FijiFirst https://fijifirst.com Committed to the well-being of all Fijians Mon, 07 Jan 2019 00:21:16 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 https://fijifirst.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/cropped-ff-favicon1-32x32.gif FijiFirst https://fijifirst.com 32 32 FijiFirst Leader Visits United Nations Observer Force https://fijifirst.com/prime-minister-voreqe-bainimarama-visits-united-nations-disengagement-observer-force/ https://fijifirst.com/prime-minister-voreqe-bainimarama-visits-united-nations-disengagement-observer-force/#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 21:15:10 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17495 ]]> FijiFirst Leader and Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama visited Fiji’s United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Golan Heights today.

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PM Bainimarama was received by the Deputy Force Commander of UNDOF Maj General Siddharth who provided a detailed briefing of the area of separation between Israel and Syria – between Sea of Galilee and Mt Sinai.

Fiji’s Troops are deployed on both the Israeli and Syrian sides in this region.

During his visit, PM took the opportunity to thank the troops for their excellent service to peacekeeping in this difficult region.

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Fiji has played a critical role in preserving this mission when internal conflicts started in Syria. Relative calm has returned within the area of separation. Fiji’s troops will be consolidated on the Israeli side in the New Year and its total strength will be reduced by around 50.

Hon. Bainimarama will also be meeting his Israeli counterpart Honourable Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday 9 December 2018.

He thanked the troops for the great service they have provided in restoring calm in this volatile region and wished them well over the festive period.

The UNDOF mission hosts the largest of Fiji’s medical deployment. A team of 2 doctors and around 20 nurses provided full time care across 3 deployment sites in this region. Their services are also available to other forces from Ireland, Nepal and India.

Source: Fijian Government

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Hourly wage rates being reviewed to determine National Minimum Wage and 10 Sectoral Wages https://fijifirst.com/hourly-wage-rates-being-reviewed-to-determine-national-minimum-wage-and-10-sectoral-wages/ https://fijifirst.com/hourly-wage-rates-being-reviewed-to-determine-national-minimum-wage-and-10-sectoral-wages/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:11:08 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17491 ]]> The Fijian Government is now undertaking a comprehensive review of hourly wage rates with the aim of determining wide-reaching pay rises, including in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and across Fiji’s 10 sectoral wages that already stand above the NMW: printing trades; wholesale & retail trades; hotel & catering trades; garment industry; sawmilling & logging industry; road transport, building & civil & electrical engineering trades; manufacturing industry; mining & quarrying industry; and security services.

The review was first announced in the 2018-2019 National Budget address by the Hon. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“This is far more than just a review of the National Minimum Wage; after this review is completed, tens of thousands of Fijians earning hourly rates will stand to benefit from new wage rises. Whether you are a bus driver or a garment worker, waitress or a construction worker, or any Fijian earning a set hourly wage in this country, you are part of the engine that drives the Fijian economy, and you deserve a fair and responsible review of your wage rate. That is what we’re delivering. This review will both help determine the next rise in hourly wages, and ensure that our major industries remain a stable and growing source of employment for the Fijian people,” said Sayed-Khaiyum. “We aren’t making any promises we aren’t prepared to keep –– that is unfair to the Fijian worker and can destroy entire industries and the thousands of jobs they provide, and new hiring would grind to a halt. For the economy to continue its record growth, we need to both sustain existing jobs and create new ones. Simply put, wage rates cannot be pulled from thin air; it takes sophisticated economic analysis, and that is why we’re embarking on this wide-ranging and thorough national review.”

The Attorney-General stressed that the vast majority of Fijians earning hourly wages have been excluded from discourse among Fijian politicians, but that Government was focused on wage rises across the board, from the NMW throughout all of the ten sectoral wages.

“The historic wage rises we’ve already implemented over the past four years reflect our nation’s booming economic growth,” added the Attorney-General. “And these rises only tell half the story: When it comes to the cost of living, Fijian workers are getting more out of every dollar. Today’s ‘social wages’ are unprecedented, covering many things that our low-income families no longer have to worry about spending their hard-earned money on, from welfare assistance to free education to Government-subsidised bus fares, water, electricity and more.”

Government will be using international experts to oversee the review, which will include nationwide consultations with both workers and employers, as well as input from the International Labour Organization. The 10 sectoral wages will each be examined separately to determine their respective rises. The review will be led by Parveen Bala, the newly-appointed Minister for Employment, Productivity & Industrial Relations.

