World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


'Shabby Suva' And Other Tales

'Shabby Suva' And Other Tales

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's capital Suva is described as a "shabby dump" and the country portrayed as having a depressing future under the current regime in next week's edition of the Listener.

In a four-page profile of Fiji headlined "Our friends" more than two years after George Speight's putsch written by the national magazine's deputy editor Steve Braunias, the country is depicted as bogged down in a constitutional wrangle and blighted by poverty and paradox.

Braunias, one of New Zealand's most perceptive writers, and chief photographer Jane Ussher reported on the country being welcomed back as a Commonwealth partner by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark at this month's South Pacific Forum.

"Pole-dancing in the clubs, really good Indian curries, many excellent tearooms - milk, no sugar - but Fiji's capital is a dump, shabby, loud, littered, with Saturday afternoon drinkers already shtickered on long-necked bottles of Fiji Bitter ("Let's f--- it up!") and prostitutes whispering for business ("$50 for a taste of Fijian honey) opposite the Holiday Inn," writes Braunias.

"The good life is to be found up the coast at the Pacific Harbour Resort. It's hardly a playground for the rich, although this 220-section compound does wonderfully as home for the leisured and white."

Braunias cites several residents at Pacific Harbour - along with a range of Fiji islanders from Lum's tearooms to Kiuve village - giving their impressions of their adopted country.

One Sydney man, who has been living in Fiji for almost a year, was taking his dogs for a walk. He says he has two fox terriers - "to guard the inside of the house" and three cattle dogs "to guard the outside".

"And then the familiar sound of English complaint scratched the air: 'I can't stand the people! They're hard work. Their word is not necessarily their bond. No ethics, the Fijians. Things are back to normal now, it's like pre-coup times, but nothing changes as far as their nature goes. They steal your clothes, the food out of your fridge - but no one's starving.'"

Braunias highlights in the Listener how Clark has changed tack since her original snub of Fiji PM Laisenia Qarase in protest at his refusal to follow the constitution and allow elected Labour Party MPs into his cabinet.

"Friends again, then, despite the fact that a judge is yet to be appointed to hear the Supreme Court case, a delay described as intolerable and deliberate by Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry, deposed as prime minister in the armed coup of 2000."

Braunias quotes Clark as saying that since last year's election, Fijians and Indo-Fijians were "learning to live alongside each other", but "the economy is still quite fragile. The squatter settlements obviously create conditions for civil unrest, and then there's the ongoing legacy of colonialism, and the huge disparity of living ... I believe New Zealand can be helpful with a continued policy of reconciliation ... Meaningful contribution."

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE
http://www.pmw.c2o.org

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news