Monday, May 11, 2009

Natadola Opens Amid Controversy and Deceipt

I write for the sake of the current members and pensioners of FNPF to correct some of the lies released by the FNPF board, the chairman of FNPF subsidiary, NBRL Board, Felix Anthony. In particular I want to address the perception that FNPF was taken for a ride as one previous Board members and the new Board have widely publicized. Firstly, the broad issues to understand before assessing the performance of the Natadola project is that the joint-venture partners were FIL and APRIL. FIL cannot commit FNPF into any funding arrangements. FNPF has to make its own decisions on any investment. The management agreement gives FNPF first option on any funding of the project, not the obligation to fund the project.
Second, FIL bought shares in NLH not the land. The land is part of the assets owned by NLH. The value of NLH can be determined by valuing the assets owned by the company (land, master-plan, management agreements with Four Seasons and InterContinental Hotel, Goodwill), discounted cash flow or using a multiple on maintainable earnings. The first is used to value companies that is not operating and intends to close down. The second for companies that is establishing itself with projected revenues, profits and cash flows, the third for companies that is based on the discounted cash flows from land sales, the only sources of revenue to NLH as a developer. It is therefore childish to use the first method for a new company that owns and will develop and sell land whose value will be increased with the completion of the golf course, hotel, mariner and shopping complex which are all in the master plan.
The NLH Board initiated the review of the Development Management Agreement in 2005 with the view to removing the clause on the ‘special dividend’ and review the management fee under an ‘open book’ approach where fees would be based on costs incurred only. In addition, functions that can be handled by FIL and NLH were to be transferred out of APRIL and I believe this is being done or has been completed. This was agreed to because it is for the benefit of both parties to reduce the management fees which is paid by NLH, not by FIL, or FNPF.
APRIL agreed in principle in September 2005 to remove the special dividend and replace it with a ‘success fee’ of 7.5% of sales only for lots sold above the target set in the agreement. I believe the targets ranged from $325,000 to $500,000 per lot before any ‘success fee’ becomes entitled to. It was more a Sales Commission and was going to be offered to any other persons or entity who wanted to help sell the lots. It was also agreed that the word ‘dividend’ implied that any entitlement under clause 9.3 had to come from profits. This made the clause ineffective and still is until some land is sold and all costs recovered before any NLH makes any profits. In the current environment, I don’t think any of the targets would be achieved and hence no success fee entitlement fee to APRIL. The amount of $39.15million quoted by Felix Anthony as APRIL’s entitlement under the agreement therefore cannot be correct at this point in time. The management fee was going to reduce to zero at the end of the construction period and reduced over time as NLH and FIL take some of the office functions out of APRIL allowing APRIL to focus on the work on site.
On the issue of valuation, the initial valuation of $5.5million was based on the unimproved value of the land. If NLH was going to turn the land into a cane farm, that valuation probably would have been acceptable by both parties. Of course FNPF would go for the lowest valuation in order to pay a low price for the land. But once the use of the land is changed from agricultural to tourism development, naturally the value of the land goes up for a piece of land is changed from agricultural to ….. residential lots with sea view, recreation, mariner, shopping complex and beachfronts as allowed in the master plan, the value of the land must reflect its future use. That is why a valuation based on the Master Plan was relevant. The initial valuation obviously did not consider the master plan and the interest in the project by Hotel InterContinental to manage the hotel, Four Seasons to manage the Navo Island Resort and Vijay Singh to design and be the signatory of the Golf Course. All the preliminary work including the acquisition of the land and obtaining relevant development approvals that created these values were done by APRIL before it offered 51% of the land to FIL for $10.2million.
Not to forget that as financier, FNPF will earn interest totaling $89.6million over 15 – 20 years and dividends for as long as it remains a shareholder of NLH and NBRL initially estimated at $93 million. That was the main reason why FNPF invested in Natadola. First, to earn a higher return for FNPF members and pensioners, second to provide employment for its members and third to develop undeveloped land for the benefit of the landowners and the economy in the long run.
In summary, the joint venture partners were FIL which brought in its funding resources as its contribution to the project, and APRIL which brought in the land, master plan, management agreements for the hotels and management expertise. FIL could not go with anyone else on the project because it was APRIL who legally had rights to the land.