“Fiji has a complex and diverse economy, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to the minimum wage. While it may be easier to throw big, round numbers at the wall and see what sticks, that’s incredibly irresponsible when so many jobs are on the line. As announced by the Honourable Minister for Economy in the 2018-19 National Budget, Government will now conduct yet another study to responsibly raise wages and build upon our record economic growth, not derail it,” said Bala. “We need to get this right. That’s why we’ll be working hand-in-hand with international experts who can give a clear and objective analysis of where each of these rates, including the 10 sectoral wages that are already higher than the NMW, should be set.”

The Ministry for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations will soon announce the relevant details for the nationwide consultation process and encourages employees and employers to work closely with the Ministry ensure that the review is as inclusive, fair and informed as possible.

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Honourable Alvick Maharaj – Maiden Speech https://fijifirst.com/honourable-alvick-maharaj-maiden-speech/ https://fijifirst.com/honourable-alvick-maharaj-maiden-speech/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 01:53:47 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17481 ]]> Honourable Alvick Avhikrit Maharaj
Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports.

Madam Speaker
Hon Prime Minister
Hon Ministers and Assistant Ministers
Hon Leader of Opposition
Hon Members Of Parliament
Bula, Ramram , Namaskaram, Salam and Good Morning to you all.

Madam Speaker I rise in this August Parliament to give my maiden speech but before I do that I would like to congratulate you for your appointment as Speaker.
I would like at this stage congratulate Hon Veena Bhatnagar as Deputy Speaker. It was an honor for me to nominate you two ladies to these resected position.
While it’s interesting to see FijiFirst believes in empowering women and allowing them to take lead role in politics, Sodelpa on the other hand removed an empowered lady from the position of Leader of opposition.
What a Shame.
And here we had Hon Salote Radrodo talking about women empowerment for past four years. Your own party doesn’t believe in women empowerment, Hon Radrodro

Furthermore I would like to Thank His Excellency for opening of the parliament and for his gracious speech.

First of all I would like to thank HON PM, Party Secretary and FijiFirst party for having faith in me and allowing me to be a candidate to contest 2018 general election.
FijiFirst has been a party of action and not words. Yet again FijiFirst has shown how much the party believes in youth empowerment as I am one those of who is a living examples of youth empowerment.
Having made back to back to Fijian parliament as youngest elected member wasn’t an easy task.
It has been a steady growth for me as a politician for the past four years, I entered parliament back in 2014 as one of the youngest member and I have yet once again maintained that in 2018 general election.
I have been trying to reach out to public directly and that is what I have been doing for past four years.
It became a routine for me to visit people and having met them face to face allowed me to invest that personal touch and gave me a better understanding about what was happening at ground level.
My voters saw and recognized my hard work on ground, and not just voters but also I would like to thank my party for recognizing my hard work, having entrusted me with some of the major responsibility for the party.
Some of them are me being the Government Whip, and Assistant minister for employment, productivity, industrial Relation, Youth and sports.
My success story wouldn’t be possible without the blessing of my family. My sincere and heartfelt thanks goes to my parents, Pt Ambika Maharaj and Malti Devi. I dedicate my success to you two and thank you for your blessing.
At this moment I would like to remember my Grandmother who passed away during our second sitting of parliament after 2014 general elections.
My brother and sister in law Mr. Alrick Avhikash Maharaj and Kriti Prasad, and my niece and nephew Avhikrit and Anaya Maharaj.
There are few more names that I would like to acknowledge who have played a pivotal role for me in 2018 general election.
Mr. Mahendra Chaudary and Chaudary family of Sawani Nausori(Just for information not Leader of Fiji labour party). Mr Mika of Waila Nausori. Mr Balbindar Singh of Tailevu.
Mr. Chandar , Mr Veer Singh, Mr Salen, Lucky brothers family , Mr Rajendra Autar, Mr Subnesh and family and Mr Mahen of Labasa.
A big hearty thanks to each and every one back in Bulileka Labasa.
Mr. Nalin and family, Mr. Lingam, Mr Sushil raj of Vunivau along with Mr Babu and Ms Losalini of Naleba
Mr. Binnay of Coqeloa, Mr Hiren of Nabekavu, Mr. Arun and Rajen of Lagalaga. Mr Amka and Ami of Tagnikula and Mr Harish of Papalgi Labasa.
Mr Janif ,Mr Frauk, Ms Sashi and Ms Sujata of Bua.
Ms Ashwini, Mr Bimal, Mr Rahil and Mr Vinod of Dreketi and not forgetting Mr and Mrs Keshwa of Lautoka, for helping me with my campaign in the west along with Mr Bimal of Newworld Lautoka.

