Fiji Sun » SUNBIZ https://fijisun.com.fj Leading Fiji newspaper for Fiji News, Sport and Pacific news Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:56:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.18 Nadi International Airport Receives Green Airports Recognition https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/18/nadi-international-airport-receives-green-airports-recognition/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/18/nadi-international-airport-receives-green-airports-recognition/#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:49:23 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462504 Nadi International Airport has been recognised by Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific as one of the leading Green Airports in the Asia-Pacific region.

ACI Asia-Pacific announced the results of the Green Airports Recognition 2019 in which Nadi International Airport received Silver Recognition in the less than 10 million passengers per annum category. The programme recognises airports’ outstanding achievements in their environmental
projects.

Fiji Airports Executive Chairman Mr Faiz Khan said “This is yet another amazing achievement for our airport on the international arena. The transformed Nadi International Airport is a world class facility that is standing tall against some of the biggest airports in the world. Our airport is getting
international accolades for its modern look and now for becoming a Greener Airport,” Mr Khan said.

“The upgraded terminal features a modern design and a sleek appearance with better provision for natural light and air. The new features that contributed towards making Nadi International Airport greener are our flower garden landscaping facelift throughout the airport, our state of the art building management system, LED lights, higher ceilings and a pyramid roofing structure in the departures lounge aimed at achieving natural light.”

ACI Asia- Pacific Regional Director Mrs Patti Chau said “We applaud Nadi International Airport for its efforts in achieving recognition as one of the best in the region’s Green Airports Recognition 2019 through the ‘Nadi Airport Terminal Modernisation Project’, which exemplifies our objective of promoting best practices to minimise airports’ impact on the environment.”

The panel of judges concluded that the recognition will be awarded to the following airports:

Less than 10 million passengers per annum:
 Platinum – Adelaide Airport
 Gold – Al Bateen Executive Airport
 Silver – Nadi International Airport

Between 10-45 million passengers per annum:
 Platinum- Taoyuan International Airport
 Gold – Sydney Airport
 Silver – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport

Over 45 million passengers per annum:
 Platinum – Indira Gandhi International Airport

 Gold – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
 Silver – Hong Kong International Airport

Nadi International Airport is one of the 9 airports celebrated in Green Airports Recognition 2019.
Nadi is also the first airport in the South Pacific to attain Level 1 Airports Carbon Accreditation, another ACI programme that recognizes airports’ efforts in CO2 emission reduction, and now actively pursuing Level 2 accreditation.

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Prime Minister Bainimarama Gives Environment Warning To All Prospective Developers https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/17/prime-minister-bainimarama-gives-environment-warning-to-all-prospective-developers/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/17/prime-minister-bainimarama-gives-environment-warning-to-all-prospective-developers/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:05:06 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462327 Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last night issued a stern warning to prospective developers that any breach of environmental protections would be met with the full force of the law.

Mr Bainimarama sent the message out during the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Gala Awards Dinner at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau, Nadi.

“I have been alarmed by recent cases of apparent breaches of environmental protections here in Fiji, and I want to repeat that such breaches should be met with the full force of the law. No exceptions,” the PM said.

“If you break our laws, you will be punished.”

He then announced that Government would roll out an environmental hotline soon – a hotline where Fijians could report abuses of the environment, wherever they saw it happening.

“So, to any developer, from anywhere in the world, let me say this. If you intend to destroy or forever degrade our environment, you are not welcome in Fiji,” the PM said.

“I assure you our hospitality has hard and fast limits and we don’t take kindly to anyone who violates our laws. No matter the size of your development, no matter how grand the promises you carry with you may be.

“Last year, I spoke about how the number of tourists nearly matched the number of people living in Fiji – and this year, we came even closer to passing that threshold.

“But as our resorts continue to develop, as we attract more visitors, and a higher paying selection of travellers, and as this industry continues to grow, we need to think more seriously about how to make that growth, and this industry, more inclusive.

“I’ve had more than a few Fijians come to me personally saying that they’ve not felt welcome when going on a weekend “staycation”, taking a day trip, or grabbing dinner at some of our fancier resorts.

Radike Qereqeretabua receives the award on behalf of late Patrick 'Paddy' Doyle, FHTA Chairman Dixon Seeto, and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the 2018 ANZ FETA at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau last night. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Radike Qereqeretabua receives the award on behalf of late Patrick ‘Paddy’ Doyle, FHTA Chairman Dixon Seeto, and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the 2018 ANZ FETA at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau last night. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

“Given that it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, I suspect we have plenty of Fijian couples looking to do exactly that this weekend.

“When they do arrive at your doors, they ought to be treated exactly the same way as anyone else who you welcome on your premises. Because, as businesses in our country, you must be open to all of our people, all the time.

“They deserve the same level of service, they deserve the same level of attention and they deserve to feel welcome at resorts in their own country. Full stop.

“Only by sharing this hospitality with each other and by spreading the economic impact of the sector far and wide, we will truly cultivate a tourism industry that benefits all Fijians.

“With that, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for offering me your hospitality tonight.

“I extend my warm congratulations to tonight’s award winners and nominees. I thank ANZ and other sponsors for their continued commitment to this vital industry.

“Let’s celebrate our successes, and continue our remarkable progress in the year ahead.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun. com.fj

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Dennis, Whitting Blessed With Life Achievement Awards https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/17/dennis-whitting-blessed-with-life-achievement-awards-2/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/17/dennis-whitting-blessed-with-life-achievement-awards-2/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:00:10 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462320 The ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards (FETA) has given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award to two individuals – Michael Dennis and Bill Whiting – while the late Patrick ‘Paddy’ Doyle was named to the Visionary Award.

FETA Trustee Dixon Seeto said Mr Dennis and Mr Whiting had contributed immensely towards the growth of our tourism industry.

He said the board of trustees also wanted to remember the late Paddy Doyle as a pioneer of Fiji’s tourism industry.

Mr Seeto said: “Tonight we are giving the highest FETA accolade, the Lifetime Achievement award to two individuals who deserve to be recognised for their gigantic contribution towards tourism.

“Both Dennis and Whiting are mentors for our tourism leaders for the work they have done and for the work that they continue to do.

Screenshot 2019-02-17 at 9.41.50 AM

“The Visionary Award is deservingly given to the late Patrick ‘Paddy’ Doyle who was the first General Manager of the Fijian Resort.

“This award is given in his memory for his trailblazing work in tourism starting from the 1960s.”

Other individual awards were presented to Britney Turaganikeli, who was recognised as the Fiji Pride Champion; Akuila Batiweti is the Emerging Tourism Leader while Eroni Puamau of Rosie Holidays received the Tourism Leader Award. Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Rosie Holidays scooped the Hall of Fame awards.

There were two winners in the Culinary Services and Destination Marketing categories. The Culinary Services award was presented to Castaway Island Fiji and Maqai Eco Surf Resort; Malamala Beach Club took the Destination Marketing award. Another big winner last night at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau, Nadi, was Vatuvara Private Islands scooping the Accommodation Luxury and Tourism Sustainability Awards.

Aquarius on the Beach received the Accommodation Budget award; Accommodation Quality award went to Malolo Island Resort while the Accommodation Deluxe award went to Wyndham Denarau Island.

Specialised Tourism Services and Support to the Industry went to Port Denarau Marina, South Sea Cruises won the Transport and Tour Operators award and Ecotrax won the Visitor Attractions and Activity award.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Event Opens In Style: ANZ Fiji Excellence In Tourism Awards https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/17/dennis-whitting-blessed-with-life-achievement-awards/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/17/dennis-whitting-blessed-with-life-achievement-awards/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:00:05 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462310 The ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards was celebrated in style last night.

