(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
More than one hundred guests witnessed a ceremony held this morning at David’s Drill site to open the site as a national cultural heritage. Attending the ceremony included some Cabinet Ministers, the Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan to Tuvalu, His Excellency Mark Su, the Funafuti Island’s Community Leader, Mr Siliga Kofe and a few other government dignitaries and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs and Rural Development, Class 3 and 6 of the Nauti Primary School.

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David’s Drill Site under cultural protection/ Te Vili a Tavita ko Puipuigina

The ceremony began with the normal cultural and religious tradition of having a devotion which was led by the Church Minister of the EKT Congregation at the Fa’kai Fou, Rev Ionatana Panapa. The devotion included a scripture reading, a message and a prayer of blessing. The reading was taken from the Book of Joshua, Chapter 4 and verses 6 and 7 which read:

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“Go into the Jordan ahead of the Government Box of the Lord your God. Each one of you take a stone on your shoulder, one for each of the tribes of Israel. These stones will remind the people of what the Lord has done. In the future, when your children ask what these stones mean to you, you will tell them that the water of the Jordan stopped flowing when the Lord’s Covenant Box crossed the river. These stones will always remind the people of Israel of what happened here,”
Rev Panapa delivered a message of God’s might and power in stopping the flow of the water in the River Jordan when the Covenant Box crossed the river. To mark the mighty act of God in the event, Joshua instructed each one of the twelve men who were sent ahead of the Covenant Box to take twelve stones and place them in their camping place. Joshua also put 12 stones in the Jordan and instructed them to tell their children when they ask about the stones.
Rev Panapa compared this biblical event to what has happened this morning. David’s drill is now a cultural heritage and school children will question what this heritage mean. In effect they will learn that it was man’s undertaking to understand coral formation in low lying atolls like Tuvalu.

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Class 6 of the Nauti Primary School
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Class 3 of the Nauti Primary School

After the devotion, there were speeches by the Chief Librarian/Archivist of the Tuvalu Natioonal Library and Archive, Mr Noa Petueli Tapumanaia and the Cultural Officer, Mr Martin Vailopa. Then the cutting of the ribbon by three dignitaries; the Minister of Home Affairs (Hon Namoliki Sualiki), the Minister for Education (Hon Fauoa Maani), the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour (Hon MacKenzie Kiritome) and the Leader of the Funafuti Island Community (Mr Siliga Kofe).

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The cutting of the ribbon/Katiga o te lipine

After the cutting of the ribbon, the invited guests were invited for refreshments prepared by staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour.
Mai I tua o te katiga o te lipine, a tino ‘kami ne ‘kamigina ki se vaiaiga tela ne fakatoka ne tino ga’lue o te Minisitulii o Maaloo ki Tua, Fakataukoloa, Tualisi, ERnivailomene mo Leipa.

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Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour posing for a photo

While the guests were having refreshments, a group of dancers “Higano Girls” performed a few dances.
Kae koi inu inu a tino ‘kami kae ko fai a fakafiafiga ne se potukau ‘saka ‘Higano Girls’.

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Higano girls performing


Dr. Kitiona Tausi

The 2018 Polynesian Leaders Group Summit was hosted by Tuvalu on Thursday, 28 June 2018. It was also opened by the Governor General, Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia at the Talimalie II on Funafuti.

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PLG delegates arriving at the venue o te summit, Talimalie II Falekaupule

Before the opening address delivered by His Excellency the Governor General, as usual and in line with Polynesian culture, The President of the Mainline Christian Church in Tuvalu, Rev Penitusi Taeia was given the opportunity to conduct the devotion. He reflected on the Gospel of Luke chapter 2 which is the narrative concerning the Birth of Christ.”
He said, “to find the realities and fullness of life, we turn to the context of the Galilean Jesus to see how he reacted and resisted the empire. Domination for Jesus is most unacceptable and a blashphemy.
“In the living tradition of Jesus, to know and to love God is to resist and overcome the empire.” In his message he challenged the PLG delegates as to “when are we prepared conditions of those who continue to dominate.