A hearty thanks goes to Mr. Binesh and whole community of Sabeto Nadi for supporting me in Nadi.
Politics in Fiji should not be about seats in parliament but rather serving the people of Fiji.
A lot was said during election campaign but I am glad people voted and accepted the government that believes in securing the future of our children’s, development of the nation and service delivery.
Madam Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I turn my attention to the important area of Youth and Sports. Indeed, with a mandate of leading on non-formal education for young people between the ages of 15 and 35, there is much work that has been done and a lot that remains to be done.
With the Honorable Minister, we will ensure increased cooperation between the 2 Ministries to which we have been appointed. We need to get more young people into entrepreneurship. We have 70% of our population under the age of 40 which bodes very well for our economy as we provide relevant skills training for them and as they age, we will not face the same challenges as developed nations. FijiFirst government is determined to facilitate the development of job creators and with the innovation of young minds combined with their energy, we will support the process with more educational, employment and leadership opportunities for our youth.
The Ministry is addressing the needs of urban and rural youth, working to break down the gender stereotypes of various trades and employment training, cooperating with other Ministries as it is only through such cooperation that we can create a holistic solution and process. Working with the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, we need to provide support for those who have not returned to school.
With my other Ministry, to create a supply of young people willing to work overseas.
With the Ministry of Agriculture, to promote modern farming techniques combined increasingly with organic production which is attractive both locally and in overseas markets.
The Ministry of Fisheries supports young people developing their fishing expertise in a sustainable way and the Ministry of Youth and Sports augments this with boat masters courses to ensure safety at sea.
The five Youth Training Centres across the country provide training in agriculture, carpentry, music and now one of them provides training specifically aimed at our young women. The Youth Training Centres are being developed further and are now working to provide short courses in a residential environment for other young people to ensure that the Centres are used 365 days a year.
This will undoubtedly ensure a better return on investment for Government.
Sport is also a key component of any society as it brings us together to support our local community through to national teams.
It creates opportunities for Fijians to come together and to promote social cohesion and better health and wellness. Physical activity, together with improved nutrition and a more systematic approach to physical education in schools, will help us to address the scourge of NCDs.
The Ministry is in the final stages of consultations on the revised National Sports and Physical Activity Policy which will then be presented to Cabinet for consideration.
Through this, we will be able to coordinate our approach to sport and physical activity with our National Sports Organisations, the Sports Commission and Council and, indeed, other Ministries.
We are convinced this will assist us in improving mental and physical wellbeing as well as help unearth more talent across all our sports while presenting Fiji as a great host of events internationally. We are already looking forward to hosting the World Junior Weightlifting Championships next year and the U20 World Netball Cup in 2021
Madam Speaker when I see on the other side I see, self-proclaimed youths and when I look at Government side I do see actual youths
When I look at other side I see a leader who did not had any vision for Fiji back in 1987 and shot a gun in this August house in which he sits today, showing disrespect to the highest office of the land. Someone who totally shattered the economy of the country and ruined Fiji. Someone under whose Primeministership the door of our National Bank were closed
Madam Speaker when I see the leader on our side I see the leader who sees the future.
A leader who looks beyond the horizon.
A leader who believes in equality.
A leader who is improving the life style of ordinary Fijian.
A leader who sees everyone as Fijian, A leader who stands and serves every Fijian regardless to their religious or ethnic back ground.
A leader who believes in truth and ensures that he and his members speak nothing else than truth. Unlike on the other side leader sits silently and listen when his members as they lie in parliament.
Madam Speaker when I see that side I can recall land swap. Well one member tried his best to justify this yesterday but we are glad that they did admit that it was through them I’tauki land was lost forever at Denarau and Momi Bay. On one side they always have been saying that Sodelpa and SDL are two different government and we should not compare them and on other hand Sodelpa member stands and defends action of SDL government. It won’t help Hon member. Old mindset and modern day politics don’t go together.
Madam speaker I can still see a member on other side who as TLTB manager went house to house asking landlord not to renew land leases which created a chaos in the sugar cane Industry and the economy overall.
Madam speaker I see another member on other side under whose leadership as education minister scholarship were issued on ethnic lines.
Madam Speaker as assistant minister for youth and sports when I see that side it reminds me of FRU lottery, but we will ensure that such things doesn’t happen under current leadership.
Madam Speaker lot was said about votes increase and decrease of seat but the fact is madam speaker we are still in government and they are in opposition. This fact and will not change so therefore NFP your change just won’t come.

