National Cultural Council reinstated after ‘illegal’, ‘corrupt’ termination

Pig's tusk and tamtams outside the National Culture Precinct, Port Vila. Photo: torbenbrinker

Pig’s tusk and tamtams outside the National Culture Precinct, Port Vila. Photo: torbenbrinker

The big news today is Daily Post‘s revealing the illegality of the June 2015 Internal Affairs Minister Hosea Nevu’s termination of the National Cultural Council. June 16 last year Nevu directed the termination which has resulted in a series of court actions to reverse the situation. Chairlady Eileen Boe and Cultural Centre Director Lazal Asar have been returned to their legal posts. Director Asal told Daily Post “this is one of the classic examples of corrupt and injust practice. The people of Vanuatu must know their rights; do not let such injustices overpower them politically.” The return of the former and properly determined Council was a Supreme Court matter. Costs are being determined.

The big news yesterday was the alarming population growth rate: 2.4% per annum. Yesterday we were told by Post that the new babies born in Vanuatu in 2014 numbered 8,000. Last year it was 8,500. Health Minister Toara was revealing the statistics on the birth rate in Parliament last week. He was horrified to see the inadequacy of the maternity ward at Vila Central Hospital, many pregnant women having to sleep on the floor.

A Commission has been appointed to look into claims made against staff of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund. The Commission will firstly establish whether there has been any illegal or improper conduct by anyone in the period 2010 to 2014. It will also look into duty errors of staff, breaches of the VNPF Act, improperly made statements relating to VNPF matters, failures to follow Policy Guidelines, the purchase of Club Vanuatu and a host of other security issues. Three Commissioners are headed by Anita Jowitt. The other members are Alick Pakoa Matisa and Willie Daniel.

The Luganville beautification plan we learned Tuesday will cost Vt 2.5 billion. This is the plan to run a median strip through town and upgrade the Seafront area at Unity Park where there would be a Women’s tourist market. Rex Issachar is the Chairman of the Beautification Committee and particularly interested in what an Australian company can offer to assist the northern town.

We have a new Supreme Court judge – James Paul Geoghegan took his oath yesterday afternoon before President Baldwin Lonsdale. He is on a two year term and from New Zealand.

The Beverley Hills road is to be sealed by June, MIPU Minister Jotham Napat told residents on Monday who are naturally delighted.