21 Nov 2023

Pacific news and sports in brief for November 21

5:00 pm on 21 November 2023
Jenny Salesa, Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni and Carmel Sepuloni meet at the Inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers.

Jenny Salesa, left, Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni, middle, and Carmel Sepuloni met at the Inaugural Conference of Pacific Education Ministers in March this year. Photo: Supplied/MFAT

Tonga - fees

Tonga's Prime Minister continues Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni to call for both Australia and New Zealand to reduce tertiary school fees for all Pacific students.

Tonga's Prime Minister continues Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni to call for both Australia and New Zealand to reduce tertiary school fees for all Pacific students.

Hu'akavameiliku said at the moment, students are lumped in with all international countries, paying sky-high fees, with the exception of some scholarships.

Hu'akavameiliku, who studied in New Zealand himself, wants different rates for Pacific Islands Forum member states, something he feels both nations have taken onboard

Vanuatu - cattle

The ministry responsible for livestock in Vanuatu is investigating what caused the death of reportedly over 100 cattle during a shipment from Santo to Port Vila recently.

The ministry's acting director general Moses Amos said the buyer did not obtain a movement permit to transport the cattle.

Amos said his department was not aware of the shipment until the dead cattle were delivered at the wharf in Port Vila.

He said that this was the first time that someone had transported cattle without a permit.

Livestock officers, who have knowledge of animal welfare are required to supervise loading, after a permit is issued.

Amos said the captain of the vessel and buyer of the cattle will be held accountable.

Vanuatu - chiefs

Vanuatu's Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs has a new president.

Chief Paul Robert Ravun, from Malekula Island, has been elected as the new President of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, replacing Chief Willie Grey Plasua.

Chief Ravun acknowledged the outgoing president, Chief Plasua, and his commitment during his five-year term, despite challenges.

The Council plays a significant role in advising the Vanuatu government on all matters concerning ni-Vanuatu culture and languages, and the body is recognised in the country's constitution.

Tahiti - pageant

The Mr Tahiti pageant is now allowing married men and fathers to join the prestigious competition.

The previous age limit of 25 and that's now been adjusted to 35 years-old.

Event producer Albert Liu is hoping to lead by example for male pageants around the world.

"I wanted to give a revolution to mens pageants so I decided to change my own criteria. At 30, they are more mature and they can spread more values like family values, like responsibilities and work, that is my strategy and that is the revolution I want to bring in male contest pageant.

Heiva Ah-Min, who is married, is the winner of this year's Mr Tahiti.

He will go on to represent French Polynesia in the Mr France pageant in Paris in February.

Rugby - Super W

Six Pacific female rugby players will join the Australian Super W competition for the 2024 season.

The players are Neomai Funga, Seneti Kilisimasi and Siutiti Ma'ake, all from Tonga, and from Samoa, Fa'alua Tugaga, Easter Savelio and Ana Mamea.

Funga and Tugaga will join the ACT Brumbies while Savelio and Mamea will be with the Melbourne Rebels.

Kilisimasi and Ma'ake are going to the Western Force.

Their participation in the competition is made possible by a program funded by the Australian Government.

The Australian Buildcorp Super W competition is the Southern Hemisphere's premier Women's Rugby competition.

Fijiana Drua won the Super W titles in 2022 and 2023.

Soccer - qualifier

Eight teams will contest the lone Oceania spot in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament qualifier to be held in Apia, Samoa in February.

The teams are American Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Draws for the event will be held on Thursday in Auckland.

The eight teams will be split into two groups of four with the top two sides to advance to the semi-final stage before a final to determine the OFC qualifier for next year's games in France.

Rugby league - awards

A number of Pacific Island rugby league players have been nominated for the men's and women's 2023 International Rugby League (IRL) Golden Boot awards.

A panel comprising some of the most accomplished players in international rugby league will select the Golden Cap recipient for men and the women's IRL Golden Boot winner.

Players who have been nominated includes Jahream Bula and Tui Kamikamica of Fiji, Su'a Faalogo (Samoa), Addin Fonua-Blake (Tonga), Esan Marsters (Cook Islands) plus the PNG pair of Edwin Ipape and Lachlan Lam (Papua New Guinea).

In the women's competition the nominees from the Pacific nations are Toru Arakua (Cook Islands), Belinda Gwasamun (Papua New Guinea), Annetta-Claudia Nu'uausala (Samoa) and Tiana Penitani (Tonga).

The IRL said the winners of the 2023 IRL Golden Boot awards will be announced in early December.