#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ben Ryan publishes his real views on Fiji's bid to host 7s rugby

Note: He gave these views in interviews with Fiji journalists but not a single one of it was published or aired.

I thought hard before writing this.

I left Fiji almost a year and a half ago now.

Should I just keep my views to myself?

Keep my nose out of things even if I see what I think is wrong?

One of the many things Fiji helped me regain was being true to yourself - to be authentic.

I worked, lived and breathed Fiji and Fiji Rugby and feel I have some knowledge of the landscape Fijian Rugby operates in as well as global rugby to have an opinion. So I’m telling this story.....

On the day I arrived to the coral coast sevens, I was asked for some interviews by the media. No problem I said and the opening questions were on the tournament and quality of players etc. The journalists in Fiji know I won’t comment about Gareth or the fiji 7s team performances etc and they were very professional in not asking me anything in that area.

Then I was asked about fiji’s bid for hosting a leg of the series. I told them my views as I was asked the question and I have serious reservations about what is happening.

Not a single word was written about what I said. I imagine they were told not to print it.

I wasn’t prepared to back the bid for the following reasons.....
1. The overseas consultants asked for a budget of $1m FJD just to put together the bid. That’s hugely excessive and a massive waste of money. What are they spending it all on?? The bid should cost $0 fjd to put together as it’s a process that can be done using FRU staff and their internal resources. No other bidder for a leg is spending anywhere near that amount. Why are they wasting money with radio adverts etc? How has this been allowed? Wool being pulled over someone’s eyes that for sure. It’s wastefulness of the highest degree.

2. The tournament will cost a huge amount of money to run and will not make a profit. Tax payers money will have to support this. The consultants Involved were also part of the fiji golf tournament, which lost around $12m fjd a year. If it was a company it would have gone bust. Again tax payers money. HK and Dubai (Dubai due to the other tournaments run alongside the series leg) are the exceptions to this but all the other tournaments - a huge percentage of those in the stadiums are from that country hosting it. Tourism won’t get a huge spike from this and you can’t charge overseas ticket prices if you want to get a good crowd.

I am no longer a tax payer but if I was, I’d want to know if the plan to finance this was through government funding. I don’t want to get into the social morality side of this but in my three years living and working on the island, I saw how a small amount of resource can go a long way to improve a persons standard of life in the villages and towns of fiji. This sort of money would make a huge difference if spent correctly.

3. The players are still the lowest paid in the top 10 Sevens teams in the series by a long way and none are given the security of a contract longer than a season. The top players in the Fiji 7s squad get $15k fjd maximum as a salary. This is the equivalent of over three years salaries for the entire men’s and women’s sevens squad that this massively over inflated bid is costing.

4. . How about they sort all of that out first for men’s and women’s teams - far bigger priority for sustaining 7s success. So is coach development on the island. So is Player development programmes. So is referee development programmes. Better Talent ID programmes. The list goes on....It will be a huge drain on finances which will mean cuts elsewhere in programmes. It might do the opposite to the fiji 7s team and lead to less funding which could lead to less success on the field. For more success on the playing fields for all the Fijian teams - that’s where any additional finances should go - not to the bid consultants and tournaments that are not financially profitable.

5. Imagine if this money was to fund a Super Rugby Franchise on the Island instead? Regular visitors to matches not a fraction of this once a year.
Home grown players staying on the island and not going overseas because there is a professional team in fiji. Huge boost to local economy throughout the year. Super rugby franchise academies to develop players, local coaches, medical staff, managers, conditioners etc. More contact time possible for the National players which would lead to more success for the XVs team. Merchandise and sponsorship possibilities. I could keep going. NOW THAT IS EXCITING. That is a good use of this amount of money. I know what I’d rather see and what will make a bigger difference to Fijian Rugby.

6. Now I know having high profile events in fiji will increase the profile of the country but so does the team, so would a good RWC 2019 campaign, a super rugby franchise and many other things that do not cost this amount of money. The team’s success at Rio led to fiji being the top search on google for a while and I know hotel bookings etc all went up as a result. You don’t need a tournament costing millions to do that.

7. I, alongside I’m sure every Rugby fan in the globe would love to one day see a leg of the World Series in Fiji. A leg that is profitable. That’s not now and there are many other priorities before that in my opinion. Some more transparency in all of this is needed.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fiji's e-ticketing system deemed to fail

'Invalid system error' when this passenger tried to click on
The Fiji First government's e-ticketing system for buses launched three days ago and it has been nothing but chaos.

E-ticketing machines where people are supposed to click on before boarding their bus have been broken saying 'invalid system setting'.

Passengers and children haven't been picked up by drivers especially along the Suva-Nausori corridor.

Some passengers say they are being wrongly charged and their bus fares have actually gone up.

Yesterday Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum held a press conference to address the public backlash and confirmed 100 complaints had been received by the LTA.

However he said that the complaints were minor, considering the number of e-cards distributed, which is about 600,000.  

Pro-government media like the Fiji Sun have called the e-ticketing system a historic moment and the beginning of another milestone.

Is it an increase in bus fares?
According to a Fiji Sun editorial "it will take time for people to adapt to this new change but overall this e-ticketing system  is a step-forward for Fijians one that we will need to get used to and prove to the world that yes, Fiji will move with modern technologies, and time".