With these words I would like to thank everyone once again for the support they have shown for me during 2018 general election and I shall continue to give my contribution in this August Parliament

Thank You

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Honourable Alex O’Connor – Maiden Speech https://fijifirst.com/honourable-alex-oconnor-maiden-speech/ https://fijifirst.com/honourable-alex-oconnor-maiden-speech/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 01:46:50 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17479 ]]> Honourable Alex O’Connor
Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services

Maiden Speech at the Opening of Parliament following the 2018 National General Election

Madam Speaker,
Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable Cabinet Ministers and Assistant Ministers,
The Honourable Leader of Opposition, Honourable Members of Parliament,
Members of the Public in the gallery and those watching from the comforts of their homes or through the internet, a very good morning to you all.

Madam Speaker,
I rise to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Fiji for his most gracious speech on the occasion of the Opening and First Sitting of Parliament after the 2018 National General Elections.
Madam Speaker,
in his address to the nation His Excellency the President said and I quote:
“And we see a better life in the new development that has swept across the nation, bringing water, electricity and telecommunications to Fijians in even the most rural and remote regions of our country, at a rapid pace never before witnessed in our history. And when it comes to expanding access to those essential services – services that literally transform our people’s lives for the better – the pace of that development must be maintained, or even increased” unquote.
His Excellency further stated and I quote “The legislative programme for this parliamentary session will include new legislation on the formulation of a new independent land tribunal, including: Public Health Protections, amongst others”. Unquote.

Madam Speaker,
In the Republic of Fiji’s 5 year and 20 year National Development Plan styled “Transforming Fiji” which was launched in Bonn, Germany last year by our Prime Minister, the FijiFirst Government has already embarked on some of these initiatives and have already made significant progress in increasing the overall life expectancy of Fijians and improving health outcomes.
Maternal and infant mortality rates have declined. Primary health care is well established with the recognition of Community Health Workers.
To further enhance their existence in the community, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services will be providing them with an insulated cubicle as a work station to tend to the sick and will have access to a computer for collation of patient information that can be uploaded to the Patient Information System Data Base held at the Divisional Hospitals.
Substantial investments have been made in the construction and upgrading of hospitals, health centres and nursing stations.
These include the recent opening this year of the Makoi Maternity Unit, the Nakasi Health Centre and the Vatukarasa Nursing Station in Tailevu, to name a few.
Construction on the new Sub Divisional Hospital in Keiyasi which is expected to serve not only the provinces of Navosa/Nadroga but also the Bukuya and Nausori Highlands, is already under way.
The Public Private Partnership proposed in the 2017/2018 Budget release, has witnessed the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Fiji Government and Aspen Hospitals of Australia for the management and operations of the new Ba Hospital and the Lautoka Divisional Hospital.
Current Nursing Stations are earmarked to be upgraded to Health Centre status due to the increase in population and the distance from the nearest Sub Divisional Hospital.
New Nursing Stations will be constructed in rural and remote areas as and when the need arises and on approval and receipt of 60% of the land-owning unit or Mataqali.
Madam Speaker,
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will pursue strategies to tackle Non Communicable Diseases in the country.
A multi-sectorial approach through improved health education, production and adequate supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, and promotional and awareness campaigns will be further enhanced to address this issue.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will raise the standard of Ambulatory Services to another level by introducing Paramedical Services.
This will see ward nurses and drivers enrolling in an 8 to 9 month course before being assigned to specially outfitted Ambulances, purchases for which are already in the process of delivery.

Maiden Speech

Madam Speaker, please allow me first and foremost to give thanks to the Almighty for providing me the strength, wisdom and guidance to get through each day and allowing me the noble task of serving you all, the citizens of our beloved Fiji.