Winners of all 13 categories were announced at the 22nd ANZ FETA that was held at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau, Nadi.

ANZ Fiji Country Head Saud Minam made the announcement last night that ANZ would sponsor this prestigious event for one more year.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of FETA Bill Whiting said the finalists were selected by an independent judging panel made up of industry leaders. He said it was encouraging to see new entrants and previous winners among the strong list of finalists.

This year’s event attracted close to 200 entries. New entrants among the finalists include Barefoot Collection – Awakening Shark, Eco Trax, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, Helipro

Fiji, Malamala Beach Club, Wyndham Denarau Island and Vatuvara Private Island.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Tourism Benefitting ALL Fijians’, with the theme colour for the night being black and gold.

Below are some of the comments made by the judges:

Screenshot 2019-02-17 at 9.18.43 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2019-02-17 at 9.18.25 AM

 

 

Screenshot 2019-02-17 at 9.17.51 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: ranobab@fijisun.com.fj

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FreeSoul Real Estate Tells: What We’re Planning On Malolo Island And Why https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/freesoul-real-estate-tells-what-were-planning-on-malolo-island-and-why/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/freesoul-real-estate-tells-what-were-planning-on-malolo-island-and-why/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 01:08:13 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462094 Chinese investors have not taken Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s invitation to invest in Fiji lightly.

This rings true for FreeSoul Real Estate Development Pte Limited, the centre of recent controversy and allegations about not following proper processes on Malolo Island in the Mamanucas.

This includes allegations of not following Environmental rules before beginning groundwork.

They deny this.

They said even with the malicious opposition, FreeSoul has improved its compliance and analytical capability and capacity.

It has even received support from key stakeholders.

A statement from FreeSoul said: “Upon the invitation of Prime Minister Bainimarama to business houses including FreeSoul on one of his visits to China, he told investors: “Come. Come and invest in Fiji”.

“Increasing Chinese and Asian investment and tourist numbers is not impossible once infrastructures are built to suit their needs and absorb the world.

“This mooted the business idea of building a US$500m (FJ$1,064.03m) hotel in Malolo.

“Then, it sunk in that FreeSoul’s hotel in Malolo will be one the grandest tourism project on Malolo Island let alone the South Pacific.”

The owners of FreeSoul Real Estate Development Pte Limited are local investors and business people of Chinese origin.

One is known to already have invested in serious businesses in Fiji.

They are reluctant to release further details until the current issues are resolved, their lawyer Simione Valenitabua said.

The financiers for the project is BVI Consortium (British Virgin Islands Consortium).

 

An artist's impression of the FreeSoul development on Malolo Island. Photo: FreeSoul

An artist’s impression of the FreeSoul development on Malolo Island. Photo: FreeSoul

 

“FreeSoul found Fiji rated as one of the best tourist destinations attracting many tourists from around the world for vacation every year. China was the exception to the rule.

“Vital research was conducted and information gathered by FreeSoul to confidently venture into the Tourism Industry whilst understanding the contribution of it to the local economy.

“FreeSoul seriously analysed the state of the tourism market and immediately invested.

“FreeSoul was born and registered in Fiji on February 20, 2017 after Investment Fiji approved the venture, the approved three (3) principal activities of FreeSoul are:
1.Integrated Tourism Development;
2.Real Estate Development and
3.Real Estate Management.

Chief benefactors

For FreeSoul Inclusive tourism development is important because it means including the Chief benefactors – the iTaukei of the land and qoliqoli in the development. Where Pre-approval arrangements meant that they would receive more than FJ$1m of vanua development assistances in advance.

“FreeSoul spent around FJ$11m in preparation works, taxes, infrastructures and general assistances not only to Malolo but Gau and Taveuni too.

“Current local partners, consultants, overseas experts and staff number around 100 prior to commencement of construction but will potentially increase to 1000 plus once the foreshore lease is granted by Director Lands.

“Legal compliance was a challenge due to procedural ‘Chinese walls’ but necessary and achievable with the able assistance of key stakeholders – the Commissioner Western’s Office, the Lands Department, Department of Environment, Town & Country Planning, Investment Fiji, Lautoka City Council and the Roko Tui Nadroga & Navosa office.

About the project

“Currently, FreeSoul’s integrated tourism development sits on 61 acres of itaukei land through tourism leases acquired and almost 100 acres of crown foreshore land.

“It will include over-the-water bures, beach front lots and strata titled villas, all green energy efficient and sun shading.

“FreeSoul is ready to start construction once its approved foreshore lease is released by the court.

“FreeSoul’s holistic development runs from the “Ridge to the Reef” in line with the Global Goals 2030.”

 

An artist impression of the over the water bure being developed by Freesoul.

An artist’s impression of the over the water bures. Photo: FreeSoul

 

An artist impression of the beach-front lots. Photo: FreeSoul

An artist’s impression of the beach-front lots. Photo: FreeSoul

 

An artist impression of the strata-tilted villas. Photo: FreeSoul

An artist’s impression of the strata-tilted villas. Photo: FreeSoul

Future plans

The company is planning a further tourism development project in the Nausori Highlands plateau.

The statement said: “FreeSoul will design a product that will give tourists the experience of accommodation in the Nausori Highlands (FreeSoul Part 2 – Coming Soon).

“This provides free soul taking views of Nadi Bay, Nadi International Airport, Port Denarau and resorts in the Mamanucas, Yasawas and the island resorts of Treasure Island, Beachcomber, Bounty, First Landing and Anchorage Resort.

“At the same time enjoy the white sandy beaches of the island resorts.

“All for one and one for all. Not being discriminatory or self-centered but partnering with other tourism operators in Malolo. Ah, remember the Sunset!

Features of the hotel project

FreeSoul said: “Hilltop Deluxe Apartments, Hillside Apartments, Hillside Villas, Garden Villas, Tree House, Beach Villas, Water Villas, Specialty Restaurant, Function Hall, Spa, Lobby, Bar, BBQ, Children’s Playground, Aquatic Center, Tourist wharf and reception are just some of the construction masterpieces that FreeSoul will showcase in its Malolo tourism development.”

FreeSoul says Vina Du Riki to the TLTB Board under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Executive Management and the Tourism Department in Nadi, for the confidence they have in the company.

“Their support towards the investment has been unwavering and has given confidence to FreeSoul.”

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Ecotrax Make Use Of Old Fiji Sugar Corporation Railway Tracks https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/ecotrax-make-use-of-old-fiji-sugar-corporation-railway-tracks/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/ecotrax-make-use-of-old-fiji-sugar-corporation-railway-tracks/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 01:00:32 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462100 A New Zealand couple’s kind gesture in providing bicycles for children of a Sigatoka village culminated with an amazing business story and the birth of Ecotrax Fiji.

This is now using old Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) cane railway tracks.

About the company

Based at Cuvu, in Sigatoka, Ecotrax provides a unique adventure where one gets to pedal along the beautiful forest, rock cuttings, villages and fields of surroundings on Fiji’s first electric powered velocipede.

This story began sometimes in 2016 when Mandy and Howard de Vries visited Navuevue Village where they had bought 30 bicycles for the children.

“Howard also taught them how to change the tyres, carry out some repairs and mainly maintain the bicycles.

“In front of the village ran the old sugar cane rail tracks and Howard came up with an idea and asked the village rugby team to help him clear the tracks of the overgrown grass.”

