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Indian Newslink 15th April 2018 Digital Edition

APRIL 15,

APRIL 15, 2018 10 Fijiink New initiatives for cyclone-affected victims in Fiji Venkat Raman venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama has announced a new set of measures to provide relief to the victims of Tropical Cyclones Josie and Keni that devastated the country, killing at least eight people and destroying properties. Called, ‘Cyclone Assistance Relief Effort (CARE) for Fiji’ the new initiative has been designed to offer relief and assistance to flood victims efficiently. Far-Reaching Programme “CARE for Fiji is an unprecedented and wide-reaching programme of Government assistance that cuts across Government ministries and departments to aid those Fijians impacted by the back-to-back onslaughts of TC Josie and TC Keni. Under this Programme, a host of new Government initiatives will operate- including ‘Homes Care,’ ‘Farms Care,’ ‘Sugarcane Care,’ ‘Leaseholders Care’ Welfare Care’ and ‘E-Transport Care.’ Each of these initiatives will cover victims of cyclones,” he said. In a Statement issued on April 13, 2018, Mr Bainimarama said that according to estimates, about 150,000 Fijians are likely to have been affected by the two recent Tropical Cyclones. He said that as of April 13, 2018, eight people were reported to have died. Home Care Initiative “The first round of assistance under these initiatives will go directly towards affected Fijians Bainimarama announcing the ‘CARE for Fiji’ Programme on April 13, 2018 living in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Under ‘Homes Care,’ households with annual income of under F$50,000 who have lost items in their homes or whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the cyclones can apply to receive prepaid electronic cards to purchase materials to repair their homes and replace possessions that were lost or badly damaged,” he said. People whose homes were totally destroyed or suffered severe structural damage can qualify for F$7000 as relief assistance to pay for reconstruction of their homes and to cover replacement costs of lost possessions or household items. These include television sets, furniture, housewares and other valuable items damaged by rains and flooding. Depending on the extent of damage, the ‘CARE for Fiji’ and its associate Programmes will offer financial relief to victims of the two cyclones. Those qualified can apply for relief, the procedures for which will be announced in Fiji Sun, on Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Radio Stations and on the Fiji Government Facebook Page. Relief for Leaseholders Mr Bainimarama also announced a new Programme for assistance to leaseholders on iTaukei and State land with A flood-affected area in the Western Division (Picture for FBC News of Fiji Broadcasting Corporation by Kreetika Kumar- under a Special Agreement) an annual income of under F$50,000. Called, ‘Leaseholders Care,’ the Programme is for victims of the two cyclones in the affected areas of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. “For Fijians who are leasing iTaukei or State land for residential or agricultural purposes, the government will pay 12 months of their due lease payment. Details of this scheme will be announced in the local media,” Mr Bainimarama said. Warning to fraudsters While Mr Bainimarama promised prompt relief measures to victims, he also warned against any fraud including falsified documents. “If any Fijian is found to be lying about the state of their property, farm, produce, home or their belongings, there will be very serious consequences. We will have teams deployed throughout the country carrying out regular spot checks of areas benefiting from these Programmes, and we will also establish a hotline where concerned Fijians can report those who they suspect have abused these very important relief programmes. The Hotline will also allow members of the public to lodge complaints against those civil servants who do not fully implement ‘CARE for Fiji Programme,’” he said. Bainimarama to attend CHGM in London Venkat Raman venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama will attend the Annual Meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled to be held in London this week. Heads of governments of 53 member-countries of the Commonwealth will be present at the meeting due to be held from April 19 to 21, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Queen Elizabeth. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will represent her country and also have an ‘On Appointment Private Audience,’ with the Queen. Such meetings are held for Prime Ministers of countries which are under the British Monarchy. The Fijian Story Mr Bainimarama said that he would take with him ‘the stories of the many Fijians who are suffering in the aftermath of these storms, including the many he has had the chance to meet and speak with personally in their communities. I take with me our struggle, the struggle of the Fijian people in the face of Climate Change,” he said. COP23 Negotiations Mr Bainimarama said that billions of vulnerable people all over the world face similar struggle and that Fiji would be relentless in its commitment to ‘COP23’ negotiations. “We will continue to inspire women, men and young people around the world to join our mission to spare our planet from the worst effects of climate change,” he said. “We need to keep up the pressure and seek full implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, so that we can limit the harmful emissions that are causing our climate to change,” he added.

APRIL 15, 2018 Vehicles with airbag safety issues recalled Kris Faafoi About 50,000 vehicles with Alpha-type Takata airbags are subject to a compulsory recall as the government protects New Zealand drivers and passengers from the unsafe airbags. The new measures put in place include intensive monitoring of a further 257,000 vehicles also requiring repairs to replace non-Alpha Takata airbags. The New Zealand Transport Agency is also introducing new measures to stop vehicles with affected airbags that have not been remedied from being imported to New Zealand. Government commitment New Zealanders can be assured that this Government is committed to ensuring that these unsafe airbags are removed and replaced as quickly as possible. These airbags have been known to be a risk since 2013 yet the previous Government clearly did not place any importance on keeping New Zealanders safe. From today, we have an agreed timeframe for replacements of Alpha-type airbags, and, after a 40-working day grace period for vehicles already in transit, no affected new or used vehicles will be able to enter into New Zealand. Monitoring Group Further, because I am not satisfied that enough progress has been made on other non-Alpha Takata airbag recalls, I have set up a monitoring group that will report monthly on this. If enough progress is not made, I will enact a compulsory recall across the board because I am not willing to compromise on the safety of New Zealanders. A voluntary recall of vehicles with affected Takata airbags started in New Zealand in 2013, and around 29,000 of the Alpha-type airbags have been replaced. Alpha airbag inflators pose asignificantly higher risk of mis-deploying in an accident and sending fragments towards vehicle occupants. Recall of more vehicles A further 257,000 vehicles are subject to a recall for non-Alpha Takata airbags, with a further 116,000 non-Alpha airbags replaced already. More than 450,000 vehicles are known to be affected by Alpha and non-Alpha recalls in New Zealand, and 100 million globally. The new compulsory recall is focused on Alpha-type Takata airbags because they present the highest safety risk to drivers and passengers. The motor vehicle industry has recalled vehicles with the Takata airbags with varying degrees of success, but more must be done to ensure that the highest risk Alpha-type airbags are removed from our vehicle fleet. Representative bodies I am pleased that the Motor Industry Association (MIA), which represents new vehicle importers, and the Vehicle Industry Association (VIA), which represents multiple players in the used vehicle importing business, are supporting the new measures. 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