Marape looking to Fiji for Hela harmony

Main Stories

TARI-Pori MP and Finance Minister James Marape is looking to Fiji to teach the people of Hela values of living in harmony with others and with nature.
He said this yesterday after signing an agreement with the people of Tailevu to have Hela public servants and community leaders go there and learn from the Fijians.
Also present at the signing was Papua New Guinea ambassador to Fiji Lucy Bogari.
Marape was invited by Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, a descendant of Ratu Seru Cakobau styled the King of Fiji who ceded the islands to Great Britain in 1874.
The people of Tailevu gathered last week for a fundraising to assist development in their villages.
They raised more than $F200,000 (about K306,000) for self-help projects instead of waiting for government funding. Marape pledged F$50,000 (about K77,000).
“Simple values of respect for elders, mothers and girls plus a spirit of community and friendliness can make our country a better place,” Marape said.
“Friendliness, care, sharing and community participation in development are values we had, but over time, has eroded out of us in PNG.
“To see a fellow Melanesian culture maintaining these values as tools for their livelihood is worth noting. Their friendly character and respect for law and order has become an economic contributor in the sense that tourists are attracted to a safe society.
“Presently, Fiji averages over 500,000 tourists a year.
“Tourism is a direct contributor of cash in billions into their local economy. This is all built on people’s friendliness and respect for law-and-order.
“I learnt this weekend that Melanesian Fijians are contributing cash for projects in their area without waiting on government.
“This is so unlike many of our areas, if not all, who wait on government to provide money for development.”