They have conveniently forgotten that Fiji is a third world country, it is not on the same level as most other countries in the world that have e-ticketing in terms of many reasons - population, infrastructure, technology, education and salaries.

If the government wants Fiji to be there at the top of the list with other countries there are a thousand other services to fix before introducing an expensive e-ticketing system that the people of Fiji are not ready for.

Fiji is now so modern with this e-ticketing system yet the country is still experiencing a lack of basic services like water and power cuts, bad roads and a health system to die for - literally.  

Saturday, September 2, 2017

'Adultery email' shows SODELPA weaknesses

Is SODELPA going to stuff it up for the 2018 elections?
Instead of getting its act together on policies that will win them votes next year, the party hierarchy is caught up in email exposures that reveal poor strategy and solidarity in party ranks.
This week's clanger by Saniana Radrodro is not only an example of the shabby communications she provided for SODELPA in 2014, but the fact that SODELPA stills doesn't know how to play to win.
As losers in an election structured to favour military, SODELPA got 15 out of 50 seats and nearly 30 per cent of the vote, a good base to build on.
But a year out from the country going to the polls again, emails calling out each other's adulterous behaviour is exactly the crap that affects the votes of ordinary Fijians.
People in SODELPA, from the likes of Sainiana Radroro to party leader Sitiveni Rabuka himself, need to get it together quickly if it's going to topple the military government of FB.
Sainiana Radroro has explained herself but it's no wonder the party's vulnerable with the kind of correspondence she's putting out for anyone to leak.
Does SODELPA want to win the 2018 elections or not?

Saniana Radroro's email about Rabuka's call for a national poll on adultery
Ni Yadra na veiwekani. I'm optimistic we are all in good health this
Rein it in, please!

I communicate to register my concern and personal disappointment over recent pronouncements by the Party Leader MG Sitiveni Rabuka in the news media specifically the Fiji Times.
I woke up yesterday to phone calls from people over what Mr Rabuka had stated in response to escalating crime rates in Fiji that appeared as front page on this last Tuesday morning the 28th of August, 2017.
In his response as per attached pictures of his statement, the Party leader is calling for a public poll to be conducted to determine how many leaders are engaging in adulterous affairs.
How many are divorcees and etc. the alleged quote by him is as follows:
"It would be very interesting to do a poll at our national leadership level to gauge how many leaders hold moral views.
How many are in adulterous relationships or are divorcees, how many have caused deaths with or without malice, and how many
Pull it together, please!
condone these erosions of moral values ".

This to me shows a man that views himself as above others and one that wants to project he is above reproach.
I am sad. Without going into a personal attack on the Party Leader, let me just say that when his name was being mooted for party leader, some of our leaders asked whether he would be good.
In response, I had personally shared that I was only concerned of his apparent bitterness which shines through emails for example that he sends to the public likewise his public pronouncements that he makes referring to what his own daughter had to suffer. In the process he walks over people like me.
Now in this latest statement he makes, I wonder whether we have the right leader.
After all I want to ask him to tell us who is he referring to in his statement because I can easily pick out all of us who are divorcees in this party and now live happy lives. Also I know of many whose adulterous lives were public, and know likewise that this party has people who had illegitimate children before marriages and some during Marriage, but it's not in our place to judge them or anyone for that matter.
The inference I get from the Party Leader's statement is that it's okay to have affairs as many as you can have and even have children in the process whilst you are married but as long as you stay married. As a female the statement for me sends scary messages. As a feminist as well, I am disappointed to say the least.
I ask that all decent people in this party please encourage Mr Rabuka to reexamine his intentions for joining Sodelpa. Because this party after all was established to assist indigenous Fijians progress, not to be walked over by the very person who has recently joined the party to lead it.
In another statement he also said which is on video that I captured at the recent LeadersForum, that he is someone that doesn't like engaging in protests.
And yet we were there to gather signatures for a petition for free and fair elections which itself is forms of passive resistance or protest so to speak.
I strongly encourage that Mr Rabuka be trained on public engagements and pronouncements. Like I've shared he shows signs of a disturbed and psychologically damaged person. I hope this bitterness which perhaps has been mounting due to what he feels was done to him by we the indigenous people in 1999 resulting in his defeat at the polls, can be flushed out of his system. I am worried that He continues to display for example the character of someone willing to destroy people in his self righteous retribution process. As long as he is not out to avenge those that have wronged him in his view.
In another example, In a recent media release last year he had also claimed publicly that his own people from SVT and his traditional leader had been responsible in stabbing him in the back during SVT days and they were engaged in ousting him from the position of Chairman ofCakaudrove Provincial Council.
These public pronouncements make me really question his ability to remove his personal bitterness from his leadership.
I leave these here and seek your understanding to help us help him help Fiji.
Is he the right leader given to us by our maker or was it manipulated for him to assume the position? Such things will reflect on his performance. And I hope he does not become a liability for the party and for all freedom lovers in Fiji. We want to win next year's elections and we need a leader that helps us be victorious.
You will note his statements of recent are now the subject of jokes on social media by politicians from other parties. That's sad and this definitely will cost us as a party. I hope we don't get to not only lose next year but in fact win less seats than in 2014.
Vinaka Saka and may good sense prevail today. God bless always.