I wish to thank the FijiFirst Movement Leader, the Honourable Prime Minister and the FijiFirst Movement General Secretary Honourable Aiyaz Sayad-kaiyum, for confiding in me and allowing me to stand again in the recent elections.
I wish to thank my beautiful wife Margaret, my son Lyndon, my nephew Cameron, who have been pillars of strength, together with relatives and friends, for their unwavering support during the campaign period and leading up to the recent elections.
I wish to thank Alan Petersen and the people of Matei and Naselesele; Tui Rabi and the people of Lovonivonu; the people of Tavuki and Narusa in Wairiki; Herbert Whippy and the people of Kasavu and Mokusiga; Romulus Lanyon and the people of Kuladrusi, Naqere and Vatudamu; Darmendra and Parveen of Labasa; Tui Nasau, his son Livai and the people of the Tikina Nasau; Lepani Driu and Ilaisa Dau of Barotu in Ra; Mahen and Suren of Lautoka.
I wish to thank all those Fijians who voted for me, and to those who did not, I am here to serve you all the same.
I wish to thank the FijiFirst Movement stakeholders and supporters for their tireless efforts and support prior to and during the campaign period and eventual outcome of the elections.

Madam Speaker, my career path spans some 38 years since my leaving school in 1969.
Upon leaving school I joined Millers Ltd in Suva as a trainee Fitter-Machinist, specialising in engine and machinery repairs of marine vessels, particularly fishing boats.
Having not been compensated for an injury I sustained during my employment, I left to seek work in Lautoka a year later.
In 1971, I took up a position as Fleet Supervisor with United Touring scheduling coaches and chauffeur cars until 1973 when I joined Fiji Tours/Atlantic & Pacific Travel as a Tour Coordinator being responsible for large tour groups from the United States, South America and Europe.
In July of 1975, I enrolled with the then Royal Fiji Military Forces Naval Squadron and was one of those fortunate enough to have sailed the two former US Minesweepers from Seattle to Fiji via Hawaii.
During this time, I attained my Marine Engineer Certificate from the then Derrick Technical Institute.
In 1979, I opted out of the Navy and secured a position as Chief Engineer on Cakaudrove, Bua, Macuata’s landing craft “MV Duavata” trading as Ferry Freight Services.
Whilst with Ferry Freight Services, I was seconded to Wong’s Shipping to take their vessel “MV Tovata” to the Gilbert and Ellis Islands, now known as Kiribati.
Whilst with Wong’s Shipping, Ferry Freight went into liquidation and upon my return to Fiji I joined Carpenters Shipping as a Boarding Officer in January of 1980.
Between 1980 and 1989 I rose through the ranks to become Transport and Wharf Operations Manager.
During this time Carpenters Shipping was the principle provider for the major contractors for the Monasavu and Wailoa Hydro Project and Nagado Water Catchment Project.
In 1990, I joined Union Steamship as Operations Manager managing Interport Shipping and Wong’s Shipping joint venture Consort Shippings’ vessel “MV Spirit of Free Enterprise”, the largest roll on/roll off and passenger vessel to ever operate in Fiji.
In 1991, I joined Forum Shipping Line as Operations Manager, a consortium of Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Fiji business ventures.
In February of 1992, I was offered the position of Regional Manager West with Fiji Gas Ltd based in Lautoka and was instrumental in changing from cylinder exchanges to bulk filling operations at resorts and hotels in the west including throughout the Mamanuca’s.
Also, during my tenure, saw the installation of a 200 tonne LPGas storage tank, almost 8 kilometres of HDPE ring main and over 200 kilometres of reticulated MDPE branch lines at all residential subdivisions and Resorts on Denarau.
I was also involved with the reticulation of LP Gas MDPE ring mains at both Outrigger on the Reef in Sigatoka and the InterContinental Resort and Spa at Natadola.
Whilst still with Fiji Gas, I took up a challenge of becoming the Manager Training in Occupational Health, Safety and Environment in 2004.
In July of 2009, Origin Energy Australia, Fiji Gas’ parent company positioned me in Pago Pago, American Samoa to become its Regional Operations Manager, Polynesia.
This position required me to relieve country Managers and carry out Terminal Engineering Audits in the 2 Samoa’s, Vanuatu, Cook Islands and training all personnel in all aspects of the LP gas industry, including Fiji.
I retired from Origin Energy Australia in May of 2012.
Madam Speaker, since retiring, I have been a freelance consultant for a host of Fijians requiring assistance for housing, education, power, water, sanitation, transport, roading and land issues with a success rate of 80% plus.
Madam Speaker, my interest in Politics started in 2013 when close friends and relatives suggested that I contest the 2014 National General Elections to which I took up.
Although I was not successful on the first count of votes, I entered Parliament in July of 2015 upon the resignation of a party member.
In September of 2016 after a Cabinet reshuffle, I was appointed Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services with particular responsibilities to Public Health.
My leadership qualities, managerial skills, customer service, extrovert personality and practical expertise augured well in the restoration of infrastructure within the Ministry which I respectfully look forward to picking up where I left off only a month ago.
Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to congratulate you on your return as Speaker of this august house for another term, and also congratulate Hon Veena Bhatnagaar for her nomination as Deputy Speaker.

