Samoa

MFaT blows $9million on conference, most of it on a cruise liner

TROUGHING: P&O Pacific Jewel in Apia for the SIDS conference

TROUGHING: P&O Pacific Jewel in Apia for the SIDS conference

Government departments are essentially large troughs where they find innovative ways to blow taxpayer cash on themselves.

But none it appears are as wasteful or out of control than Murray McCully’s depart, MFaT.

They have blown $9 million on a 4 day conference in Samoa where they even rented a cruise liner!

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for bankrolling a four-day UN conference in Samoa last September has cost New Zealand taxpayers over $9 million.

According to an Mfat spokesman, New Zealand’s $9 million contribution to the third Small Island Developing States (SIDS) international conference covered operating costs, accommodation, police support, technical advice and assistance to New Zealand’s “counterpart agencies,” as well as infrastructure support for Apia’s port and the hosting of high-level visitors.

SIDS was the largest conference ever held in the Pacific. About 2000 delegates attended from over 100 countries, including many heads of government and ministers.

“It is difficult to comprehend how $9 million could be spent on a conference lasting just four days,” Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams says.

“The amount is nearly half New Zealand’s annual aid budget to Samoa and amounts to $4500 per attendee. It appears someone else picked up the attendees’ flights, travel and presumably cocktails, which makes the amount all the more remarkable.”

“If the $9 million had been used for genuine economic development or investment, no one would complain. Instead taxpayers forked out for a conference that resulted only in a document that ‘reaffirmed’, ‘acknowledged’, ‘recognised’ and ‘recommitted’ to various bureaucratic platitudes.”    Read more »

Is Labour panicking in Mangere?

This is the third week that Su’a William Sio has pushed himself into the news with either made up or trumped up claims against National or his opponent.

I wonder perhaps if he is feeling a bit nervous about his prospects.

This is probably the first election where he has been pushed by a National party opponent intent on taking the fight tot he streets of South Auckland.

This week though he has raised a spurious allegation with no foundation of facts behind him.

Labour is immensely concerned that members of an Auckland Pacific Pentecostal Church are being signed up as National Party members without their full understanding, Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“Congregation members are being approached by a person claiming to represent National who is convincing them to sign forms they don’t fully comprehend.

“They are then being sent letters addressed to them personally saying they are now members of National and must now vote for them

I doubt that this is even true. Where are the letters? Show us the letters?  Read more »

This is what happens when you take voters for granted

Labour has traditionally owned the Pasifika vote, especially in South Auckland, which has been a fortress for Labour.

It saved them in 2005 when the infamous KFC remark was made by Mike Williams about how he turned out South Auckland to save Helen Clark’s government.

But Labour are a party of condescension and voter exploitation.

For so long they have taken those votes for granted that they never actually delivered anything other than continued poverty and welfare traps for voters. After nine years of a Labour government these people were still living in the same crappy neighbourhood, with the same crappy neighbours, their kids going to the same crappy schools. Nothing had changed despite generations supporting Labour.

Labour for their part selected corrupt or dodgy representatives, ranked them low on the list, created a ghettoisation of politics especially for Pasifika and rocked up and recited all the greetings like they meant something other than votes to them.

Now though, after 6 years of a National government with ministers and representatives like Peseta Sam Lotu-iiga and Alfred Ngaro they are seeing that a focus on education and respect of ability rather than race or tokenism pays off.

They have seen 300 more police in their neighbourhoods and the incidence of crime dropping and they are seeing a focus on schooling and training for their people as a way out of poverty. Their eyes are open to alternate realities outside of poverty and welfare.

Have a drive through Otara, I do every day, and witness the changes from just 10 years ago. Maori have largely moved further south, to places like Clendon Park, and Pasifika have moved in and taken over. Former state houses are now kept in immaculate condition, lawns are mowed, and a quiet respect has developed.

Little wonder then that Pasifika are gravitating to a party that gives hope and rewards hard work and enterprise.

The Pacific vote is traditionally Labour’s, but socially liberal policies like same-sex marriage, driven by Labour, have created a drift.

The Prime Minister is pouncing and believes National is set to secure more Pacific and south Auckland votes in this election than in the past.

Many turned out to see John Key in Mangere, offering hugs, kisses and photos. They even managed to roll out a gold carpet, but there was no red there.