Posted by rawfijinews
Is Fiji now a full on military dictatorship state?
May 11, 2009
By fijidemocracynow2009
We at FDN have said from the get go that Frank Bainimarama is a military dictator. But the military dictator doesn’t agree. In fact, we have been told that he not only strongly rejects the suggestion but he finds it highly amusing that people call should him one. According to an article in The Australian newspaper, he thinks it’s so funny that he will emulate the goose step and throw the odd “Heil Hitler” salute to crackling laughter from his entourage. Ironically, such clownish behavior is reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin’s film. The Great Dictator, which was a deliberate spoof of that most infamous dictator, Adolf Hitler. At the same time, it reminds us Bainimarama is a half-educated thug who loves the limelight and is clearly deluded about the extent of his own importance. Serious-minded people in Fiji who are committed to democracy know all too well that military dictatorships are no laughing matter.
So if Bainimarama doesn’t think he’s a dictator, what else could he be? We consulted our dictionary to find out. In modern usage, the term “dictator” is generally used to describe a leader who holds and/or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly. Now that sounds to us very much like our Frank Bainimarama. But just to be sure, we got this definition from Wikipedia:
“Dictatorships are often characterized by some of the following traits: suspension of elections and of civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency; rule by decree; repression of political opponents without abiding by rule of law procedures; these include single-party state, and cult of personality/’
What a revealing coincidence! It describes accurately ALL the actions we have witnessed in Fiji since Bainimarama used his guns to kick out the elected Qarase government. So there’s no doubt about it. Fiji under Bainimarama is indeed a dictatorship, and in every recognized sense of the term. Factor in his recent more bizarre acts, such as making himself a Companion of the Order of Fiji, or trying to close down Mere Samisoni’s Hot Bread Bakery chain, and you are looking at a dictator who exhibits classic megalomaniac tendencies. What’s next? Will it be Fiji stamps and Fiji currency bearing the dictator’s image?
Posted by rawfijinews
Frank Bainimarama’s diplomacy backfiring badly
May 11, 2009
The dictator’s desperation diplomacy is in full swing, but his ham-fisted tactics are backfiring badly. His principal tactic is to paint Australia and New Zealand as the villains in Fiji’s expulsion from the Pacific Islands Forum in order to drive a wedge between those two countries and the smaller Pacific island states. In doing so he has claimed that the smaller member states only voted for the suspension because they were bribed by “cheque book diplomacy” applied by the two larger countries. But the vote to suspend Fiji was unanimous. So, can the dictator tell us which countries were bribed and which countries were not? Or will he allow his outrageous slur against each Forum member state to stand?
Posted by rawfijinews
Frank Bainimarama not welcome in Japan ….yaay and kudos to Japan!!
May 11, 2009
Posted at 03:45 on 11 May, 2009 UTC
A Japanese Government source says Tokyo has decided not to invite the Fiji interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, or other senior members of the regime to its summit with Pacific island nations later this month in Hokkaido. The Kyodo World News Service reports Japan made the decision due to the increasingly dictatorial nature of the unelected military regime and to the international community’s response to the situation. The decision follows the Pacific Islands Forum’s suspension of Fiji from the 16-nation grouping earlier this month. A summit between Japan and the Forum is to held in the village of Shimukappu in Hokkaido on May 22-23. The source says that Fiji is arranging to dispatch a non-Cabinet level delegation to the summit. Japan has hosted a summit with the Forum every three years since 1997. News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
Egypt, Sri Lanka now Pakistan visit Frank Bainimarama under his new order
May 11, 2009
By Radio Fiji
Pakistan’s non-designate High Commissioner to Fiji Jalil Abbas Jilani paid a courtesy call to the Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama today. Jilani is in Fiji on a 4 day visit where he will also meet with the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to Fiji Peter Eafeare and the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Peceli Vocea. He leaves on Thursday for Australia. RFN says – like feathers flock together!!!! Jihaad yaar!!!