I thank you Madam Speaker.

 

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Statement by FijiFirst Leader Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama https://fijifirst.com/statement-by-fijifirst-leader-josaia-voreqe-bainimarama/ https://fijifirst.com/statement-by-fijifirst-leader-josaia-voreqe-bainimarama/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 04:19:27 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17438 ]]> Bula vinaka.

My fellow Fijians,

Under my leadership, we have had 9 years of straight growth. This economic growth means every Fijian is better off with improved standards of living, better access to services like water, electricity, roads, bridges and jetties, quality education, more help for our elderly, disabled and poor, improved healthcare and other services. The fact is that Fijians now have more opportunities, more jobs, more income and more luxuries of life under my FijiFirst government.

We have introduced many innovative policies to lift the lives of every Fijian. Our financially disadvantaged, disabled, women and elderly are protected and supported by Government.

Rabuka in his recent video is bragging about things he didn’t achieve. He said that growth when he was Prime Minister averaged 4.3 percent. That’s a lie. In fact it was much lower at 2.3 percent.

Rabuka lied again when he said that he had the highest growth rate of 8.4 percent in 1998. The actual growth rate was just 1.3 percent. In fact the economy contracted by a huge 6.4 percent in 1987 because of Rabuka – the largest contraction in Fiji’s history.

He is also misleading you on government debt. When he was Prime Minister in 1997, the debt was almost 54 percent of GDP. Today its 47 percent of GDP which is 7 per cent less. It would have been 42 percent if we had not spent half a billion dollars on TC Winston and the recent natural disasters.

The Opposition is comparing debt between 1970 to 2006 and the past 12 years. That’s not right. You cannot take $1 million debt in 1970 and say it’s the same $1m in 2018.

Under Rabuka we lost the National Bank of Fiji and you taxpayers are still paying for this.

Under Rabuka and the SDL Governments our FNPF almost collapsed. That means your savings would have gone down the drain.

They say cost of living is going up in the country. Can Biman and Rabuka name 3 countries where cost of living is not going up? To help families, we give free education, free medicine, bus fare, subsidized electricity and water, pension for our elderly, social welfare, and now we pay insurance for all civil servants, RFMF, police, prisons and social welfare recipients. Our unemployment rate is at a 20 year low.

Because of Rabuka the RBF had to devalue the Fiji dollar twice and by 20 percent again in 1998. Because of Rabuka the Fijian dollar lost 50 percent of its value and we are still paying the price. Because of this devaluation the cost of goods went up and our foreign reserves depleted.

Our Foreign reserves reached a record of $2.45 billion last year.

Fiji is only the 3rd country in the world to issue Green Bonds. Our finances are managed well, that is why we were allowed to list on the London Stock Exchange. We are also the first country to do so. The global community has placed trust in Fiji to lead the world in fighting global climate change. This type of world recognition is a big deal for a small country like ours.

Do you want to risk all we’ve worked hard to achieve in exchange for opposition’s lies and their empty promises?

My vision for Fiji has and will always be for a successful and healthy nation that offers stability, peace, security and a lot of good benefits for all our people.

Our Government has always delivered. For the next 4 years, my vision for Fiji is to help our country grow even more and ensure that we distribute the fruits of our success to all our people. FijiFirst has always delivered and given you the benefits that you need.

SODELPA and NFP, I ask you to immediately stop all this old style of politics because FijiFirst is a party for everyone in our country no matter who or where we are. Our actions speak louder than your hollow words.

We develop! We deliver! We work together as one nation. We are a party that puts Fiji first and we have achieved so much more than what we promised for all Fijians. We have done a lot and we promise to do even more! Only FijiFirst can create an even better future for Fiji and all Fijians.

