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This page is for posting information about Rotuman communities anywhere in the world. If you have news about past or upcoming events, or happenings of special interest to members of the Rotuman community, please send the information via email to <ahoward@hawaii.ed> for posting. Postings can be either in Rotuman or English. We also invite commentaries about news stories. Sports news can be found at Announcements of births, marriages, graduations and other life events can be found at

The News

From Fiji Times Online (21 September 2017)

Program takes State services to islanders

By Vishaal Kumar

PEOPLE of Rotuma will receive first-hand information and knowledge of the aspects of social, economic and legal services that is stated in the Fiji Constitution.

Director of Social Welfare Rupeni Fatiaki is on the island leading a delegation from the Legal Aid Commission, Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Department of Women and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), working under the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) program.

Mr Fatiaki said such collaborations were a boost for the communities because it would provide economic and social benefits for the people of Rotuma.

"There are some cases where we work very closely with the stakeholders that are here with us, especially Legal Aid Commission. It is a very sound and an effective collaboration that the communities must take advantage of because the services that are brought to them by the Government will mostly benefit them," he said.

During the sessions, the Department of Social Welfare will distribute food vouchers for the recipients under the poverty benefit scheme (PBS) and the social pension scheme (SPS) allowance for citizens above 65 years.

Currently, there are 34 recipients of PBS and 177 recipients of SPS on Rotuma.

The team of six members will also provide their mandated services in the seven districts in Rotuma, covering all nearby villages that are under the jurisdiction of these districts.

Another area where the department will look at is the provision of information to the communities about the new disability allowance that was allocated in the financial year 2017-2018.

There will also be application forms provided to those villagers who need assistance from the Government.

REACH is a program funded by the Government of Japan in partnership with the Fiji Government and UNDP.

From Fiji Times Online (19 September 2017)

Legal Aid extends its services to Rotuma

By Alisi Vucago

IN an effort to extend their services to the people of Rotuma, a delegation from the Legal Aid Commission, Fiji Human Rights and Anti- Discrimination Commission, Department of Women and the United Nations Development Program visited the island this week.

Leading the delegation was the Director of Social Welfare Rupeni Fatiaki who said the collaboration was a boost for the communities as it would provide economic and social benefits for the people of Rotuma.

"There are some cases whereby we work very closely with the stakeholders that are here with us, especially Legal Aid Commission. It is a very sound and an effective collaboration that the communities must take advantage of because the services that are brought to them by the Government will mostly benefit them," said by Mr Fatiaki.

During the sessions, the Department of Social Welfare will also be distributing the Food Vouchers for the recipients under the Poverty Benefit Scheme (PBS) and the Social Pension Scheme (SPS) Allowance for the elderly above the age of 65 years.

Meanwhile there have been 34 Poverty Benefit Schemes recipients and 177 Social Pension Scheme recipients on Rotuma who have taken advantage of the visit by the Department of Women's visit to the island yesterday.

Legal aid recipients from Losa
Recipients of the Social Protections Schemes and the Villagers of Losa at the completion of the REACH Programme in Losa. Picture: SUPPLIED

From Fiji Times Online (13 September 2017)

Quality, efficiency top franchise requirements

By Siteri Sauvakacolo

"GOVERNMENT usually emphasises quality and efficiency of services in its franchise shipping scheme."

This was the response from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport regarding concerns raised by Goundar Shipping Services, which had ceased its franchise service to Rotuma in April.

Goundar Shipping Services company director George Goundar said the way franchise services were awarded was quite unfair and there were a few matters that needed to be taken into consideration.

"They should take a few matters into consideration like the size of the vessel, its capacity and capability but this is something they never take seriously," Mr Goundar said.

"This was why we ceased services to Rotuma in April because what they gave us was just not enough considering that our boat was quite big and it catered for more than just passengers and cargoes but vehicles as well.

"If they review rates, we will reconsider servicing the island again."

He said the people on the island of Rotuma were suffering because irregular shipping services had forced them to travel on MV Brianna, which now caters for the island's monthly franchise run.

The ministry said the emphasis on the current condition was on quality and efficiency of services, apart from other requirements such as vessel description, vessel capacity, company details such as directorship and shareholding.