Assistance from FSC

Some assistance was also provided by the Fiji Sugar Corporation, who were not using the tracks to provide some repair work.

This took two years before things started to move.

“Howard designed the first prototype where he got one bicycle mounted on an old base for a rail truck but it was too heavy for that one bike.”

“This is not something new as this velocipede was invented in the 1950s’ and was used by train drivers to travel back to their garages or town to pick up spare parts when there was a breakdown.”

Mr de Vries then re-designed the velocipede and installed an electric motor which helped powered the machine along the tracks when one is not pedaling.

“Being a green inventor, we did not want to use any fossil fuel which could damage the vegetation along the journey and create pollution for the villagers.

“We started our business in January 2018 and have 10 velocipedes today but will double that by the end of May this year.”

Projects with women

The attraction has become so popular now that the company has had to turn bookings down.

“Once we get the other 10 velocipedes then we can increase the daily trips.”

Mrs de Vries said they have also started up projects with women in the villages along the way.

“We have got them to grow fruits which we provide to our guests and we are looking forward to the first harvest in two weeks’ time.

“We have also provided employment for locals to build the machines and the only thing we import is the power motors from Japan.”

At present, trips depart twice daily from the Cuvu base which was the old Fiji Sugar Corporation locomotive shed.

Ecotrax are finalists in Fiji Pride Champion and the Visitors Attraction and activity category for the two categories for the ANZ Fiji Excellence In Tourism Awards.

 

Finalists in the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards to take place at Sofitel Resort and Spa.

Finalists in the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards to take place at Sofitel Resort and Spa.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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Corporate Advice: The Dangers Of Business Growth https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/corporate-advice-the-dangers-of-business-growth/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/corporate-advice-the-dangers-of-business-growth/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:38:25 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462111 There’s something special about being part of a fast-growing company.

As new business comes in and profits rise new opportunities are available for those high performers.

A small team becomes a medium sized team which then becomes a large team.

In today’s tough business world, it’s difficult for a business to survive so when a company succeeds it is truly something special.

But there are dangers that come with such growth, dangers that if you are unaware of will turn your success against you.

I work with a lot of companies helping them develop their leaders and among these companies

I’ve worked with some companies who have had to deal with sudden growth over a short period of time.

Whether it’s growing from a team of six to a team of 30 or from a team of 30 to a team of a hundred.

I’ve had the honour of helping these companies navigate the hidden dangers that await them.

In this week’s article, I want to share with you what these dangers are and how to overcome them.

Your workplace culture will change

Every business has a workplace culture, the environment that is created for its employees.

The culture defines how people should act, what behaviours are acceptable and what behaviours are unacceptable.

The best way to describe a workplace culture is that it’s the personality of the business.

When a company is small the culture is clear.

You don’t have to write down any company values or put up any signs on the wall because there are such a few people.

It’s very obvious the type of place you are working because you are working alongside the boss or even the owner.

Yet when the team gets larger things get very different.

With every new person joining the team the culture changes slightly.

When a lot of people join in a short period of time the culture can change dramatically.

Before people are even aware of it.

When growing fast you need to focus on maintaining the culture.

As you get larger you need to clearly articulate the culture you want, the personality of the business, what’s important and what’s not.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time creating manuals for people to read.

But it does mean you have to be very aware of what you reward and what you punish because what behaviours are awarded are reinforced.

You will need a different type of employee

When you are a small company, to succeed it’s all about being proactive and highly adaptive to a changing business world.

So the employees you want onboard are just that, people who are willing to work without structure, they are willing to do that little bit more when required.

When a company gets larger the focus is more proactive, retaining business is just as important as winning new business.

You need structure and policies in order to reap the benefits of economies of scale.

Medium sized and large companies attract a different type of employee, one with a different set of expectations of what they can expect from their employer and what they should give as an employee.

A small team needs everyone to a be star performer.

Yet in a large team if everyone is a star then that creates a highly dysfunctional team when internal competition becomes so much that the team tears itself apart.

When growing you need to change your idea of who you want to come and work with you, be prepared to accept a different type of employee.

Look for experienced people from larger companies who can help you shortcut the learning experience.

And if they are not the unstructured spontaneous people you had before and they expect more structure that’s fine.

Because what you need now is different to what you needed in the past.

You need an endgame

Here in my opinion is the most valuable piece of advice that growing businesses need to embrace and that is you need an end game.

I’ve seen many very smart and successful people who build a business from small into something quite special.

But it grows so much that it evolves into something that they didn’t want it to become.

I’ve seen very successful and smart people become very miserable because of their success.

I’ve seen entrepreneurs who enjoy the struggle of a small business and when they overcome those struggles become disenchanted when they find themselves in a big business.

I’ve seen leaders who enjoy having a small team and getting directly involved in the business.

Yet when that business grows the leader needs to focus more on strategy and forward planning and not every leader likes that type of work let alone enjoy it.

You need an endgame because if you don’t you will find your endgame is more and more work until it’s too much even for you.

It’s exiting to grow a business but you need to know where it’s heading, what it will be like when you reach that destination not only for the business but also for you personally.

Most businesses approach future planning like the equivalent of jumping in your car for a holiday and saying let’s go in that direction.

The most successful journeys starts from a clear point and has a clear end destination.

That’s why you need an endgame.

One of the biggest obstacles to future success is being successful today without an end game.

This is because with every step forward comes rewards and opportunities but also comes dangers.

If you want success to continue then you need to be aware of these dangers because what made you successful today is not the same as what will make you successful in the future.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Fiji Tax Talk: The Employment Taxation Scheme (ETS) https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/fiji-tax-talk-the-employment-taxation-scheme-ets/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/fiji-tax-talk-the-employment-taxation-scheme-ets/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:32:39 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462106 This week in Tax Talk, we look at the Employment Taxation Scheme (ETS) and how this can benefit both employer and employees.

What is ETS?

The Employment Taxation Scheme (ETS) encourages Fijian employers and businesses to support the employment of school leavers, tertiary students, people with physical disabilities and promotes the higher education of employees.

Eligible employers can claim deductions ranging from 150 per cent to 300 per cent of the amount of salary, wages and education fees, if the necessary conditions are met.

Interested employers can register by completing the application form and submitting it to Revenue and Customs.

1. Tax rebate for employing First Time Employees

Employers will be allowed a tax deduction for wages paid to a first full-time employee in the first 12 months of their employment, provided:
• The person was not previously employed;
• His or her wage is not less than the minimum wage for the industry or sector as per a written law,
•  They were employed on or after August 1, 2016.

What tax rebate will be allowed?

If these conditions are met, the employer is allowed a 200 per cent deduction on salary/wages paid to the new employee.

How long will this incentive in be force?

This incentive is available to employers for the period August 1 to December 31, 2020.

For example:

ACo hires employee, Sami, in Feb 2017. Sami will be paid $15,000.

In its 2017 tax return, ACo will claim the following deductions.

2. Tax rebate on Student Work Placements

An employer is allowed a 200 per cent deduction on the amount of salary/wages paid in the first six months of employment, to a student on a work placement, provided:

• The employment must be part of the student’s graduation requirement in a learning program set by a higher education institute.

What qualifies as a higher education institution?

These are educational institutions in Fiji that provide award-conferring post-secondary education, for example:

• Technical and Vocational Education and Training Centres,

• Information Technology Training Centres;

• Secretarial Schools;

• Language Schools;

• Hospitality Training Centres;

• Care-Giving Training Providers;

• Performing Arts and Sports Academies;

• Religious Educational Institutions,

• Colleges and universities.