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The representative from the Government of Tonga and Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba Taeia chairing the summit for the handing over of the PLG leadership to Tuvalu

In his opening speech, His Excellency, Governor Iakoba Taeia welcomed all the delegates and especially the Hono Prime Minister of Samoa and his delegation, who arrived on Wednesday on a special Air Samoa flight despite the fact that he had conveyed his apology for not attending due to other circumstances, but in fact he did turn up, it is to “show his commitment to the cause of Polynesia’, said His Excellency.
His Excellency again reminded the PLG about the initial formation of this PLG dated back to 2011. He said the formation of such a group was “based on our aspirations to:
“Encourage sharing of knowledge and experiences, in awareness and education to promote and protect cultures, traditions and languages;
“Encourage respect for the quality of governance, observance of democratic values and human rights, the rule of law, and support the right for self-determination; and
“Encourage the strengthening of connections with institutions, regional and international cooperation.”
The theme for this year’s PLG meeting is “ Polynesian Connection” Taina Faka-Polinesia or The Polynesian Brotherhood of Sisterhood.
The Governor General proceeded to explain the summit’s logo:
“The logo a special bird called the Tavakelau known locally as an early riser to head long distances over the sea to fish. The bird will not return until it has caught enough and some return even at ightfall where the distinct sound they make provide quidance on the direction of land for fishmaen to head back.”
Returning t the issue of climate change, he said “We know of the main threat of climate change in our sautalaga over the last two days. It is affecting our very survival.”
He continued by saying, “Our oceans and waters our livelihood. The Pacific Ocean, which we ae all part of, covers 30 percent of the Earths’s surface, making it the largest water mass on the planet – larger than the land
mass of all the continents combined, Our oceans are inextricably and relationallly linked to the oceans. Our languages, cultures, tradittions, beliefs, survival and sustainability depend on the oceans. We are the oceans and the ocean is us. As a major source of carbn sink, we need to protect and preserve it.”
With pleasure and strong sense of optimism, His Excellency finally declare the 8th Ploymesia Leaders Group Summit open.


The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Enele S. Sopoaga addressing the Vaitupu and the Nanumaga communitie during the entertainment programme for the opening of the Polynesian Group Leaders Climate Change Sautalaga

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
After welcoming the participants from Polynesian countries to the Polyensian Leaders Group Climate Change Sautalaga on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 at the Kainaki II Falekaupule, the Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba
Taeia Italeli honored their arrival in Tuvalu and their participation in this ‘saulataga’ which he said could be an ‘eye opener to the vulnerabilities faced by Polynesia countries. like Tuvalu, to the impacts of climate changes.”

2 July 1
Participants to the PLG Climate Change Sautalaga

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He also said, Coral atoll nations like our own are really at the frontline of the impacts. Our oceans and coastlines are our livelihoods and the centre of our culture.

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Some of Polynesian leaders with the Rt Hon Prime Minister, Enele S. Sopoaga and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Maatia Toafa

Before concluding his speech, the Governor General suggested an item for the list of recommendations from this ‘sautalaga’. He suggested ‘that this meeting could recommend that Tuvalu establish a Centre of Excellence on Coral Atoll Adaptation. Such a Centre would allow us to share our experience and create opportunities for scientists, engineers, community adaptation experts to come and study here and share their experiences.”

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UN Executive Secretary for the UN Framework on the Climate Change Convention, Ms Patricia Espinosa

This ‘sautalaga’ will enable the secretariat of the session to draft a Polynesia Leaders Declaration on Climate Change and Oceans that has been presented to the Polynesian Leaders Group meeting on Thursday last week.

Tuvalu has also the opportunity for the attendance of two very important persons in line with the Green Climate fund, Ms Espinos and Ms Daiane MaCFadzien, the Polynesian representative from the Cook Islands at the GCF Secretariat.


(L-R): The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Enele S. Sopoaga, the Governor General, His Excellency, Iakoba T. Italeli and the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Ms Patricia Espinosa during the opening

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The 8th Polynesia Leaders’ Group Summit was opened on Tuesday afternoon, 26 June 2016 at the Kainakai II Felakaupule. The summit was opened by Tuvalu’s Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba Italelei Taeia. The opening Ceremony began with a gospel message and then a prayer by the President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Rev Penitusi Taeia and then the Governor General delivered the opening address.

After the Governor General delivered the opening remarks, then Ms Espinosa delivered her remarks.