“I can’t think of a time where I have been a leader of the National Party where we would have so many people in Mangere turn up for a National Party meeting,” says Mr Key. “If you close your eyes you’d be forgiven for thinking you were at a Labour Party meeting, over 500 people in there.”     Read more »

Compare and Contrast

One sports star bashes and kicks a person into unconsciousness and is jailed for two years and cries a river of tears blaming everyone else from the victim on down.

And then there is Brian Lima who brings a foreign concept to sports people doing dumb shit…accountability.

The NZ Herald reports:

Manu Samoa rugby legend Brian Lima has resigned from all forms of rugby in the island nation following allegations of an assault on his ex-wife.

Lima, the defence coach for the Samoan rugby team, handed in a letter of resignation last month, the Samoa Observer reported today.  Read more »

Tragic and yet preventable

Two blokes holidaying in Samoa are dead and it was all preventable.

The NZ Herald reports:

A night out in Samoa ended in tragedy for two Kiwi men who were killed in a car accident.

Aucklander Thesaurus Heather, 20, and Wellington man Jesse Risale, 21, died early last Thursday when the Land Cruiser they were in flipped several times in the village of Vailoa, Faleata.

The pair were sitting on the back of the ute at the time.  Read more »

Fats is dead, RIP

fatialofa

Peter Fatialofa, Auckland and Samoan rugby legend has died.

Popular Samoan rugby identity Peter Fatialofa has died. He was aged 54.

Reports say Fatialofa was taken ill suddenly and died this morning. It is understood Fatialofa had a heart attack while driving in Samoa and died while be attended by ambulance staff.

Twitter was abuzz with shock amongst the Samoan and general rugby communities.

Fatialofa played for Manu Samoa between 1988 and 1996, making 34 test appearances.    Read more »

The bigger the cushion the better the pushin’

Samoa's PM prefers his women built for comfort not speed

Samoa’s PM prefers his women built for comfort not speed

The PM of Samoa has declared that he’d like the women of Samoa to be built for comfort not speed.

Samoa’s prime minister has called for his nation’s women to stay away from international beauty contests because they favour skinny and scrawny-looking women.

Miss Samoa 2012/2013, Janine Tuivaiti, failed to reach the finals of the recent Miss World.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele reflected on winner, Miss Philippines Megan Young, saying she barely bothered the scales at 47 kilograms.  Read more »

Photo of the Day

A tree in Samoa after cyclone Evan

Samoa Tree after Evan

via imgur

Inappropriate Plan Change for Mangere Abandoned

the tipline

For the past 3 years the Manukau City Council Planning Policy Department had been working towards a plan change for the whole heart of Mangere.

The area has its own character and its own strong community spirit. The people did not want or need to have new fangled (and foreign) urban design philsophy and concepts foisted on them, much less shoved on them by having it declared immediately effective in October 2010 just before the advent of Auckland Council.

This plan change (PC26) has been abandoned (PDF 88Kb) with effect from date it is to be announced, today, Friday 22 June. The copy of the public minutes attached record the end of an ill-conceived and inappropriate plan change. The excuse for dropping it is apparently something to do with “incompatibility with the proposed Auckland Plan”.

The only part remaining of PC26 has been turned into a spot zone beside the Mangere Town Centre for a Samoan Consulate under PC54. This spot zone applies to a Council property that is presently public reserve land that will be sold to the Samoan Government.

This is probably a good idea considering the large population of Samoans in the South Auckland area, and having a consulate actually in the community is sensible.

Kick poverty to touch the Samoan way

Is Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi the best PM in the world ever?

I mean John Key seriously needs to HTFU to beat this statement from the Samoan PM:

Samoans who claim they are poor are lazy, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele says.

In a comment on the government website Savali, Tuilaepa says having no food, water, clothes, a home or access to medical treatment was poverty.

There was no poverty in Samoa.

“Every Samoan has claim to land. There are plenty of mangoes, pawpaws, bananas and breadfruit falling off and rotting on the ground, plenty of fish in the sea,” he said.

“The problem is too many people are coming into town and loathing around. They are lazy and do not want to go back to their village to work the land. They should stay in their village where their lands are and develop it.”

Tuilaepa says that some Samoans think that not having car, a TV or a European house is poverty.

“Those are luxuries. Having none of those is certainly not poverty.”

If there is no poverty in Samoa there sure as hell isn’t any poverty here. This is the image accompanying the press release on the official government website:

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