How long will this incentive in be force?

This incentive is available to employers for the period August 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020.

For example:

BCO employs Jone for eight months in 2017 for $320 per month. Jone is studying mechanical engineering in a recognised vocational institution in Fiji.

Total wages for the period of employment were $2560 ($320 x 8 months).

As Jone is required to work for 4 months in a garage as part of his graduation requirement, BCo can claim a 200 per cent deduction on his total wages paid in the first 6 months.

a. Wages for 6 months ($320 x 6 months) = $1920

b. Deduction allowed = $3840 ($1920 x 200 per cent)

3. Tax rebate for employing students on a Part Time basis

An employee allowed a 20 per cent deduction for the amount of salary/wages paid to a student who is a part time worker provided:

• The employment is related to the student’s area of study.

• The employee is not a permanent employee pursuing private studies.

What deduction can be claimed?

A deduction is allowed for the wages paid in the first 3 months in a 12-month period.

How long will this incentive be in force?

This incentive is available to employers for the period August 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020.

For example:

FCO is an accounting firm that employs Jane on a part time basis. Jane is an accounting student at the local university.

She works at FCo every morning for four hours. She is paid $500 a month.

Total wages for 2017 were $4000 ($500 x three months).

FCo can claim a 200 per cent deduction on the wages paid in the first 3 months.

4. Tax rebate for employing a Person with Disability

An employer is allowed a 300 per cent tax deduction for the amount of wages and salaries paid to an employee with physical disabilities recruited from August 1st 2016, provided:

The employer’s application for the tax rebate is e supported by a medical certificate explaining the nature of the disability.

How much can be claimed?

The deductible amount applies to the salary/wages paid to the employee from the date of recruitment.

For how long can this claim be made?

The deduction for salary/wages paid can be claimed for three consecutive years.

What happens in the case of an unfair dismissal?

If an employee is unfairly dismissed (as determined in a court of law), the employer will be taxed on the amount of incentive allowed as a deduction.

How long will this incentive be in force?

This incentive is available to employers for the period August 1, 2016 to December 31st, 2022.

For example:

EFG Partnership engages Rita, a switchboard operator, in October 2016 and she is paid $500 a month.

Rita is visually impaired. EFG can claim a tax deduction of 300 per cent for three years.

5. Employee Development

How much deduction can the employer claim?

An employer is allowed a 150 per cent tax deduction on;

• the amount spent by an employer on an employee’s formal education fees (tuition fees) to study in a tertiary institution; or

• for training their employee provided that the training is conducted through a training provider approved by the CEO, during the course of employment.

What are the employee’s obligations?

The employee must be required to work for the employer for a minimum period of one year upon completion of studies. This applies to education that will result in the issue of a certificate, diploma degree etc. to the employee.

For example:

HJK Bank requires two employees to undertake banking courses at a local university in 2017.

In 2017, the cost of education for the two employees was $8000. HJK can claim a tax deduction of $12,000 ($8,000 x 150 per cent)

In 2018, six employees undertake similar courses at a local university at a cost of $10,000.

HJK can claim a tax deduction of $15,000 ($10,000 x 150 per cent.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Reflection On Asia Pacific Quality Organisation’s Recent Success https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/reflection-on-asia-pacific-quality-organisations-recent-success/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/reflection-on-asia-pacific-quality-organisations-recent-success/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:05:10 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462099 Business Excellence is about strengthening the management systems and processes of an organisation.

This is in a holistic and integrated manner to improve performance, increase productivity and growth, and create value for stakeholders.

Business Excellence is much more than having a quality system in place.

It is about achieving excellence in everything that an organisation does (including leadership, strategy, customer focus, information management, people and processes) and most importantly achieving superior business results.

In general, business excellence models have been developed by national bodies as a basis for award programmes.

For most of these bodies, the awards themselves are secondary in importance to the wide-spread take up of the concepts of business excellence.

This ultimately lead to improved national economic performance.

By far the majority of organisations that use these models do so for self-assessment, by which they can identify improvement opportunities, areas of strength.

They can use the model as a framework for future organisational development and continuous performance improvement

The Fiji Business Excellence Awards (FBEA) was introduced to promote business excellence in the country by providing a Framework or Criteria for assessment.

This is based on similar principles as other business excellence or quality awards used in other parts of the world.

Fiji’s milestone achievement

The Fiji National University’s National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC), through the Department of Quality awards is tasked with promoting business excellence and productivity in Fiji.

The FNU now is home to the National Training and Productivity Centre, which is the National Productivity Organisation for the country.

The Fiji Business Excellence Awards or FBEA as it is commonly known was formerly known as the Fiji Quality Awards and was borne out of the 1995 Round Table Conference where representatives of the Unions, Employers and Government met to draw up a Roadmap for Fiji’s Productivity Movement.

It was here that the idea of implementing a BE Framework for Fiji was adopted into the Productivity Charter of 1995 and later in 2005.

Last year, NTPC celebrated 20 years of sustaining Business Excellence and ranks among a few of the APO member countries who have managed to sustain their Business Excellence journey for the last 20 years. Fiji and Singapore have the longest Business Excellence histories.

Since the Fiji Business Excellence Awards inception, approximately 254 awards have been presented to around 123 applicants over the last 20 years.

These organisations have benefitted immensely from their participation in the awards process.

They have continued to use the awards framework as an Organisational Self-Assessment tool for recognition.

24th Global Excellence Congress

The Global Organisational Excellence Congress which was held in Abu Dhabi on December 10-12, 2018 was a success.

The congress was organized by the Abu Dhabi International Centre for Organisational Excellence (of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Asia Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO), Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) and the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) (developers of the BPIR.com best practice resource).

Prior to the congress the Asia Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO) and Global Benchmarking Network’s (GBN) annual general meeting were held at the same venue.

These meetings brought together international experts from respective member countries for APQO and GBN to discuss and shape the future of quality and benchmarking.

His excellency Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri – Director General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, UAE welcomed all conference delegates who were from all corners of the world.

This was from as far away as Chile including the Pacific region, New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji.

There were more than 1000 delegates representing some 34 countries who had attended this conference and some notable speakers for this conference were; James Harrington, Past Chairman of the ASQ, chairman and chief executive officer of the Harrington Institute.

He is also the US (author of over 40 books covering all aspects of quality management and still going strong at 90-years-old with his recent work on innovation).

Harnek Singh, president, Asia Pacific Quality Organisation, Singapore Professor Mohamed Zairi, Executive chairman European Centre for Best Practice Ayed T. AlAmri, President – Saudi Quality Council, Ashish Khanna Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Managing Director and CEO, Tata Power Solar – India.

The panel discussion forum included experts on business excellence from various countries such as Singapore, Europe, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and India, Australia and New Zealand and the key discussion focused on the Role of Excellence Models in Nation Building.

About the Asia Pacific Quality Organisation (APQO)

The Asia Pacific Quality Organisation APQO is an autonomous, non-political, non-stock, non-profit, membership association with the purpose of promoting excellence in the practice of Quality domiciled in an Asia-Pacific region fixed by its Core Council.

Asia Pacific includes countries in Asia and those located near the Pacific Rim.

Fiji has been an active member for APQO since 2017 and has effectively contributed in the following areas; Council meetings, provided Assessors for the Global Performance Excellence Awards(GPEA), providing an Assessor in the Team ACE Competitions including assisting Fijian organisation in applying for recognition at the Global Performance Excellence Awards (GPEA).