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The delegates and guests
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Police officers providing security at the venue of the Summit
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Staff of the Environment Policy and Disaster Coordination Unit supporting the meeting
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The delegates and guests attending the opening ceremony

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The new fence at the Southern side of the Kainaki II Falekaupule

In the evening, there was dinner at the new extension at the government’s main office building followed by live dancing entertainment provided by two island communities, Nanumaga and Vaitupu.

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The Nanumaga Community
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The Vaituou Community



(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The rest of the delegates to the Polynesia Leaders Group Summit finally arrived in Tuvalu on Tuesday, 26 June 2018. In all there were 9 Polynesian countries who were represented at this meeting.

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Nauti Primary School students waiting to welcome the delegates
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Delegates arriving at the airport

After they were being met by government liaison officers at the airport, the delegates were escorted to the Vaiaku Falekaupule for the formal welcome ceremony.
In te Falekaupule, government dignitaries were already present including His Excellency, the Governor General and his wife, the Hon Prime Minister and his wife, the Speaker of the House of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, Miss Tuvalu, EKT President and the Funafuti Island Community’s dancing group and others.

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Miss Tuvalu 2017 and EKT President, Rev Penitusi Taeia
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Funafiti community dancing group waiting to perform
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Overseas delegates who arrived on Tuesday’s flight in the welcome ceremony in te Vaiaku Falekaupulee

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Some of the dances performed by the Funafuti community’s dancing group
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Guests and delegates watching the dancing
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Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Hon. MacKenzie Kiritome formally welcomed the delegates from overseas
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The backstage of the dancing group
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The guests and delegates


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The 8th PLG Summit Banner in-front of the government’s main office building

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

9 Polynesian countries gathered in Funafuti, Tuvalu’s capital to discuss issues that are pertinent to the well-beings of their region. This gathering is the 8th Polynesian leaders group and this meeting started on 26 June and ends today, Friday, 29 June 2018.

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Students of the Nauti Primary School waiting to welcome the first arrivals on the flight from Fiji
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Staff of the ministry of Education and Nauti Primary School teachers to support the the students
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Civil servants as liaison officers waiting for the arrival of the flight from Fiji
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Senior Nauti Primary School students also waiting to receive the delegates

Overseas delegates including representatives from other Pacific agencies including the Ambassadors of New Zealand, Australia and Japan to Tuvalu were also in attendance and started arriving in Tuvalu on Saturday, 23 June 2018.

Air Fiji flight on Saturday bringing in the first delegate to arrive was delayed by about 30 minutes and Cabinet ministers and government and local dignitaries were already assembled in the Vaiaku Falekaupule to await the arrival of the overseas delegates.
Also in the Vaiaku Falekaupule were the dancing group from the Funafuti Island Community who were also waiting for the arrival of the overseas delegates as they will be providing the welcome entertainment of local dancing. The group was really anticipating the arrival of the delegates and were more than ready to perform.
Also outside the Vaiaku Falekaupule were members of the public who would like also to witness the welcoming ceremony and police were all around the hall to provide the security.
As the final moment has now arrived, the Fiji Air plane touched down about just after 12 noon and government officers who had been assigned to meet them outside the plane proceeded to the plane.

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Fiji Air flight has just landed
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Delegates being welcomed and escorted to the hall

The first arrival were escorted to the Vaiaku Falekaupule where they were traditionally received and welcomed by government officials including His Excellency the Governor-General and his spouse, the Rt. Hon Prime Minister and his good lady and the dancing group from the Funafuti Island community.
In the falekaupule, they were welcomed with local dancing performed by the Funafuti Dancing Group.

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The girls took the front line as well as the second line and men took the third line
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The young men in the front line and the girls right behind

After e performance of three items, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Hon MacKenzie Kiritome formally welcomed the first arrivals of delegates to Tuvalu and that was the end of the welcoming ceremony.
In the evening, there was no programme and the delegates had a free evening.
The next day, Sunday, there was also no programme but in the afternoon there was lunch at the te Niu Fakamauganiu and the delegates were joined in by the Head of State and his spouse and Cabinet Ministers, MPs and government dignitaries.
The Vaiaku Choir was invited to provide hymn entertainment while lunch was on.