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Illegal media censor Pene Nonu
May 11, 2009
Pene Nonu is that dummy in the white shirt giving Qarase a true traitor-look and thinking, ” yes Qarase, I’m the dude whose gonna dagger you from the back”. Qarase, we’re told had so much trust in Pene Nonu. Sources say Pene’s deep involvement in executing lawbreaking acts for the regime has deeply saddened his old boss Qarase. RFN says – International community should put Pene Nonu and his family on trabel ban
Posted by rawfijinews
Gross negligence by the FNPF board, executives and solicitors
May 11, 2009
By b7
Due diligence, valuations, cash flow projections, and return on investments whether by debt or equity participation, as well as project and land value is only as good as the ability for the FNPF and other syndicate members to realize their security in the event of default. The liability of the Executive, Board Members and Solicitors involved in the Natadola Project from inception is something that cannot be overlooked. Let us refresh our memory with publicly available information that is not subject to legal professional privilege of the sad truth, that there was GROSS NEGLIGENCE by the FNPF Executive, Board and Solicitors in binding the PEOPLES MONEY WITHOUT SECURITY.
Posted by rawfijinews
Judge Nazhat Shameem not interested in the new order judiciary
May 11, 2009
Awkay, so the lady has finally spoken.
Our sources reveal that Judge Nazhat Shameem has told some very close friends of her decision never to join the new order judiciary. She is understood to have said that Iloilo’s Easter Friday coup d’etat is unlawful and must not be entertained. RFN says – thumbs up to Nazhat for finally admitting that Frank & Co. are not legit! But she will still have to answer to many things though.
Posted by rawfijinews
Meli Saukuru a disgrace to law abiding natives This Ba delegation shows how hard the Dictatorship is working on building support within the Fijian community. They are selling the story that they have all the power so everyone has to hop on board. Sugar farmers looking for some support from the Government that threw away their EU aid money will find that they don’t count for much these days. The focus of the regime is on the Fijian community because that’s where all the soldiers that allow Frank to hold power are from. If this regime stays in place it’s only a matter of time before it starts seizing the assets of non-Fijians in order to keep its army support base happy. Forget “affirmative action” Qarase style – all done by an elected government within the restrictions of law. We will wind up with wholesale expropriation of assets (Zimbabwe style) if this regime stays in power.
Posted by rawfijinews
Div Damodar tries his hands on pro-regime blogging
May 11, 2009
We can confirm here that that rat child, Div Damodar, is behind the new pro-regime blog moonlighting as real fiji news. Div is an attention deficient child who is giving his second wife, organized from mainland Gujarat, a real tough time. We can confirm that Div is trying his darndest to out Francis Narayan by creating a wedge between Francis and Frank Bainimarama.
And the attention seeker is also confirmed to be the same persons commenting on his own blog to buff up his fuffy dull image. He is even google searching his own name to check his popularity status. What a bummer of a hummer driver!
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji : Bloggers debate media censorship
May 11, 2009
As reported last week, Fiji’s government extended for another 30 days its “emergency regulations” that, among other things, controls public gatherings and forbids the media from printing stories that “undermine the Government and the State of Fiji.” These rules allow the Permanent Secretary of Information the ability to place censors in newsrooms, accompanied by plainclothes policeman.
Fiji’s government says the 30-day extension was “highly necessary,” and the censorship will “help the country’s progress towards democracy.” “The people of Fiji are now experiencing a remarkable change from what used to be highly negative and sensationalized news to a more positive, balanced and responsible reporting by the media,” said Government and Military spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Neumi Leweni. Prime Minister and military commander Frank Bainimarama told a Fiji-born journalist now living and working in Australia, that he hopes to mold Fiji into a smaller version of Singapore, where keeping the peace ranks higher than freedom of expression. In a post at Raw Fiji News, a writer called fijidemocracynow2009 doubts the government’s claims of reforming the country’s race-based electoral code and moving Fiji to a post-racial society.
The dictator says censorship is necessary for his regime to push ahead with reforms without the hindrance of media opposition.That is a big lie. The dictator has no intention of relinquishing power, which is exactly what he would have to do if there were to be reforms that eventually led to elections.The truth is that the comprehensive censorship of our media is designed to cover up Frank Bainimarama’s criminality.The information blackout is supposed to prevent us and the rest of the world from watching the dictator consolidate his one-man rule for the long term.He doesn’t want journalists reporting the ongoing intimidation of the regime’s critics or questioning actions such as the release of the convicted killers of Sakiusa Rabaka and Nimilote Verebasaga.No, he wants a clean shot at turning Fiji into Bainimaramaland.But, thanks to Fiji’s Freedom Bloggers his movements are being closely monitored and faithfully reported. So censorship is NOT working!