Whilst Fiji’s membership with APQO has seen significant benefits in terms of recognition at the Global Excellence Awards and participation by the Gold winning team from the National Convention on Quality at the Team ACE Competitions. Other key benefits include;

What is the Global Performance Excellence Awards?

The Global Performance Excellence Awards (GPEA) (introduced in 2000 as IAPQA) is the only formal international recognition of performance or business excellence.

The programme is administered by the APQO.

In 2010, the name of this prestigious global award was changed from IAPQA to GPEA to reflect the evolution in the field of quality from a focus on product and service quality to a strategic focus encompassing overall organisational performance termed performance/organisational/business excellence.

The GPEA endeavors to bridge the cultural geographic and economic system gap of National Quality Awards (NQA).

Last year, GPEA recognised 30 role model organisations from 10 Asia and Pacific Rim Countries for achieving significant milestones on their business excellence journey.

These organisations had demonstrated commendable to world class performance required of the three categories of the APQO GPEA.

The GPEA which is primarily Baldrige or EFQM based provides a holistic approach to managing organisational success thru embracing of validated best practices.

The only organisation from Fiji that has been recognised for World Class Performance was Vodafone Fiji in 2017.

Today, GPEA is a strategic enabling tool for global performance excellence.

It helps to strengthen the strategies and performance of organisations both public, private and NGOs in order to succeed in the fast-evolving global market place.

The GPEA process promotes and strengthen awareness in performance excellence as an increasingly important tool in competitiveness towards global business success and sustainability.

Adopting best practices within a country or region are extremely important for raising organisational performance levels, the customer experience, and the standard of living.

This results in improving each countries or regions economic and business activity and driving GDP performance.

The GPEA process, includes an assessment by an international panel of experienced assessors, provides an excellent opportunity for winners of National Quality Awards to benchmark and better understand their opportunities for improvement and performance based on the Business Excellence Model.

GPEA Assessors

Assessors are an important part of the GPEA Award process who commit their knowledge, skills, and time to assess GPEA applicants.

They are predominantly experienced persons from across all sectors of the APQO member economies, including manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education, government, and non-profit.

These experts make a major contribution to the APQO’s vision, mission and efforts to recognize and promote performance/business excellence, and they benefit from the opportunity of networking and educational experience.

In 2018, Fiji had provided 5 Assessors for the Global Performance Excellence Awards of which 3 were from FNU and two from Private Sector. GPEA Assessors have the unique opportunity to explore examples of best practices, innovation, planning strategies, and approaches to engage customers and the workforce, which builds their professional acumen.

They also harness an ability to read an organisation, understand complex organisational issues and offer viable solutions.

These team of experts acquire are well positioned to help in the transfer of learning to their own organization and country.

Team ACE Competitions

The Team ACE Competition criteria is set on a stringent eight category items and key focuses are on areas of Impact on Productivity/ Value Creation, Sustainability/Standardisation, Innovation, Transformation Impact on organisation’s goals/objectives.

APQO had invited teams who were winners in their respective countries national team excellence / IQC/ QCC / team projects competition and provides opportunity for international recognition amongst the best of best via the APQO International ACE Team Awards. Champion teams that are aligned co-operate to achieve a common objective of an organisation are an important building block of organisational excellence.

An aligned team can motivate individuals to exceed all expectations and deliver many benefits to the organisation.

There are many types of teams (Lean, Improvement, Quality Circle, 6 Sigma, Kaizen, Innovation, and Value Creation to name some). Regardless of the type of team or the team based methodology adopted team’s projects are usually focused on problem solving and process improvement resulting in improved cycle time, reduced cost, better quality or service performance, new product/service.

I was very humbled to be selected to be part of the International Team ACE Competitions Judging Panels.

This was my second time to participate as a Lead Assessor in the 2nd APQO International Team ACE Competitions.

This was a great achievement for Fiji as we have been recognised for our contributions at such esteemed competition where experts from the member countries are selected based on their knowledge and experience in the field of quality.

A total of 44 teams from the Asia Pacific rim member countries participated at the 2018 APQO International Team ACE Competitions and were recognised in various categories.

ACE is a highly participative and interactive team excellence competition designed to recognise teams that demonstrate common values and goals imparting a powerful sense of shared purpose where they combine talents and skills to achieve new levels of performance.

Finally, I must acknowledge the support from the FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey and the Director for NTPC Isimeli Tagicakiverata for their unwavering support towards my trip to attend the APQO Conference

  • Bob Mitchell is the Manager Quality Awards National Training and Productivity Centre, Fiji National University.
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Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort And Rosie For Hall Of Fame https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/outrigger-fiji-beach-resort-and-rosie-for-hall-of-fame/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/outrigger-fiji-beach-resort-and-rosie-for-hall-of-fame/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:01:17 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462118 The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Rosie Holidays will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards this evening.

This was confirmed yesterday by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for FETA, Bill Whiting adding that the event tonight at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is fully booked with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama as chief guest.

Both tourism icons were winners of a FETA award three years in a row which is a criteria for organisations to be inducted.

The Hall of Fame was created at last year’s awards where Likuliku Lagoon Resort from the Mamanuca Group became the first inductee.

 

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

 

The Visionary and Lifetime Achievement Awards will also see one tourism leader be given the prestigious awards.

These awards recognise the major contribution they have made to tourism in Fiji for many years.

Meanwhile Mr Whiting said they had received over 200 entries where 70 finalists were selected for the 17 awards.

On the expansion of the awards, Mr Whiting said the Trustees had introduced three new awards two years ago – Fiji Pride, Emerging Tourism Leader and Tourism Leader Award.

Fiji Pride was to recognise individuals who had done something fantastic for tourism, Emerging Tourism Leader was for industry workers under 35 years of age who were showing skills in taking up management roles while Tourism Leader was for senior managers in tourism organisations who had made significant contributions to the industry.

Qualifications for Fiji Pride and Emerging Tourism Leader are for Fijian citizens only while Tourism Leader is open to all.

Mr Whiting said the criteria were changed for the 10 business or industry awards while the Culinary Services Award has been broadened where the emphasis of using Fijian produce more was brought in.

“That is important,” Mr Whiting said.

“The awards have not changed for some but the criteria have changed.”

The awards are made up of 10 industry awards, three individual awards, the Visionary and Lifetime Achiever Awards and two inductees for the Hall of Fame.ons.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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Sorthi Re-Appointed To Clyde Equipment https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/sorthi-re-appointed-to-clyde-equipment/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/sorthi-re-appointed-to-clyde-equipment/#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2019 00:00:20 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462132 Hitesh Sorthi has rejoined Clyde Equipment (Pacific) Ltd as their National Service manager.

Mr Sorthi brings a wealth of experience in power generation and advanced control systems and is more than ready to assume his role as the Service Head.

His hands-on experience of working on engines and microprocessor based controls and his proficiency in a wide range of engineering products, will boost the company’s already strong service team.

“Since the beginning, Clyde has been extremely customer centric, with our focus clearly on Customer Satisfaction”, Clyde General Manager Praful Dhokai said.

“We are thrilled to have Hitesh on board again and look forward to him taking charge of our aftermarket services”, Mr Dhokai said.

“The company wishes Hitesh well and is confident that their strengthened Service Team shall handle the service needs of all our customers in the most comprehensive way.

“Clyde Equipment (Pacific) Ltd., sincerely looks forward to the continued support of its loyal customers.

Founded in 1970, Clyde is a leading South Pacific distributor and supplier of electrical power generating equipment, air compressors and pneumatics, water pumps as well as light, medium and heavy equipment and machinery for the construction, industrial, commercial and hospitality sectors.