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The Vaiaku Church Choir entertaining the PLG delegates at the Te Niu Fakamauganiu Mini Bar
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The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Enele S. Sopoaga and wife and some of the delegates
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His Excellency Governor General, Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia and Hon Minister, Monise Laafai and wife And a delegate

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Guests and delegates taking lunch at Te Niu Fakamauganiu


Participants to the TANGO Forum on Climate Change Induced Migration

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga has confirmed to the nation through his statement addressing the participants to TANGO’s Climate Induced Migration Forum which was held in Funafuti on 12 – 13 June 2018 which was broadcasted live on Radio Tuvalu. He said ‘Tuvalu has no plan to be relocated in the case of climate change, but we have to continue working and develop Tuvalu to ensure that our people live in great prosperity and in security and peace.”

Tuvalu is in the forefront in the fight against the impacts of climate change taking into accounts its smallness and vulnerability.

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Rt Hon Prime Minister answering questions from the forum participants. On his left is Emele Duituturaga, Executive Director of PIANGO and on his left is Former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong

Rt Hon Sopoaga and Mr Tong are called twin brothers and champion in advocacy works on climate change.
The title of the forum was ‘Climate – Induced Migration Forum and the Rt Hon Sopoaga suggested a change to include change after climate thus, the name is now “Climate Change-Induced Migration Forum” which will make the forum more relevant to the current issue of climate change.
The forum was made possible by the Tuvalu Association of Non-Governmental Organization (TANGO) who also coordinated the forum’s programme. Rt. Hon Sopoaga commented that ‘this forum is like a warming up meeting before the Polynesian Leaders Group Summit which will also have climate change as its main issue for dialogue.
There were presentations delivered by presenters on respective topics. H.E. Anote Tong delivered the keynote address. Emele Duituturaga, PIANGO’s Executive Director presented on ‘Climate-Induced Migration from a CSO Perspective. The Senior Magistrate, Simon Kofe delved on the topic of “Implications of Climate Change of Statehood”. USP Centre Director, Dr. Rosiana Lagi talked on “The Future of Traditional Knowledge.
Ms Peptua Latasi, the Director of ‘Climate Change Policy and Disaster Coordination Unit’ presented a paper on the “Loss and Damage – From UNFCCC to Tuvalu and TANGO Coordinator, Maina Talia talked on the ‘Non-Economic Loss and Damage. Netani Rika, Programme Secretary for Communications of the Pacific Conference of Churches presented a paper on “Migration from an Ecumenical Perspective”
The General Secretary of EKT, Rev Tafue Lusama presented a paper on “The Role of the Church/Migration” while Dr Tapugao Falefou, the Secretary for the Ministry of Communication and Transport, presented the issue of “Identity and Sovereignty”.

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Rosiana Lagi, Emele Duitutulaga, H.E. Anote Tong, Simon Kofe responding to questions from the floor.
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Dr Tapugo Falefou
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Rev Tafue Lusama
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Mr Simon Kofe
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Mrs Pepetua Latasi
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Mr Maina Talia
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Mr Ghazari Ohorella
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Maina Talia, Ian Fry, Emele Duituturaga, Netani Rika

The participants to the forum were island community leaders, representatives from members of TANGO, CSO, the private sectors and governments.



(Ms Afasene Iosefa)
It was in the evening of Tuesday, 21 June when Tuvalu saw the ‘talanoa session’ in the Marketing Programme of the Tuvalu USP Campus.
USP Campus Director Dr. Lagi said, “this special session had the school leavers from all the island communities attended.

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USP Tuvalu Centre Director, Dr Rosiana Lagi in her office

The USP Tuvalu Centre requested our students’ leaders to go to their communities and invite at least five school leavers or more to come to the session.
During this session. There were presentations on courses and programmes and their alignment with whatever their future career they intend to do. Students were able to discuss on their respective options for studies with USP staff.
Dr. Lagi said it is the USP’s responsibilities to market its program and courses to provide encouragement to Tuvaluans to educate themselves in order to have a well-educated and marketable workforce.


(Ms Afaene Iosefa)

Vaitupu 7’s rugby team, Tofaga Rangers, declared winner of the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Rugby Tournament after winning the grand-final against Lakena Knights of Nanumea, that was held yesterday afternoon at the Tuvalu Sportsground.

