaged Fiji likened to warzone

By Lindy Kerin
Updated April 02, 2012 19:12:38

People in flood-ravaged Fiji have begun returning home after spending several days in evacuation centres.

At least four people have died in some of the worst flooding the country has seen in decades.

But the worst may not be over, with more heavy rain predicted tomorrow after a tropical cyclone formed this afternoon.

Tafazul Gani, a correspondent for a Fijian magazine, says many of the island's residents are struggling to cope.

"A lot of people are thinking 'what do we do next? How do we cope?' And having two floods in a matter of a couple of days, a lot of people they don't have basically anything," he said.

Mr Gani is in one of the worst affected areas of Nadi. He says flood damage there is extensive.

"Basically, if you look at the town, the town is totally decimated. It actually looks like a warzone," he said.

"There is not a single shop in the town which has not been affected. Some shops actually have nothing left, everything that was in the shop, the counter, the merchandise, everything got washed away."

But floodwaters have now begun to drop and the clean up has started.

Tourist flights into Nadi have resumed but power is still cut off in many areas.

Fiji government spokeswoman Sharon Johns says the extent of damage is still being assessed.

"It's quite extensive. In Nadi town, shops in Nadi town, the floodwaters went right through that," she said.

"The bridge hasn't been damaged but the infrastructure around the bridge, you can see, electricity's out, water's out. There is quite a lot of damage here."

Returning home
Over the past few days about 8,000 people sought refuge in evacuation centres.

Ms Johns says some have now started to return home.

"It hasn't rained up here at all in the last 12 hours, which is great. So people are actually starting to return to their homes," she said.

"I was just at an evacuation centre in Nadi where there was a four-day-old baby and her mother, and they were all doing very well.

"They're being well looked after that, rations are getting to them. We're ... organising water sterilisers for the children especially.

"So evacuation centres we would expect that to decrease slowly over the coming days."

New threat
After massive rainfall over the past 72 hours, Fijians are bracing for more rain after Tropical Cyclone Daphne formed on Monday afternoon.

Nadraki Weather Centre spokesman Neville Koop says some of the western parts of the country have copped up to 800 millimetres of rain.

He says there is a chance of further flooding.

"The $64 question is how much rain? And the answer to that lies in how long the rain band stays over Fiji," he said.

"At this stage, my best estimate is about 10 to 12 hours. And if we assume an average rain rate of about 15 millimetres an hour in this sort of system, we have around about 150 to 180 millimetres potential rainfall.

"So there's certainly the possibility that this rain may push the rivers back into flood situation later tomorrow."

Tourist flights into Fiji were stopped last night but most airlines have resumed all services.

Australia has offered $1 million in aid to Fiji for water sanitation, blankets and other supplies.

Time Lapse Footage of Flood Waters Receding: Waqadra, Nadi 11am - 7pm (01 April 2012)

(c) Youtube Account "totaldigitalsolution"

New Zealand Herald: Fiji floods: NZ on stand by to help

By NZ Herald staff and APNZ
UPDATED9:29 AM Monday Apr 2, 2012

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand is on stand by to help Kiwis stranded by floodwaters in Fiji, as authorities there warn tourists to stay away.

Severe weather has pounded Fiji, killing at least four, as flash floods bring down power and water supplies over the weekend.

Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns told Radio New Zealand today that the death toll was now at four.

"There are about 5000 people currently in evacuation centres...and that number comes up and down as the flood waters rise and go down.''

It had stopped raining now and rivers had receded overnight, but Ms Smith-Johns said tourists should still stay away.

"We love tourists, we love the Kiwis and the Aussies but at the moment the best place to be is to be at home until this clears, but it will clear very quickly.

"At the moment flying in, it's difficult to get to hotels.''

Water was still cut while the power remained off, she said.

"We've had a bashing over in Fiji, we've just got it all back together again from the floods in January...the rain we've had in the 24 hour period have been horrendous.''

Prime Minister John Key said the Government was prepared to evacuate New Zealanders from Fiji if required.

Speaking to TVNZ this morning, Mr Key said the foreign affairs ministry was monitoring the situation and, if necessary, would go in and get New Zealanders.

"But they may well be in conditions that are quite stable ... it's people in rural parts of Fiji where we've already had lives lost, people's homes devastated, so that's really where support would come in.''

Air New Zealand said two flights to Fiji were planned today, weather permitting.

The Fiji Government had banned inbound passengers to Fiji, so the flights would go to Fiji empty to get stranded passengers out.

Air New Zealand would put on extra services to and from Nadi as soon as the weather improved, a spokesman said yesterday.

The planned flights are NZ56, due to leave Auckland at 10.30am, and NZ754, scheduled to depart at 3.45pm.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closely watching the situation and is ready to help if necessary.

It knew of no New Zealanders who had been injured or whose safety was seriously at risk, a spokeswoman said.