So far, at least two local journalists have been detained for allegedly breaking the emergency regulations. Most recently, Coup Four And A Half reports, two more journalists, this time from the website Fiji Live, were taken into custody 3 PM Saturday, May 9 for allegedly reporting and publishing an article regarding the early release of members of the country’s security forces who were jailed for manslaughter after being convicted of torturing and killing three civilians in early 2007. These alleged detentions have not yet been confirmed.
Read the full article here http://elitestv.com/pub/2009/05/fiji-bloggers-debate-media-censorship
Posted by rawfijinews
Remember this? : The rot exposed at Natadola
May 11, 2009
Alarming is the best way to explain the revelations coming out from APRIL, the Fiji National Provident Fund and the Government that national pension fund was at risk as a result of improper dealings in the hotel development project at Natadola. Whether the “rot” started after December 5, 2006 or whether it was already decaying will be the answer as to who was really responsible for the money FNPF members may eventually lose in the matter. Last week, the FNPF was called by the Prime Minister’s Office to explain its position. FNPF board member and Natadola Bay Resorts Limited chairman Felix Anthony confirmed this.
This was after some information on the whole scheme was leaked to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption and a full-page advertisement appeared in this newspaper.
The FNPF submission states that native land titles were not secured properly and that there was no security for the $168.6million loan because of the defective land title, as claimed by FNPF. The FNPF submission in this concern states that: FIL loan to NLH (Natadola Land Holdings) of $20.8million was secured under an unregistered mortgage, FNPF loan of $89.6million total paid out to Natadola Bay Resorts Ltd of $29.1m and no security in place as of today, Inadequate security contravened section 7 (4) of the FNPF Amendment Act dated June 29, June 2005. Non-compliance with the FNPF Act put the board members at risk. APRIL admitted the same irregularities in a paid advertisement last week and said the $79million loan was undocumented and unsecured because it did not own the land. APRIL said if the scheme collapsed, the FNPF would not be able to take back its money. It warned of the danger that members would lose their pension funds invested in the project. The FNPF submission claims the following: The value attributed to the land and the concept contributed by APRIL ($20million) was greater than the valuation of the land done by Jones Land LaSalle and Colliers which said it was worth $5.5million, APRIL was also entitled to a 15 per cent special dividend on gross land sales,
APRIL secured fees from the management works and was paid a monthly fee of $348,000 (equivalent to $4.18million a year) and on the date of termination, was paid $8.3million. The Fund paid HLK Jacob $169,000 for the same role, APRIL gained by having FNPF/FIL as being a likely debt financier of the Natadola project. FNPF is obligated under the shareholders agreement to be the primary financier, which means we have to fund the Natadola project. Phase 1A of the project has an estimated cost of $343million which the FNPF is obliged to fund.
On the claim of defective land title, the submission states that no survey was carried out on the native land as was the requirement of the Native Land Trust Board and: De-reservation of native land not completed on the date of sale July 2, 2004, De-reservation of native land for the new lease was not completed,
There is no evidence that Section 9 of the Native Land Trust Act was satisfied objectively before the issuing of the lease for land sold to NLH, The dissatisfaction of the landowners was manifested in Civil Action 33 of 2007, There was conflict of interest at all time between NBRL and NLTB on the issue of common directorship. Despite the warnings and the implications of the huge amount of money involved, the effective cancellation date outlined to Cabinet was only four days away. According to the FNPF, APRIL and HPPL (Hotel Property Pacific Limited) could not operate any business in Fiji after the cancellation of their foreign investment licences. The cancellation of their licence on June 12 means that the companies would be non-existent and the FNPF would then be obliged to cease its dealings with them, the submission stated.
The submission also stated that the cost of developing the Vijay Singh golf course appeared to be significantly higher than the most expensive signature golf course recently developed in Europe, the Middle East and the African region.
