Regional

Why Fiji Indians are vulagi: Dr Ganesh Chand explains

AUCKLAND, 19 JULY 2019 (STUFF NZ) – The debate on whether Indians in Fiji are “vulagi” (visitors) has reached offshore, and discussion in the New Zealand media is getting intense. First, there was SODELPA Party’s...

West Papua leader Benny Wenda receives freedom of Oxford, Indonesia condemns decision

LONDON, 19 JULY 2019 (BBC NEWS/ANTARA) – The exiled leader of an Indonesian separatist group has been awarded the freedom of the city of Oxford. City councillors honoured West Papua independence leader Benny Wenda, who was granted UK asylum in 2002. The Foreign Office said the decision “has no bearing on UK government policy” and...

NZ turns in development report card to UN, emphasising wellbeing framework

NEW YORK, 19 JULY 2019 (STUFF NZ) – New Zealand has returned its first sustainable development report card to the United Nations, with a huge emphasis on the Government’s wellbeing framework. This voluntary review of its progress towards the agenda 2030 “sustainable development goals” (SDGs) saw the country boasting about its foreign aid boost, overall...

Former PNG Forest Minister Tomuriesa charged for funds misuse

PORT MORESBY, 19 JULY 2019 (POST COURIER) – Former Papua New Guinea Forest Minister and Member of Parliament for Kiriwina-Goodenough Douglas Tomuriesa has been charged with misappropriation. Tomuriesa, 51, from Losuia village is alleged to have misappropriated K2.2 million (US$648,000) from K6 million (US$1.7 million) earmarked for the South Fly District health workers’ houses under...

Climate and poverty key for PM Ardern

MELBOURNE, 19 JULY 2019 (AAP) – Climate change and childhood poverty are the two areas where New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to make her mark. During a whirlwind visit to Melbourne the prime minister told a 2000-strong crowd those were the policies she wanted to ensure lasted long after she finished her tenure...

Tongan Minister opposes Family Protection Act

NUKU’ALOFA, 19 JULY 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Tonga’s police minister has publicly expressed his strong opposition to an act designed to provide protection from domestic violence. The Family Protection Act, legislated in 2014, was drafted to provide safeguards for family members and applies specifically to women and children, but includes other family members like grandparents...

Sacked ambassador to Vanuatu’s lawyer hits out at case

NOUMEA, 19 JULY 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The lawyer of France’s former ambassador to Vanuatu says the case over his client’s alleged sexual assault has been handled in a grotesque fashion. The diplomat, Robby Judes, was sacked in March after two women in New Caledonia accused him of assault. After questioningJudes, the prosecutor in Noumea...

New Zealand’s Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate action

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Climate change is having a real impact on Pacific islanders and that should spur countries to greater action to tackle the problem, New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern, speaking at a civil society conference in Australia, said she hoped that climate change was an area where her government...

Tongan Nobles plea to receive TP$900,000 of constituency funds

NUKU’ALOFA, 19 JULY 2019 (KANIVA TONGA NEWS) – The nobility’s nine MPs in Tonga Parliament have pleaded with the government to be allowed to receive TP$100,000 (US$44,430) each from the constituency funding to help people in their various estates. The funding was meant for the 17 people’s MPs to distribute each year among their constituencies...

New Zealand’s Ardern says plight of Pacific Islanders should spur climate action

MELBOURNE, 19 JULY 2019(REUTERS) – Climate change is having a real impact on Pacific islanders and that should spur countries to greater action to tackle the problem, New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday. Ardern, speaking at a civil society conference in Australia, said she hoped that climate change was an area where...

17th July

Regional security strategy critical, says Lesuma

MINISTRY of Defence permanent secretary Manasa Lesuma says having a Regional Security Strategy document is critical to the welfare of Melanesia and the Pacific region as a whole. Mr Lesuma highlighted this at the 3rd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) – Regional Security Strategy Regional Security (RSS) meeting at Nadi’s Tanoa International Hotel yesterday. He said...

16th July

Appeal made to put Tongan minister on no-fly list

NUKU’ALOFA,16 JULY 2019 (RNZ PACIFIC) – An appeal has been filed in Tonga’s Supreme Court against a decision allowing the Justice Minster to travel outside the country. Matangi Tonga reports Vuna Fa’otusia was charged in January with wrongful interference with the course of justice and using threatening language to police officers in a dispute over...