At least 1000 people have had their travel plans disrupted, including outbound passengers in Auckland.

MetService severe weather forecaster Erick Brenstrum said the rain had persisted in Fiji even after the centre of the tropical storm moved on - and there was the possibility of thunderstorms for two more days.

The weather system was set to arrive in New Zealand tomorrow, particularly affecting eastern areas such as Gisborne, which had already suffered heavily from rains this year.

The western side of the North Island could also get some of the worst winds, Mr Brenstrum said.

"A lot of places will get gale-force winds, and a chance of severe gales,'' he said.

"We're going to get interesting weather over most of the North Island, and possibly the top of the South Island,'' he said.

''[But] they do change a lot on the way down, so it won't be identical to the storm Fiji got,'' Mr Brenstrum said.

A tropical cyclone was also now brewing near Vanuatu, but it was likely to miss both Fiji and New Zealand, he said.


By NZ Herald staff and APNZ

More visuals: Flooding in Fiji

Footage of flash flood on 30 March 2012

(c) Youtube User Ashish Chief

April 01, 2012

The Australian: Power cuts add to Fiji flood disaster

From: AAP April 01, 2012 7:42PM

PEOPLE on the main Fijian island of Viti Levu are now dealing with a severe power cut as well as heavy flooding.

A state of natural disaster has been declared for most of Fiji's Western Division due to the floods, which have killed at least three people and forced thousands into evacuation centres.

The Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) later said power was cut after a power transmitter fell into a river due to a landslide, Fiji Village website reported.

FEA chief executive Hasmukh Patel said a schedule for rotating blackouts would be formulated under which most industries get power during the day and domestic users in the evening.

Disaster Management Centre director Pajiliai Doubi told the website there were nearly 8000 people in 96 evacuation centres.

Three people had died and another three were missing, he said.

Incoming flights to Nadi international airport had stopped and by tonight scheduled Air Pacific flights out of Nadi to Auckland, Melbourne and Honolulu were cancelled.

In addition, an empty Air New Zealand Boeing 747 flight scheduled to land today to fly stranded passengers out of Fiji had to turn back due to bad weather.

An Air New Zealand spokesman said it was hoped a plane could land tomorrow.

The state of natural disaster zone is for most of Fiji's Western Division, including the Lautoka, Nadi, Tavua, Ba, Nadroga and Navosa districts.

Fiji's Central Division was also at risk, in particular the town of Nausori.

Meanwhile, a tropical cyclone alert has been issued by Fiji's Meteorological Service and a strong wind warning remains.

It said a depression moving southeast is expected to intensify and possibly become a tropical cyclone in the next 24 to 36 hours, bringing gale-force winds.

Also possible are periods of heavy rain and squally thunderstorms, as well as flooding of rivers, streams and low-lying areas.

Radio NZ: Fiji floods could be made worse by cyclone

Updated at 7:03 pm today

Hundreds of tourists have been stranded in Fiji by the effects of widespread flooding, and authorities say more heavy rain is forecast for the next two days.

Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Johns says officials are worried about a further deterioration in the weather over the next 12 hours.

"There is a tropical depression forming at the moment which could have a possibility of turning to a tropical cyclone," she told the ABC. "That's going to be our next threat".

River levels are already as high as disastrous floods in 2009 and emergency workers are preparing for worse weather to come.

The island nation's interim government temporarily halted passenger flights into the country as floodwaters that closed the main road to the island's international airport left arriving passengers with no way of reaching their hotels or resorts.

On Sunday, there were 6800 evacuees in 56 evacuation centres in Fiji's Western Division, the Fiji Village news website reported.

All inbound Air Pacific flights were cancelled on Sunday.

Air New Zealand says the continuing bad weather in Fiji has forced it to cancel an evening flight that would have collected stranded passengers.

It says the next empty flight to Fiji is scheduled to leave at 10.30am on Monday.

Australian officials said they were in regular contact with Fiji's disaster management office to confirm the whereabouts and safety of tourists, and on this side of the Tasman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff say New Zealand is ready to help if needed, though Fiji has not so far requested assistance.

Two people have been confirmed dead, with one man killed when he was trapped in his car by floods and another swept away in a creek.

Big damage bill
Meteorologist Neville Koop told the ABC that the damage bill is likely to be in the millions: "We've seen very significant infrastructure damage," he says.

"Unlike the floods in January, where we did have some notice of them coming and people in and around Nadi especially had the chance to move goods and property beforehand, in this case it's just caught everybody by surprise and so the level of damage is just going to be tremendous."

The six-day deluge in January claimed 11 lives.

The Australian: Australian aid pledged to flooded Fiji

From: AAP April 01, 2012 4:04 PM

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr says Australia will provide whatever assistance is needed to Fiji, where floods have devastated the Pacific Island nation.