It stated that:
The assumed green fees per round at Vijay Singh’s golf course was almost three times that estimated to be achieved at a well established resort course in Fiji, There appears to be an error in the financial projections for the Vijay Singh golf course whereby a number of cost items had been excluded from the total expenses, The effect of this error was an overstatement of the projected net operating income by about $7.4million over the projected period of construction,
The error had a potential significant impact on the projected cash flow and the ability of the golf course to meet its obligations and projected returns to equity holders. Efforts to get comments from the world golf star were unsuccessful. The FNPF suggested, among other things, that the land title issue be addressed and the interim Government should intervene to liaise with the NLTB. It also recommended that a new development lease be issued related to the FNPF/FIL entity, subsequent to de-reservation. It recommended the interim Government guarantee the members’ funds and was obligated to ensure FNPF funds were invested prudently. For that reason, the support of the interim Government was required for the following:
To facilitate the perfection of the lease title through NLTB and Facilitate the infrastructure development. Both sides are still embroiled in a verbal war that has gone sour. People have lost their jobs, contracts have been cancelled and names have been dragged through the mud. On one side, there are the international players who are willing to bring in their expertise to develop the country and generate employment for locals. On the other hand, the members of FNPF want to know if their life savings for their pension when they retire had been abused.
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=64166
Posted by rawfijinews
Lack of cabinet advice delaying appointment of high court judges
May 11, 2009
Fiji’s President Ratu Josefa Iloilo is awaiting the advice of Cabinet to appoint judges to the High Court according to the secretary to the President, Rupeni Nacewa. The Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says the decision to appoint high court judges will be made by the President’s Office. The Solicitor-General, Christopher Pryde, told Fijilive that all magistrate court appeals will be filed and dates for High Court hearings issued once the judges are appointed. The government has since reopened the magistrate courts but is yet to employ the 10 High Court judges the President’s judicial services decree stipulates are needed to run the superior courts.
The President sacked all judges a month ago after the appeal court declared the interim governemnt illegal. News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji journalists free after spending two nights in jail
May 11, 2009
Two journalists from a Fiji on-line newsite, who had been held by police for two nights, have just been released. Dionisia Tabureguci and Shelvin Chand, who both work for Fiji Live, were taken to Suva’s Central Police Station on Saturday. They were being detained under Emergency Regulations Our correspondent in Suva visited the pair and says they were taken in over a story relating to the release from jail of eight soldiers and a policeman, shortly after they were convicted of manslaughter. Under the Emergency Regulations media organisations are not allowed to report on anything which might cast a negative light on the interim regime News Content © Radio New Zealand InternationalPO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted by rawfijinews
Fiji journalists detained over negative story
May 11, 2009
TWO Fiji journalists are behind bars after reporting that the military regime released prisoners convicted of killing a civilian.
Reporters from the online news website FijiLive have been detained in separate cells for breaking the regime’s new strict media reporting laws, Fairfax New Zealand reports. Under the emergency rules instituted after last month’s political turmoil, the military government ordered that news organisations could only report positive news. Government officials were placed in newsrooms to vet all coverage, a move that has sparked international condemnation for the gagging of public expression.
On Friday, FijiLive reported the regime had freed nine soldiers and three policemen jailed in 2007 for killing a teenager. The dozen had been convicted of manslaughter and ordered to serve between eight years and life for the torture and death of 19-year-old Sakiusa Rabaka a month after the regime’s 2006 coup. Australia’s former foreign minister Alexander Downer took up the case at the time and referred it to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. FijiLive journalist Shelvin Chand was taken to Suva Police Station on Saturday while his colleague Dionisia Turagabeci has been detained since yesterday. Radio New Zealand International’s Suva correspondent Matelita Ragogo said friends and lawyers have been unable to visit the pair. She believes they have been charged, but it is not clear with what. Meanwhile, the regime has celebrated the success of the the new censorship laws, which were last week extended another month to June 10. Military spokesman Neumi Leweni told journalists Fijians were benefiting from more positive news.
“The people of Fiji are now experiencing a remarkable change from what used to be highly negative and sensationalised news to a more positive, balanced and responsible reporting by the media,” Mr Leweni said

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