The tournament was proudly sponsored by Edwin Food City Store owned by Mr. Mohammad Abdullah.

Less than five minutes into the first half of the game Waisea from Tofaga Rangers touched the ground for the first try of the match with 5 points on the board for his team with unsuccessful conversion from Lofeagai Bici.

Not long after the first try, Mr. Bici, again from Tofaga Rangers added another try and this time conversion was successful from Mr. Bici. The score was then 12 points in favour of Tofaga Rangers.

Lakena Knights tried its very best to score a try but Tofaga Rangers never gave up, its defence was very strong leaving its opponent nil in the first half.

Both teams entered the second half of the game and Tofaga Rangers scored another try from Joe Willy and converted again by Mr. Bici with 7 points.

Few minutes left into full time, Lutelu from Tofaga Rangers managed to score the last try of the match and conversion was unlucky from Mr. Bici with 5 points.

The score at full time was 24 points in favour of Tofaga Rangers and nil for Lakena Knights.

Lakena Knights did its very best but because of so many handling errors and plus the lack of fitness among the players resulted its defeat in the grand-final of the game.

Prior to the grand-final was the play-off between Tamanuku Eagles and Nauti in which the Tamanuku Eagles won by 20 points to nil.

The Sportsground was fully packed with fans and spectators cheering for their favourites teams.

The presentation of prizes to the winners commenced straight after the grand-final which were presented by Satar on behalf of the sponsor.

The 2018 Champ of the Queen’s Birthday 7’s Rugby Tournament, Tofaga Rangers, was presented with a golden trophy and a cash prize of five hundred dollars which were received by its captain, Mr. Joe Willy.

The first runner up, Lakena Knights, was presented with a silver trophy and a cash prize of three hundred dollars and were received by its captain.

The prize for the second runner up went to the Tamanuku Eagles of Nukufetau with two hundred dollar-cash prize and was received by its captain Mr. Binesh Ielemia.

The top try scorer went to Waisea of Tofaga Rangers who scored ten tries and he received a fifty-dollar prize money.

Joe Willy also from Tofaga Rangers was named man of the match and he received a small trophy and a cash prize of fifty dollars.

Representing on behalf of the Tuvalu Rugby Union, Mr. Peteli Paulo firstly conveyed a very big thank you to the sponsor ‘Edwin Food City Store’, for fully supporting the one-day tournament which ended successfully.

He also thanked every participating team who took part in the game, hoping to write up a report on this tournament and present it to all the teams in the near future.

Mr. Paulo said, “The report will be based on what they have learnt from this tournament. Another tournament will be coming up shortly after the Polynesian Leaders Group Summit, and this will be announced so that every team would be aware of.”

Before they dispersed, Melei Telavi stood up on behalf of Lakena Knights to congratulate its opponent Tofaga Blues for its victory and also wished them good luck in games ahead.

Beside that Mr. Telavi also made an appeal to the committee to make sure every team is aware of any tournaments.

“Let every team knows the tournament at one time and not just announced to one or two teams only leaving the others to know at the very last minute. Like our defeat this time, I am sure we were not fit because we had not enough time to train for this tournament, and I truly appeal to the TRU Committee to treat the teams fairly in announcements of future games.”

In return, Mr. Paulo again thanked all the participants and said the TRU committee will look into the appeal brought up by the Lakena Knights for the betterment of all rugby tournaments in the future.

The presentation ceremony ended up with three cheers from all the participating teams and those present at the scene.


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
Government has given the opportunity for island communities to name the bungalows.
During yesterday’s dedication of the bungalows, the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities and Industries, Mrs Siemai N. Apinelu announced the names of the bungalows according to the names submitted by island communities here on the capital, and as follow:
Nanumea: “Tefolaha Tou Hoa”
Nanumaga: “Vai o Toa”
Niutao: Te Kaufa ,
Nui: “Terikiai”,
Vaitupu: “Tofaga”,
Nukufetau: “Fou o Toa,
Funafuti: “Malefatuga Malae o Toa”,
Nukulaelae: “Telupe o Laeva”.

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Four of the nine bungalows