It said reviews were always done but every request could not be dealt with individually but holistically considering this was a scheme. The ministry had also undertaken a review for 2017 and the issues raised had been considered but this was subject to Cabinet's decision.

According to the ministry, the request from Mr Goundar to review the rates was not justified with supporting data and financials, adding it was merely a blanket request.

From Fiji Sun Online (13 September 2017)

Military Engineers Work On Rotuma Hospital

By Maika Bolatiki

The group of 40 engineers from the Republic of Fiji Military (RFMF) Engineers now on Rotuma as part of the re-alignment of the role of the military to include human security.

Apart from building the new double storey Rotuma, Hospital at Ahau, the military is also enhancing its role in community development partnership.

Commanding Officer (CO) RFMF Engineers, Lieutenant-Colonel Semi Mocelutu, said the partnership ensured that they utilised their professional and technical potential to assist in community development.

Yesterday Lieutenant-Colonel Mocelutu confirmed that the first phase including the mortuary and the administration block has been completed.

He said the people of Rotuma had initially asked Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for the hospital and the military engineers have been tasked to carry out the work.

“The 40 on Rotuma include electricians, plumbers and carpenters and we are given 12 months to complete this work and we’ll do it,” Mr Mocelutu said.

Hospital workers

From Fiji Sun Online (26 August 2017)

Tafaga Ready To Set Sail

Formed at the beginning of this year, "Tafaga" Band is another name to look out for in the local music scene.

Lead singer and guitarist, Joe Ray said, the band was formed after a trip to the Yasawa.

The Vatukoula based- band members used to work at the Fiji Island Resort where they jam together as a house band.

Joe said the name "Tafaga" derives from the historical adventure of the Rotuman people's voyage throughout the Pacific, on a big canoe that could carry more than 800 men.

"One of our band's main aims is to use music as a source of information by sharing with others the Rotuman unique way of life and the culture of the Rotuman people.

"We've done original songs and you can find this on our album that was released during Rotuma Day this year," Jo said.

Their debut album titled "Tafaga" Chants consists of 12 Rotuman songs.

They play anything from jazz, rock, reggae, funk, island music, classic, vude, and even Hindi songs.

The six-member band has performed around the country during weddings, birthdays and office parties, amongst others.

They have featured with local artists such as Stanley Cakau, Junior Sogovata, George Rasta and Rosie Sagaitu.

"What set us apart is our unique culture and the way we expose our music towards it."

The band aims to bring Rotuman music to a standard level that will hit the market in a different way.

He said some of the challenges were getting gigs in their local areas and also finance when they first started.

The long-term plan is to market their album and do more production as well as music videos to expose Tafaga abroad.

Joe said upcoming bands should not give-up on what they do best, expose their talents and share their gift to the world.

"You never know who you are encouraging and who is looking up to you as a role model," he said.

Joe said the starting will be hard, but if you set your mind to it on what you want to achieve you will get it for sure.

Joe Ray-Lead vocals and guitarist
AiseaTokou- Vocalist and bass guitar
Fiteli Mario-Drummer
BwenitiTeai-Female vocalist
Jonathon Noel-Vocalist.

The band would like to thank their families, friends and their fan base for all the support.

So if you're looking for a band to hire for your event then you can contact them on their official Tafaga Band Facebook page and keep updated on the bands upcoming events.

Tafaga Band Members

From Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Facebook Page (6 August, 2017)

District Officer Rotuma, Niumaia Masere, Laid to Rest

Today [10 July] we bid farewell to a valuable member of our team - Niumaia Masere, the District Officer of Rotuma. Niu, as he was referred to by his teammates, passed away while on duty. He served extensively at the forefront of the Fijian Government's rural development initiatives and disaster management operations. He displayed a heart of servitude and always said 'yes' to a challenging task. The Fijian Government's ireguregu to the family was led by the Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Mr. Meleti Bainimarama, accompanied by all 4 Divisional Commissioners and other senior government officials. H.E. the President, Joji Konrote, was also present at the memorial service.

See Facebook page with photos

Antoine N'Yeurt commented that he was a very capable and open-minded leader and helped us a lot for our climate change projects on the island. He will be greatly missed.

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