Help me to continue to build a better Fiji and vote 688! Vinaka.

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FijiFirst Leader Opens New Health Center https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-opens-new-health-center/ https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-opens-new-health-center/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2018 13:29:37 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17461 ]]> FijiFirst Leader and PM Frank Bainimarama today opened the new Nakasi Health Centre.

The new Nakasi Health Centre will benefit tens of thousands of Fijians who will utilise its services which includes many neighbouring communities who visit the facility –– extending from Narere and Makoi to Lokia, Davuilevu, Wainbuku and Waila.

While opening the facility Frank Bainimarama reiterated that the government will continue to take a holistic approach to overhauling medical care in Fiji.

“My Government’s approach to overhauling medical care in Fiji is holistic, and it starts with making sure we have the necessary staff and equipment to fill these walls with the tools that Fijians need to live longer, healthier lives.”

“And we are looking outside the box to continue this momentum and provide the best and most affordable care to Fijian families.

We are currently pursuing public-private partnerships to find international partners to upgrade the Ba and Lautoka Hospitals to world-class facilities that provide new and complicated treatments like open heart surgeries –– which Fijians used to have to travel abroad to receive –– right here in Fiji, all at no additional cost to patients.” FijiFirst Leader.

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FijiFirst Leader Opens Rotuma Airport https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-opens-rotuma-airport/ https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-opens-rotuma-airport/#respond Tue, 30 Oct 2018 13:24:28 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17454 ]]> FijiFirst Leader and PM Frank Bainimarama today opened the sealed Rotuma Airport.

As the Island came to a standstill, truckloads of men, women, students and children came to the site of the airport to witness what would open a new world of opportunity for the islanders.

The Newly opened sealed-runway means Rotuma will now be able to cater for ATR aircrafts increasing passenger and cargo capacity by nearly ten times than it used to.

Speaking at the opening, FijiFirst Leader highlighted that Government remained committed to sharing national wealth equally and infrastructure development such as improved airports, jetties, roads and hospitals are at the heart of these developments.

He also held a talanoa session with Rotumans on the Island before meeting with civil servants serving there.

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FijiFirst Leader Presents Drua Team Jersey For Final https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-presents-drua-team-jersey-for-final/ https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-presents-drua-team-jersey-for-final/#respond Fri, 26 Oct 2018 13:17:37 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17449 ]]> FijiFirst Leader and PM today conducted the Jersey presentation for the Fiji Airways Drua team for the final of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) to be held against the Queensland Country side in Lautoka.

Speaking at the presentation in Nadi, he said the team had won many fans in their campaign in the NRC.

“The Fijian people are already happy with your performance thus far, however, your fellow Fijians expect nothing less than a win,” he told the players.

“You have prepared well and go out there and make your families, your villages, communities, district and the nation proud.”

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FijiFirst General Secretary Relocates Family https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-general-secretary-relocates-family/ https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-general-secretary-relocates-family/#respond Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:13:15 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17446 ]]> FijiFirst General Secretary announced the relocation of over 300 families living in the informal settlements of Nanuku and Veidogo in Vatuwaqa to resettle in Makoi.

“Through meetings with the squatter settlers, the Bhindi family has agreed to develop a site in Makoi at a cost of $12 million dollars to relocate the families and give them blocks of land which they will be entitled to have under their own name under a 99 year lease,” he said.

“They have been working with the iTaukei Land Trust Board and we are happy to announce that the area will have proper water, electricity, roads and garbage collection as part of the development.”

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FijiFirst Leader at Fiji Day Celebrations in Sydney https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-at-fiji-day-celebrations-in-sydney/ https://fijifirst.com/fijifirst-leader-at-fiji-day-celebrations-in-sydney/#respond Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:58:45 +0000 https://fijifirst.com/?p=17441 ]]> “Our identity, as Fijians, is not defined by our ethnicity, nor is it defined by our religion but by the love of our country and our love of one another, and that is why we celebrate Fiji Day.”

These are the sentiments of our FijiFirst Leader at the Fiji Day Celebrations.

“I’ve met with Fijians who have been separated from our country for almost an entire generation, but even after those long decades overseas, they are filled with concern and questions about what’s happening back in Fiji.

And they are often brought to tears, when I’m able to tell them how well our country has been doing.” said the FijiFirst Leader and PM.

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