"We stand by ready to offer any assistance that's necessary for the government and people of Fiji," Mr Carr told reporters in Sydney today.

"We're ready for the Fijian Government to tell us anything they need and we'll respond, I hope it can be said with the generosity with which we responded to New Zealand's crisis during the Christchurch earthquake."

A state of natural disaster was declared for western Fiji today.

It follows flooding in which at least three people have died and 4000 have been forced into evacuation centres.

"Australians travelling to Fiji ought to be aware of the restrictions," Mr Carr said.

"We're not aware at this stage of Australians who have been injured or whose safety is seriously at risk."

The Australian: Storm-hit Fiji turns tourists away

From: AFP April 01, 2012 3:21PM

FLOOD-ravaged Fiji has declared a state of emergency and warned tourists to stay away for the time being, as heavy rain and high winds continued to pound the South Pacific nation.

Officials said they could not guarantee visitors' safety in the wake of flash floods that have killed at least two people and forced more than 5,000 to take shelter in evacuation centres.

With roads to the international airport in Nadi cut off and extreme weather expected to continue until Tuesday, officials asked airlines not to bring in any more tourists until tomorrow at the earliest.

“This action is being reluctantly taken by the Fijian government to ensure the safety and convenience of international visitors and Fijian citizens seeking to return to Fiji,” Tourism Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said.

The request is believed to be unprecedented for tourist-dependent Fiji.

National carrier Air Pacific said it had cancelled all inbound flights scheduled for today and was operating only limited outbound flights for passengers who had already checked in at Nadi airport.

Airports Fiji Limited chief executive Tony Gollin said hundreds of international passengers were at the airport awaiting departure.

Many more have been unable to reach the airport, in the west of the main island Vita Levu, after fallen trees, landslides and swollen rivers cut road access.

The government declared a state of emergency in flood-affected areas, saying the move would make coordinating flood relief more effective.

“It's all about efficiency, allowing all parties to just go in there and get going,” a government spokeswoman said.

Police and the military were helping coordinate clean-up efforts but the ferocious weather meant that in some areas makeshift repairs to damaged homes were torn apart almost as soon as they were completed.

The entire centre of Nadi was declared off limits to the public because police said the force of water running through the streets after the town's river burst its banks threatened to sweep people away.

The latest flood disaster comes after a six-day deluge in January claimed 11 lives.


Aussies stranded in Fiji floods told 'spare water'

15:30 AEDT Sun Apr 1 2012
By David Meddows, ninemsn

A Sydney family who are trapped by floodwaters in Fiji's Shangri La hotel say guests are being told to use water sparingly after being stuck for nearly three days.

Helen and Michael Geirhos, from Kings Langley, are holed up in the hotel with Terese Donachie and Bill Bruce, together with four children.

The family had planned to leave on 30 March but have not been able to get to the airport to fly home.

Mrs Geirhos has told of a lack of communication from hotel staff, leaving the group unsure of what action to take.

"We can move around, but we have been given no instructions," she told ninemsn.

"No announcements, only signs in the lobby telling us to stay put.

"Nadi is operating but we can't get there," she added.

Are you stranded, or do you know some who is stranded in the Fiji floods? Let us know by sending an email to news.feedback@ninemsn.com.au

The lack of access to the hotel has guests concerned about the ongoing supply of drinking water and fresh food.

But the hotel has said they are in constant communication with the Fijian government and will have supplies dropped in if necessary.

Michael Monks, the hotel's general manager, denied their was immediate concern for the welfare of his guests, but conceded they had asked for people to be careful with their water usage.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has set up a consular crisis centre after it was revealed a number of Australian are stranded in Fiji following the recent damaging floods.

The Australian: Fiji floods forces 7000 evacuations

NEARLY 7000 people have been displaced in flood-stricken Fiji, with conditions set to worsen.
Two people have died in the floods, which have damaged homes and forced nearly 7000 people into evacuation centres. Fiji officials are considering declaring a state of emergency.
A severe flooding warning remained in place with heavy rain and squally thunderstorms forecast to hit the island group on Sunday, the Fiji Village website reported.
Heavy rain continued in Nadi, which was under about 1.8m of water, with levels still rising.
The town of Ba was similarly inundated.
On Sunday morning there were 6800 evacuees in 56 evacuation centres in Fiji's Western Division, the website reported.
The Rewa River was also rising to dangerous levels, though conditions had eased in Tavua.
Nadi Airport was open to departing flights but all inbound Air Pacific flights had been cancelled on Sunday.
A 20-year-old man died after he was washed away by strong currents in Ba on Saturday.
His death followed that of a 29-year-old father of two who died when his family's van was swept away.
Heavy rains from Wednesday caused rivers to burst their banks in the west of the main island Viti Levu.
Water levels were higher than those experienced during a six-day deluge in January which claimed 11 lives, meteorologists said.