posted Pete Nuttall’s analysis from last week’s (“Can we build another Reef Endeavour?” 27/5/20) to the Seafarers Fiji
group. His think piece on now being the time to revitalise Fiji’s ship building industry certainly started a conversation.
Comments came pouring in, both from locals but also from Fiji’s seafaring diaspora, with recollections from the days of building the
demonstrating that Fiji still has a wealth of experience and knowledge, albeit much overseasbased. Comments also highlighted the need for a combined package: training, yards, supporting services and industry to name just a few.
This week I read Fe’íloakitau Kaho Tevi’s article on the Pacific’s response to the double whammy of COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone (TC) and his clear articulation that now is the time to reset the Pacific’s thinking on development. He highlights the region’s strengths being in culture and community, reciprocity, and ability to respond in times of need (he gives the example of Luganville providing huge quantities of yams, and other crops and essentials for Pentecost post TC
Mr Tevi also highlights the positive elements of culture and community that can provide an alternative model to the vulnerable economic models of today (the consequences of over reliance on international tourism as an example in Fiji and Vanuatu) and the
It is clear that we have only a very small window of opportunity for resetting the current development model, and that the shipping sector is a fundamental and essential part of development and economic and social wellbeing and connectivity, allowing reciprocity and exchange between communities in response to need (whether that be a result of pandemic or severe weather or for everyday trade).
Some of our Pacific neighbours are reliant on donations from the developed