The company has over 70 experienced and well-trained staff is spread across branches in Suva, Nadi and Lautoka, including sales, service, qualified technicians and after sales and backup support.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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Consumer Protection Under The FCCC Act 2010 https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/consumer-protection-under-the-fccc-act-2010/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/consumer-protection-under-the-fccc-act-2010/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 23:57:16 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462097 Consumer Protection laws exist primarily to ensure that consumers are protected against unfair trade practices.

Undoubtedly, there are a handful of unscrupulous traders in the Fijian market who tend to take advantage of vulnerable Fijians.

Whilst the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) works towards ensuring a fair market place for all Fijians. It has noted that a number of businesses engage in unfair trade practices to simply profiteer at the expense of consumers.

Businesses and service providers tend to engage in heavy marketing and advertising of their products and services with the use of technical jargons to lure consumers.

Over the years the use of technical jargons in advertisements have considerably increased.

The use of terms such as “free” in advertisements while marketing products and services is becoming a common site.

However, businesses and service providers should exercise caution when using the term “free”.

The idea of getting goods or services without charge can create

keen interest amongst consumers as they usually think of ‘free’ as being absolutely free—a justifiable expectation.

Simply, businesses may get into trouble while using the word ‘free’ if they fail to properly explain the magnetism of the word in any of their advertisements or promotions.

Further, businesses must reveal the complete truth in their advertisements and promotions, including any conditions that the consumer must comply with in order to obtain the ‘free’ item.

Circumstances and Conduct

When consumers access the goods and services to take advantage of the ‘specials’, however, are not awarded the benefits, they tend to raise their query with the FCCC.

Alternatively, FCCC does media monitoring to scrutinise advertisements to ensure consumers are not being misled.

Whether a conduct is misleading or deceptive will depend on the factors surrounding the particular conduct.

This means that all relevant circumstances will be taken into consideration, such as the entire advertisement, product label or statements and claims made by a business.

While assessing and investigating such matters, FCCC also takes into account other factors.

These such as, fine prints, contradictory statements, unsubstantiated claims, images that obscure or alter written statements pertaining to the product or service by the businesses.

Advertising Techniques – Bait

Advertising and Special Offers

Under the consumer protection law, bait advertising is defined as the practice of offering products for sale by a business at a low price to attract consumers.

Bait advertising is an illegitimate form of advertising under the FCCC Act 2010.

Under this advertising scheme, businesses advertise that the products or services are offered for sale at a discounted price.

However, businesses fail to keep such products in reasonable quantities during the sale period.

If businesses have knowledge that the particular product is not available in reasonable quantities, they should not advertise that particular product for sale for a considerable number of days.

However, if businesses have products in reasonable quantities but it happens to finish during the sale period then, business must clearly state in writing to inform the consumers that the particular product has finished.

If a business is advertising range of products at special offers, they must clearly mark the products which are offered for sale at special price.

This is to avoid any confusion for consumers.

If the special or discounted price of the product is just for a day or two, businesses must outline this condition to the consumers clearly.

If there is a reasonable chance of the offer not being available at the advertised price, then the businesses may be in breach of the FCCC Act 2010.

Businesses must keep all the records for such sale for a period of seven (7) years and must furnish all the records to FCCC upon request for verification and assessment.

Advise to businesses:

Businesses must undertake due diligence when engaging in sales and advertising techniques.

If any business identifies that their competitor has engaged in such illegitimate form of advertising and sale, they may notify FCCC of the issue.

Advice to consumer:

FCCC urges consumers to exercise caution when engaging in sales and promotions.

Consumers must ask questions and act responsibly from their end to make an informed decision about their purchase.

Should any consumer have any issue or feel that a business has engaged in unethical or deceptive conduct, one must notify FCCC so that appropriate action can be taken to remedy such conduct.

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Wyndham Excited Over FETA Awards Nomination https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/wyndham-excited-over-feta-awards-nomination/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/wyndham-excited-over-feta-awards-nomination/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 23:57:08 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462105 Wyndham Resort on Denarau Island is ecstatic at being listed as a finalist in the Accommodation Deluxe category at this Saturday’s Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards.

The resort submitted their nomination for the first time and have been selected alongside Volivoli Beach Resort, Maui Palms and Castaway Island Fiji.

“We are exceptionally excited to be shortlisted for this prestigious award,” resort general manager Brad Downton said.

“Wyndham is such an amazing resort and what make it such is the 300 team members who work here.”

Mr Downton felt there were two major aspects which warranted their nomination as a finalist.

“Firstly our staff provides an exceptional quality service to our guests and this carried out with a generous heart and culture.

“This permeates throughout all aspects of the resort.

“Secondly we continue to re-invest into the resort.

“By doing this we see that the resort has a fresh and new look for our guests.”

The resort also boasts outstanding resort facilities including a large lagoon style swimming pool, outdoor spa, swim-up pool bar with wet and dry seating, kids’ club, direct beach access and a Mexican themed restaurant.

Wyndham Resort hopes that their first nomination will be a joyous one come tonight.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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January Stats Show Marginal Rise In Inflation https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/january-stats-show-marginal-rise-in-inflation/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/january-stats-show-marginal-rise-in-inflation/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 23:28:31 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462113 What is Consumer Price Index?

It is a comprehensive measure used for estimation of price changes in a basket of goods and services representative of consumption expenditure in an economy.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most well-known indicator of inflation and is perhaps not an uncommon subject when it comes to economic fundamentals.

If the CPI is rising, the economy is going through a phase of inflation while the economic situation where the CPI value falls below zero is called deflation.

Effects of Inflation

The effects of inflation are both gradual and profound. Inflation creeps up on us over time, and as we continue our normal spending and consumption cycle, the almost imperceptible increase of consumer prices does not seem to make a huge difference in our daily expenses.

This means it is all too often vastly underestimated.

However, the implications of inflation are generally huge.

It affects our salaries and our ability to purchase every day items, food prices go up, transportation prices increase, and gas prices rise, while the cost of various other goods and services shoot up over time.

Inflationary problems arise when we experience unexpected inflation which is not adequately matched by a rise in people’s incomes.

If incomes do not increase along with the prices of goods, everyone’s purchasing power has been effectively reduced, which can in turn have a spill-over effect on the general economy.

In the latest release by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the average annual rate of inflation for the 12 months to January 2019 [i.e. comparing the average CPI for the 12 months from February 2018 – January 2019; with the average for the 12 months from February 2017 – January 2018] stands at 4.4 per cent while the month- on- month inflation rate [compared with January 2018] stands at 5.1 per cent.

The All Items CPI for the month of January registered an increase of 1.2 per cent over December 2018 [122.6] and stands at 124.1.

Details of price changes between December 2018 and January 2019 by expenditure class are as follows:

  • Food And Non-Alcoholic Beverages increased by 4.5 per cent.

Higher prices were recorded for meat, fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables, confectionery, food products n.e.c. and non-alcoholic beverages such as mineral water.

  • Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics was up by 1.4 per cent.

Higher prices were recorded for spirits, wine, cigarettes and yaqona.

  • Clothing and Footwear increased by 0.2 per cent.

Higher prices were recorded for garments and footwear.

  • Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels decreased by 0.8per cent.

Lower prices were recorded for gas and kerosene.

  • Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance was down by 0.2 per cent.

Lower prices were recorded for small electric household appliance, small tools and miscellaneous accessories and non-durable household goods.

  • Transport decreased by 1.2 per cent.

