1. FIRST PHASE OF PRB RAIWAI PROJECT COMPLETED – Members of the public are invited to send in their expressions of interest to take up one of available 82 units at the newly constructed Public Rental Board (PRB) Flats at Nairai Road in Raiwai.
2. NEW JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new Japanese Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Mr Takuji Hanatani.
3. AZERBAIJAN AMBASSADOR TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new non-resident Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Rovshan Shamil oglu Jamshidov.
4. GOVERNMENT INJECTS $10,000 TO DEVELOP FIJIAN FASHION TALENT – In its seventh year, the Fiji Fashion Week Limited has entered into a new partnership with the Fijian government to open up fresh opportunities for students to acquire the skills and career pathways in fashion designing.
5. NORTHERN RESIDENT BENEFITS FROM GOVERNMENT HOUSING ASSISTANCE – The development of decent and affordable housing can improve the lives of rural people with inadequate shelter.
1 FIRST PHASE OF PRB RAIWAI PROJECT COMPLETED
Members of the public are invited to send in their expressions of interest to take up one of available 82 units at the newly constructed Public Rental Board (PRB) Flats at Nairai Road in Raiwai.
PRB acting general manager, Pat Kostino Veu said this is part of Phase One of their one and two bedrooms Raiwai Project, which is expected to be officially opened at the end of next month.
Mr Veu said the 82 units, housed in six buildings, will be ready for occupancy in the coming weeks.
“There are expressions of interests received from the existing PRB waitlist as well as the response to an expression of interest (EOI) last month. We are looking for a wider range of prospective tenants to choose from on a ‘first come first serve’ basis to occupy the units,” Mr Veu said.
PRB has set the rent at a range of $70-$100 per week, however, Mr Veu said the exact amount of rent for the flats will be determined by the board shortly.
“There is a Tenancy Agreement in place that governs the conditions of tenancy for all PRB flats, including the new Raiwai Project. There is also an allocation criteria which prospective tenants for Raiwai will have to meet,” Mr Veu said.
The benefits of the new flats include:
– More privacy of two and one bedroom units (the old flats were self-contained rooms only),
– Separate front and rear balconies,
– Orientation of the buildings allow for better air flow and natural light,
– Separate clothe lines for every flat,
– Covered walkways, and
– Fenced boundary.
The project was made possible through a $9million soft loan from the EXIM bank of China through the Fijian Government as well as anadditional $9.3million grant by the Chinese Government to the PRB.
The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment permanent secretary, Samuela Namosimalua said the project would assist in the provision of affordable rental housing for low to middle income earners.
“The completion of the 82 new and modern low cost housing units in Phase One and 128 units in Phase Two will improve the living standards and wellbeing of 210 families or 1050 residents,” Mr Namosimalua said.
Meanwhile, Phase Two of 128 units will be completed by August this year in accordance with the contract with China Railway First Group (Fiji) Company Limited.
Altogether, the project will see the completion of 210 units consisting of 110 one-bedroom and 100 two- bedroom flats.
2 NEW JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new Japanese Ambassador to Fiji His Excellency Mr Takuji Hanatani.
Ambassador Hanatani was welcomed by the head of state at Government House as he presented his Letters of Credence.
The ambassador, who graduated from Ritsumeikan University under the Faculty of Law, comes in as predecessor, Mr Eiichi Oshima, completed his term this year.
Mr Hanatani joined the Japanese Foreign Service in 1979 and has served at Japan’s diplomatic establishments including positions such as Minister in Embassy of Japan in Kenya, Minister in Embassy of Japan in Belgium and Consul-General of Japan in Atlanta, the Unites States.
He is also accredited to Vanuatu during this term.
3 AZERBAIJAN AMBASSADOR TO FIJI PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this morning received the credentials of the new non-resident Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Rovshan Shamil oglu Jamshidov.
The ambassador graduated from Oriental Studies Faculty, Azerbaijan State University in 1976 and started his career as an interpreter of Arabic language as he can speak English, Russian and Arabic.
His work in Foreign Service began in 1992 as Deputy Director at the Department of Information and Press at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Jamshidov has served in various capacities representing his country in Pakistan and was appointed Ambassador to the Republic of Korea in 2006.
He currently serves as ambassador to Australia and will be based in Canberra during his term as non-resident representative to Fiji.
Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasas region and is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
4 GOVERNMENT INJECTS $10,000 TO DEVELOP FIJIAN FASHION TALENT
In its seventh year, the Fiji Fashion Week Limited has entered into a new partnership with the Fijian government to open up fresh opportunities for students to acquire the skills and career pathways in fashion designing.
This development follows a $10,000 grant presented to the Fiji Fashion Week Limited by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation. The official grant signing that took place at the Ministry headquarters in Suva today, marked a new development in developing young Fijian talent.
The cheque of $10,000 was presented by the Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta to the Managing Director of Fiji Fashion Week Ltd, Mrs Ellen Whippy-Knight.
In appreciation of the new areas of collaboration, Mrs Whippy Knight said the grant from government is a timely assistance to boost the fashion designing industry in Fiji.
“The Fiji Fashion Week is really appreciative of this support from the government which has been initiated by very entrepreneurial minister for women Madam Dr Jiko Luveni and her support has been absolutely unwavering towards promoting Fiji’s emerging fashion industry that is creating employment and opportunities for women to improve their livelihood.
“Fashion is the fourth largest industry in the world and it’s predominantly women who are employed in many capacities of fashion, designing and modeling. This year the focus for Fiji Fashion Week is to capitalize on the tourism industry and resort wears and promoting fashion designing as an alternative career pathway for students in Fiji,” Mrs Whippy Knight said.
The $10,000 grant will be invested into organising the Fiji Fashion Week’s Fiji Fashion and Designing Forum which is scheduled for May 27that the Grand Pacific Hotel.
“One of the key speakers at the forum would be the professor Mandy Smith, the fashion and designing educator from Auckland University. This would be an informative session for students from University of the South Pacific (USP) and Fiji National University (FNU) along with various school students to acquire greater knowledge about fashion and designing.
“The Minister, Dr Jiko Luveni’s support towards this initiative has been grateful and this forum would open up another opportunity for field of study and see students taking up career into Fiji’s Fashion Industry. Because the way we look at it is that not everybody is academic, lot of young people are talented into designing and this would be a way to nurture that talent and turn it into a recognized profession,” explained theDirector of Fiji Fashion Week.
As part of the new partnership, further discussions will be organised between the Ministry of Women, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Education with the Fiji Fashion Week Limited to expand fashion courses and skills development opportunities to youths and students.
“The Ministry is delighted to provide this much needed support to the Fiji Fashion Week and this will certainly make a bigger impact in the lives of the women and children in Fiji. This new levels of partnership will complement the ministry’s vision on empowering the women and disadvantaged persons. The Ministry will work cohesively with Fiji Fashion Week and other relevant ministries to pursue the new platform to provide career in fashion designs and also to unfold the designing talents of Fiji’s rural women,” Dr Koroivueta said.
5 NORTHERN RESIDENT BENEFITS FROM GOVT HOUSING ASSISTANCE
The development of decent and affordable housing can improve the lives of rural people with inadequate shelter.
For 53 yr old Netani Naivalu, being able to receive assistance under the Government’s Rural Housing program was a dream come true.
The road for the Serafaci villager in the district of Dogotuki, Macuata was not an easy one. His attitude and determination to improve and house his family in a decent home has ultimately assisted him reached his destination.
The Acting Commissioner Northern said the assistance is meant to improve housing conditions for rural people.
“For Mr Naivalu – we assist him to extend his house with flooring, walls and corrugated iron which costs about $4,136.00 with construction work nearing completion.
“He is one of the six-teen rural Fijians that has been assisted this year,” Mr Bolalevu added.
Mr Naivalu highlighted the hardships he faced in trying to extend their house to meet the increase in family members. He further adds that affordable housing for rural Fijians that is attractive and durable is nearly impossible to find.
Added to that is the financial barriers faced by rural dwellers.
“Rural low-income earners are often limited to poor quality housing.
“Homes that are available are often in need of extensive repair or improvements,” Mr Naivalu added.
Before being assisted, the father of five said that they were living in a house with desperate conditions with his five children for more than ten years.
“As rural people, with no consistent source of income – the family could not afford to live in decent housing,” Mr Naivalu said.
When asked about his experience, Mr Naivalu proudly said that one of the reasons he loved his home was because his children now has a quiet space to do their homework.
To Mr Naivalu and other recipients of rural housing assistance – living and owning a decent home is the first step towards a future of success.