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Pacific News Briefs

Samoa joins fight again negative propaganda against the coconut and its products emerging from the American Heart Association release in April this year.  [Courtesy photo]
compiled by Samoa News staff


At its annual meeting held in Kiribati last month, the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) declared its fight by signing the TARAWA ACCORD, against the negative propaganda on the health and nutritional attributes of coconut and its products, emerging from the American Heart Association (AHA) release in April this year on the Presidential Advisory on Cardiovascular Disease and Saturated Fats.

This statement singled out coconut oil as not recommended for consumption due to its potential increase towards risk of heart disease. Between April and June this year, the APCC through its Scientific Advisory Committee on Health prepared and submitted three rebuttals to the release by AHA.

The rebuttals were directed to the WHO, FAO and to AHA with copies furnished to all 16 APCC member countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Samoa).

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Lopaoo Natanielu Mu’a, signed the Accord on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government. The principal objective of the TARAWA ACCORD is to promote the health and nutritional attributes of coconut products.

Coconut occupies about 12 million hectares of land with an annual production of 10 million metric tonnes in copra equivalent accounting for 85% of the world coconut production that directly affects the socio-economic lives of more than 150 million of the world’s population.

The Accord recognizes that the coconut is grown in over 90 countries and is endowed with multifaceted health and nutritional attributes making it highly beneficial for human consumption to achieve overall health, nourishment and wellness for peoples.

It also recognizes that many people lack this important knowledge and the urgency to effectively inform, educate, promote, and conduct continuous awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of coconut, coconut oil and other healthy products of coconut.

Further, it recognizes that there is a need for further conclusive studies that would provide uncontested scientific evidence as absolute proof of the health and nutritional attributes of coconut, coconut oil, and other healthy products of coconut to assure consumers and effectively counter the negative propaganda of all opposition to coconut and its products. 

By signing the Accord, all 16 member countries of APCC have declared their commitment to affirm, support and effectively promote the health and nutritional benefits of coconut, coconut oil and all healthy products of coconut and their uses within their respective countries and internationally.

In his keynote remarks at the Darwin Coconut Initiative workshop that was held in Samoa recently, Prime Minister Hon Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi, reemphasized the importance of coconut in Samoa for the sustenance of families, whether it is in healthy consumption or shelter or furniture or for personal care in its oils. 

“It has been a tree that has also held many solutions for sustaining small cottage industries, that sustains families, women and youth welfare as seen in the production of arts and crafts, and also the small family stalls on the roadside selling fresh coconuts which are enjoyed by tourists and citizens alike,” he said. 

The prime minister was very supportive of the TARAWA ACCORD that affirms collective support and actions to promote the health and nutritional benefits of the coconut, as well as its personal care oils elements internationally, and reiterated that our Government will play its part in the enhancement of national policies and the awareness programs. 

Tuilaepa also reminded the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, farmers and the private sector, that we should not be complacent with development efforts in researching new technology for production, and the propagation of improved varieties and the quality of coconuts that are pest and disease immune to name a few of the outcomes we wish to achieve.

(Source: Samoa Press Secretariat)


Samoa Airways has moved to clarify that they still issue the lowest airfares in the country and the 599 tala roundtrip is just for their Christmas specials. 

This is according to Samoa Airways Marketing Manager, Dwayne Bentley, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 

Complaints had been received from members of the public who believed the $599 roundtrip airfares was the standard airfare for all time. 

Several women contacted the Samoa Observer raising their frustrations that they had made bookings to travel in January and return in February and then they found that the airfare was 1,800 tala each. 

According to the women, this was actually more expensive than other airlines, thus defeating the purpose of having Samoa Airways for cheaper airfares for the traveling population. 

Not so, said Dwayne Bentley.

“Kindly note that the $599 fare is our Christmas Malaga Special for travel Apia-Auckland-Apia.”

“The applicable conditions on flights are that travel Apia-Auckland needs to be made in December 2017, with return travel Auckland-Apia in January 2018. 

“With the Christmas special in particular, the airline has actually extended the ticket sale period a couple of times now for the benefit of the traveling public, and at the moment, sales end on 30th November. 

“Please note that all Samoa Airways fares including our special deals, include 7kg carry-on, 23kg checked baggage, a hot meal, drink selection and inflight entertainment.” 

Bentley also itemized the airfares for travel in January and February 2018.  

“Earlier today, we did a quick online search for travel Jan/Feb and below are the economy class fares which were available 02 January– Apia/Auckland and returning 02 February.

For Samoa Airways, the airfare is $1,421.34 ; while Fiji Airways $2,927.40 and for Air New Zealand- $2,086.84 tala. 

“Samoa Airways fare is the lowest and is approximately $600 tala less than that of the next carrier (which is $2000+),” he pointed out.

(Source: Samoa Observer)


Are you a grown-up? Your relationships are the laboratory in which to find out, mental health counsellor Jenny Brown says.

Brown's work expands on the theories of American psychiatrist Murray Bowen, who regarded a relationship as a single unit, like an organism.

"We're part of a system all the time. We're affecting others, they're affecting us."

Within each of us is a combination of 'pretend adult' [which Bowen called pseudo-self) and 'solid adult', she says.

Often we're not aware of the 'pretend' part, though.

"The 'pretend adult' changes like a chameleon according to what we perceive will be acceptable in the group. The 'solid adult' has inner convictions and changes from within through thoughtful examination of facts, rather than relationship pressure."

Learning about ourselves and how we relate is the pathway to growing up, Brown says.

Bottom line – keep yourself calm (as much as possible) and stay connected.

"Distance is the easiest way to ease pressure in a relationship, but we don't grow when we avoid the awkward relationship experiences."

To keep peace in a partnership, couples often fall into a pattern where one is frustrated that the other has no initiative and the other complains their partner has become bossy and controlling, which Brown calls 'over-responsibility and under-responsibility'.

Over time, equality is lost.

"One person gives up their own decision-making to keep the peace and allows the other to feel secure by being the helpful one who is paving the way for both of them."

Both blame the other, but these patterns are co-created, Brown says.

What the individual can change is the part they're playing in it.

"If you recognize 'Oh, I'm always mind-reading in my marriage, I'm always guessing what I think my partner needs without asking them', that's not helping develop intimacy and friendship. So I'm gonna work on asking my spouse what they think, what their thoughts are, rather than always take the lead."

When it comes to parenting, the key mistake people make is over-focusing on their child and under-focusing on their responsibilities as a parent, she says.

She concedes defining yourself as a 'parent leader' isn't easy.

"We can lose ourselves with our children. We can parent in reaction to their behaviors and their moods. We can focus on what will make them happy in the short term, rather than 'what's my job is giving them an experience that will help them cope with life outside the family, to cope with rejection, to cope with that word 'no'. We've forgotten, as parents, to say in a calm and principled way, no."

The relationships that really put our maturity to the test – you guessed right – are those with our own parents, Brown says.

A handy checklist for aspiring grown-ups:

Don't let your feelings dominate, refrain from blame, accept people have different views, be responsible for solving your own problems, hold onto your principles and see the bigger picture.

(Source: RNZ)