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Pacific briefs: Tuesday February 5

Barbara Dreaver

By Barbara Dreaver ONE News Pacific Correspondent

Published: 10:48AM Tuesday February 05, 2013 Source: ONE News

  • Cook Islands (Source: ONE News)
    Cook Islands - Source: ONE News

Fuel crisis looming

The island of Manihiki in the Cook Islands is facing a fuel crisis as it only has enough diesel for four more days.

The Prime Minister Henry Puna has requested the police use patrol boat Te Kukupa to make an emergency run as the region is in the middle of cyclone season.

Like most of the pacific, Manihiki is powered by diesel generators.

Puna told Cook Islands News that dealing with the threat of disaster means the island needs to be adequately prepared and that includes having power for any protection and recovery efforts.

The fuel shortage came about after a change in the shipping schedule. The Tiare Moana was meant to carry 30,000 litres of fuel to Manihiki but has been delayed until March. It is hoped the police patrol boat can take enough fuel to see the island through until then.

Manihiki is not the only island to feel the pressure - last week Mangaia only had one days worth of fuel left before it was reprieved with the arrival of a ship carrying much-needed supplies

Sex offenders registry discussed

The call to set up a sex offenders registry in Samoa is gathering support.

The push has come from Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson who said the Government needs to consider setting up a registry of sex offenders.

He made the statement during the sentencing of a child molester who has been jailed twice for molesting two seven-year-old girls on different occasions.

Lina Chang from the Samoan Victim Support Group told the Samoa Observer that photos should be taken of the offenders and made known to everyone so children can be protected.

Church groups are adding their voices in support of the scheme, but the Samoan Law Society is urging caution over possible human rights violations.

Solomon teachers strike over

Solomon Islands schools are expected to re-open today after striking teachers struck an agreement with the Government.

Radio Australia is reporting the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association have said the strike is off and teachers expect to get their first pay rises later this week.

More than 9000 have been striking after the Government failed to include promised backpay and pay rises in the annual budget, as well as refusing to discuss when they will pay teachers what money they are owed.

However, an agreement was struck last night and the Government has agreed to make three installments of pay adjustments.

Tough times ahead

There is grim news for Tonga as the income for the Kingdom continues to fall.

The Governor of Tongas Reserve bank Joyce Mafi has told the Chamber of Commerce that as a result of the global financial crisis there was a steep decline of cash remittances.

Many Tongans rely on the money family members working overseas send back home but the amounts have been steadily decreasing since 2008.

In the year ending November 2012 remittances dropped  from $T132.2  million to $T109.7 million

Move over Jamaica

When the Jamaicans entered a bob sled team into the winter Olympics in 1988 it inspired admiration - and the movie Cool Runnings.

Now the Tongans have a chance as Tongan luger known as Bruno Banani aims to become the Kingdoms first ever competitor at the 2014 winter Olympics in Russia.

He was originally picked by an American event promotions company which wanted to find a Tongan luger. It is reported that his real name is Fuahea Semi, and as a marketing ploy he was renamed Bruno Banani -  the name of a racy German underwear company.

Bruno Banani has qualified for major international competitions and won a bronze medal at the 2011 America-Pacific Luge Championship in Calgary. He is 37 in the world rankings.

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