Lower prices were recorded for fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment.

  • Recreation and Culture increased by 0.1 per cent.

Higher prices were recorded for equipment for the reception, record and reproduction of sound & picture and equipment for sport, camping and open air recreation.

  • Restaurants and Hotels dropped by 0.6 per cent.

Lower prices were recorded for accommodation services.

Other divisions where some price changes were recorded but the changes balanced out included health, communication and miscellaneous goods and services.

While no price change was recorded in Education division.

Regardless of our understanding of economics, we feel the consequence of inflation every time we head to that cash out counter or receive that pay check.

Inflation is simply the increase in price of goods and services or the decline in purchasing power of our income.

When prices go up, the amount which can be bought with a fixed amount of money goes down; when prices fall, the amount which can be bought increases.

However, the raw CPI data is prone to be inconclusive on price trends due to its tendency to be distorted higher or lower as a result of seasonal factors such as effect of changing climate conditions, production cycles, and cyclical changeovers at factories, holiday seasons, and sales.

As such, the central banks often refer to seasonally adjusted data, as it excludes the seasonal factors, and provides a more reliable picture of underlying trends.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Wyndham Appoints Wesley Biutanaseva And Owen Ealden https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/wyndham-appoints-wesley-biutanaseva-and-owen-ealden/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/16/wyndham-appoints-wesley-biutanaseva-and-owen-ealden/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 23:26:23 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462120 Wyndham Resort Denarau Island has confirmed appointments of Wesley Biutanaseva to the position of Assistant Resort Manager and Owen Ealden to the position of Director of Food and Beverage.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of these two key members of our leadership team. Both have a strong track record of high performance and bring a broad range of skills and extensive experience to the resort,” said Brad Downton, General Manager Wyndham Resort Denarau Island.

About Mr Biutanaseva

Mr Biutanaseva was raised in Suva before moving to Hawaii to study hospitality management.

He joins Wyndham Denarau Island Resort after working in leadership roles at the Hyatt Place Boise/Downtown Idaho, Mesquite Holiday Inn Express Nevada and Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Provo, Utah in the USA.

“I am delighted to join Wyndham Denarau Island and especially this great team,” said Mr Biutanaseva.

“I am excited to bring my experience and am looking forward to working with staff to make holiday dreams come true for our valued guests by helping to foster a strong service orientated culture.”

About Mr Ealden

Mr Ealden has served in leadership roles at Komandoo Island Resort and Spa in the Maldives and Kudadoo Private Island by Hurwalhi in the Maldives where he served as Food and Beverage Director.

Prior to that, he worked in numerous resorts and hotels across Asia Pacific and Europe as Executive Chef.

The multi-award-winning Wyndham Resort Denarau Island is one of the largest and most popular resorts in the WorldMark South Pacific Club collection, the region’s largest timeshare club with close to 60,000 members.

It features a host of facilities including a Mamacita Restaurant & Bar.

“These are exciting times for Wyndham Resort Denarau Island.

“I am very proud to be joining a great team with who I can share my experiences to develop our dining venues and introduce some exciting new concepts to the resort,” said Mr Ealden.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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Congratulation Ropate Pareti https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/congratulation-ropate-pareti/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/congratulation-ropate-pareti/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:36:27 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=462115 Congratulations to the Australian Institute of Company Directors Fiji Directors Course February 2019 scholarship recipient Ropate Pareti.

Mr Pareti is a procurement officer with the National Fire Authority.

He attended the recent three day AICD workshop that was held at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel.

On June 10 – 14, ACID will hold for the first time its International Company Directors Course in Nadi, which is currently held in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai. Strengthening level course.

About the Institute

Australian Institute of Company Directors is a not-for-profit membership organisation for directors. The AICD is a founding member of the Global Network of Director Institutes

The AICD International Scholarship Programme, offers full scholarship places to its International Company Directors Course and Fiji Directors Course.

The purpose of the programme is to provide opportunity for good governance training to individuals and companies that are unable to attend due to financial constraints.

Recipients must be aspiring directors, directors or community leaders with an annual turnover of less than AU$2 million.

Next round will open in May for courses held July – December 2019.

Koro Sun Resort floating bures

It’s good to hear that Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa has taken successful measures to ensure that its floating bures withstand cyclones.

During the height of Cyclone Winston the floating bures were torn from their moorings and dragged out to sea by the huge waves and surging waters that enveloped the marina and reef.

They remained mostly intact and stayed afloat whilst being pounded by the severe conditions and eventually found their way to be washed back to shore a few kilometres away.

Only one out of the eight were smashed by the waves and never to be seen again.

The bures were repaired where they lay and eventually floated back into the marina and installed for the second time.

Successful measures have been taken to ensure there is no repeat of the Winston damage and they have no further instances where they find themselves in a fight with nature.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Work at FNPF’s Nadi Retail Complex Halted https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/work-at-fnpfs-nadi-retail-complex-halted/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/work-at-fnpfs-nadi-retail-complex-halted/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 06:19:44 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=461917 Works on the Fiji National Provident Fund’s (FNPF) Nadi Retail Complex have been halted.

Developers FNPF and builders Pacific Building Solutions (PBS) both blame the other.

FNPF chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi said Pacific Building Solutions has breached the terms of the contract.

However, the specific terms are confidential be­tween the contracted parties.

He further added that PBS ceased operations in December 2018. In terms of the successor of the project, Mr Koroi said FNPF is in the process of finalising the project scope for completion.

A statement from PBS said: “Irreconcilable dif­ferences between us and FNPF related to a num­ber of technical and contractual issues in addi­tion to a breach of contract by FNPF resulted in our demobilisation from the Nadi Retail Develop­ment site in December 2018.

“We had completed approximately 80 per cent of the construction work to date.

“We are in communication with FNPF and have offered our full co-operation and assistance with any missing information they might need to com­plete the building without further delay or un­necessary costs which can be mitigated.”

Mr Koroi said: “FNPF is targeting the end of 2019 to complete the project.”

About the FNPF

The estimated $23 million retail development project is located on the corner of Nadi Main Streeet and Koroivolu Avenue.

This was the site of the old Nadi Hotel.

Once completed, the three-storey building will offer two levels of retail space and one level for office space. The project was part of fund’s in­vestment rehabilitation programme, which has also seen the redevelopment of a number of oth­er properties belonging to the fund.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Ali Opens Upgraded Fiji Gas Showroom https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/ali-opens-upgraded-fiji-gas-showroom/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/ali-opens-upgraded-fiji-gas-showroom/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 06:15:42 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=461919 The oil and gas industry has evolved over decades and has assisted in improving the economic outlook for Fiji.

Permanent secretary for the Ministry of Indus­try, Trade and Tourism (MITT), Shaheen Ali made these comments while opening the newly renovated Fiji Gas Showroom in Walu Bay, Suva, last night.

Mr Ali said: “The industry has gone through a number of cycles and changes that have required the industry to continuously adapt and evolve.

“Of course, the current fluctuat­ing environment is a test for all pro­ducers and investors.

“Fiji Gas therefore has shown re­silience by continuing to grow in the face of volatile international prices.

“As we are aware, gas supports a range of economic activities that require heat, such as residential cooking, commercial and industri­al applications including transpor­tation as auto-gas.

Incentives for energy

“It becomes essential to use incen­tives for energy, more efficiently and implement sustainable policies that could lay the groundwork for more diversified and less energy-dependent economies.

“The current norm is the use of diesel generators and smaller solar solutions to provide air condition­ing, which consumes a lot of en­ergy.

