Report by: Ric Carlyon
"Fiji’s economy’s in good health according to the latest report from the Chairman of the Macro-Economic Policy Committee and Governor of the Reserve Bank, Barry Whiteside."
He says the forecast is for more rapid growth than anticipated in the National Budget, up from 2.3 per cent to 2.7 per cent.
Whiteside also predicts that the inflation rate by December will be held at around 3.5 per cent.
He has revised GDP growth projections for the next 2 years with an improved outlook and at the same time he has altered forecasts for imports and exports.
Exports, he says, have increased across-the-board, making positive contributions to the economy.
...on the ground realities that magnify the net effect of a backslidden economy speaks volumes.
Published: 10:59AM Friday June 01, 2012 Source: Fairfax
Embarrassment over the return of a New Zealand honeymooner's body without her organs has forced Fiji to change its autopsy procedures.
Blenheim woman Rebecca Louise Stockwell died of severe brain trauma after she was hit by a passing 20-foot aluminium boat's propeller in November 2007.
In a report by Coroner Christopher Devonport released today, it said her body was returned to New Zealand without vital organs as part of Fijian autopsy procedures.
Rebecca Stockwell had been married for four days when she arrived in Fiji with husband Hayden, and headed to the Matamanoa Island Resort.
Within days of their arrival, the couple decided to go snorkelling and entered the water about 10.30am on November 30.
Hayden said he and his wife were swimming on top of the water, kicking their fins, parallel with the beach just over the edge of the reef, about 10 to 15 metres from the shore.
Rebecca then indicated she was to take a photograph, and he carried on swimming until he heard a noise.
"I lifted my head and saw a boat," he said.
"It was a drone noise, it was probably the engine, but I didn't hear it until it was so late."
The boat began approaching Hayden and he kicked out of the way. It missed him by less than a metre, he said.
"I wasn't sure where Becky was but she had been on my right hand side and as the boat passed I heard the bang."
When the boat stopped, Hayden saw blood on top of the water before his wife came to the surface face down.
"I grabbed her and lifted her head out of the water and I started screaming for help. I noticed that she was bleeding from the head - the snorkel and mask were gone," he said.
Hayden tried to swim back to shore with his wife while constantly screaming for help, but the driver of the boat "eventually jumped in the water" and swum her to shore, he said.
A doctor was flown into the resort and found that Rebecca was fatally injured. While removing a towel, covering her head wounds, he saw the brain was dislodged.
Rebecca was immediately lifted to Nadi Airport and transferred to Latoka Hospital. She died 45 minutes later.
An autopsy was conducted by Litia Tudravu, who had been employed by the Fiji Ministry of Health. She concluded the death was "severe brain trauma," and advised that it was not possible to replace the brain into the skull cavity.
Tudravu set the brain aside for disposal which took place within 24 hours, and notified New Zealand police that embalming procedures were completed for bodies being transported overseas.
With a full autopsy, the brain and organs were eviscerated and disposed of within the hospital.
Tudravu later told police that she was "embarrassed" by not returning Rebecca's brain. As result of her case, procedures had been changed to ensure better consultation with families in regard to autopsies and embalming procedures.
When the body arrived in New Zealand, a post mortem examination was also conducted by a second pathologist, who concluded her cause of the death was "multiple parallel chopping wounds to head and shoulder indicative of boat propeller strike".
Devonport found Tomasi Natuluvuli Tuvou, the operator of the aluminium boat that hit Rebecca, did not keep a look out for swimmers when he deviated from a designated boat channel, and did not have a licence to operate a motor vessel.
"Mr Tuvou did not employ safe boating practices. He travelled outside the designated channel. He travelled at speed. He did not keep a lookout. He did not have a second person on board acting as a spotter," he said.
"Failure to employ safe boating practices resulted in Mrs Stockwell being run over by the boat and hit on the head by the boat's propeller."
Tuvou was sentenced to one year imprisonment suspended for two years following conviction for manslaughter by an unlawful omission resulting in death in
Devonport said he has no jurisdiction to make recommendations or comments to a company in Fiji. However, he has been advised that an investigation had been carried out by the Fijian Labour Ministry's National Occupational Health and Safety Services and changes had been made by the resort.