Taiwan forced to change name of office in Fiji due to Chinese bullying

TAIPEI,16 JULY 2019 (TAIWAN NEWS) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Saturday it had protested to the Pacific island nation of Fiji as Chinese pressure had forced it to change the name of the Taiwanese office. The office would have to replace the name “Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to...

Bougainville Referendum aftermath irresolute, PNG ‘duty-bound’ to support economy

BUKA, 16 JULY 2019 (POST COURIER) – The National Research Institute says in its research report on the Bougainville referendum that there will be political implications of the vote and the non-binding outcome that is expected. The report stated that a vote for independence would trigger an immediate unsettlement of the status quo. “The referendum...

PM Marape talks pay cut, opt to slash salaries for government heads and MPs

PORT MORESBY, 16 JULY 2019 (POST COURIER) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says he will slash his salary by 20 per cent if he has his way. The move would be part of the cleaning up process of cutting down on overpaid leaders, Marape said as he was sworn in as a...

14th July

Bougainville group issues ultimatum over Mining Act

A Bougainville landowning group has given the autonomous government an ultimatum over a festering dispute involving the Panguna mine. The Osikaiyang landowners, who have allied with former militants, said unless the government drops plans to change the Mining Act they will not support the push for weapons containment and disposal. The removal of illegal guns...

Military taskforce deployed to PNG’s Hela in wake of massacre

A joint military and police taskforce will be deployed to Papua New Guinea’s Hela Province in response to mass killings last week. Prime Minister James Marape told the Post Courier he has sent the police minister, Bryan Kramer, there to take stock of available manpower on the ground and to assess urgent issues. The United Nations in...

UN agency says Pacific missing all SDG targets

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP, says on its current trajectory Asia and the Pacific will not achieve any of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The goals are designed to improve health and welfare, reduce inequality, spur economic growth and protect the environment. ESCAP is presenting...

13th July

Samoa deputy PM lays out climate, poverty challenges at UN

Samoa’s deputy prime minister has told the UN that a quarter of Pacific islanders live below the poverty line, many going without the most basic of needs. Speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said that despite sustained growth, many people were struggling to make ends meet in the face of...

New airline planned for Wallis and Futuna

Plans are afoot in Wallis and Futuna for a new airline which would end the monopoly held by New Caledonia’s international carrier. The public broadcaster La Premiere said a businessman Louis Alphonse will be submitting his plans to launch WF Aviation to the authorities next month, in the hope of starting flights late next year....

Tuvalu wants tourism policy that fights climate change

Tuvalu’s government wants assistance with developing a tourism policy that embraces the fight against climate change. Tourism Minister Taukelina Finikaso said the new policy should incorporate a rebranding of the country’s tourism sector in response to the climate crisis. Speaking at an Indonesian trade show in New Zealand on Thursday, he said the policy should...

Boeing MAX return to Pacific delayed further

The national airlines of Fiji and Samoa face further delays in getting their work-horse aircraft back into service. Both Fiji Airways and Samoa Airways hired versions of the Boeing 737 MAX, which were grounded in March after two fatal crashes. The plane’s manufacturer, Boeing, this month acknowleged a new software issue with the MAX, but...

Emergency shelter plans more than ‘tarps and tents’

Habitat for Humanity is expanding its post disaster shelter research into Vanuatu after developing a comprehensive planning tool in Fiji. It’s working with Australian aid agencies to develop the tool to improve co-ordination and logistics after natural disasters. Habitat project manager Doreen Narayan said in Fiji the tool was developed through wide consultation, including with...

Strike settled at French Polynesia telco

An industrial dispute at French Polynesia’s publicly-owned OPT telecommunications company has been settled. About a third of its 1200 employees had gone on strike at the beginning of the week over fears of massive job losses. The strike closed several OPT offices and affected banking services. Negotiations to end the strike finished with an accord...

Tongan beauty queen stripped of title

The one year reign of a Tongan beauty queen has been wiped from the record books in retaliation for her speech at last week’s crowning ceremony. Kalo Funganitao accused organisers of the Miss Heilala beauty pageant of tormenting and bullying her before leaving the stage without crowning the new winner, Yehenara Soukoup. The executive committee of the...

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