“This will no doubt contribute immensely in protecting Fiji’s un­spoilt and pristine environment, which is important, not only for the Fijian tourism industry, but the na­tion at large.”

He said Fiji Gas aims to transition to cleaner forms of energy.

“As our domestic investors (like Fiji Gas) continue to re-invest in the country, it makes us, policy-makers, more confident that we are doing things right.

“This shows that the Fijian Gov­ernment is providing our indus­tries with the enabling environ­ment to do business.”

Mr Ali said LPG was a preferred choice of energy, it is a fossil non-renewable fuel.

Fiji Gas has a major challenge in the years ahead to find innovative ways to embrace renewable energy, as the World and Fiji is moving in that direction.

Online Information Launch

Meanwhile, Mr Ali said before the end of the year, they would be launching an online Information Portal for Building Permits and Starting a Business.

“This is where one will be able to access application processes, agen­cy checklists and harmonised and consolidated application forms”.

Mr Ali said: “MITT is working on enhancing a number of doing busi­ness processes.

“We are currently working on ob­taining building permits and start­ing a business.

“The end goal is to have a fully-au­tomated system where applications and approvals are done online on a single platform.So you can expect a lot more efficiency in our doing business environment.”

Fiji Gas chief executive officer, Hans Reiher said: “Fiji Gas is com­mitted to going green and diversify­ing our core business from simply “the supplier of LPG” to the sup­plier of energy solutions which in­cludes renewables like sola.”

“It’s the little steps to cleaner and renewable sources of energy that will contribute towards achieving the Government’s target of 100 per cent renewables by 2030.”

About Fiji Gas

Fiji Gas has been operating in Fiji since 1956, and has continued to maintain a market share of approx­imately 60 per cent, despite compe­tition from other energy companies and types of fuels.

Fiji Gas has greatly transformed its operations to continue to be a major player.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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Nanuku Recognises Sustainable Practices https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/nanuku-recognises-sustainable-practices/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/15/nanuku-recognises-sustainable-practices/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2019 06:09:16 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=461944 Nanuku Auberge Resort honoured to be named as a finalist in the ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards Culinary Services category.

The awards will held tomor­row at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa.

Resort general manager Sascha Hemmann said: “Sus­tainability is at the very heart of Nanuku’s ethos.

“Everything from vanilla pods to dragon fruits, to fresh wild honey are harvested on Nanuku’s rich 550 acre soil.

Treetop Dining

“Our cuisine is freshly grown, sustainable, highly or­ganic and seasonal.

“Every dining experience at Nanuku is unique, fresh and always exciting.

“Plus there are always plans in the pipeline; Nanuku’s new brew and coffee collections will be released soon.

“We love to push the bounda­ries at Nanuku, providing our valued guests with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

He said the resort’s signature Treetop Dining, as an exam­ple, saw guests dine in com­plete privacy, suspended high above the ocean on a platform nestled in an 80-year-old Dilo tree.

“Imagine soaking up the tranquil acoustics of the waves crashing below while watching the most beautiful sunsets in Fiji. It is heaven.

“I would like to thank Na­nuku’s Executive Chef, Oliver Scarf and equally the entire Food and Beverage team for their unwavering passion and commitment to Nanuku’s ex­ceptional food and beverage standards, sustainable prac­tices and continual reinven­tion.”

The resort has been nomi­nated alongside Castaway Island Fiji, InterContinental Fiji Golf and Spa, Malamala Beach Club and Maqai Eco Surf Resort.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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Planned Veisari Gated Community Focuses On Security, Green Environment https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/13/planned-veisari-gated-community-focuses-on-security-green-environment/ https://fijisun.com.fj/2019/02/13/planned-veisari-gated-community-focuses-on-security-green-environment/#comments Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:26:25 +0000 https://fijisun.com.fj/?p=460805 If you are looking to invest in a residential property, but at the back of your mind security is the top priority, then Phillip Toogood might have a solution for you.

It is Shiloh Gardens in Veisari, near Lami.
Leading the successful charge of the marketing campaign for this gated community at Veisari is well renown veteran leader in the business, Mr Toogood of Bayleys Real Estate (Fiji) Limited.

An artist impression of planned Shiloh Gardens, Veisari. Photo: Bayleys Real Estate (Fiji) Limited

An artist impression of planned Shiloh Gardens, Veisari. Photo: Bayleys Real Estate (Fiji) Limited

He explained the developers are some individuals from a company called Rigen Developments, who have appointed Cornerstone Civil Works Australia to do the actual development.

“Cornerstone will appoint subcontractors and consultants so they will be responsible for making the development work.
“What we are doing at the moment is taking expressions of interest for this most prestigious, secured gated community.
“It will be a combination of residential and hotel development with amenities like tennis court and swimming pool.
“Our first open inspection last weekend, it was raining so we had a small number turn up and a lot of people calling and we got other appoints made.

First three lots
“We are selling only 15 lots of stage 1.
“So they don’t have to actually sign a purchase agreement they can sign an option where we will hold $5,000 deposit for them.
“Once we have got 15 lots signed that will put them in the queue awaiting all the proper sale and purchase documentation.
“If they don’t like what they read we give the $5000 back.”
He said they are selling the first three residential lots at $425,000 VIP.
“Once we have sold the first three residential lots we will start moving the price
“We expect to get those 15 probably committed over the next few weeks, once we got that we will be able to launch the project fully.

“People just want some real comfort that there is some demand which we believe there is and its an exciting opportunity.
“It’s freehold which is very important
“Its going to be built to Australian standards with 24 hours security.
“It is very conveniently located approximately 71/2 miles from the capital city Suva and two minutes from the bustling township of Lami.

“Shiloh Gardens is a secured resort style residential development that offers its members access to the Recreational Club facilities like gym, tennis court, swimming Pool, Park Areas and the exclusive use of the resort restaurant and Bar facilities for you and your guests when completed

Unique Lifestyle
“Your home is your haven and a retreat from your busy life, when you need it.
“Stretch out and take in some rays around the leisure pool or clear your mind doing laps in the pool or work up a sweat in the fully equipped gymnasium.
“If you are after something more competitive, you can grab a friend and enjoy a game or two of Tennis on your exclusive court.
“Our on-site management team will ensure that all the facilities and amenities needed for this resort lifestyle living is always in pristine condition.”

Shiloh Gardens offers its home owners and investors choice land only or a range of high class full turnkey home and land.

The Villas
Another project which Mr TooGood is involved in is The Villas project.

“The Villas being built on the exclusive island of Tokoriki Island, Fiji, beside the Sheraton Tokoriki Resort.
“The Villas are positioned on the hill overlooking the resort and ocean, within easy reach of the pristine beach by golf cart.
“These fully furnished, luxury villas are designed in true tropical Fiji style with high ceilings and open plan living, opening to the deck and private swimming pool. The views are extraordinary.
“Overall, interior space and decks total approximately 250 square metres.

“A second option is for a four bedroom villa which comprises a pair of two bedroom Villas sitting side by side and adjoined.
“You have the flexibility to occupy your luxury Villa at will, just when you like, or you can elect to have it in a managed rental pool and enjoy private use together with the opportunity to earn a worthwhile income.
“A “must see” two bedroom show Villa is available for an on-site inspection so you can experience first-hand just how beautiful the Villas, Tokoriki are.”

It is offered for sale at just FJ$1.85m plus VAT (if any).
The ferry ride from Port Denarau, takes an hour or alternatively you can choose a quick 15 minute trip by helicopter from Nadi International Airport.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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